The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing in March, could possibly be found in only a matter of days, according to a report.
The Daily Mail reported that vessels hunting for the jetliner will arrive in a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday. The area is located approximately 1,100 miles from the west coast of Australia.
The vessels will be equipped with sonar, video cameras, and other equipment. One of the vessels, the GO Phoenix, departed Jakarta, Indonesia, about a week ago.
“When they get going, they will deploy an underwater sonar in on the end of very long cable, eight kilometers, they will tow that sonar in on a toefish, which contains sonar equipment, close to ocean floor, 100 meters,” Martin Dolan, the chief of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told the Daily Mail.
“They send out sonar signals, get them back, a width of about 1.5 kms, that will go up the cable to vessel and crews to look and analyze for anything for interest,” he added. “It will be recorded and transferred in batches, re-anaylised so nothing to be missed.”
The search area is about 60,000 square kilometers.
“Three things that make it complicated is that we know aircraft will be found there but have to prioritize high probability areas,” he added: “Also towing expensive equipment, we need to know closely what the ocean floor is like, the sea floor is quite complex, not just a simple matter, additional attention is needed for some areas to cover them properly. Lastly data itself requires a specialized eye to understand, so we also have the capacity to review.”
But while the Daily Mail said that it could take “days” to recover, Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said, “It’s not clear how long that search will take. We would hope, obviously, to find the aircraft on the first day, but it could in fact take a year to search the entire area and weather conditions will have an impact,” according to the Australia Broadcasting Corporation.
On Oct. 1, the ATSB said that about 111,000 square kilometers have been mapped out and analyzed.
“Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible,” it said.