Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 24 March 2014, that new analysis of satellite data suggested that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean. He also said the type of analysis used to investigate the mystery of the jetliner's disappearance has never been used before. The statement sparked intense speculation on the part of international media.
According to an American expert, this is the first time that the satellite "ping" has been used to locate a missing plane
According to current analysis, the investigation method that the Malaysian Premier mentioned in his statment is probably the ping instruction. The Inmarsat maritime satellite was the only satellite that could receive the "ping" from MH370 after its live transmission system was shut off. The "ping" is an automatic communication between satellites and transponders. After its live transmission system was shut off, MH370 sent at least six "pings" to the satellite, so the investigators traced two possible flight courses: one to the north and one to the south.
After further analysis on the data package sent by the "ping", the result showed that the South Indian Ocean was the final location. According to Tim Farrar, American satellite analyst and chief specialist of TMF Associates, in this investigation with its lack of any other evidence, the "ping" has played a major role.
"The whole incident is unusual: no wreckage has been found, and no ACARS or radar signals," says Farrar. “It is just like 20 years ago before mobile phones could be used for locating; it has taken a little longer to locate the plane through the 'ping', as this is the first time the technique has been applied."
According to Farrar, the sequence of the investigation is as follows: "looking for the plane", "failing to locate the plane", "confirming whether the satellite terminal is working", and "calculating the plane's trajectory by means of the 'ping'."
The article is edited and translated from《为何未见残骸就确认“终结”？》, source: Beijing News.