Australian officials said Wednesday they will announce the new search zone for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 by month’s end, as mapping of the
The jet went missing on
An underwater probe of the
Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Center said analysis of satellite and other data to determine the search area for the next underwater phase would be concluded soon.
“The search area will be confirmed before the end of June, after completion of extensive collaborative analysis by a range of specialists,” it said in a statement.
“It is already clear from the provisional results of that analysis that the search zone will move, but still be on the seventh arc (where the aircraft last communicated with satellite).”
The search has been frustrated by a lack of information, with experts modelling the plane’s most likely flight path based on signals between it and an
The seventh arc, or “handshake”, is the final signal from the plane and thought to be when the jet ran out of fuel.
Scientists from the British firm have suggested that searchers are yet to target the most likely
“It was by no means an unrealistic location but it was further to the northeast than our area of highest probability,”
But JACC said the area in which the Australian vessel
“The location was identified by the satellite communications sub-group, which included accident investigation agencies from the
“Based on analysis at the time, it represented the most likely location of the aircraft.”
It will be joined by Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen in conducting the bathymetric survey crucial to carrying out the deep water search for the plane which is set to begin in August.
“So far, the Zhu Kezhen has surveyed 4,088 square kilometers of the ocean floor,” before it was forced back to port for repairs, JACC said.
The survey of a 60,000 square kilometer search zone was expected to take three months.
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