The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after an inexplicable change of course sent it south over the Indian Ocean in March 2014 still hides the secret of the final location of the shipwreck. Various efforts have been made over the years to narrow a possible area of demand, and now we have news of a further angle from an unexpected source. It is possible that the path of the plane can are displayed in broadcast, recognizable as abnormally distant contacts using the amateur radio WSPR protocol.
WSPR is an amateur low power radio mode designed for sounding and recording the possibilities of radio propagation of the atmosphere. Transmitting beacons and receiving stations operate continuously and all contacts, however, which are fleeting, are recorded in an online database. This can be gleaned from researchers interested in the atmosphere, but in this case it can also give clues to the flight of the missing plane. By searching for abnormally distant WSPR contacts whose path intersects the expected position of the MH370, it is possible to notice moments when the aircraft has formed a reflector for radio waves. These contacts can then either confirm positions already assessed using other methods, or even provide additional course points. This is an impressive demonstration of the unexpected data that can lurk in leaps and bounds like the WSPR diary, and also that as we mess around on the air, the scars we leave behind can do more good than just bragging. with the rights to the DX we worked on.
If this WSPR business intrigues you, then read the piece in our $ 50 ham series about him.
Heather: Laurent ERRERA of L’Union, France, CC BY-SA 2.0.
[via Southgate ARC]