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Robots Aid in Search of Missing Malaysian Jet

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Mydesign
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Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/9/2014 6:08:20 AM
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"The US Navy has sent the Bluefin-21 autonomous robot from the Quincy, Mass.-based company to Perth, Australia, for possible deployment off the Western coast of Australia, where those who have been searching for the plane for several weeks believed it may have gone down, Bluefin CEO David Kelly told Design News."

Elizabeth, I personally feel it's a big tragedy and even failure of technology. So far no evidence about the missing flight and not even able to capture the signals from black box.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/9/2014 6:14:21 AM
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Yes, Mydesign, i agree it's quite a tragedy but I am not sure about the technology failure. The ocean is a vast and mysterious place and I am not surprised it's been difficult for them to find a jet, even as inconceivable as it may be that such a large thing like a jumbo jet could simply disappear like that. I think the latest was that there was possibly some contact with the plane's black box, but I need to go and read the news reports. It is indeed very sad for the people lost and their loved ones.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/10/2014 2:53:26 AM
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"I am not sure about the technology failure. The ocean is a vast and mysterious place and I am not surprised it's been difficult for them to find a jet, even as inconceivable as it may be that such a large thing like a jumbo jet could simply disappear like that."

Elizabeth, I don't want to make any comment about how it got disappeared. As a technocrat, I am surprise why still not able to trace it, even black box. There are many types of radar, ATC and surveillance satellites are in place even to track small spy objects. But this jumbo jet is not happened to in the vicinity of all these this made me surprised.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/10/2014 5:39:39 AM
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Well I can certainly see your point, Mydesign, even without too much speculation on what happened. Hopefully there will be some news on this soon.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Failure of Technology
Ann R. Thryft   4/10/2014 2:27:19 PM
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Elizabeth, thanks for writing about this use of the Bluefin robots. This is exactly the kind of search and rescue application they, and others like them with similar combinations of technology, were designed to help with.
We've done slideshows about rescue robots of various kinds here
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=247687
and nautical robots here
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=270526
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=262528
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=246206



Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/14/2014 4:27:42 AM
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Thanks for those links, Ann. I often refer to those slideshows when I'm compiling stories like this. Aquatic robots have done a lot for research in a number of areas, and aiding in search-and-rescue missions like this is definitely a good use for them. Not sure if the robot has helped yet! I think the jet is still missing, to my knowledge. What a shame.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Failure of Technology
Ann R. Thryft   4/14/2014 1:21:04 PM
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I don't know if the robots have helped yet, but searchers are making some progress on finding the black box last time I looked. Meanwhile though, those robots may be one of the few technologies that can be of any help. I was surprised, though, to see only one in use. This seems like an app where a fleet of them would make more sense to cover such a huge territory.
BTW, I agree with your comments about the hugeness and mystery of the oceans.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/15/2014 8:52:26 AM
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Well as far as I know, Ann, only one was sent from Bluefin, but perhaps other companies sent them? I'd have to check that out. Yes, a fleet might be better given the large area that is part of the search, even if it has been narrowed down from original size. I imagine if the plane is never found this will go down in history as a great mystery, and even more conspiracy theories will crop up.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/21/2014 5:18:06 AM
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"only one was sent from Bluefin, but perhaps other companies sent them? I'd have to check that out. Yes, a fleet might be better given the large area that is part of the search, even if it has been narrowed down from original size. I imagine if the plane is never found this will go down in history as a great mystery, and even more conspiracy theories will crop up."

Elizabath, only Australian government is actively participating for the search operation. Other countries like China, US, France, Russia etc are capable for search and rescue operation in underneath water; but unfortunately they are playing like silent observers.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Failure of Technology
Cabe Atwell   5/18/2014 6:08:06 PM
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It could take years to find the wreckage, look how long it took to locate the black boxes from Air France flight 447 (about 2 years).

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   5/19/2014 2:43:51 AM
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"It could take years to find the wreckage, look how long it took to locate the black boxes from Air France flight 447 (about 2 years)."

You are right CABE. So far no information about even Black box.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/15/2014 5:19:41 AM
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"Well I can certainly see your point, Mydesign, even without too much speculation on what happened. Hopefully there will be some news on this soon."

Elizabeth, chances are very less because even black box also in dead state; No signals to track it.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/16/2014 5:21:09 AM
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If what you say is true, MyDesign, then it appears that a technology failure is making finding the jet impossible.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/21/2014 5:14:41 AM
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"If what you say is true, MyDesign, then it appears that a technology failure is making finding the jet impossible."

Elizabeth, am telling the same from the beginning.

Battar
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Re: Failure of Technology
Battar   4/9/2014 9:30:18 AM
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Mydesign,

               The evidence currently released points not to a failure of technology, but to a deliberate attempt to circumvent the technology. It is belived, for example, that the aircrafts' transponder was turned off, and that a flight path was deliberately chosen to avoid controlled airspace and reach an inaccessible location.

William K.
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Re: Failure of Technology
William K.   4/9/2014 11:09:21 AM
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Batar, it certainly does look like there was more than a technology failure, or a string of failures, involved. Perhaps errors in judgement, although we really don't have adequate information, just multiple conjectures, at present.

What is a definite failure is the ability to switch off at the transponder system, wlthough one conjecture claimed that may have been part of an attempt to address an electrical problem.

So the real failure is that there was no locati0on reporting beacon sending out location reports frequently enough to allow a more accurate knowledge of the location in a much more timely manner. A beacon with an independant power source would be the proper choice, active when the plane is off the ground, and recharged from the plane's electrical system. At least that is my concept.

mjmahon
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Re: Failure of Technology
mjmahon   4/9/2014 1:25:07 PM
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I agree that a location reporting device that cannot be disabled is an appropriate addition to standard aircraft equipment. The (reasonable) one month pinger battery life also suggests that an easily deployable robot beacon that would home in on a pinger would be very useful in cases where the pinger is detected but may not continue to operate reliably. I expect that such a device would be relatively simple.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/10/2014 2:55:35 AM
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" The evidence currently released points not to a failure of technology, but to a deliberate attempt to circumvent the technology. It is belived, for example, that the aircrafts' transponder was turned off, and that a flight path was deliberately chosen to avoid controlled airspace and reach an inaccessible location."

Battar, deliberate attempts has happened inside the flight for switching off various communication channels. But in outside world technologies are there to track it over radars and through satellites.

AnandY
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Re: Failure of Technology
AnandY   4/10/2014 6:52:26 AM
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@ Mydesign, it is a big tragedy indeed and ironically a question mark on the capabilities of modern technology. But when it comes to international waters, it isn't more ironic than Somali pirates' operations. It is painful to know that pirates can still take big ships hostage for months and in some cases for years without being detected.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Failure of Technology
Elizabeth M   4/14/2014 4:45:43 AM
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I agree with you, AandY. This incident shows exactly why the ocean is a frontier as vast as space for us here on earth. it is a mysterious place and while it's not surprising these sorts of things can happen, I admit it is very disheartening.

Mydesign
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Re: Failure of Technology
Mydesign   4/15/2014 5:25:12 AM
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"it is a big tragedy indeed and ironically a question mark on the capabilities of modern technology. But when it comes to international waters, it isn't more ironic than Somali pirates' operations. It is painful to know that pirates can still take big ships hostage for months and in some cases for years without being detected."

AnandY, yes may be right with technology but may not be true with its application. Surveillance satellites are there to track and pin point each object on earth with eagle eyes. The issue is they don't want to use it for rescue operation; but always looks for neighbours internal military movements and other domestic movements.

AnandY
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Re: Failure of Technology
AnandY   4/12/2014 10:22:47 AM
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@ Battar, it seems strange really. Deliberate attempt to circumvent the technology and deliberate choice of reaching an inaccessible location avoiding controlled air space give rise to suspicions. Does this imply that plane was hijacked before going down? Why else should someone deliberately try to circumvent the technology? Are there any suspicions shown in this regards by the officials?

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