NEW technology could finally solve the mystery of the missing MH370 flight, raising hopes that new research could start again.
The Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) could now be used to accurately calculate the final location of the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane before it vanishes over the Indian Ocean.
Extensive testing of the new technology for tracking historical data from radio signals hitting planes has led experts to believe it could focus on a more specific underwater search area that teams could comb out.
The tests were fueled by the use of the forgotten WSPR system, implemented in 2009, which records every interaction between planes in the sky and signals sent from the ground.
The encoded information of each signal is stored in a database every two minutes recording a timestamp, location, and drift.
The contact helps provide precise chronologies of aircraft trajectories, which are notoriously difficult to monitor over such a large scale of airspace.
When the MH370 went missing, the database was counting about 200 signals every two minutes.
Now a number of detections can be used to track the flight when it is out of range of radar systems.
British aerospace engineer Richard Godfrey, who conducted the tests, likens the technology to an array of invisible sensors that record movement among clouds.
He told The Times: âImagine walking across a meadow with invisible trigger wires running across the entire area and back and forth sideways and backwards.
“Every step you take, you are walking on particular trigger wires, and we can locate you at the intersection of the disturbed trigger wires. We can follow your path as you move across the prairie.”
Despite the concept of the missing Boeing 777 triggering invisible “electronic trigger wires” during exploration, the occupied airspace makes it extremely difficult to confirm whether it was the Malaysia Airlines plane.
Godfrey, who is part of a team still trying to locate the plane, used WSPR technology to track a New Zealand Air Force Orion plane.
It followed the flight path of the aircraft, which managed to photograph debris floating in the ocean shortly after the MH370 disappeared.
The shots included what appeared to be the remains of a Boeing 777 wing component – but it was never recovered.
Many experts now believe the large sign could have been part of the Malaysia Airlines jet.
If the assumption is correct, this would place the Orion in the last known location closest to where the Boeing 777 – carrying 239 people on board – mysteriously disappeared.
The Orion flight is now at the center of tests using the new technology.
After years of unsuccessful searches, there is hope that the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter is cold launching a new search in the depths of the sea.
Marine robotics company Ocean Infinity carried out the latest research in 2018, armed with a fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles.
Despite the advanced technology allowing them to cover 50,000 square miles of seabed, they found nothing.
But after the news of the successful WSPR trials was announced, the team revealed they were ready to resume further research.
“We are always interested in resuming research, whether as a result of new information or new technology,” said a spokesperson.
He said late next year or early 2023 seemed like the most “sensitive” deadline possible.
Godfrey believes the radio signals database could contain vital clues to the doomed plane’s precise flight path and where it crashed.
It will take two months for specially designed software to scan the database to find any traces the MH370 may have left.
The world’s most elusive and expensive aviation mystery has baffled search teams since the Malaysia Airlines plane went missing on March 8, 2014.
It disappeared from radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, bound for Beijing, and made an unexplained U-turn from its intended flight path.
Seven years after flight MH370, some investigators believe the plane’s captain performed a series of zigzag movements to destabilize air traffic crews and evade radar systems.