As the search for the missing passenger plane MH370 continues into its second year, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has prepared a report, MH370 – Definition of Underwater Search Areas re-affirming the focus of search efforts for the aircraft to date.
The report identifies the areas of highest probability of containing the aircraft within the 120,000 square kilometre search zone.
Consistent with the undertaking given by the governments of Australia, Malaysia and China earlier this year, 120,000 square kilometres will be thoroughly searched. It is anticipated that this will be completed around mid-2016.
The Australian Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group conducted a comprehensive analysis of the available data in support of the report. The analysis used models of the Inmarsat satellite communications (SATCOM) data and a model of aircraft dynamics. Recorded meteorological data (wind and air temperature) were also modelled in the analysis.
In September, French investigators confirmed that a wing part found on the remote Indian Ocean island of La Réunion was from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The plight of MH370 is one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history. The plane vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, bound for Beijing. Investigators believe the plane was flown thousands of miles off course before eventually crashing somewhere off Australia.
More than 75,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
The report is available here.