Bluefin-21 as it is floating in the water after it was craned over the side of Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Indian Ocean.
PERTH: Autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 has completed about 50% of the focused area in the underwater search for the Malaysia Airlines craft that went missing on March 8.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said the focused underwater search area was defined as a circle with a radius of 10km around the second signal detected by the towed pinger locator on April 8.
No contacts of interest have been found so far, the agency said in a statement made here yesterday.
The agency, which is overseeing the search operation, said the AUV started its eighth mission right after the completion of mission seven yesterday morning.
The day before, the agency said Bluefin-21 had combed an area of about 133 sq km at the end of its sixth mission.
The AUV was deployed on its underwater mission on Monday, in the hope of locating debris from the missing MH370 plane, after no further confirmed signals were picked up by the towed pinger locator on April 8.
The Bluefin-21 uses acoustic sounds to create a three-dimensional map of the sea floor and takes a minimum of 24 hours to complete each mission, including four hours to download collected data.
JACC said yesterday’s visual search area involved 11 military aircraft and 12 ships.
“The weather forecast for today is scattered showers, isolated thunderstorms in some areas, and east south-easterly winds,” said the agency.
Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, left the KL International Airport at 12.4am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea.
It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. — Bernama