After four weeks of searching, military ships have directed their sensor technology under the water’s surface in a new phase of the hunt for missing Malyasia Airlines flight MH370 and its black boxes, the batteries of which are expected to expire next week.
The New York Times reports that two ships, the H.M.S. Echo of Britain’s Royal Navy and the Ocean Shield of the Royal Australian Navy, will begin searching a single 150-mile-long track of the Indian Ocean’s floor. Both of these ships are equipped with listening devices that can pick of pings from the plane’s black boxes containing flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
The black boxes’ life batteries only have a span of about a month and are expected to expire next week. When they die, so will the pinger signals that are picked up by locators towed below the search vessels. If the black boxes’ batteries expire, their discovery will be that much more difficult.
Crews overhead are still looking for debris from the plane on the surface of the water in hopes that it can help searchers determine MH70’s point of entry into the ocean.
“Instead of searching over an area the size of Ireland, we might be able to get into an area which is the size of the metropolitan area of Perth, for example,” retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the Australian official overseeing the search, said in the report.
Yesterday the search zone was adjusted slightly northward from the area crew were looking this past week, which Houston said was “nothing unusual”, despite contradicting speculation.
[Image via Xinhua]