MH370: How could Malaysia Airlines just disappear? A telecoms perspective...

With modern telecommunications technology, everyone is asking how an entire aircraft carrying hundreds of people managed to just vanish this past weekend...

Any commercial aircraft is fitted with a ‘black box’ capable of withstanding even a complete explosion (or 3,400 times the force of gravity.) The complete system consists of two other parts; a cockpit voice recorder, and a flight-data recorder for any malfunctions…

The device itself has an ultrasound beacon which can emit a signal as deep in water as 2.8 miles. If the black box is found; then the world, and more-importantly the relatives of those on-board, can finally get a clear idea of just what happened.

It’s stumped industry experts how no signal from this black box has been picked up; despite a vast and on-going search by 40 ships and 39 aircraft. The other strange aspect of this story is no debris has been found whatsoever – which considering most parts of an aircraft is buoyant – is keeping some amount of hope up that some other explanation will come to light.

One conspiracy theory points to the possibility of a hijacking, landing on a small nearby island spotted with a runway, and keeping under-wraps any demands for fear of sparking outrage or similar attempts. Adding a small bit of credence to this is relatives have questioned why they are able to ring the mobile phones of the missing - albeit with no answer. It’s more convincing than aliens – but that story is also out there.

Despite, like all of us, we hope that everyone has survived – even if held under demand – it’s the radar disappearance combined with the lack of black box and debris which is the most confusing.

A theory that I, personally, want to put out there is the possibility of an EMP (Electronic Magnetic Pulse) which would explain the sudden apparent malfunction of all communication with the aircraft, and the lack of response from the black box…

I’m certainly no expert on EMPs – only know they exist. Luckily the internet exists and a quick Google search throws up research by New Scientist back in 2009 aptly-entitled “Aircraft could be brought down by DIY 'E-bombs'”.

The smallest you could get a feasible EMP would be around the size of a suitcase. We know that two people boarded the plane on stolen passports – but the pair are not thought to have any terrorist links. Five also checked-in, but did not actually board. Their baggage is said to have been removed from the plan and is “clean”.

Also, we must remember, a terrorist wants attention. Or at least after an incident, the group behind the attack will claim responsibility – this hasn’t happened.

Under normal engine cut-out circumstances which pilots are trained for; there is still power to tell the computer to actuate the electric motors sending hydraulic fluid to the flaps – and give the ability to almost “glide” down; in the same respect as what happened in the “Hudson Miracle”.

Complete electronic failure would mean dropping out of the sky like rocks...

The attack wouldn’t necessarily have to be on-board either; an irresponsible ground-based test from a neighbouring country could have the same effect. But admittedly, though I see it as the only explanation for its complete disappearance, there’s still no debris…

Colorado-based DigitalGlobe has sent two of its satellites to survey the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea – publishing its images on Tomnod.

Tomnod uses crowdsourcing to utilise vast pools of volunteers to comb over images – with 500,000 unique visitors in the first 24 hours. Unfortunately, each pixel of the image has been examined at least 100 times – and still no evidence.

Combining theories could provide a possible explanation. If a hijacking scenario is correct, a low-powered EMP in the right place could potentially knock it off “Automatic Dependent Surveillance” (where the plane sends a location signal back to air control) and seem to essentially disappear…

When in range, a normal radar can pick up large objects via a radio signal which bounces off the object and back. A military radar said it picked up a plane off-course “200 miles northwest of Penang island on Malaysia's west coast.”

Guess what is around that distance…

This island is around the distance and in the same direction as the military radar last picked-up an off-course plane. Penang and the island are both marked…

Guess what is on that island?

The only runway on any of the smaller islands…

What are your theories for what happened to Malaysia Airlines’ MH370?

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RodolpheWILHELM
13 Mar 2014, 2:25 p.m.

youre right im sure the plane is located on an island

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