Batteries powering Malaysia Airlines MH370's black boxes may have died

Apr 13 2014, 20:13 IST
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Searchers hunting for Flight MH370 have so far failed to find any confirmed clues about the black boxes, as no new signals have been detected since last of the four other signals were heard on April 8. Searchers hunting for Flight MH370 have so far failed to find any confirmed clues about the black boxes, as no new signals have been detected since last of the four other signals were heard on April 8.
SummaryAmid fears that batteries of the crashed Malaysian plane's black boxes may have died...

Amid fears that batteries of the crashed Malaysian plane's black boxes may have died, authorities today began to narrow the search area in the Indian Ocean to deploy an underwater drone to spot the debris.

Searchers hunting for Flight MH370 have so far failed to find any confirmed clues about the black boxes, as no new signals have been detected since last of the four other signals were heard on April 8.

"Up to 11 military aircraft, one civil aircraft and 14 ships will assist in today's search," the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said in a statement, adding the centre of the search areas was set approximately 2,200 km north west of Perth.

China is also planning to deploy its indigenous deep sea manned submersible to locate the wreckage of the Boeing 777.

This work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed, JACC said as the search for the missing jet entered into 37th day.

It said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had planned a visual search area, totalling 57,506 sq km compared to 41,393 sq km yesterday.

In an effort to narrow the underwater search area in which the autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed, JACC said the Australian defence vessel, Ocean Shield, continued more focused sweeps with the towed pinger locator to try and locate further signals related to the black boxes.

Last Wednesday, JACC chief coordinator Angus Houston said the autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 would be deployed once signals could no longer be detected.

Finding the black boxes is crucial to know what happened on March 8 before the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines jet with 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals, mysteriously vanished after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

The batteries powering the black boxes are certified to be working for 30 days, but can still provide weak signals for some more days. Stored in a plane's tail, they are designed to begin sending off distinct, high-pitched signals as soon as they come in contact with water.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday said signals possibly from the black boxes of the ill-fated Malaysian jet were "rapidly fading" and the ongoing massive search for the plane was likely to continue "for a long time".

"Given that the signal from the black box is rapidly fading, what we are now doing is trying to get as many detections as we can so that

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