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MH 370 The Depth of the Problem

The depth of the problem After an Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, again detected deepsea signals consistent with those from an airplane's black box, the official leading a multination search expressed hope Wednesday that crews will begin to find wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner "within a matter of days." "I believe we're searching in the right area," Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said. All commercial transport aircraft are fitted with underwater locator beacons to assist in the relocation of black box flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. These beacons are free-running pingers that transmit signals at an acoustic frequency of 37.5 kilohertz and have an expected battery life of 30 days. The scale of the challenge in locating the black boxes is immense. 209 feet - the length of a Boeing 777-200. 22 feet - the draft of the Australian offshore support vessel Ocean Shield, now searching for the black box. It is 347 long. 555 feet - the depth of an inverted Washington Monument – it is the tallest structure in the District of Columbia. 1,000 feet 460 psi 1,250 feet - the depth of an inverted Empire State building – it was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1973. 1,600 feet - the test depth of the American Seawolf class submarine 2,000 feet 903 psi 2,600 feet - the maximum known depth at which giant squids swim. 2,717 feet - the depth of an inverted Burj Khalifa – the world's tallest building, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 3,000 feet 1.348 psi 3,280 feet - the maximum known depth of a sperm whale dive. They are thought to be capable of remaining submerged for 90 minutes. 4,000 feet 1,792 psi 4,600 feet - the depth to which the towed pingor locator was lowered when the Ocean Shield's crew was able to detect the signal for more than two hours Sunday, according to Cmdr. William Marks of U.S. 7th Fleet. 5,000 feet 2.236 psi 1 mile down 6,000 feet 2,680 psi 6,000 feet - is the depth that an underwater pinger locator would have to reach to hear the beacon on the bottom of the ocean, depending on environmental conditions, according to Hydro International magazine. 7,000 foet 3,125 psi 8,000 feet 3,509 psi 9,000 feet 4,013 psi 9,816 feet - the maximum known depth of the deepest diving mammal, the Cuvier's beaked whale. 10,000 feet 4,458 psi 2 milos down 11.000 feet 4,902 psi 12,000 feet 5,347 psi 12,500 feet - the depth of the wreck of the Titanic. The Titanic sank after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York in April 1912. It took 73 years to locate the wreck. 13,000 feet 5,791 psl 13,100 feet - the depth at which the flight data recorders from Air France Flight 447 were found. The filight crashed in the ALlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009. The black boxes from the missing Airbus A330-203 took two years to locate. 14,000 feet 6,235 ps. 14,763 feet - the maximum dive depth of Alvin, the first deep-sea submersible capable of carrying passengers. 6,680 psi 15,000 feet - just shy of three miles down. This is around the depth that the signal was detected, and the maximum known depth of the ocean floor below the Ocean Shield.

MH 370 The Depth of the Problem

shared by washingtonpost on Apr 08
A look at the scale of a three mile deep ocean. One artist, one developer. Eight hours. Full size here.


The Washington Post


Ben Chartoff




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