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Towed #MH370 Search Sonar Vehicle lost


Active Member
A deep-sea exploration vehicle searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been lost on the ocean floor after colliding with a submerged volcano.

The agency running the search said the collision with the 2,200-metre mud volcano on Sunday broke the cable attaching the Fugro Discovery search vessel to the sonar vehicle, known as a towfish, leaving the towfish and 4,500m of cable on the bed of the Indian Ocean.
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I'm wondering how this towfish is expected to locate a plane or its wreckage or parts when it can't 'see' a 2KM volcano on its path


Staff member
I'm wondering how this towfish is expected to locate a plane or its wreckage or parts when it can't 'see' a 2KM volcano on its path

I assume it wasn't looking forwards. It's the equivalent of walking into a lamp post while looking at the ground for a dropped ring. :)


Active Member
I assume it wasn't looking forwards. It's the equivalent of walking into a lamp post while looking at the ground for a dropped ring. :)
Now that's super funny analogy.
I agree to some extent but still, the vehicle should not be bumping into things down there without warning the crew, or maybe they slept on the job


Senior Member.
Maybe the synthetic aperture radar has sidebeam characteristics due to Hifflessen-Scholtz scattering that means anhydrous sedimentary deposits are invisible to the Shatner's Bassoon?

Which is a different way of saying, I'm sure they know what they're doing (and we don't).


Senior Member.
It could also have been a calibration issue. I have it it on good authority that at one point in the trials of the Royal Navy's Merlin helicopter, it could see a foot of periscope sticking out the water tens of miles away while simultaneously being unable to see the Large cargo ship it had just taken off from.


Active Member
The Fugro Discovery was returning to Fremantle, Western Australia, where a replacement cable could be installed, while crew members readied a spare towfish for use, the statement said. It was expected to reach Fremantle in five days.

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau, the national transport safety investigator, said in a statement that it would take about 12 days for the vessel to return to the previous search location. Searching the entire search area was still expected to take until mid-2016, it said.
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Now it makes sense; the towfish was being hauled back to Freemantle and as such was not actively searching the ocean floor. But still, it could have been negligence
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