The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing sparked numerous theories (including conspiracy ones) about its fate since neither the plane, nor its passengers have been found over the last seven years and the Malaysian government has failed to determine the cause that forced to plane to change its course.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ventured into the southern part of the Indian Ocean in its final hours, aviation expert Richard Godfrey suggested in a recent report using the data he obtained from a new method of tracking the plane that had gone missing on 8 March 2014. Godfrey relied in his research on the logs of the Weak Signal Propagation (WSPR) – a global network of radio enthusiasts, who send short low-power transmissions on medium and high-frequency bands to test propagation paths.
These transmissions can get affected and distorted by obstacles, such as planes crossing their propagation paths. So by studying the WSPR (also dubbed “whisper”) transmissions from the area surrounding the spot where MH370 disappeared from the radars, and anomalies in them, a person can deduct the missing Boeing’s further path, Godfrey explained.
“WSPR is like a bunch of tripwires or laser beams, but they work in every direction over the horizon to the other side of the globe […] Any Over-The-Horizon-Radar is similar to WSPR, it also uses HF radio waves that bounce off the ionosphere and is effectively a very sophisticated tripwire detection system,” the aviation expert said.
Singling out the distortions for a specific plane is a tricky thing, which is essentially about “a lot of needles, in a lot of haystacks” according to Godfrey – one has to study the documented flight paths and travel time frames of all the planes crossing the WSPR’s “tripwire” signals and compare the data with the anomalies in the WSPR readings. When all documented flights are excluded, only distortions caused by the missing plane that went off the grid will remain.