Application of Low Frequency, Long Range Synthetic Aperture Sonar During the Search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

Application of Low Frequency, Long Range Synthetic Aperture Sonar During the Search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370
L. Jay Larsen, PE | Owner, Hydrospheric Solutions, LLC, Whitefish, MT & Seattle, WA

Hydrospheric Solutions, LLC, of Whitefish, Montana and Seattle, Washington has brought to the market the SLH PS-60, a 60 kHz, long range, deep tow synthetic aperture sonar (SAS).  After the loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 Hydrospheric Solutions was contracted to engage in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200ER aircraft using the SLH PS-60. This paper examines the development of the SLH PS-60 and discusses specifications and performance of the system including array construction, vehicle design, power and telemetry systems, auxiliary sensors, etc. Additionally, the ProSAS software platform used to execute SAS algorithms and produce deliverable data sets in different formats will be detailed. Select data sets from early stages of development of the sonar through the search for MH370 will be examined and discussed.  Finally, other considerations necessary to accommodate full ocean depth operation along with vehicle size and innovations are discussed, and relevant scientific and industry applications are presented.