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ATSB releases satellite imagery analysis in the search for MH370
16 August 2017

The ATSB has released two reports which analyse data gathered during the surface search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), released two reports, prepared by Geoscience Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), that provide analysis and findings relating to satellite imagery taken on 23 March 2014, two weeks after the disappearance of MH370, over the southern Indian Ocean.

The satellite imagery was acquired through the assistance of French authorities. The images were captured by satellite two weeks after the aircraft went missing on 8 March 2014. The area covered by the imagery was not one that was searched from the air at that time, but is close to the underwater search area.

Experts from Geoscience Australia examined four images to determine whether they contained objects that were potentially man-made in origin. Given the proximity to the defined underwater search area, the CSIRO conducted a drift study to determine the geographic origin of the objects identified in the satellite images to provide an indication of where they were likely to have been on 8 March 2014.

The drift study found that the projected location on 8 March of the objects identified in most of the satellite images was consistent with the area identified by experts during the MH370 First Principles Review in November 2016.

While the objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris, the study may be useful in informing any further search effort that may be mounted in the future.

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