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    Posted March 17, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    Previous ACARS data

    The key to finding MH370 without the aid of the transponder data but with regular attempted ‘handshakes’ from the ACARS satellite is by a process known as “vector addition”. If the last handshake with the ACARS satellite took place at 8.11am as reported then depending on the frequency of the previously attempted handshakes (half hourly or hourly, there seems to be some discrepancy in the reported frequency) a set of flight route models can be easily constructed giving a high probably of the final location based on the accurate last known location at 2.40am. Therefore, depending on the frequency of the ACARS handshakes there should be at least 6 and up to 12 vectors that could be mathematically solved.

    Assuming a constant speed for the first probability model, each time the ACARS handshake occurs it gives only a footprint angle on the Earth (as has been shown on the reported 8.11am ACARS ping map; 40 degrees). The next time it handshakes another angle is indicated. At a constant speed only two possible headings are possible to ‘join’ the ACARS isogons (for the plane to get from one ‘angle’ to another). If MH370 was heading in generally the same direction or arcing across the sky, (even if there was some tacking back and forth like a yacht) only one of the possible vector solutions will be valid.

    If the vectors from the last known location at 2.40am were systematically added together the final solution at 8.11am will bisect one of the two arcs provided by the authorities. Subsequent models at different average speeds and taking into account routes that would more effectively avoid radar detection would refine the models to a few high probability scenarios and narrow down the search area considerably.

    It’s simple mathematics but there is no indication the authorities are using it.
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