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Australian Authorities Issue Fresh Insight Into MH370 Satellite Data

New analysis of the satellite imagery taken days after the disappearance of MH370 may offer further clues into the demise of the Beijing-bound flight, but Australian authorities caution against extrapolation.

Though the formal search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was officially suspended in January, Australian authorities have issued two new reports offering further examination of the satellite data collected during the initial search for the ill-fated flight. The Boeing 777 went missing on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

While the physical underwater search for clues as to the demise of MH370 has ceased, Greg Hood, chief commissioner for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), said in a statement that, “Consistent with our commitment to the public release of information pertaining to the search for MH370, we have today released two reports, prepared by Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization). They provide analysis and findings relating to satellite imagery taken on 23 March 2014, two weeks after the disappearance of MH370, over the southern Indian Ocean.”

The satellite data was acquired with assistance from French authorities. This imagery details an area not initially subjected to a search from the air; it is, however, in close proximity to a portion of the seabed that was subjected to an extensive search in the period following the incident.

Speaking of the results, Hood commented, “Geoscience Australia identified a number of objects in the satellite imagery which have been classified as probably man-made. The image resolution is not high enough to be certain whether the objects originated from MH370 or are other objects that might be found floating in oceans around the world.”

The ATSB also added that a drift study conducted by the CSIRO of the material identified by the satellite imagery “was consistent with the area identified by experts”.

Despite these latest findings, Hood warned against extrapolation.“Clearly we must be cautious. These objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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