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Showing posts from March 16, 2014

How Naval Drones Could Help Solve the Mystery of Malaysian Airlines Flight #370

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If airborne search assets succeed in finding the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight #370, what happens
next?  Generally, the key to determining the cause of air plane crashes at sea is dependent upon the recovery of the data recorder, or "black box" as it is generally known.  A black box has an acoustic "pinger" which is activated upon hitting the water and transmits a signal, sometimes for up to 30 days.  Once crash debris is spotted on the ocean, salvage experts will use predictive modeling software to determine an approximate location of where the aircraft actually went down.  Even small ocean currents of a knot or two can push floating debris hundreds of miles away from the original crash site over a two week period.

At that point, if it is determined that one or more of the regional navies involved will search for the black box, a towed pinger locator will be deployed from a ship, along with a towed side scan sonar or deep-water capable unmanned underwate…