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March 31st, 2014
09:53 PM ET

How powerful are the satellites looking for Flight 370?

Satellites are playing a key role in the search for Flight 370. But so far, they have not been able to spot any debris from the missing plane. Weeks into the search, there are questions about why satellites have not been able to provide more accurate information. Gary Tuchman got an up close look at how they work.

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Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. vernonia1

    I wish they would look here...N 13.30 E 97.30 I think they are looking in the wrong place. I wish I could upload it on the map

    April 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  2. sylevine

    Not Knowing The Crash Site of the MH370 Is Due To Faulty Politics That Can Be Fixed
    At the end of World War 2 a number of Air Force veterans got jobs at the FAA. The Air Force had been using military radar for ATC. They came in and pushed the FAA to enhance their system which was visual at that time. They added Radar like the military. So that present ATC/AMS is also out of the military. The airlines, aircraft manufacturer, pilots don’t pay for the ATC system. This system not only tracks the aircraft and records the aircraft position it also records all conversations with the pilots (the recordings are not considered private). Thus, the tradition infrastructure, has already been accomplished and the technology once again came out of the military. The airlines pay only for the aircraft radar. It is a hole in the aviation system that the airlines, aircraft manufacturer and pilots have put a “private” around the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) information.
    In this modern day of lots of International Travel and global economy it makes no sense for the information not being recorded in real-time every second. The memory requirement for all aircraft flying on a single day presently fit on the memory of a single lap-top computer Fixing the aircraft data recording to both ATC and DFDR can save billions of dollars and make flying safer and nations more secure (preventing 9/11 alone would have more than paid for the system). We can fix the system but it is a political problem not a technical problem.

    You don’t see or hear anyone in the media discussing this even though this is the right way to do total air system recording. I firmly believe that if those former AF ATC people in 1946 would have had the information and global high bandwidth communication technology (computers and satellites) that we have today it would have been done already. Those AF ATC veterans dramatically stopped air crashes and we can update the system to a 21st century Air Traffic Control System (21CATCS). Both China and the US have the technology and capability to put an end to this political problem and fix the system. Always remember that the remote flight recorder, data streaming black box, can be used in the autopsy mode but proactively it can also be used to prevent fatal crashes (see: web the site safelander).
    It should be noted that the US objected to flight data recorders and that technology came out of Australia and Australia was the first nation to require flight recorders on carrier aircraft. The aircraft tracking radar came out of England. It was used to track the German war planes heading towards England.

    April 1, 2014 at 11:17 am |

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