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MORE about the MH370 Discussion and Speculation Thread

In order to a) keep the original thread focused on confirmed news and known facts, and b) allow folks a place to discuss their ideas about what might have happened, the MH370 moderators and Community Director have decided to open this thread.

Here are the expectations:

1. The normal FT TOS apply. (Including not discussing moderation actions on-thread). And please be particularly attentive to "discussing the idea and not the poster" when you have a disagreement. Civility and mutual respect are still expected and are what we owe each other as a community.

2. You are expected respect our diversity , and therefore refrain from posting inflammatory comments about race, religion, culture, politics, ethnicity, orientation, etc." Do not cite, copy, or report on such.

3. Please do continue to be attentive to the sensibilities of the families of those on the flight. Think about if you were them what you would and would not want to see posted. Speculation about what happened is permissible; please, though, do not indulge in inflammatory or overly-lurid descriptions that could well be hurtful.

4. Overly / extravagantly exaggerative posts such as conspiracy theories, posts beyond the realm of science and known facts, etc. as well as posts with information that has been posted several times previously, information that has been posted in the News thread wiki or FAQ, may be deleted.
E.g. the aircraft was vaporized.

In terms of housekeeping, posts may get moved from the "news" thread if and as needed, and posts that do not conform to these simple expectations, above, will be deleted.

Also note: this wiki is locked; changes can only be made by moderators.

Thank you.

Your MH370 Moderation Team
aBroadAbroad; cblaisd; JDiver; l'etoile; NewbieRunner; oliver2002; Prospero
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Old Apr 8, 14, 4:44 pm   #1621
  
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Originally Posted by Wickerman View Post
In an interview with CNN the president? of Dukane Seacom clarified this, that those pingers are manufactured to last 35 days, they are just guaranteed to last 30 days.

***

I just came across this very interesting post at PPRuNe.

http://www.pprune.org/8425140-post9602.html
Interesting speculation on the new PPRuNe poster's part. Has an internal consistency with the early suspected waypoint behavior.
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Old Apr 8, 14, 5:20 pm   #1622
  
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I just came across this very interesting post at PPRuNe.

http://www.pprune.org/8425140-post9602.html
Isn't that just a very long way round of 'proving' that if both Oz and CN teams heard the same ping then the source may lay somewhere in-between them ? But could they have done that? While I understand (to a limited extent) the refraction and other 'redirection' effects on sound underwater I haven't seen anything to suggest that they would hear things at ~50 times the anticipated ping range.

I don't understand the supposed significance of both the ping detection locations being on the -PER air route. If the respective ships had been 100km east or west then this 'coincidence' wouldn't have arisen, but the pings may still have been heard. Alternatively someone may have already figured out that the air route could be significant, which is why the ships were searching on it .

It'd be interesting to have some insight on how the search locations are chosen from the vast range possible. The intersection of the Inmarsat arc and standard air route does sound interesting, as do some of the deeper topological features, etc depending on which theory you subscribe to. Has anyone seen a chart of with all the ideas and search areas overlaid?

Last edited by EsherFlyer; Apr 8, 14 at 5:41 pm
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Old Apr 8, 14, 6:03 pm   #1623
  
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Isn't that just a very long way round of 'proving' that if both Oz and CN teams heard the same ping then the source may lay somewhere in-between them ?
No way - the two locations are 600 Kms apart !
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Old Apr 9, 14, 12:41 am   #1624
  
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Surely everyone is hoping that these are indeed signals from the recorders of the MH370, but can someone explain how or why it makes sense for the distance between pinger detection location 1 and pinger detection location 4 to be almost 30km apart?

According to Wikipedia the range of the 37.5KHz transponder pinger is 6-7km in good conditions, so even if the plane was at the center of the 4 pings, that's still a good 14-15km away...
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Old Apr 9, 14, 1:58 am   #1625
  
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Originally Posted by vkykam View Post
Surely everyone is hoping that these are indeed signals from the recorders of the MH370, but can someone explain how or why it makes sense for the distance between pinger detection location 1 and pinger detection location 4 to be almost 30km apart?

According to Wikipedia the range of the 37.5KHz transponder pinger is 6-7km in good conditions, so even if the plane was at the center of the 4 pings, that's still a good 14-15km away...
Sensitivity of USN towed locator?
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Old Apr 9, 14, 2:07 am   #1626
  
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Originally Posted by vkykam View Post
Surely everyone is hoping that these are indeed signals from the recorders of the MH370, but can someone explain how or why it makes sense for the distance between pinger detection location 1 and pinger detection location 4 to be almost 30km apart?
Don't forget they are chasing two separate sources and the ping #2 is the one that detected 2 separate pings so it could make sense if one of the black boxes is located somewhere between ping #1 and ping #2 and the other one in the middle of pings #2, 3 and 4...

Anyway what I find almost too good to be true is that looking at http://www.jacc.gov.au/media/release...l/mr_014-2.jpg all 4 ping detections are almost right on the "satellite handshake calculation" which I presume refers to the last partial ping. Surely this is either extremely lucky (no way the arc calculated thanks to doppler analysis can be so precise) or if this is indeed the final resting place of MH370 the location must be based on a more accurate data source that they are not willing to disclose...
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Old Apr 9, 14, 8:30 am   #1627
  
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Don't forget they are chasing two separate sources and the ping #2 is the one that detected 2 separate pings so it could make sense if one of the black boxes is located somewhere between ping #1 and ping #2 and the other one in the middle of pings #2, 3 and 4...

Anyway what I find almost too good to be true is that looking at http://www.jacc.gov.au/media/release...l/mr_014-2.jpg all 4 ping detections are almost right on the "satellite handshake calculation" which I presume refers to the last partial ping. Surely this is either extremely lucky (no way the arc calculated thanks to doppler analysis can be so precise) or if this is indeed the final resting place of MH370 the location must be based on a more accurate data source that they are not willing to disclose...
My speculation is that the detection distance capability of the TPL is more than has been published. The plan was always to tow the TPL back and forth across the estimated flight path and hope they get lucky. Someone always wins the lottery.

I just wonder what the Chinese heard?
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Old Apr 9, 14, 9:25 am   #1628
  
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Originally Posted by vkykam View Post
Surely everyone is hoping that these are indeed signals from the recorders of the MH370, but can someone explain how or why it makes sense for the distance between pinger detection location 1 and pinger detection location 4 to be almost 30km apart?

According to Wikipedia the range of the 37.5KHz transponder pinger is 6-7km in good conditions, so even if the plane was at the center of the 4 pings, that's still a good 14-15km away...
The range of the pinger is not really that set because it is not so much a question of the range of the pinger, but the listening capability of the device that is attemping to hear it. Back in my submarine days (Fast attack Los Angeles Class sub) we would sometimes here very odd quiet things from a long way away. The water antenuates (removes energy) of the ping which is essentially a sound wave moving through the water. So the farther it travels the weaker it gets and thus is "quieter". But for our sub, we were so quiet we could here that much better. Sound waves can also get reflected off of transitions in water conditions. Mostly that means thermal or salinty layers. Very analogous to looking through a window that also partly reflects your image back. So the sound wave can hit a transition (a layer) and some of it can reflect off in a different direction etc. (Think echos here also as an analogy)
So we would sometimes get a signal coming from above us when the source of the noise was probably below us. Layers could be used to hide our own sounds as well. Our listening systems (passive sonar) were incredibly capable and we woudl sometimes get a sound source coming at us from two directions and you had to decide which one was the more liekly to be accurate bearing.
Anyways, you can hear a whisper a long way away is the space around you and the whisperer is quiet enough. So those pings radiate out, getting quieter and quieter, sometimes sending bounces and reflections in different directions and one moment might be "heard" at a real long distance and the next not.
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Old Apr 9, 14, 10:53 am   #1629
  
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Originally Posted by M@rcoPolo View Post
No way - the two locations are 600 Kms apart !
I notice that HMS Echo is still searching in that southern area. Anyone know what that's all about?

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Originally Posted by EsherFlyer View Post
It'd be interesting to have some insight on how the search locations are chosen from the vast range possible.
Need to distinguish between the undersea search area and the surface search area. Ocean Shield is doing its TPL thing in one area, while there is a large surface search area almost due west of that where several ships seems to be engaged in a surface search. Presumably these two areas are related through estimates of drift of any surface debris.

Last edited by polarbreeze; Apr 9, 14 at 11:01 am
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Old Apr 9, 14, 11:08 am   #1630
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I notice that HMS Echo is still searching in that southern area. Anyone know what that's all about?
I suggest you read the transcript of the JACC press conference posted in the news thread. Here's an extract of the Q&A session.

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Question: Have you got any further information from the Chinese ship Haixun 01 and have you analysed the data acquired by that ship?

Angus Houston: I understand there has been no further detections in the area where the Chinese vessel Haixun 01 assisted by HMS Echo, which is an oceanographic vessel from the Royal Navy, I believe they haven't made any further detections. In terms of the analysis of the signals that it picked up, I'll come back to you on that. I'm not sure where we're at with that. I haven't had any advice that the analysis is completed at this stage.
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Angus Houston: Well, what we're doing, we are not putting all our eggs in one basket, okay? We're continuing with all the other activities. We're continuing to look where Haixun 01 is, but we're also doing a much more intense visual search, a visual search where the track spacing, if you understand that, what an aircraft does, it's assigned an area to search and then it will design a pattern with very small spacing and it will cover the area very extensively and very intensively.
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Old Apr 9, 14, 11:48 am   #1631
  
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I suggest you read the transcript of the JACC press conference posted in the news thread.
Sure but I was hoping for more insights than that. And it turns out there is an update: the latest from marinetraffic.com has HMS Echo heading up to join Ocean Shield.http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/...1b9a33ef6e4261
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Old Apr 9, 14, 3:09 pm   #1632
  
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<redacted>

Assuming these images and my interpretation are correct, this 'overview' one shows the satellite-predicted 'somewhere along this line' arc in red and the 'out of fuel' range in white. Jumping to this one and assuming that the colours are the same a less complex theory is that it just ran out of fuel there.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 9, 14 at 3:29 pm Reason: redacted deleted post content
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Old Apr 9, 14, 4:58 pm   #1633
  
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How come the pingers have been found exactly on the red line?

I think someone else mentioned this but I didn't see any good answer to it yet:

It was my understanding that the Inmarsat data yielded an arc (mostly represented by a red line) whose accuracy was thought to be in the order of 100 miles or so. Now, jumping the gun a bit to assume the Ocean Shield really has found the pingers, we find that they're exactly smack dab on the red line. Did I miss a step where additional data scrubbing put the red line down with much better accuracy; or was Ocean Shield really, really lucky (in the north-south direction too BTW); or could there be other data that has directed the search more precisely?

Somebody suggested Australian radar could be at play here - anyone have any information about that?
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Old Apr 10, 14, 12:14 am   #1634
  
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Originally Posted by polarbreeze View Post
It was my understanding that the Inmarsat data yielded an arc (mostly represented by a red line) whose accuracy was thought to be in the order of 100 miles or so.
One (speculative) suggestion I'll offer is that although each arc may have an amount of error if you assume a constant speed then that will help 'respace' them. So if the hourly arcs were notionally 420, 460 and 450 nautical miles apart you could calculate an assumed average speed of ~435knts and replot the lines to fit that assumption.

Has anyone see a 'back plot' from Ocean Shield's search position across the satellite arcs at various speeds to see if it leads back to the right origin?

Alternatively, as I think we mentioned above, I wouldn't be surprised if a submarine from some nation or other had passed by the area in the last month and detected something to help direct the surface search.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 7:41 am   #1635
  
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Originally Posted by EsherFlyer View Post
One (speculative) suggestion I'll offer is that although each arc may have an amount of error if you assume a constant speed then that will help 'respace' them. So if the hourly arcs were notionally 420, 460 and 450 nautical miles apart you could calculate an assumed average speed of ~435knts and replot the lines to fit that assumption.

Has anyone see a 'back plot' from Ocean Shield's search position across the satellite arcs at various speeds to see if it leads back to the right origin?

Alternatively, as I think we mentioned above, I wouldn't be surprised if a submarine from some nation or other had passed by the area in the last month and detected something to help direct the surface search.
In the JACC press conference The naval rep said their sub was "not equipped" for this kind of search.

About the location, Angus said they acted on the belief that the seventh 'half' ping was at the time and point of impact. That seems to be correct. With a time of impact they were able to calibrate a line back through the other ping arcs to get an approximate landing coordinate. That would be the 'back plot' you are asking about.

Angus also said that quiet operation was the key to hearing a weak signal and separating it from noise. Only Ocean Shield will be in the water at the search site. They will drop up to 85 microphones that will listen at a depth of 1000 m. The intent is to get a geographic picture of the sound sources.

I am hoping for the best, although I wonder if all those mics hanging 1000 m down won't interfere with the 4000+ meter cable towing the TPL.

Angus was asked about the discrepancy between the 37 KHz frequency of the FDR and the 33 kHz that was detected. He didn't provide an explanation but he said they were satisfied that they had probably detected the right signal.

The question that immediately popped into my mind was whether the sono-buoy mics were re-calibrated to the actual frequency that is being sent. The sensitivity is given as 37 +/- 1khz which seems like it would tune out the actual frequency of 33khz.

I have a lot of confidence they are doing this correctly. The Ocean Shield detected the signal very soon after they started searching. Inmarsat's ping arcs and the calculation of speed and fuel used from the earlier radar hits was spot on. This is absolutely amazing and shows how technology has moved ahead since the Air France crash.

Last edited by lewko; Apr 10, 14 at 7:56 am Reason: Fix spelling and clarity
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