Published on : Friday, January 5, 2018
The search mission is expected to be ready to begin the high-tech sweeps by about January 15-16. Neither the company nor the Malaysian government has announced a final deal for the “no find, no fee” search but it is understood to be in train.
As one of the spokesman has said that Ocean Infinity is hopeful of receiving the final contract award for the resumption of the search for MH370 over the coming days. “This is designed to save time should the contract award be forthcoming, as hoped. We will confirm as and when the contract is awarded and the search can resume.”
Using HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicles, Ocean Infinity is capable of operating at depths of up to 6000m to collect high-resolution data or as they like to call it “record-breaking speeds’’. The company’s website says it uses six autonomous underwater vehicles but sources have told AirlineRatings the MH370 would use eight.
The company’s website reads ‘with multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously utilizing innovative technology, we are able to survey huge swathes of the seabed, quickly and with outstanding accuracy’.
The search will begin in a 25,000 sq. km area around 35°S designated by experts in 2016 as the most likely crash site. The drift modelling and analysis of satellite imagery has added a new dimension to the search mission that the wreckage of the Boeing 777 is in the southern half of a 25000 sq.km. However, if the wreckage is not found in the 25,000 sq. km search area the vessel will head north to an area around 30°S proposed by independent experts.
The MH370 Response team has looked at ‘several proposals’ including one from Ocean Infinity on a no-find, no-fee deal.
“In this regard, the Government of Malaysia has given the permission for the response team to proceed to negotiate the terms and conditions with Ocean Infinity.”