Aus­tralia to study drift of MH370 de­bris

The Myanmar Times - - World -

REPLI­CAS of a large piece of de­bris from miss­ing Malaysia Air­lines jet MH370 will be set adrift and tracked by satel­lite in the hope of help­ing find the plane’s crash site, Aus­tralian of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Can­berra is lead­ing the search for the air­craft which van­ished in March 2014 with 239 peo­ple on board and is cur­rently prob­ing the In­dian Ocean floor off the Aus­tralia’s far west coast.

In a reg­u­lar up­date on the un­der­wa­ter search, which has so far failed to find a sin­gle piece of de­bris from the plane, the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment said a new drift mod­el­ling study would be done.

The gov­ern­ment’s Joint Agency Co­or­di­na­tion Cen­tre (JACC) said while ex­perts had been work­ing to model the drift of MH370 de­bris over the past 18 months, a “fur­ther in­ten­sive study will be un­der­taken”.

Of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to the mod­el­ling will be the first piece of de­bris found from MH370 – a 2-me­tre wing part known as a flap­eron – which washed up on the French In­dian Ocean is­land of Re­union in July 2015.

“Over the last nine months there has been a range of de­bris found along western In­dian Ocean shore­lines that has been linked to MH370,” JACC said in the state­ment in Syd­ney.

“The flap­eron is, how­ever, par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant as it was the first piece of de­bris to be found and, there­fore, it spent the least amount of time adrift.”

Phase one of the study, which will com­mence in com­ing months, in­volves set­ting adrift ocean drifter buoys used in a global drifter pro­gramme along with mod­els of the flap­eron which have been fit­ted with satel­lite track­ers.

Some 30 years of real-life drift data avail­able from the global drifter pro­gram will then be used to model the move­ment of the flap­eron. The agency has com­mit­ted to comb­ing some 120,000 square kilo­me­tres of ocean floor. –

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