Unlocking the MH370 Mystery: How Hydrophone Technology Could Find 10 Year Old Missing Plane

Devdiscourse News DeskDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 24-05-2024 11:38 IST | Created: 24-05-2024 11:38 IST

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370 over a decade ago still leaves more questions than answers. The whereabouts of the flight is still a mystery, even after the most costly and drawn-out search effort in history concluded in 2014. However, a group of scientists from Cardiff University in the UK have suggested a novel strategy that might soon change this.

On March 8, 2014, the MH 370 aircraft, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, vanished from sight. There have been several years of multi-nation searches, yet 239 people, passengers, and crew have not been found.

Cardiff University scientist Dr. Usama Kadri claimed that audio signals recorded by underwater microphones during the deadly collision would be useful in finding MH370. They claimed that strong ocean impacts, like plane crashes, generate unique signals that are carried over the sea. Scientists think that by using hydrophone equipment on the seafloor to collect these signals, they will be able to determine the exact location where MH370 went down.

What Is Hydrophone Technology?

Hydrophone technology refers to the use of underwater microphones designed to detect and record acoustic signals in water. Hydrophones convert underwater sound waves into electrical signals, making it possible to study and monitor various underwater phenomena. Here are some key aspects and applications of hydrophone technology:

Piezoelectric Materials: Most hydrophones use piezoelectric materials that generate an electrical signal when subjected to pressure changes caused by sound waves.

Pressure-Sensitive: Hydrophones are designed to detect minute changes in water pressure, allowing them to capture a wide range of underwater sounds.

Frequency Range: Different hydrophones are optimized to detect specific frequency ranges, from low-frequency sounds like whale calls to high-frequency sounds like those used in underwater communication and sonar.

What Previous Data Showed?

Dr. Kadri stated that a thorough analysis of 100 hours of data that were thought to have the potential to include signals related to acoustic signatures of airplanes colliding with the water was conducted. This analysis was done using 20 years of hydroacoustic data that was made accessible by the CTBTO. For this study, ten historical aircraft crashes that happened in open sea regions were chosen, and the hydroacoustic data was used to pinpoint their locations.

It is noteworthy that every hydroacoustic station is made up of three hydrophones placed a few kilometers apart in a triangle arrangement. The bearing of the signal may be ascertained by computing the temporal differences in signal arrival, according to the study that was published in the Nature Journal.

Only Hydroacoustic Data Is Not Enough

The site of the accident and the remnants of MH370 may not be found using this alone, but the study's authors suggest hydroacoustic data may be useful to those who are still searching.

"In the case of MH370, official investigations concluded the aircraft must have crashed near the 7th arc. The point at which the last communication between the plane and INMARSAT occurred. Further analysis and future research are therefore necessary to fully comprehend the detected signals and their implications for MH370's disappearance," Kadri stated.

Give Feedback