Aff Starter Pack – Search for mh370



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Solvency backlines




Data will become publicly available

( ) 370 underwater search data will be made publicly available.



Amos ‘14

Jonathan Amos, BBC Science Correspondent – internally quoting Walter H.F. Smith and Karen Marks. Both are expert Geophysicists at the NOAA – “MH370 spur to 'better ocean mapping'” – BBC News – May 27th, 2014 – http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27589433


The Australian Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which disseminates all information on the hunt for MH370, confirmed that the MBES survey data would be publicly available. "The bathymetry data gathered in the course of the search for MH370 will become the property of the Australian Government. Recognising the importance of that data, it will be made available to the public via both Australian and international databases," the JACC told the BBC.

Note: MBES stands for “modern multibeam echo sounders”



370 search will spur global data gathering




( ) Flight 370 search will spur better worldwide topographic searches.



Amos ‘14

Jonathan Amos, BBC Science Correspondent -- “MH370 spur to 'better ocean mapping'” – BBC News – May 27th, 2014 – http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27589433


The depth and shape of Earth's ocean floor is very poorly known. Leading researchers say the MH370 example should be a spur to gather much better data elsewhere in the world. The search has been hampered by the lack of a high-resolution view of the bed topography west of Australia.


A-to “Search is a waste of time – it’s a cover-up”

( ) Most conspiracies are wild – best approach is to stick with independently-verified data.



A.P. ‘14

Associated Press Report – internally quoting Inmarsat chief engineer Mark Dickinson – This report appeared on the Fox News website – May 27th



http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/27/australian-investigators-say-mh370-likely-crashed-after-running-out-fuel/
Almost three months since it went missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, no trace of the jet has been found, an agonizing situation for family members stuck between grief and the faintest hope, no matter how unlikely, their loved ones might still be alive. The mystery also has nurtured speculation and wild conspiracy theories. Several family members have been highly critical of the Malaysian government's response, accusing them of failing to release timely information or even concealing it. The government, which in the early days struggled to release reliable information about the plane's movements, insists it is being transparent in what has been an unprecedented situation. An international investigation team led by Malaysia has concluded that the jet flew south after it was last spotted on Malaysian military radar and ended up in the southern Indian Ocean off western Australia. This conclusion is based on complex calculations derived largely from brief hourly transmissions between the plane and a communications satellite. The families had been asking for the raw data from the satellite, operated by British company Inmarsat, for many weeks. In a posting on its Facebook page, a group representing some of the families said: "Finally, after almost three months, the Inmarsat raw data is released to the public. Hope this is the original raw data and can be used to potentially `think out of the box' to get an alternative positive outcome." In China, home of about two-thirds of the passengers, several relatives said they were not informed by Malaysia Airlines ahead of the release. Steve Wang, whose mother was on the plane, said he was disappointed that the release did not contain an account of exactly what investigators did to conclude the plane had taken the southern route. "We are not experts and we cannot analyze the raw data, but we need to see the deduction process and judge by ourselves if every step was solid," he said. "We still need to know where the plane is and what is the truth. We know the likelihood that our beloved ones have survived is slim, but it is not zero." As a result of the analysis of the data, a massive air, surface and underwater search has been conducted in the southern Indian Ocean. Having found nothing, it will stop Wednesday for several months while new powerful sonar equipment is deployed, officials say. The next search phase will be conducted over a much bigger area -- approximately 23,000 square miles -- and will involve mapping of the seabed. The area's depths and topography are largely unknown. The technical data released Tuesday consists of data communication logs from the satellite system. The plane's transmissions to the satellite were never meant to track its path, but investigators had nothing else to go on because the plane's other communication systems had been disabled. Investigators determined the plane's direction by measuring the frequency of the signals sent to the satellite. By considering aircraft performance, the satellite's fixed location and other known factors such as the amount of fuel on board, they determined the plane's final location was to the south of the satellite. In an interview with CNN earlier this week, Inmarsat chief engineer Mark Dickinson said he was confident of the data. "This data has been checked, not just by Inmarsat but by many parties, who have done the same work, with the same numbers, to make sure we all got it right, checked it with other flights in the air at the same, checked it against previous flights in this aircraft," he said. "At the moment there is no reason to doubt what the data says."


A-to “Search is in the wrong area”

( ) Search is in the right vicinity – Inmarsat data independently verified.



Quest ‘14

Richard Quest is an English journalist and a CNN International anchor and reporter based in New York. He anchors Quest Means Business. In addition to anchoring the five-times-weekly business program, Quest hosts the monthly program CNN Business Traveller[2] and "CNN Marketplace Europe – MH370: “Is Inmarsat right?” – CNN – May 27th – http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/27/world/asia/mh370-is-inmarsat-right-quest-analysis/index.html?hpt=hp_t1


In the aviation mystery which has baffled the world there is one fundamental question which continues to swirl: Has Inmarsat got its numbers right? It was these very calculations which led the search for MH370 far from the plane's original route across South East Asia and deep into the southern Indian Ocean, off the west coast of Australia. No piece of work is more important in the search for the plane. I was given exclusive access to the satellite experts who did the ground-breaking work. Time and again, I would ask them the toughest question: "Are you right?" But before we get there ... How did the data come to light in the first place? Once the plane went missing, the ground station in Perth checked the logs and discovered that while the aircraft's communications systems were switched off, the plane and the satellite still kept saying "hello" to each other, every hour. "Having messages for six hours after the plane is lost is probably the biggest disbelief," admits Inmarsat's vice president of satellite operations Mark Dickinson. These messages are the raw data upon which everything rests. After the alert had been raised at the company's London headquarters, engineers began urgently interpreting the raw data. Dickinson explains: "We have some timing information ... that allows you to essentially work out the distance from the satellite ... and in addition to that there were some frequency measurements." Using the discrepancy of satellite frequency known as the Doppler Effect, the team spent ten days refining their work before they briefed the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who stunned the world by revealing the plane's flight had ended in the South Indian Ocean. Dickinson says that when he realized what had probably happened, his reaction was: "Let's check this and let's check it again, because you want to make sure when you come to a conclusion like that you have done the right work... As good engineers we are trained to check and check again." So why is Dickinson so sure he is right? Because the model they created showing arcs and Doppler readings was rigorously tested, initially on other aircraft on the satellite at the same time, and then against previous flights by the same aircraft. With minor disagreements both the position and the Doppler reading of those aircraft was predicted accurately. Other organizations created their own models, ran the comparisons and came to the same conclusions. It is essential to understand: This is not just Inmarsat's frolic. "No-one has come up yet with a reason why it shouldn't work with this particular flight when it has worked with others," Dickinson told me. "It's very important that this isn't just an Inmarsat activity." So why haven't they found the plane where Inmarsat says it should be? Simply put, it's a big ocean, the ocean floor is very deep, with valleys and hills. In the bigger picture, the search has really only just begun.


( ) Pinger mishap irrelevant – Sat data still means the plan’s in the Indian Ocean.



Topham ‘14

Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent for The Guardian – “MH370: what next for the search?” – The Guardian – May 29th, 2014 – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/29/malaysia-airlines-mh370-search

Two sets of signals have been described as pings during the search: the electronic "handshake" from the Boeing 777's (switched off) tracking systems, recorded by satellite firm Inmarsat; and the sounds apparently picked up in early April in an underwater search, initially believed to have been emitted by an aircraft's black box flight recorders. The second pings have now been more or less discounted as a false lead, with Australia announcing it has comprehensively searched the zone they indicated without success. The satellite data, in contrast, is regarded by search authorities as sound, and will form the basis for the continuing search – the new area follows the arc of the projected southern flight path. Inmarsat made the data fully available for public scrutiny earlier this week, as families and others had expressed scepticism.

( ) Pinger mishap means only a mild change to the search area.



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: IF THE PINGS WERE NOT FROM THE PLANE, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE SEARCH? A: Given that the head of the search operation, Angus Houston, once dubbed the pings the “most promising lead” in the hunt for Flight 370, a determination that they were unrelated would be a huge disappointment. But it wouldn't change the direction of the search. Officials have already been planning to move beyond the search area centred on the pings to a far larger search zone, which was calculated based on an analysis of satellite data. That plan remains in place.


( ) Mishaps don’t mean the plane’s not in Indian Ocean – only means larger search area.



Topham ‘14

Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent for The Guardian – “MH370: what next for the search?” – The Guardian – May 29th, 2014 – http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/29/malaysia-airlines-mh370-search


Despite drawing a blank in the focused search area, investigators still believe Malaysia Airlines MH370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, as indicated by satellite data. Yet the search conducted by the robot submarine or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Bluefin-21, has taken over a month to cover around 850 sq km of the ocean west of Perth. The wider area, which the search will now move to, is around 70 times that size.

Search Area has been expanded in the squo




Search is not re-treading in the same space – search area will expand in the squo



A.P. ‘14

Associated Press Report – internally quoting Inmarsat chief engineer Mark Dickinson – This report appeared on the Fox News website – May 27th

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/27/australian-investigators-say-mh370-likely-crashed-after-running-out-fuel/
As a result of the analysis of the data, a massive air, surface and underwater search has been conducted in the southern Indian Ocean. Having found nothing, it will stop Wednesday for several months while new powerful sonar equipment is deployed, officials say. The next search phase will be conducted over a much bigger area -- approximately 23,000 square miles -- and will involve mapping of the seabed. The area's depths and topography are largely unknown.

US key

( ) The US is key – needs to step-up its role.



Apps & Hepher ‘14

Peter Apps – Global defence correspondent, Reuters and Tim Hepher Reuters Global Aerospace Correspondent “Analysis - Geopolitical games handicap Malaysia jet hunt” – Reuters – Mar 28, 2014 – http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/uk-malaysia-airlines-geopolitics-analysi-idUKBREA2R1OQ20140328


With the United States playing a relatively muted role in the sort of exercise that until recently it would have dominated, experts and officials say there was no real central coordination until the search for the plane was confined to the southern Indian Ocean, when Australia largely took charge. Part of the problem is that Asia has no NATO-style regional defence structure, though several countries have formal alliances with the United States. Commonwealth members Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia also have an arrangement with Britain to discuss defence matters in times of crisis. "There is ... a pressing need for regional security structures to take a few leaps forward," said Air Vice Marshal Michael Harwood, a retired Royal Air Force pilot and former British defence attaché in Washington. The risk, he said, was that the search instead became seen as a national "test of manhood" and driver of rivalry. Already, several governments have been openly competing in announcing findings and satellite images. RADAR POKER Malaysia's acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also the country's defence minister, has defended the international effort to find the jet. "All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of cooperation, and that has not changed," he said. But while Kuala Lumpur has been forced to reveal some of the limits and ranges of its air defences, the reluctance of Malaysia's neighbours to release sensitive radar data may have obstructed the investigation for days. At an ambassadorial meeting in the ad hoc crisis centre at an airport hotel on March 16, Malaysia formally appealed to countries on the jet's possible path for help, but in part met with polite stonewalling, two people close to the talks said. Some countries asked Malaysia to put its request in writing, triggering a flurry of diplomatic notes and high-level contacts. "It became a game of poker in which Malaysia handed out the cards at the table but couldn't force others to show their hand," a person from another country involved in the talks said. It was not until a week later that Malaysia announced a list of nations that had checked their archives. Beijing, meanwhile, was dramatically upping its game. Its ability to deploy forces deep into the southern hemisphere is particularly striking. Beijing has sent several deployments into southern waters in recent months, including warship visits to New Zealand and South America, while its icebreaker "Snow Dragon" helped rescue personnel from a trapped Russian icebreaker in the Antarctic late last year. "China are deploying because that's what great powers do, and there must be a political expectation for them to (do so)," said one former Western military officer. "How well they do it, only the USA will currently know (through surveillance and signals intelligence), and time will tell." CHINESE CLOUT With five Chinese ships heading to a new search area in the Indian Ocean on Friday, experts say China is revealing military capabilities it lacked just a handful of years ago. Chinese officials have also spoken of the growing number of satellites it has put to the task, a sensitive topic nations rarely disclose. "A decade ago, China wouldn't even have been in this game at all," says Christopher Harmer, a former U.S. naval aviator and search-and-rescue pilot, now senior fellow at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington DC. "It really shows how far they have come, much, much faster than most people expected." Ultimately, the only country with the technical resources to recover the plane - or at least its black box recorder, which could lie in water several miles deep - may be the United States. Its deep-sea vehicles ultimately hauled up the wreckage of Air France 447 after its 2009 crash in the South Atlantic.

A-to “Can’t get black box”

( ) Can retrieve Black Box – factors in favor of the search.



Sutherland ‘14

Scott Sutherland - Science writer for Yahoo! Canada.“Even if MH370 is found, investigators face a daunting task in retrieving the black box” – Yahoo Canada: Geekquinox Blog – April 11th, 2014 – https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/geekquinox/even-mh370-found-investigators-face-daunting-task-retrieving-223103889.html


There are, apparently, a few things working in their favour, though. When Air France Flight 447 went down in 2009, it ended up at a depth of 3,900 metres below the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, in a region of the ocean floor that was part of the mid-Atlantic ridge. "That was a very young sea floor — it was very difficult to image that wreckage using sonar systems because of the rough topography and lack of sediment cover," said Prof. Ian Wright of the U.K.'s National Oceanographic Centre, according to The Guardian. It took over three years for authorities to find Air France Flight 447 on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, retrieve its black box and conclude the investigation into the crash. Since this region of the Indian Ocean is very old ocean floor, with plenty of sediment cover, that means it should be far easier for sonar signals to differentiate between the soft sediment and the harder materials of the airliner.

A-to “too late to locate”

( ) Not too late – won’t be buried under ocean mud.



Fickling ‘14

David Fickling – reporter for Bloomberg. Internally quoting Robin Beaman, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Cairns – “Flight 370 Search Halted for Sixth Day on Lack of Parts” – Bloomberg – May 19, 2014 – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-19/flight-370-search-halted-for-sixth-day-by-hunt-for-parts.html


Time is on their side” given the aircraft’s likely location on the undersea Zenith Plateau, Robin Beaman, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Cairns, said by phone. The seafloor in the area is covered in mud firm enough to walk on and receives just a millimeter (0.04 inches) or so of extra sediment every thousand years, he said. “It’s unlikely that it will be buried in anything that’s drifting down from above,” Beaman said. The disappearance has baffled authorities because contact was lost less than an hour into a routine trip to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The jetliner vanished from civilian radars while headed north over the Gulf of Thailand, then doubled back and flew over Peninsular Malaysia and on into the remote waters of the Indian Ocean, according to analysis of satellite signals. Investigators have scanned 4.6 million square kilometers of ocean, with 29 aircraft carrying out 334 flights and 14 ships afloat as part of the operation, Australia’s deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said at a May 5 press conference. In its budget last week, the country’s government set aside A$89.9 million ($84 million) in costs for the hunt over the two years ending June 2015.



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