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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:33
  #6721 (permalink)  
 
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Size is not everything dear!

It is amazing that a computer in a home you may buy for your teenage kid can outperform the storage available in a modern airliner by more than a 1000 factor.
2 hours of voice recording on a plane that may be designed to fly 16-18 hours?
In case of MH370 which may have flown for up to 8 hours and if so the voice recordings in the first two hours maybe a lot more important than the last two hours. Especially if (at least) one pilot was incapacitated for whatever reason.

The best I can gather is that the audio quality of the CVR used today is 31 kbps.
A 1TB SSD recording at 64 kbps will can store more than 72000 hours (1 channel)at twice the quality.
I believe current CVR's use either 3 or 4 channels, but even using 10 channels (some in the cabin as well), 7200 hours equals 300 days.
Based on the assumption that a CVR and a FDR use the same storage media with the FDR yielding ~12 times duration of a 4-channel CVR a 1 TB SSD would store 9000 days of data (the life of most airframes) ... all for under $1,000 (excluding DAQ which would likely be the same as current recorders).
Using the same storage media (1TB SSD), the use of 10 video cameras in full motion mode would record 40 hours of video.

Time to use current technology, methinks
State of the art technology does not have to be safe to be installed in your teenage kids' PC. Failures are an inconvenience not a disaster.

Keeping safety critical systems safe means they may run a generation (or two) behind the latest capabilities. That is not a bad thing.

Let's face it, using "current technology" batteries in aircraft has created a few issues recently.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:38
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ULB Detection

Back in one of the earlier AF447 threads, auv-ee explained in detail the detection range of the 37.5kHz ULB pinger.

The maximum detection range is 2 - 3km, and in rather calm sea conditions. Less than 1800 meters will provide a 90% or better chance of detection. All this is described in detail by one who knows and has the experience to go with it.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:41
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Hunter,

While it could be anywhere on the red arc at 0811, Inmarsat sensibly curtailed the arc at a spot in the Indian Ocean that is the number of flight hours multiplied by a reasonable speed from the South China Sea. They presumably have several earlier hours of angle measurements too, which would be consistent with that.

It seems unlikely to me that the Australian government would make such a big deal about going to look in that oceanic box unless they had some good information that looking in that box was likely to pay off.

The biggest problem with the northern route is that someone somewhere should have seen it co,ing, whereas going south there's nothing to bump into.

The earlier Inmarsat ping angles would show whether or not a steady straight flight into the void was consistent with them. I trust the heavy Australian search is based on sound information, although their released pictures of the "ocean objects" are very whitecap-looking to me. The radar shenanigans and turns over SE Asia all seems to be pretty random.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:41
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Pressure masks for all cabin crew and a means for them to enter flight deck in an emergency (maybe several cabin crew pass keys...
Methinks you are offering a solution in search for a problem, just like numerous others here. As for flight deck access, for obvious reasons, no one is going to discuss this in public. Big surprise there. Yawn.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:44
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@Hunter58
Altough we have no confirmed track across the peninsula we do have received information regarding the general direction of the aircraft. If was reported to have crossed the peninsula on a southwesterly direction to then turn to a northwesterly direction
The piece of the jigsaw that I think you are missing is that at the press conference a day or so back, the Malaysian official equivocated spectacularly when asked to confirm that MH370 had in fact made the NW turn and passed through or toward the subsequent waypoints. He didn't actually deny it, but was as near as possible to doing so.


So, it appears that all that is confirmed is that the aircraft crossed the peninsular heading SW, and all the conclusions and inferences drawn from the implication of deliberate human action in turning the aircraft, except for the initial turn back toward peninsular Malaysia, are, in fact, baseless.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:47
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basic facts

@richardgb

Can I ask a fairly basic question.

Is there anywhere an unimpeachable peer reviewed and generally acknowledged statement of the known facts as opposed to theories?

For instance do we know with any degree of certainty whether the various statements about:

changes in altitude,
following pre-programmed way points
published zig zag tracks
fuel load on departure
whether the last verbal communication was before or after the initial divergence from the flight plan
satellite ping data and the consequent assumptions about the two arcs of likely location
radar or lack of radar returns
...and several others
are known to be true with any high degree of certainty?

Is international law / convention involved here and if so which is the authority that is charged with bringing all this data together. Is it in fact the Malaysian government/Aviation authority as appears to be the case judging by what we see on the television?
changes in altitude -- main source was the big Times story (35K --> 42K -->23K), seems to be extrapolated from Malaysian primary radar, and has been critiqued as not reliable. second source was Straits Times article about plane flying low at 5K feet to avoid radar. This was echo-chambered by many news outlets. If you look at the original story, the reporter only invited some Malaysian military guys to speculate, then wrote the story with the hypothetical as a fact. not reliable.

UPDATE: 3/23, CNN goes nuts with *their* altitude scoop, which is that, extrapolated from Malaysian primary radar, the flight turned back and dropped to 12,000 feet between 1:19 and 2:40 (speed and timing of drop not specified). This, imo, is simply another version of the altitude-change-calculated-from-primary-radar story, and not new news. Seems to depend on which analyst at which remove from the investigation is leaking. Of most interest here is the "2:40" time. 2:40 was a time we saw in the very first news stories, but then the Malaysians consistently said the flight dropped off their primary radar at 2:15. So what, exactly, correlates to 2:40, and why is that time making a resurgence?

following pre-programmed way points (same as zig zag tracks) Again, a big NY Times headline. All subsequent reporting and statements from the Malaysian pressers have only made this more confusing. If there is any hard data that a new flight plan was entered in the cockpit computer, it has never been directly stated or confirmed. Instead, experts seem to be extrapolating from the primary radar track, and also assuming the new flight plan was transmitted in the 1:07 ACARS burst. But no source has verified that speculation, even in news articles I've read that claim that happened.

UPDATE 3/23, Malaysian Ministry of Transportation confirms "The last ACARS transmission, sent at 1.07am, showed nothing unusual. The 1.07am transmission showed a normal routing all the way to Beijing."

fuel load on departure Normal fuel load, enough to get to Beijing with an hour to spare. Yes, reliable and verified directly in Malaysian presser. This is a fact they stated clearly and proactively and did not waffle on. I trust this as fact.

Per Bloomberg:
"The Boeing 777 was carrying 49.1 metric tons (54.1 tons) of fuel when it departed Kuala Lumpur, for a total takeoff weight of 223.5 tons, according to Subang Jaya-based Malaysian Air."

whether the last verbal communication was before or after the initial divergence from the flight plan At least in the U.S. the media went to town saying it was after, and taking this as proof of pilot deliberation. Unfortunately, at the following day's presser, the Malaysians said reports were inaccurate, but declined to provide a timeline of these events, and have deflected all lines of questioning about that critical series of events by saying their main priority is to find the plane. Upshot: we don't know. The investigators surely do, but are they leaking, and to which reporters?

satellite ping data and the consequent assumptions about the two arcs of likely location Satellite ping data is very solid fact. Data has been independently analyzed by NTSB and British Accident Board, who came to identical conclusions about the probability arcs. Further, the Australian SAR head in his presser said that they are leveraging ALL of the pings (not just the final one) in creating a probable flight path. That plus wind, current, fuel, speed, and other calculations narrowed down the southern search area. imo you'd need to be a major conspiracy theorist to believe everyone is colluding on a fake ping narrative.

radar or lack of radar returns Fact is secondary radar handoff from Malaysia was 1:19, and transponder data ceased at 1:21. Malaysian military primary radar tracked the plane (as a blip) until 2:15 when it went out of range back toward the west. They did this not in real time, but upon reviewing a recording. As for Vietnamese civilian radar, there was a report that they alerted the malaysians that the plane had turned back, but when they noticed this or when they alerted is not clear. The Thais came forward only a couple of days ago to say their primary radar had also tracked the plane west. India says they didn't see it. China says they didn't see it. Other countries are cooperating in examining their radar, but that will not be made public, per the pressers, to ensure their national security capabilities.

Law is the country the plane crashed in leads the investigation. The plane manufacturer and airline send consultants. In international waters I think there''s an international investigation protocol. The Malaysians headed this so far because it's their airline, the plane took off from their country, and nobody knew if it crashed or where.

P.S. If subsequent posts take issue with any of the above, I'm happy to edit it. I'm really keen on "what exactly is fact" versus inference, speculation, or spin

Last edited by cynar; 24th Mar 2014 at 10:06.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:48
  #6727 (permalink)  

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awblain

I am sure that neither India, Nepal or China would like to admit that they missed an airliner flying a constant heading with their 'elaborate' air defence radars. However, just because they could be loosing face does not give any reason for not looking. Until now in this whole story everytime the media attention was on one side it proved to be the other.

If inmarsat is so confident on their findings, why do we not have a public analysis of their conclusions?


Despairing Traveller

and which part was the official maneuvering about? The general direction or the zig zagging which they never confirmed in the first place? There is quite a difference in the two.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:51
  #6728 (permalink)  
 
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mm43: Back in one of the earlier AF447 threads, auv-ee explained in detail the detection range of the 37.5kHz ULB pinger. The maximum detection range is 2 - 3km, and in rather calm sea conditions. Less than 1800 meters will provide a 90% or better chance of detection. All this is described in detail by one who knows and has the experience to go with it.
That's assuming the people listening for it have the proper or properly tuned equipment! BTW: Thanks for the link. He definetly explains the transmission end of it. I'm just not sure all the people listening for the 37.5 khz ping of MH370's black box locator beacon, have the optimum equipment to hear it anywhere near the maximum specified distance!
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 22:58
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Satellite pings could confirm flight path

Although the only data point that appears to be associated with an individual handshake between the Inmarsat satellite and MH370 is distance (or angle to the satellite), that information is quite useful. From most news accounts, Inmarsat had data for the entire time MH370 had power, with each successive handshake approximately 60 minutes apart. If that is the case, they should have one at about the same time the plane’s transponder stopped working (approximately 43°). From that point, you would have very different data depending upon the path the airplane took.

For example, if the plane did a 180 and turned around, you would have the following data:

2:11 44°
3:11 45°
4:11 46°
5:11 46°
6:11 45°
7:11 43°
8:11 40°

However, if the plane turned westward and crossed the peninsula and skirted the Northern part of Sumatra before turning South, you’d have something like the following:

2:11 49°
3:11 54°
4:11 54°
5:11 52°
6:11 49°
7:11 45°
8:11 40°

Obviously, I don’t have the actual data and the numbers are probably off a bit but you get the general idea. Knowing the satellite data will allow you to narrow down the potential flight paths. I’m sure that is what the NTSB has used (along with a lot of other data) to generate the paths shown on the maps the Australians are using to show the search areas.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:01
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Just to add to Hunter and Pontius Navigator's post directed toward Arearadar's reply that included

I read that a/c disappeared from radar.
It is not as if we have only 1 Country involved here, either.

You have Thailand on the other side of the border showing apparently the same flight path across the peninsula. They indicate they never lost sight of the re-appearing plane (well, at least for any considerable amount of time) and say it never entered their space, basically skirting the border.

That is 3 countries (Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand) combined showing the plane going dark (all 3), turning around (at least 2 - Vietnam and Malaysia), and showing back up off the Peninsulas coast (suspected 2, but at least Thailand) with a total time frame of that series of events at about 10 minutes. Then 2 of them are able to put together a path across said peninsula starting at that time; 2 identified paths that apparently line up with each other. Meanwhile no plane continued on the flight path MH370 was on into Vietnam territory and no plane crashed into the Gulf.

I myself am fairly confident they would be able to figure out with a very high degree of certainty that it is probably not some other 'unidentified' stolen or mysterious similarly sized plane flying around the same areas at the same times ...well, short of them having WashOut and Tug at the helm, I guess.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:01
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coagie, the nice thing about the deep ocean, well over a thousand fathoms, (my best guess at how deep this beacon would be based on the area being searched) is that much of the surface noise would be attenuated (bends back up toward the surface) and thus raises the potential Figure of Merit for passive detection. That said, getting the sensor deep enough to have a chance at picking up a comparitively high frequency beacon poses some problems.
mm43 has covered the rest.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:02
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Originally Posted by Coagie
That's assuming the people listening for it have the proper or properly tuned equipment!
The USN has Towed Pinger Locater equipment containerized and ready to be flown to wherever required. Locating and chartering a suitable vessel to deploy the gear from will be the inital task.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:04
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@Hunter58


Both. All he seemed comfortable with was the initial return direction. Once he was pressed on any subsequent turns, he wasn't at all happy to be drawn. I'm sorry, I forget the exact words.


But I was left with the very firm impression that there wasn't solid supporting evidence for later changes of direction, but that he didn't want to admit that outright.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:04
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threl said,

Does anybody have any theories as to where this data could be from? It was not mentioned by the TM today IIRC.
Could be any number of "secrete" cites run by who knows who

...could also just be Indonesia or Singapore not wanting to publicly tell everyone how far off their coast they can pick stuff up
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:04
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Hunter58: If inmarsat is so confident on their findings, why do we not have a public analysis of their conclusions?
It's possible, that whoever is saying that they are using Inmarsat to narrow down the search area, is just using the feasibility of doing so, to cover for the real way they narrowed it down with whatever secret tracking method or equipment, but, it's only a possibility. I'd think that if such devices or methods were available to use in this case and worthy of secrecy, they'd have pinpointed the aircraft with them, but who knows?
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:06
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The 'maximum detection range is 2 - 3km' which is fairly useless. As became clear in the Air France search what's required is a massive pulse to give a sensible range, delivered at far longer intervals to allow battery life to be extended.

One huge 'ping' every hour, for example, would have had this plane located by now, assuming it's under water.

Fast pulses, in an environment where everything moves slowly, are a waste.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:09
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cabin environment

From a former flight service manager / aviation human factors student and enthusiast:
(operated B733, 734, 738, 762, 763, 743, 744; A320, 332, 333 over the years)

I have been following this thread since inception. Very enlightening - thank you for all your insight, theories and discussion.

Lots of current talk about CVR duration - if some of the speculated theories are correct (decompression / hijack / smoke event et al.) I presume that in this technological age there will be recordings of this on camera-phones (and potentially even "water resistant" cameras) from within the cabin during any period of passenger consciousness.

In my many years of flying it has become apparent that there has been a recent surge of "pocket paparazzi" - everyone is eager to record any unusual events on mobile devices. Recent recordings / photos include evacuations (LOT, US Airways) and even relatively minor turbulence events etc.

In high-impact accidents it is still possible to find casualties intact - possibly with phones in pockets - I am intrigued to see if any media devices are recovered. Collaboratively with FDR / CVR information this may paint a very interesting (or horrifying) picture of the cabin environment prior to impact. Perhaps stored data may yield clues in this eventual investigation, regardless of FDR / CVR recovery or analysis.

I am unsure of current protocols about eventual release of this potential media device information - does it "belong" to the estate of the deceased or can it be released for "public consumption" via official channels? Does anyone have any insight?
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:09
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CVR

Agree that two hours of recording sounds ridiculous nowadays. But with a good software you can unerase or undelete what has been rewritten on a disk. Let's hope that, at least, the recorders are found.

Thai have seen the MAS370 on their radar and didn't care because not their competence area. Vietnamese have seen the aircraft turning back, warned the Malaysian that said thank you because they are well educated. Indonesian have seen nothing or may be have seen something, but it would be a defence top secret because they are not supposed to. Singapore is mute. Malaysian discover that the MAS370 fled across their territory some days after, making some nice turns while Malaysian Air Farce was sleeping. What else?
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:09
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@DespairingTraveller

Maybe said official also remembers the Masaysian Air Force going quiet on the subject althoigh they had briefed the public about exatly said track. So in order not to get whacked by the PM he backtracked as much as possible.

I believe the Air Force was right in the first place as even their back pedaling was nicely put refering to an earlier press conference.
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Old 20th Mar 2014, 23:14
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If you have a big sound receiver you can hear things that are a long way down.

There were rumors that the French submarine Emeraude that went looking for AF447 couldn't really exploit its listening equipment to the full because while it was large, it didn't have much sensitivity at such high frequencies.

Do the Australian navy have ships with suitable big sonar to hand? They seem to Leeuwin-class survey vessel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia but on the wrong side of the country. Looks like there should be room for some extra stuff onboard if the US has a special 40+ KHz sensitive device.
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