Aff Starter Pack – Search for mh370


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A-to China will solve

( ) Status quo Chinese search and mapping won’t solve – technical problems.



NDTV ‘14

This is originally an Agence France-Presse Report – New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV) is an Indian commercial broadcasting television network – “Chinese Ship in Latest Glitch in MH370 Search Mission” May 31, 2014 – http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/chinese-ship-in-latest-glitch-in-mh370-search-mission-533823


A Chinese ship mapping the ocean floor ahead of an intensive underwater search for missing Flight MH370 was returning to port today due to a technical problem, officials said. The massive Indian Ocean search for the Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared on March 8 carrying 239 people including five Indians, has so far failed to find any sign of the Boeing 777. The Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, was conducting a bathymetric survey - or mapping of the ocean floor - to help experts determine how to carry out the next stage of the search on the previously unmapped ocean seabed. "Zhu Kezhen suffered a defect to its multibeam echosounder and is coming into port to conduct the necessary repairs," Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement.

( ) China won’t find it – plan is key.



Ho ‘14

Benjamin Ho is an Associate Research Fellow in the Multilateralism and Regionalism Program in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. His research interests include the study of multilateral institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, US-China political relations, and national security issues. Benjamin a Masters degree in International Relations from NTU. “MH370: Limits of China’s Soft Power” – RSIS COMMENTARIES, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies – This piece was also carried by the New Straits Times – March 31st – http://www.rsis.edu.sg/publications/Perspective/RSIS0592014.pdf


Despite China’s growing regional influence, it would seem that at the end of the day, Western involvement and assistance is needed, especially when it comes to the use of technology in complex search missions. According to the Straits Times’ China specialist Ching Cheong, what the MH370 incident revealed about China’s power status in the region is not encouraging as countries were reluctant to share information with it. Given Malaysia’s influential position in ASEAN, it is likely that the Malaysian approach – looking to the West, instead of China – is representative of an overall ambivalence of the ASEAN community when it comes to working with China, especially when it concerns sharing of technical information that could possibly impinge on national security and intelligence-gathering capabilities. The fact that China does not enjoy the trust of its neighbours also raises the question to what extent its global aspirations are viewed favourably by the rest of the region. In the case of MH370, China has contributed considerable assets in searching for the aircraft. Yet none of these assets possess the technological sophistication needed to undertake a mission as difficult as the current search for the missing airliner - a sign that China’s much- vaunted military modernisation programme still has some way to go before it matches that of its Western counterparts. Unless Beijing is concealing its true capabilitiessomething unimaginable in such circumstances - regional countries would still turn to the West, if not always, for leadership, at least for its technical competence and know-how, even on territory that China claims.


( ) China is involved – but isn’t looking for the ship



News Corp Australia ‘14

“MH370 questions answered: What next in hunt for missing plane?” – May 30, 2014 – http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/mh370-questions-answered-what-next-in-hunt-for-missing-plane/story-fnizu68q-1226936721106


Q: WHICH COUNTRIES ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE SEARCH EFFORT, AND HOW? A: Australia is coordinating the search. The Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen is mapping the ocean floor in the new search area, though it is not looking for the plane. Another Chinese ship, Haixun 01, and a Malaysian vessel, Bunga Mas 6, are transporting the survey data collected by the Zhu Kezhen each week to Fremantle, Western Australia, so experts can process it. The survey is expected to take about three months.


A-to “Obama = committed to solve now”

( ) Search suspended now and won’t involve US going forward. Private options being placed ahead of US Orion search.



Molko ‘14

David Molko, Senior Producer for CNN International, “MH370: Transport safety chief says next phase of underwater search months away” – CNN – May 26, 2014 – http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/26/world/asia/mh370-next-phase-of-search/


The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the very earliest, according to Australia's top transport safety official. The new timeline means that once Bluefin-21, the American underwater drone operated by a team on board the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield, wraps up its work in a couple of days, it will be up to two months, if not longer, until new underwater vehicles are contracted and deployed in the hunt for MH370. "The aim would be to have to negotiate and agree to contract with a successful tender within two months of the release of the tender documentation," Dolan said. The ATSB Chief would not comment on what role his Malaysian and Chinese counterparts have played in the process so far. Australian officials had previously suggested that new underwater assets could be in place in the southern Indian Ocean much earlier. Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who heads up the umbrella organization coordinating the search for MH370, told Sky News Australia in early May that he hoped that new equipment be starting its work in the search zone off Western Australia sometime in June. The current phase of the underwater search will officially wrap up on Wednesday, when the Bluefin-21 is expected to finish its last of more than 20 missions, some 1,600 kilometers off Western Australia, in waters than can exceed depths of 4,500 meters. Dolan says the ATSB expects that the Bluefin will have finished searching the areas around the four pings detected by the Ocean Shield on April 5 and April 8. The acoustic signals are believed to have been from at least one of MH370's black boxes, but to date, no trace of the missing Boeing 777 has been found. Officials have publicly said they would prefer the next phase of the underwater search, which could take up to a year, to be led by a single private contractor who will operate several underwater assets in the search zone. Appearing alongside Chinese and Malaysian officials at a news conference in Canberra on May 5, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said search coordinators were specifically looking at side-scan sonar equipment that would be towed by a ship. Some towed sonar devices, such as the U.S. Navy's Orion, can transmit data to the surface in real-time. They also have the capability of scanning a larger area than the Bluefin, which has been limited to some 40 square kilometers during each mission.


Topographic knowledge is low now

Topographic knowledge of 370 search-area is thin. Getting more would help find the plane.



SMITH & MARKS ‘14

Walter H.F. Smith is a Geophysicist in NOAA's Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry and Chair of the scientific and technical sub-committee of GEBCOthis link opens in a new window, the international and intergovernmental committee for the General Bathymetric Charts of the Oceans. Smith earned a B.Sc. at the University of Southern California, M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees at Columbia University, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography before joining NOAA in 1992. Karen Marks has worked as a Geophysicist since 1990 at the NOAA Laboratory for Satellite Altimetry of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. She received a B.S. in Geology from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Geophysics from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Houston, with a dissertation on the geophysics of the Australian-Antarctic Discordance Zone. – Eos, Vol. 95, No. 21, May 27th 2014 – Full Journal Title is: “Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union”. It is a weekly magazine of geophysics. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EO210001/pdf


Little is known about the seafloor from ship-borne echo sounder measurements in the region where flight MH370 is believed to have crashed. Available depth measurements cover only 5% of the 2000 by 1400 kilometer area in Figure 1 (a high-resolution copy of this figure may be found in the additional supporting information in the online version of this article), and only a very few of them were acquired with modern acoustic and navigational systems. This lack of data makes the search for MH370 all the more difficult. It also highlights how most seafloor features are very poorly resolved. However, satellite altimeter measurements provide global bathymetry estimates at a resolution of about 20 kilometers [Smith and Sandwell, 1997], making it at least possible to map the major seafloor features in the search area.


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