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Malaysia Airlines MH370: The search party

Published on Mar 13, 2014 4:59 PM
 
As the search widens to the Andaman Sea and the west of Peninsular Malaysia, the multi-nation search party has deployed its air and sea assets to find traces of MH370 and its passengers. Jermyn Chow reports on the assets used. -- PHOTO: AFP

As the search widens to the Andaman Sea and the west of Peninsular Malaysia, the multi-nation search party has deployed its air and sea assets to find traces of MH370 and its passengers. Jermyn Chow reports on the assets used.


Satellite icon

Satellites
Countries using them: China and India
■ 10 Chinese military satellites are capable of spotting an object as small as half a metre in size.
■ The Indian navy’s Rukmini or GSAT-7 satellite has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile ‘footprint’ over the Indian Ocean region.


Aircraft icon

Surveillance planes

Including P-3 Orion, Seahawk naval helicopters and C-130
Countries using them: US, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia
■ The P-3 plane’s radar can spot something the size of a basketball if it is floating on water.
■ The helicopters, equipped with Forward Looking Infra-red cameras, can fly at night and cover up to 600 nautical square miles every 3½ hours.
■ Unmanned Aerial Vehicles such as the ScanEagle on Singapore’s missile corvette can search for about 24 hours.
■ Submarine hunting sonar from Seahawkscan pick up tracking signals from the two black boxes and aircraft emergency beacons.


Ship icon

Warships

Countries: Malaysia, Singapore, US, China,
Thailand, Vietnam
■ The ships have sonars that can “listen out” for echos that are reflected by debris or the black box in the water or the seabed.
■ Ships will usually rely on naked eye observations to spot items in the water before narrowing their search area and firing up the sonars.


Submarine icon

Submersible underwater craft

Countries: Singapore
■ The free-swimming submersible DSAR 6 SRV, which is onboard the MV Swift Rescue Submarine Support and Rescue Vessel (SSRV), can search underwater to a depth of 500m.


 

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