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MH370: Robotic submarine to begin search


New stage in search for Malaysia Airlines plane

A new stage in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished more than a month ago with 239 people on board, will soon begin with the deployment of a robotic submarine for the first time.

The Bluefin-21 drone will be sent down as soon as possible to scan the seabed for wreckage, search chief Angus Houston said.

As previously reported, a series of four signals were heard last week, which are consistent with those from an aircraft black box recorder. But no new signals have been heard since April 8. This may mean that the recorders’ batteries have expired.

Bluefin-21, a 5 metre long underwater autonomous vehicle, can create a sonar map of the sea floor. The search area is taking place in seas west of the Australian city of Perth.

“Analysis of the four signals has allowed the provisional definition of a reduced and manageable search area on the ocean floor,” Houston said.


[photo courtesy Bluefin Robotics]


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