MA technology could help in search for Malaysia Airlines flight - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

MA technology could help in search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370

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By: Samantha Lavien

Slavien@abc6.com

Twitter: @samanthalavien

Technology from Massachusetts is heading half way across the globe to help in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.

Autonomous underwater vehicles or AUV's from Bluefin Robotics in Quincy is on the way to the Indian Ocean to help and technology from Hydroid Inc. located on Cape Cod may also be used.

OceanServer Technology in Fall River makes a very similar, but smaller AUV called Iver 3. The President of that company explained to ABC 6 News how the devices that are being sent will assist in the search.

"The vehicles that will go down there are similar in their characteristics and how they navigate and collect images and the whole operational concept of deploying them but they're much larger they run for longer periods of time they're most robust and larger suited for deep ocean water," said President of OceanServer Bob Anderson.

The airliner vanished on March 8. On Monday Malaysian officials announced the plane had crashed into the Indian Ocean killing all 239 passengers.

As the search for debris from the plane continues, AUV's will be an essential tool.

The devices work by using sonar to take underwater images. The frequency on the devices can be adjusted depending on how big the field is that the robot is viewing.

"Looking for the plane they would want to have a lower frequency so you'd see a longer range. You don't have the resolution there but, you don't really care because you're looking for something that's going to be huge," said Jeff Dearruda a software engineer at OceanServer Technology.

The technology on the AUV's OceanServer uses is pre–set with a route and has GPS, satellite and wifi on board so operators can keep track of it. The data is stored on a USB drive and can be viewed in a matter of minutes after being recovered from the device.

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