Chinese ship with advanced sonar to help with search for MH370

CANBERRA, Australia - A Chinese ship equipped with advanced sonar equipment will soon join the search for the Malaysian airliner believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean almost two years ago, an official said on Friday.

See Full Article

The Dong Hai Jiu 101 will leave Singapore on Sunday to join the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over a 120,000-square- kilometre expanse of deep seabed by late February, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.

The ship brings the state-of-the-art Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), which some experts say is more accurate than standard 75 kHz side-scan sonar devises that have been used to scan most of the area searched so far.

With standard acoustic sonar, the image becomes less clear the farther a seabed object is from the equipment. But with SAS, the image remains sharp regardless of an object's distance.

Fugro Survey, the Dutch underwater survey company hired by Australia to find the Boeing 777, has defended its choice of sonar and maintains the search has been thorough.

Fugro search director Paul Kennedy has described SAS as developing technology with some questions about its reliability. Because the search was in such a remote region, Fugro opted for established technology with ready supplies of spare parts.

The Dong Hai Jiu 101 will join two Fugro ships, Furgo Discovery and Furgo Equator, which will continue to search with standard sonar equipment. The Fugro Discovery lost its sonar unit plus 4.5 kilometres of cable at the weekend when the ship towed the equipment into an underwater volcano. The ship was headed back to the Australian port of Fremantle to collect new cable to deploy with a spare sonar unit.

A fourth ship, Havila Harmony, is equipped with a manoeuvrable deep-sea drone that has been fitted with a camera and high-resolution sonar for searching difficult terrain and for taking a closer look at potential clues. The drone was also recently damaged when it struck a fish net but has been repaired.

The ProSAS-60 sonar equipment aboard the Chinese ship will be operated by marine services companies Phoenix International Holdings, based in Maryland, and Seattle-based Hydrospheric Solutions. Both companies gained experience searching for Flight 370 when they operated Go Phoenix, a ship which was contracted by Malaysia to take part in the search for eight months until June last year.

More than 85,000 square kilometres of the search area have been scoured since late 2014. The Chinese ship is the first time China has agreed to share the financial cost of the search with Malaysia and Australia. Truss on Friday thanked China for the contribution.

Most of the 239 people aboard Flight 370 were Chinese.

The plane vanished on March 8, 2014, after mysteriously flying far off course during a flight from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing. A wing flap found in July on the other side of the Indian Ocean when it washed up on Reunion Island is the only debris recovered.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Woman, 50 facing charges in elder abuse investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    WARWICK TOWNSHIP, Ont. -- Provincial police say a 50-year-old woman is charged in an elder abuse investigation. They say officers went to a Warwick Township, Ont., home on Thursday to assist health-care workers check on the well-being of a resident. Source
  • B.C. responds to lawsuit over fees to welfare recipients for methadone treatment

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The British Columbia government says it has done nothing wrong by redirecting money from the income-assistance cheques of recovering heroin addicts to pay private methadone-dispensing clinics for treatment. In documents filed in B.C. Source
  • Former Afghan warlord Hekmatyar says he wants peace

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- A former Afghan warlord who battled U.S. forces after the 2001 invasion and nursed bitter rivalries with other militant factions before signing a peace deal with the Afghan government appeared in public for the first time in more than 20 years on Saturday and called for peace. Source
  • Austria calls for new EU relationship with Turkey

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern says Turkey should not be allowed to join the European Union, with membership talks between the EU and Ankara at a standstill. Kern told reporters in Brussels Saturday that "we have to bring our relations to Turkey into new order. Source
  • Berlusconi treated with stitches after fall

    World News CTV News
    MILAN -- Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been treated by a doctor after tripping on a carpet and hitting his head in a fall in his villa in Portofino on the Ligurian coast. The news agency ANSA reported Saturday that the 80-year-old, three-time former premier returned to Milan for treatment at the Madonnina clinic, where he received three stitches. Source
  • Thai family mourns girl killed in video streamed on Facebook

    World News CTV News
    Chiranut Trairat, (second from left) mother of an 11-month-old baby girl, stands next to her daughter's portrait before her funeral in Phuket, Thailand, Saturday, April 29, 2017. Her distraught husband hanged their daughter on social media website Facebook Live and then killed himself, police said. Source
  • Moscow demonstrators want to tell Putin: Don't run again

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Several hundred demonstrators are gathered in a Moscow park, trying to move to the nearby presidential administration building to present letters calling on President Vladimir Putin not to run for a fourth term in office in 2018. Source
  • EU leaders say they stand united ahead of Brexit talks

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union leaders are set to acknowledge on Saturday that Northern Ireland could join the bloc in the future if its people vote to unite with EU member state Ireland, officials said Friday. Source
  • Trump to spend Day 100 in office talking tough on trade

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump is marking his 100th day in office by talking tough on trade. Trump's first 100 days in office: Day-by-day highlights The White House says the president will sign an executive order Saturday that will direct his Commerce Department and the U.S. Source
  • EU leaders meet to set terms for Brexit negotiations

    World News CBC News
    European Union leaders will endorse a stiff set of divorce terms for Britain at a summit on Saturday, rejoicing in a rare show of unity in adversity, but well aware that may start to fray once negotiations begin. Source