The Phoenix International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Artemis, also known as the Bluefin-21, is prepared for
deployment from the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield
in the search for the missing airliner. REUTERS/Australian
The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight
has been expanded after the Bluefin-21 underwater drone found
no trace of the passenger jet.
The automated underwater vehicle (AUV) has completed sidescan
sonar work in a narrowed-down circular zone 10km in radius,
1584km north west of Perth, which centred on an acoustic ping
detected on April 8.
Other man-made acoustic signals were picked up in the
vicinity on April 5.
Now on its 15th mission, the Bluefin-21 is combing adjacent
areas, the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said in a
statement on Sunday.
Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the air and surface
search for floating debris has been suspended for the day.
On Friday, the AUV was forced to resurface after a software
issue that required re-setting.
Last week, Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin
Hussein said more sophisticated and expensive technology
would be needed if the Bluefin-21 came up with nothing.
The next phase of the search would require probably
submersibles that would be very, very expensive and probably
more Bluefin-21s, he said. MH370 vanished en route from Kuala
Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.