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.
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.
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.
Countries: Malaysia, Singapore, US, China,
■ 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.
Submersible underwater craft
■ 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.