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China Technology

China Deploys Satellites In Search For Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
EwanPalmer writes "China has begun using its orbiting satellites in a bid to find the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. The Xi'an Satellite Monitor and Control Center is said to have launched an emergency response to search for Flight MH370 after it went off radar over the South China Sea in the early hours of Saturday. The center is reported to have adjusted up to 10 of its high-res satellites to help search for the plane."
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China Deploys Satellites In Search For Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

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  • by NotDrWho (3543773)

    Sometimes big airliners can get lost at those.

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:44PM (#46449251) Homepage Journal

      Sometimes big airliners can get lost at those.

      While that happens once in a while with US flights, I don't think there are very many airports in that lane where an errant 777 could go unnoticed. The route, as described on the BBC is a very heavily traveled air lane and the flight should have been easily tracked, particularly if it had veered off course.

      No floating debris is perplexing as that should have been soon spotted had the flight broken up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NotDrWho (3543773)

        I'm not joking. If this thing landed at some tiny landing strip in the boonies with a serious electrical problem (or having been hijacked), it could just be sitting somewhere. Not likely, but I wouldn't rule it out.

        • How many 'tiny landing strips' can handle a 777 so damaged that it can't send out a radio distress signal? I would think that the numbers would be vanishingly small.....

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by NotDrWho (3543773)

            I didn't say it was a *successful* landing.

            • Chinese using satellites? I was thinking that the chinese thought to look up high. That's were you hide things from children. Makes sense.
          • by mjwx (966435)

            How many 'tiny landing strips' can handle a 777 so damaged that it can't send out a radio distress signal? I would think that the numbers would be vanishingly small.....

            In addition to this, there are few places where a 777 could land, safely or otherwise in SE Asia that doesn't have mobile reception or people.

      • I'm totally not an expert, but I do have some questions that the news do not answer:

        If the 777 took a rapid dive to nearly ground level, and then changed course, and continued flying at an elevation of mere meters above the water, would the radars in the area have picked it up? And once such an airplane is hundreds of kilometers off course, would anyone notice if it increases its altitude to a few hundred meters, before attempting a landing on a straight stretch of road somewhere in Cambodia, Borneo (in Ind

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          Heck, in the middle of the sea they could have skipped the dive and just turned off their transponder and communications. It isn't like air search radar sets are in operation in the middle of the ocean. They could probably overfly large parts of the US without being detected on primary radar (though probably not the borders - not much point in advertising an ADIZ and not having radar).

          If they actually flew at low altitude it would not be picked up by radar unless it was fairly close or airborne. They wou

          • by Talderas (1212466)

            The Malaysian military reported a radar signal that was likely the flight over the Straight of Malacca (west coast) rather than the Bay of Thailand which everyone has been focusing on.

            I have a pet theory and it does well explain all the events. This theory is based on the fact that Thailand and Malaysian relations have been sour as of late.

            So here's the facts, at least as I understand it.

            1. Radar contact of the flight was lost over the Bay of Thailand and appeared to be turning (~750km NNE of Kuala Lumpur).

      • The current report is that the jet made a real sharp course change and was last on radar over the Straits of Malacca. The Straits are the marine equivalent of a superhighway, being the shortest way between East Asia and India, the Mideast and Europe. There just isn't enough data to make sense of this yet, and I have a suspicion that some of what we think we know is wrong.
    • If the plane crash and buried into the deep ocean. What is the chance satelit can help? Visual things maybe very limited help. Can the Blackbox signal transmit good signal from the bottom of the ocean? How deep? I think aviation world need to think to use better technology (communication and signaling) in the plane to improve plane safety. Current technology are old
      • by mikael (484)

        If it crashed into the water, it breaks up and stuff floats to the surface. If it glides to the water, it might break up into a couple of pieces:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

    • Maybe the plane is on an alien planet with a bunch of metallic alien stingrays! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:22PM (#46448987) Homepage

    There's an auto-playing video embedded in the linked article's page - just in case you hate that sort of thing.

    • by NapalmV (1934294)
      Tools -> Add-ons -> Plugins -> Shockwave flash -> Ask to Activate. Those pesky little things won't ever again auto-play.
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Helps to do that for MP4, as well.

      • Well, I just have "Always" and "Never", but no "Ask" :-(

        Of course, your answer seems to assume everyone uses your particular browser. Perhaps you were unaware that there are others out there even if you have never used them?
        • by ackthpt (218170)

          Good ol' farcebook is ensuring we have the ability to block just about everything in our browsers because they are so damn insidious.

      • by gzuckier (1155781)

        stick with Lynx.

    • There is?

      • Yes, there is, your smug sense of self-superiority in having disabled the same notwithstanding.

        "Having Flash disabled," much like "knowing what RMS stands for," are not actually mandatory for being allowed to read Slashdot.

        • by quenda (644621)

          "Having Flash disabled," much like "knowing what RMS stands for," are not actually mandatory for being allowed to read Slashdot.

          That's fine, but unfortunately they are not necessary for posting either.

    • by antdude (79039)

      Thanks God for my Flash blocker. :)

  • 1) China has successfully tested the ability of their stealth interceptor to take down a plane.
    2) China demonstrates near-instantaneous ICBM launch capability.

  • Unless it happens to flash into this time period. All the passengers are there now, running from polar bears, avoiding smoke monsters - that sort of thing.

    • by styrotech (136124)

      Time periods? Polar Bears? Smoke Monsters?

      I disagree. The plane is hidden on a deserted volcanic island that's part of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia.

      The planes occupants (including Mik Kanrokitoff) are currently aboard a flying saucer. Most will reappear in due course suffering from amnesia.

      • The is flight 370 - not 714... :-)

        My best guesses are
        a) The pilot flew the plane at a very low altitude to a deserted island, where there is no mobile signal. Why? We will find out...
        b) The pilot dropped the plane intact into the sea (and hence no debris). Why? No one knows...

        I think we will find out in the next few days...

  • have they found him or the Boeing 727-223 that he was last on and has not be found.

  • I am not talking RADAR, but rather satellite-linked transponders relaying (at least) once per minute the plane "vitals" (coordinates, velocity, altitude, attitude, cabin pressure and temperature, fuel levels, any error codes or warnings). I mean, this may not be cheap, but it is meaningless cost-wise compared to the operational cost of a plane.
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Because the pilot needs the means to be able to shut off power to any system for safety.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      I believe most US airliners do just this. I imagine most EU ones do as well. That is, at least for position - the amount of telemetry might vary based on mode of communications. It might not be as frequent as once a minute, however.

  • It hasn't been activated for Malaysia Airlines Flight 307, nor was it activated for Air France Flight 447 in 2009 --one would think that they'd be all over this sort of thing like a cheap suit. Does anyone know why not? A computer search for a debris field that wasn't there during the previous pass would seem like a no-brainer.

    http://www.disasterscharter.or... [disasterscharter.org]

    • It hasn't been activated for Malaysia Airlines Flight 307, nor was it activated for Air France Flight 447 in 2009 --one would think that they'd be all over this sort of thing like a cheap suit. Does anyone know why not? A computer search for a debris field that wasn't there during the previous pass would seem like a no-brainer.

      http://www.disasterscharter.or... [disasterscharter.org]

      One plane going down is a tragedy.
      100 planes all going down at once is a major disaster.

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      Simple. This doesn't meet the criteria [disasterscharter.org] required to activate a giant global collaboration of space agencies. There needs to be more than 200 people lost to invoke the charter.

      • You don't need global collaboration. There are privately owned imaging satellites with enough resolution 1m to detect anomalous debris floating around.

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          Except that the comment I replied to was specifically in the context of "Why hasn't the Disasters Charter been activated to find this plane?" and the answer is, "because this isn't a disaster of great enough magnitude".

          Though we're now learning that more than a couple of spy agencies are turning their surveillance resources onto the task (finally! The NSA might be good for something!)

  • their non-orbiting satellites?

  • Muslim terrorists using stolen passports smuggled a bomb on the plane. The tickets were purchased with cash by an Iranian for the users of the stolen passports. Smells fishy.
  • This is absolutely mind-boggling. I'm fairly certain that the US knows were every plane in the air is at any given millisecond. It is IMPOSSIBLE to simply lose a gigantic plane. What the hell does Asia do differently?
    • by quenda (644621)

      The planes are not tracked by simple radar, but by responses. If it stops responding, and is not close to an airport, it is lost.
      It will be found, but the sea is big, and they did not have the courtesy to plummet from the last known location.

    • by MtlDty (711230)

      I was watching the Discovery channel documentary on the 9/11 attacks the other night, and as soon as the hijackers turned off the transponders those planes effectively disappeared. The only way to track them would be with ground based radar. (And I don't think we have too many of those in the ocean).

  • So the US isn't repositioning its satellites? It seems to me that China these days are doing the things that America used to at the drop of a hat without a whim...

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      So the US isn't repositioning its satellites? It seems to me that China these days are doing the things that America used to at the drop of a hat without a whim...

      Who said they aren't? I can't remember the last time the US announced the use of satellite surveillance for just about anything.

      Seems like more of a PR move. I'm sure just about anybody with spy satellites is using them to look for debris. What else are they going to be busy looking at when they're over this region?

    • by coofercat (719737)

      Of course they are - the US satellites watch the Chinese ones and the NSA just tap the Chinese ground link to get the pictures ;-)

    • Yes, just in case you haven't been following all the coverage from the last three or four days, the United States has been providing a large amount of satellite data, even leveraging their missile launch detection system to search for possible explosions. The more interesting question is why it took the Chinese this long to provide satellite imagery to search for a plane full of primarily their own citizenry in its own region.
  • Much more data being hidden by the govs. It's unlikely by govs to declare publicly the source of data if they reveal it as of now!! All these so called high level officials are just waiting to get a breakthough from the publically known sources!!!............. funny they won,t care for a bird or humans all the same
  • X-posted on Wired.com and elsewhere. -- Hey, I think we can solve this thing. Start with this model of what went wrong: After the plane got to cruising speed and altitude, some malfunction (in the altimeter, or autopilot, or gyro) caused it to enter a very shallow dive - like about 1/20 a degree shy of perfect horizontal flight. Flying over the ocean on a moonless night would not have offered anyone on the plane any information about altitude, so if the instruments were lying, the flight crew would not h

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