MH370 Operational Search Update—
10 December 2014
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey operations.
- Fugro Discovery arrived back in the search area on 4 December and recommenced underwater search operations.
- GO Phoenix arrived back in the search area on 9 December and recommenced underwater search operations.
Fugro Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey work in the search area. To date, around 200,000 square kilometres of the search area have been surveyed.
Over 9,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched.
[Click map to view larger image]
In addition to locating the aircraft, the underwater search aims to map the MH370 debris field in order to identify and prioritise the recovery of specific aircraft components, including flight recorders, which will assist with the Malaysian investigation. The ATSB has utilised the data from the bathymetric survey work to prepare the initial plan for the underwater search, to be followed and referred to by all parties involved. The plan includes search timings, methods, procedures, safety precautions and the initial search areas for the various vessels.
Fugro Equator continues to conduct bathymetric survey operations in the search area and is expected to return to Fremantle in mid-December following completion of the current phase of survey operations.
Fugro Discovery arrived at the search site on 4 December and recommenced underwater search operations.
GO Phoenix returned to the search area on 9 December and recommenced underwater search operations.
The equipment used on the vessels is providing extraordinary data.
The image below is a synthetic aperture sonar acoustic image of the seafloor gathered by GO Phoenix. This is indicative of the resolution and quality of the data and that it is revealing important detail of the seafloor.
[Synthetic aperture sonar acoustic image of the seafloor gathered by GO Phoenix. Source: Phoenix International & SL Hydrospheric. Click to view larger image]
Sea states in the area assigned to GO Phoenix are anticipated to range from 1 to 3 over the next four days. In the area assigned to Fugro Discovery, sea states will range from 1 to 4 with a ridge of high pressure dominating the area. Overall conditions are expected to continue to be generally favourable during the summer months.