Now, fresh calculations require search operations to be shifted to 680 miles off the current site of the operations. This has made things even tougher, expanding the search area from 48,500 square miles to 198,200 square miles. The calculations were based on the first and the last satellite and ping readings by the airplane before it disappeared. However, radar readings between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before the radar contact was lost have also been considered this time.
Point of no return?
The radar readings demand a fresh analysis as it suggests that the plane was travelling faster than it was considered to have done. This means that it could have run out of fuel at a shorter time and may have travelled lesser to the south.
Now, here is the twist. This area is even more difficult to scan this area for the debris and more importantly the black box, which have important flight information.
Expert diver said Dave Gallo, who searched the ocean bottom for the black box, or flight recorder, of an Air France flight that went down in the southern Atlantic in 2009, said,"It depends on the speed and direction of the winds and the currents. Sometimes they operate against each other, sometimes with each other and sometimes at angles to each other. It is complicated"
To top it all, oceanographers and experts say that the underwater terrain includes the Southeast Indian Ridge, which is part of a mountain chain underwater known as the Mid-Ocean Ridge.
Gallo said,"the ocean bottom was rolling mountains, more like the Appalachians than the Rockies, with depths from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 miles. But The bigger obstacle [to the search] is the sea water above it. You expect to have horrible days more than anything else, just because the winds there are typically howling and the currents are always very strong."
The plane may never be found
Imagine the black box in th edeep labyrinth of the Ocean, sending out its last futile pings for retrieval. Probably that is what is going to happen this time. IT is said that with a batterey life of just 30 days, searchers have very few days left before the black box gets untraceable forever. Moreover, the pings have a range of 3 miles and any distance above that is nullified.
At that point, they have to depend on sonar readings that may pick up the metals in the ocean bed
Keeping the wind, the wave and the topography in mind, 26 countries have sent out their best in the ocean. From ping locators to autonomous underwater vehicles and unmanned submarines, USA has sent out the most efficient of its equipment for the best results.