The GDTAAA WSPRnet MH370 Analysis Preliminary Findings place the crash location at 33.177°S 95.300°E just 6 nm East of the 7th Arc. In the original report I incorrectly stated that the crash location was not included in the ATSB 2015 search area and only in the ATSB 2016 extended search area. In fact the crash location was included by Go Phoenix deep tow operations in February 2015. My apologies for this error. The updated report can be downloaded here
This preliminary report provides a summary of the key findings from the MH370 flight path analysis using the Global Detection and Tracking of Any Aircraft Anywhere (GDTAAA) software based on the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) data publicly available on the WSPRnet.
This report will be followed up by two papers. The first paper will give all the findings every two minutes during the entire flight of MH370 from 7th March 2014 16:42 UTC to 8th March 2014 00:20 UTC. The second paper will give the technical details of each detection of MH370 using the WSPRnet data and the technical details of the tracking of the MH370 flight path.
Geoffrey Thomas at AirlineRatings has published a new article on the MH370 probable crash location:
This video contains a fly over sequence of the crash location made by Geoscience Australia. The fly over sequence starts at 5 minutes 30 seconds into the video.
A screen shot taken from the video with the MH370 crash location marked with a red dot is shown in the following link:
Great work !
Your suggested crash location and search recommendation fit within the drift analysis that led me to half the recovered pieces of the plane.
Many thanks for your hard work and extensive travel to recover so many MH370 floating debris items.
The fact that my suggested crash location aligns with Prof. Charitha Pattiaratchi’s drift analysis showing an origin around 32S/33S is very encouraging.
Fascinating work; great job! One question: Can you explain why the Fugro vessels did not find the aircraft? I’m not sure I understand what the Fugro vessels were – submarines? Surface ships?
Fugro Equator is an ocean going vessel:
In 2016 it was equipped with an Edgetech Deep Tow Vehicle:
… and later with a Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV):
In the previous search area around the current estimated crash location Fugro reported a 97.8% coverage with high confidence, 1.1% coverage with low confidence and 1.1% data gaps mainly due to terrain avoidance. It is quite likely that the aircraft was in an area where terrain avoidance was an issue.
These coordinates are what the world was waiting for more than 7,5 years. A lot of people that cared were so confident one would stand up and find the data driven key in the countless signals that span the globe.
Biggest congratulations for this outstanding success to everyone it is due and hopefully a vessel is soon on its way to prove.
All the best and thank you,
During the Ocean Infinity search their AIS tracking went dead for a number of hours when they went over a critical area of their seabed search, do you think that they purposely turned it off at the time?
Perhaps they found it and didnt want to report the findings due to the Malaysian Government?
What are your thoughts?
Welcome to the blog!
Ocean Infinity did not search the previous ATSB Fugro search areas, so they have not searched the crash location that I have now identified.
I believe you are correct when you point out that Ocean Infinity decided to switch off their AIS for a time. They were almost stationary and focusing on a particular location, which under the intense media scrutiny at the time would have led many observers to believe they had found MH370. In fact I think you will find that they had lost contact with one of their AUVs and were looking for it in order to recover it.
I do not believe that Ocean infinity found MH370 and decided not to report the finding to the Malaysian authorities.
Excellent work! I look forward to reviewing your final report.
It is concerning, however, that your endpoint is within a previously searched area. There are certainly gaps in the coverage, but it would be an odd coincidence if the plane happened to be in one of these rare gaps. Need confirmation that the endpoint is within one of the terrain avoidance areas.
i wonder that also, maybe its slightly off?, or the plane is broken into lots of small parts?, also wonder if maybe as the debris drifted away as it sunk also?.
surely it would be unlikely that it would be in the 1 percent area which wasn’t searched
@John Chambers, @david,
The aircraft AF447 was found at the 4th attempt after 2 years. The plane crashed in 2009 and the wreckage discovered in the phase 4 search in 2011 only 6.5 nm from the last known position.
The submarine ARA San Juan was found at the 2nd attempt on the side of an underwater cliff face. The location was missed on day 5 of the search on 13th September 2018 and eventually found in a second pass on 10th November 2018.
The crash location of MH370 lies in difficult underwater terrain with volcanos, ridges and canyons (please see the simulation fly over by Geoscience Australia in the YouTube video at 5 minutes 30 seconds in my comment yesterday at 10:25 above). Fugro Equator noted a number of sonar scan contact points in the area. They also noted the difficult terrain and their Edgetech deep tow vehicle would have to be wound in on the cable in good time to avoid hitting the ocean floor in an area where the depth changed rapidly by hundreds of meters.
It is not that easy to scan such underwater terrain. The 2.2% low confidence and data gaps is an average taken over a much larger search area that includes a majority of much flatter ocean floor. In an area of underwater volcanic activity there is also that possibility that the sea floor has changed in the last 7.5 years and debris has been shifted or even partially covered.
Could this flight have flown over Christmas Island?
Welcome to the blog!
MH370 had sufficient fuel to have reached Christmas Island, but the pilot chose not to fly there. A route into a much more remote part of the southern Indian Ocean was chosen instead to a point 1,993 km West of Perth.
Here is a TV interview with the aviation correspondent Geoffrey Thomas discussing the significance of my recent analysis:
… and an interview with me later on the same channel …
Here is another TV interview …
… this time 9News in Australia …
Very interesting breakthrough. I have been following this case since the day it occured and have recently discovered your work. If you are correct, which is hopefully the case, I’d assume that the reason it was initially missed is because it was obliterated on impact and what remains of it are small pieces of debris, very much like Swiss 111 which presumably impacted in a manner similar to MH370. I also see small “bumps” in the area where the red dot is located in the scan I don’t know if it is related. I’m no expert but it does generate ideas.
Welcome to the blog!
33 floating debris items from MH370 or a Boeing 777 have been found and recovered. The average weight of these 33 items was 4.88 kg. This average would imply that MH370 broke up into 35,740 pieces. I expect certain items like engine cores and landing gear remained mostly intact.
Over time these items can be covered by silt on the ocean floor and if there was volcanic activity in the vicinity then ash.
I would not read too much into small “bumps” in the area.
I see. I would hope that at least some important pieces of wreckage have been preserved to give us some insight in regards to what happened. To my knowledge, Aluminium at that depth wouldn’t deteriorate that much. So what’s the next step now? Are there any talks of restarting a search around this location?
Here is a video sequence of the MH370 crash location made by Geoscience Australia:
Hello, Richard. What do you have to say about the doubters of your research? To elaborate, I’ve seen individuals discredit your findings saying “Richard hasn’t let other experts peer review,” or “Richards first blind test failed, thus rendering WSPR useless!”
I really hope your research sparks a new search for MH370. If found, the families will be relieved. Great work too!
Welcome to the blog!
When you introduce any new technology, I have great sympathy for those who wish to check all the methods and data for themselves. I do just that myself.
The claim that I have prevented a peer review is false. I have published all my analyses in great detail. I have also publicly committed to publishing two papers one with all the two minute WSPRnet results and one with all the technical details. I specifically mention in the report on the preliminary findings that “This report will be followed up by two papers which are intended to support a detailed peer review of the methods and findings of this analysis.”
I agree that I have not yet published these two papers, but I have publicly stated that it will take until the end of December for the first and Mid-January for the second. There is a lot of work involved. There are 234 data points each with on average 337 WSPRnet links. To misconstrue that I am blocking a peer review is false. In fact some people claim that they have already carried out a peer review without seeing these papers!
I agree that my first blind test failed, but it was not a complete failure, the initial route was correct. Meanwhile 3 further blind tests were successful. The GDTAAA software moved from V1 to V5 with a number of improvements. I have spent the last 9 months with the support of Geoffrey Thomas an international aviation expert as adjudicator of independent tests, Mike Glynn a former Qantas Captain who set various tests, Duncan Bosworth from the ATSB who provided AMSA search data from 2014 under a confidentiality agreement, the RNZAF who provided detailed flight path of their SAR flight into the MH370 search area in 2014 and Dr. Robert Westphal a radio amateur and WSPRnet expert for tracking aircraft, testing and improving the GDTAAA software. Only then did we decide to start tracking MH370.
I assume there will always be detractors. My request to my fellow MH370 analysts is that they do not rest until they have proven to their own intellectual satisfaction that my analysis is correct or false from the publicly available data. I humbly request that they make the effort to at least reproduce the results and show me where I have gone right or wrong.
@Richard Great work !!
The peer review process would be of interest to a search company assuming the risk of searching your location, and to Malaysia in deciding whether to sign a new contingency contract. However it is of little interest to me since I dont pretend to understand WSPR, and it appears many of your “peers” made up their minds long ago.
The type of “peer review” that interests me is seeing Fugro and Ocean Infinity review their scan data of your location and proposed search area to identify any features that could have been the aircraft wreckage, or where it could have been missed. The real peer review and verification of your WSPR analysis will come if and when your area is searched and the plane is either found or is not. Then we will know, and I sincerely hope it is.
I’m a result oriented wreck hunter not a rocket scientist. I did not wait for a “peer review” or question the methods of the drift analysis that led me to half the recovered debris from the plane. I just went and got it, and that’s enough verification for me. Your proposed search location and the areas around it fit within that successful drift analysis, and that’s good enough for me.
I remain unconvinced by the premeditated pilot mass murder suicide theory, and make no judgement as to who was flying the plane and why. I respect your pioneering work and analysis, and support reviewing scan data and searching your area to verify if it’s right and hopefully find the plane. My strong support for searching your location and adjacent areas between 32°S and 33°S is based on the oceanographic drift analysis of Prof. Pattiaratchi at UWA that led me to find and collect from locals 19 pieces of MH 370.
Good Luck and Search On !!
Fascinating, and brilliant work. We all look forward to the peer review process, I’m sure it will find that your methodology is solid.
In the days after the disappearance of MH370 I remember being part of a programme looking at satellite images of the earth’s surface online, searching for floating wreckage and flagging them up for analysis by others (including the Australian coastguard as I remember it). I found quite a few myself, mostly within 1,000 km west of Indonesia, but nothing conclusive.
Are the satellite images of this area of ocean from the days after March 8th 2014 still available?
Here is an interview with Sky News Australia …
Hi,Richard! I learned about this discovery from the news. Although I don’t know much about this, thank you for your efforts.
Message from China.
Welcome to the blog!
Many thanks for your kind words from China.
This may seem to be an impertinent question, but if your methods and analysis are shown to be correct, what is the point of another search? We know the flight path in detail. We know where the plane crashed. We know that it disintegrated into thousands of pieces.
Anything that may be recovered from the ocean floor will not tell us who was flying the plane. If you are correct, it was Zaharie and the mystery has been solved.
Welcome to the blog!
In my view, it is important to continue with the search for the sake of the MH370 families and friends, the aviation industry and the flying public.
Without the physical evidence of the MH370 wreckage, there will always be open questions.
With the physical evidence, there may be further clues that explain what and why this tragedy happened.
There is no mystery here. One of the pilots deliberately diverted the plane and flew it until it ran out of fuel. Zaharie was in the cockpit two minutes before the transponder was turned off, his computer contained a simulation of a flight deep into the Indian Ocean, for a time the plane flew on a course toward the end point of that simulation. It must have been him. Does your data support the claim that the passengers were killed by a de-pressurization of the cabin?
I agree with you that there is circumstantial evidence against Zaharie Shah, but I am not sure it would hold up in a court of law. I am not a legal expert to be able to make a judgement in this matter. From a layman’s point of view, just because you are found with a smoking gun in the hand, does not make you a murderer.
An aircraft can be depressurised from the cockpit. When the air conditioning packs are switched off for several hours during the flight, there will be a noticeable small change in the fuel consumption in the cruise between 1% and 2%. My fuel calculations do not confirm that the air conditioning packs were turned off. The air conditioning packs are supplied by bleed air from the engines.
If a civil law suit was brought against the airline in an American court, the plaintiffs would have to prove that it was more likely than not that one of the pilots deliberately crashed the plane. If your data are correct, they would have no trouble meeting that standard.
I congratulate you on your extraordinary work. Why the governments interested in this case could not do the same is indeed a mystery.
Either way locating MH370 would be of benefit so that we can tie up loose ends and finally have closure for those involved. We can also extract hard evidence against our suspects by recovering mobile phone footage that was recorded on that flight or the black boxes (if possible). I also think that just seeing the plane again after it has been gone for so long would be good.
I agree. But recovering evidence from a depth of 4000m will be very difficult. I repeat, if Mr. Godfrey’s data are correct, the plane was deliberately diverted and flown for seven hours until it ran out of fuel. Zaharie is the prime suspect. The Malaysians do not want to admit that one of their senior pilots committed suicide by committing mass murder. It there is another explanation I should like to know what it is.
Yes I cannot imagine that it would be easy. The depth of the remains of Air France 447 is also around 4000M and they were able to recover bodies and additional debris including the black boxes. I think anyone who has invested time in this case came to the conclusion that it was most likely the captain. I would just like confirmation that this was indeed the case.
Welcome to the blog!
I agree with you that we need to gather all the evidence we possibly can in order to solve this mystery for the next of kin, families and friends of those lost in this tragedy, for the aviation industry to be able to make flying even safer than it already is and for the flying public.
Great work and progress Richard. Hope your findings will help many families to put an end to the miseries and expose the truth.
Welcome to the blog!
The families and friends of the passengers and crew on MH370 need closure in this terrible tragedy.
I am in regular contact with them and they are very supportive of my work.
A fellow HAM pointed me to your paper called “How Can WSPR Help Find MH370?” dated 11th October 2021. I’m HB9CZF and can provide additional data about my station (location, antenna used, take off terrain, transceiver used) if required.
73 de Dominik, HB9CZF
Die weitere Information bezüglich Ort, Antenne, das Terrain, usw. ist herzlich Willkommen.
Am besten direkt an firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for your email with all the detailed information about your radio equipment and antenna.
Dominik Bugmann HB9CZF is the radio amateur in Switzerland who sent a WSPR signal on 7th March 2014 at 17:16 UTC which detected MH370 and went on to be received in Kambah, Australia by VK1CH.
I used this transmission as a worked example in my paper titled ““How can WSPR Help Find MH370?”, which I published in a post on my website on 11th October 2021:
I will revisit this analysis with the benefit of the detailed information I have now received.
well done. it’s just shy of where I thought it would be.
if anyone you know is able to capture this into an MSFS flight with views of the context I think it would be very valuable for a short animation to bring it alive re the steps taken
Welcome to the blog!
You ask: “Is there a faster and more accurate plan for deployment? When to leave? Do you need public support now? I want to watch the global live broadcast to salvage Malaysia Airlines MH370. Are there any conditions?”
I am not aware of any immediate plans for a deployment to the southern Indian Ocean and it is not up to me to decide. As far as I know it is up to the authorities in Malaysia, China and Australia to decide any further underwater search for MH370 or any salvage of the wreckage.
Ocean Infinity and other organisations are certainly interested to renew the search for MH370.
As soon as any plans can be made public, I will publish them on my website.
Please do not call other readers an idiot!
You are banned from this website.
You state: “The public doesn’t understand radio communication transmission! May need a video demonstration, or is there software? Is the orbit from the radio transmission point to the receiving point fixed? Will it change if there is a thunderstorm?”
Please see the following diagram which you can find under the “News” section on my website (courtesy of The Times), which explains WSPR transmissions to the public:
Please see the following video, which I published on my website on 4th March 2021 at 11:50 am for an example of an aircraft reflecting a radio transmission:
The propagation path between the transmitter and receiver follows a great circle path around the globe in a number of hops between the ionosphere and the earth’s surface.
Thunderstorms can affect the propagation path.
You state: “The most important thing now is to let the public directly see that radio transmission blocking is real, and you can make a decrypted video”
In this example the aircraft is an Airbus A320 on an Air Corsica flight CCM772V dated 16th September 2016.
The transmitter is France Musique DX/FM913/M on 94.2 MHz at JN23RJ (Marseille). The receiver is call sign F8AIH at JN35AM (Chambėry).
The aircraft crosses the line between Tx and Rx at 09:44:56 UTC at an altitude of 10,957 m on a track of 326°T at a position of 45.13°N 05.95°E. In the You Tube video you can listen to the received signal as the aircraft crosses the transmission line. At the start you hear just noise, but as the aircraft passes you hear the transmission clearly. After the aircraft has passed, there is just noise again.
Here is a link to a map showing both the radio transmission path and the aircraft path.
Here is a link to the You Tube video.
Data base regarding flight MH370:
To be precise, regarding flight MH370 in March 2014 there are at least two or even three sets of radio or radar data available and waiting for future research:
1.WSPR at wsprnet.org as mentioned before and first at Radio DARC in November 2020 and at Hamsci2021 in March 2021
2. RBN (Reverse Beacon Network) also provided by radio amateurs, logging data for CW signals provide less information but are helpful for RF propagation conditions during that night of tragedy in March 2014 (i.e. from India (VU) to Australia (VK)). Data do exist!
3. SuperDARN radar network data base at Virginia Tech, USA. Data from Chinese radar ZHO in Antarctica do exist for that night March 7th, 8th, 2014! Interesting RF signals from beam 0 to 7 to be evaluated by experts for SuperDARN (range ambiguity, backscatter by ionosphere can be observed and other objects)?
One simple test: Go to http://www.wsprnet.org and look for WSPR signals from or to the islands of Reunion (FR, F61695), Mauritius (3B8) and monitor a WSPR station in Western Australia (VK6) in the data base and/or live at http://www.kiwisdr.com. Where do most of the peaks in SNR of the WSPR signals from the islands FR, 3B8 originate from? Look for day (14 MHz and above) or night (7 MHz) on the radio path!
Yes, aircraft approaches and departures from the islands. Double check in FR24, flightaware……you can do that almost daily if SFI is not too low ad Kp stays low. Also see overflights of SIA478 and SIA479 on a daily base! Reception over thousands of km!
Just an easy validation test for the WSPR method to end the most fundamental discussion on WSPR detection capabilities. You can also try it in your backyard (home airport)!
This has also worked numerous times in Antarctica in 2020 and now in 2021. There are at least two options: 1. Monitoring along the baseline between RX (Receiver) and TX (Transmitter) or vice versa and at best perpendicular to the baseline (often better results).
WSPR signals from Georg-von-Neumayer station III (DP0GVN) in Antarctica bounced of at propeller aircraft (2021) and helicopters (2020) at Australian Davis station and received in Russia, China, elsewhere numerous times.
Same holds true at Cape Horn for flights from Punta Arenas (PUQ) to Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica and being received in Alaska (KL) and California (KFS amongst others) and so on. Last few days even some WSPR signals from US McMurdo station KC4USV and ….got results. For more detailed studies use software tools VOACAP and Proplab 3.0 in addition!
Aircraft detection by WSPR works under certain conditions, especially space weather conditions (SFI>80) and tracking similar to Track-while-scan in active radar technology will also work up to a certain degree!
March 2014 was at the peak of solar cycle 24! SFI was app. 150, so excellent conditions for RF propagation that we do not have right now in 2021 at the beginning of solar cycle 25.
So I encourage you to investigate the achievable accuracies and minimizing ambiguities of tracking by WSPR signals. WSPR was never intended to be a passive radar and it has many drawbacks. Theories regarding the mono-, bi- or multistatic radar equation are fine but please do experiments in addition. In the 1920s all experts stated wavelengths below 100 m would be useless therefore they were given to the radio amateurs who proved the experts wrong!!! Due to that misconception the radio amateurs celebrate their 100th anniversary all across the globe! Can we repeat s.th. similar in 2021?????
Anyway we just have this tool available at the moment and the long integration time of 2 minutes definitely is a huge benefit in SNR. Doppler performance is poor as we observe secondary data in the data base. In case you watch primary live data (www.kiwisdr.com) you can observe large Doppler variations of WSPR signals bouncing of aircraft. Easy to study with WSPR signals between VK and ZL (Newzealand). Watch aircraft from and into airport of Melbourne (MEL). Often aircraft take a sharp turn in approach or departures causing huge Doppler variations within the time intervall of 2 minutes.
Unfortunately for our purposes the WSPR algorithm by K1JT will not decode these WSPR signals if the drift rate is larger than 4 Hz/min. 50 % to 80 % of all raw WSPR signals with
drift in amplitude and frequency will not be decoded. Therefore you will not find them in the data base (difference to RBN data base). So most likely there have been much more reflexions by flight MH370 than we will see in the data base http://www.wsprnet.org.
Preparing for the 8th anniversary of the doomed flight MH370 in March 2022 I suggest to form a team that is not just angrily arguing black and white and/or compare apples and oranges but put up a constructive plan of what can be done between now and another mission to salvage the wreckage of MH370 in 2022/2023? Monitoring flights such as QFA114 from JNB to PER in November 2020 or QF330 repatriation flight from JNB to Darwin in November 2021, charter a specific flight with WSPR equipment onboard etc.?
Live montoring WSPR signals on a large scale requires support by the owners of the KiwiSDRs in Oceania (limited time access at the moment) and many observers willing to investigate their leisure time as well as experts on algorithm. Different time zones will be a challenge too (no sleep at night for some observers?).
It is amazing that so many people try to beat on Richard Godfrey instead of storming their brains how to support him or even come up with a more suitable solution based on his results achieved through hard work for the last 9 months and all the other investigations accomplished over more than 7.5 years by RG, IG and others.
Human mind normally is restless and so we should be restless until we have found the wreckage of flight MH370. Richard added a very big piece of achievement for this ultimate goal. Thanks Richard! Thanks to IG! Now we can discuss the “scientific size” of this piece of excellent work!
P.S.: Now our reputation is at risk and we will have to deliver! It would be much more encouraging if the crowds not just watch what is going on (will the lions eat RG and me….and others?) or will we experience the support and workforce of many people interested in the subject? Just two out of 7 billion people do not account for ppm just ppb (parts per billion) for the work on WSPR related to MH370. Failure is not an option (Apollo 13) but even in case we should fail mankind would have gained a lot of insight into this most challenging subject with regard to the fate of MH370.
Assumption: Another MH370 tragedy tonight? No other technology with enhanced capabilities is deployed yet!? The WSPR data base has been operational 24/7 since 2008 til today!
An existing team could gather live WSPR data that we did not collect in 2014 based on a sound plan! A big thank to the creators of WSPR (K1JT) and the WSPR data base!
Without the data base http://www.wsprnet.org this work would not be feasible! First time we have amateur radio operation and radar reception from presence into the past.
Draft of plan:
Peer review, improvements of algorithm, demo flight along assumed route of MH370, live monitoring of WSPR signals, investigating RBN data, investigating SuperDARN data,
…….master plan til 2022/2023, team bulding process…..
Thanks to all interested in the fate of flight MH370 and the “mysteries of technology”!
This would be the second time that we added a new chapter to the Radar Handbook!
Whatever the outcome will be: Richard, you achieved a lot and deserve our blessings!
Thank you very much and keep on going with your studies!
Progress will be only achieved by individuals who dare to…
I was a triple Seven mechanic for around 18 years for a major Airline and until the wreckage is recovered there must be serious questions asked about the safety of this aircraft. I know for a fact that a Boeing 777 had a wiring burnout in the vicinity of the flight deck prior to the disappearance of MH370. You only have to look at the recent Max crashes and the far reaching consequences for Boeing in the manufacture of Dreamliner aircraft. Nothing can be ruled in or out at this stage in the investigation. Its all very well blaming the Pilots as they can no longer defend theirselves.The very best of luck in getting to the bottom of one of aviations most intriguing mysteries.
Welcome to the blog!
I am aware of the Egypt Air Boeing 777-266ER fire on the ground at Cairo Airport on 29th July 2011. The fire melted through the nose of the aircraft. The cause of the fire could not be conclusively determined. It is not known whether the oxygen system breach occurred first, providing a flammable environment or whether the oxygen system breach occurred as a result of the fire.
Are there any other similar cases?
MH370 carried on flying for 7.5 hours, which is extremely unlikely after an extensive cockpit fire typically resulting in the aircraft hull integrity being compromised. An emergency landing would be attempted at the nearest airport. MH370 passed a number of airports where an emergency landing would have been possible at Kota Bharu, Penang, Langkawi and Banda Aceh, but no attempt at an emergency landing was made.
A new article from the BBC in London:
Mike Glynn, the former Qantas captain who helped with the blind testing of GDTAAA, points out that the distance between the ping rings 1 and 2 is relatively small and that it was possible that there was a holding pattern at some point.
There is indeed a relatively short distance between the ping rings 1 and 2. The distance is 316 km when measured along the surface of the earth.
If we assume that MH370 was at an altitude of 36,000 feet and ground speed of 497 knots and at 18:28:15 UTC (at the 1st ping ring) the aircraft was at a position of say 6.0000°N 95.9211°E, then the aircraft would be 36,899 km from the satellite and the predicted ping ring radius would be 3,521 km. The notional sub-satellite point on the earth’s surface is at 0.0°N 64.5°E, which is a distance of 3,554 km on an initial bearing of 260.361224°T along the surface of the earth. The satellite is not exactly in a stationary orbit and is moving all the time in relation to the notional sub-satellite point on the earth’s surface.
By 19:41:03 UTC, which is 4,368 seconds later (1h:12m:48s), at a ground speed of 497 knots the aircraft should be 1,117 km nearer the notional sub-satellite point on this initial bearing of 260.361224°T and only 2,437 km distant from the sub-satellite point along the surface of the earth at a position of 4.227601°N 86.004665°E. This position gives a Inmarsat satellite BTO error of 421 km. The predicted distance to the satellite is 36,746 km and the predicted ping ring radius would be 3,256 km. At a latitude of 4.227601°N the ping ring 2 is crossed at 93.685081°E. The actual distance to the satellite is 36,746 km, the BTO error is 0.0 km and the actual ping ring radius is 3,256 km.
By 19:41:03 UTC, MH370 was only 316 km closer to the sub-satellite point along the surface of the earth and the ping ring radius had only reduced by 298 km at 36,000 feet. A distance of 316 km represents a ground speed of 141 knots, which is not realistic. If MH370 continued at 497 knots, then there are 801 km to find.
Obviously MH370 did not continue on the same straight track between 18:28:15 UTC and 19:41:03 UTC. So what route was taken by MH370? Even if MH370 slowed down to 250 knots there would be 562 km still to be found. In my view, the only answer is that MH370 followed a very tortuous flight path, doubled back on itself or entered a holding pattern at some point.
Read with interest your theory about MH370 is. My thoughts exactly. Please read the letter I sent to a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. I picked up a piece of MH370, an engine pylon covering (11/2m x 1m) on 19th August 2016 at the high water spring tide mark at Praia de Roche, Inhambane, Mozambique. Please provide an email address so that I can contact you directly., that are looking outside the box, Kind regards, Barry McQuade, Sibayi, KZN, Rep of South Africa,
I’m curious about the basis for your mh370 theory. Can you provide some details?
Sent from my Galaxy
——– Original message ——–
Date: 11/16/21 9:26 AM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: MH370-11th Nov 2021
I believe that Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah put his aircraft down, gently, (eg: flaperon extended) E’NE of the 7th ARC, with approx.. <45 min remaining fuel in the tanks from the start of basically a 90 degree change of course….more like 100 degrees E NE
This is less than the InMarSat pings on the hour,(Capt Shah knew about the “pings”), every hour until it stopped. Gave Capt Shah 45 min of fuel remaining to pull off his carefully planed suicide……unfortunately and incredibly sad.
My hypothesis would interpolate among other things, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, wave height and direction, drift pattern knowledge, etc.
This pilot had an IQ in the top 1 percentile. Let’s just say, he was not stupid.
45min x speed (~650Km/hr) = X amount of distance…..possibly as much as 487km from the 7th ARC,
In a very different position and more “wild” than turning onto a heading of say 250* to 270* away from the 7th ARC to the W NW
Tough, wild, away from Australasian continental drift, deep underwater canyons making radar difficult. If the fuselage and wings stayed mostly intact, if the shear bolts of the engine and pylons break, sending two large engines to the bottom in two pieces.
The plane would sink like a stone with relatively small debris field…..and mostly small stuff like the piece I found at Prai de Roche on the 19th Aug 2016 would float with the drift pattern. Not enough evidence!!
His experience in flying, his love of flying, his intelligence outwitted the aviation industry, his suicidal plan succeeded. And remains a mystery……………for now.
I have been in stroke recovery for two years.
Sat a week ago I broke my collarbone and six ribs riding my fat tired ebike.
So I have been sitting here at the keyboard putting some of my thoughts on the table….. with 6 broken ribs and my clavicle getting in the way.
Let me know if you receive my email. Enjoy your Coors Lite,
Welcome to the blog!
Sorry to hear about your stroke.
Then on top of the stroke, breaking your collar bone and 6 ribs!
Many thanks for being so alert and finding one of the 33 floating debris items from MH370 and reporting it to the authorities. The 33 items of debris are currently the only physical evidence we have from the crash of MH370. The underwater search at the crash location that I have identified will not be easy, there are underwater volcanoes, ridges, cliffs, canyons, …
I have worked hard over the last 7.5 years on the analysis and have considered the following issues:
I know the exact amount of fuel loaded, the actual fuel at take off and the fuel at the top of the climb. I have the engineering data from a previous flight of 9M-MRO and have computer modelled the fuel consumption very accurately. It would also appear that the cross feed valves were open and the left and right wing tanks balanced.
The altitude at diversion was 35,000 feet. I have found evidence that following diversion and a 180° turn back over Malaysia that the altitude was increased to 36,000 feet. I have computer modelled the flight every two minutes from take off to the crash, including the air temperature, wind speed and wind direction at each point along the flight path. There is clear evidence that the speed schedule was changed from LRC at various points along the route to MRC, Mach 0.84, Mach 0.86 and back to LRC. There was an active pilot for the whole flight.
The autothrottle was in LRC mode at the diversion and was changed during the flight between LRC, MRC and constant Mach. There was no selection of constant IAS or TAS. I have computer modelled the weather for the entire region during the flight of MH370. There were significant changes in the air temperature, wind speed and wind direction along the route resulting in significant change in the along-track and cross-track winds. There is no evidence of altitude changes in the data.
The flight navigation mode was mostly LNAV to an ultimate waypoint. There was a period of CTT or LNAV mode on a track of 180°T or to the ultimate waypoint of the South Pole. There was a short period of CMT mode on a track of 180°M. The magnetic variation table loaded in the navigation computer of MH370 was valid for 2014.
I have all the data from the two official oceanographers on the MH370 search team and their computer models of the Indian Ocean. I have built a computer model of the Indian Ocean and analysed the drift of the 33 debris items found so far. Both my model and that of Prof. Charitha Pattiaratchi (one of the official oceanographers) aligns with the crash location I have identified. The model of the other official oceanographer Dr. David Griffin does not exclude my crash location, but he favours a point a little further south.
very interesting piece of “hell” of a work !
Someone said above “Progress will be only achieved by individuals who dare to…”
+1 for your motivation ! 🙂
This is another side of the problem that you have well explored.
This contributes to progressing :-))
Many thanks for your kind words!
Geoffrey Thomas of AirlineRatings has published a new article on his website:
An article in the Sunday Times – London today:
I have been asked to share more details of the MH370 end of flight scenario. My analysis shows that it is likely that there was an active pilot until the end of the flight of MH370. At 00:19:37 UTC I estimated the altitude of MH370 to be 11,600 feet and the rate of descent (ROD) to be 14,375 fpm. These estimates are based on matching the Inmarsat satellite data at 00:19:29 UTC and 00:19:37 UTC.
There is evidence that the aircraft climbed to 36,000 feet after diversion. There is no evidence yet that the aircraft altered the altitude from 36,000 feet for the rest of the flight prior to fuel exhaustion. The position at 00:19:29 UTC is estimated as -33.078904 95.130023. The position at 00:19:37 UTC is estimated as -33.097252 95.140340. The estimated altitude might be slightly incorrect and the ROD might be slightly incorrect. I also do not know whether there was a recovery or partial recovery from this large rate of descent, but my initial assumption is that there was no recovery from the dive.
I then examined all the WSPRnet data at 00:20:00 UTC:
The next step is to select the candidate detections at 00:20:00 UTC from the WSPRnet anomalies that match the predicted position of the aircraft. This results in a position at 33.150°S 95.170°E at an estimated altitude of 6,000 feet:
This position was extrapolated to an altitude of 0 feet at 00:20:29 UTC at the position 33.192°S 95.194°E:
The candidate detections at 00:20:00 UTC are then examined using Proplab V3.1 to determine the radio wave propagation path and the ionospheric hops. Candidate detections that do not exactly match the aircraft position with an interim landing point along the radio wave propagation path at the exact aircraft position are disqualified. This left two WSPRnet anomalies that intersected at a position, when extrapolated to an altitude of 0 feet at 00:20:24 UTC, resulted in a crash position at 33.177°S 95.300°E:
If there was a recovery from the dive, I checked all the WSPRnet anomalies every two minutes until 00:30 UTC. There was one possibility at 00:26 UTC at 33.450°S 95.550°E and another possibility at 00:30 UTC at 33.558°S 95.846°E. I hold both these possibilities for very unlikely, but not impossible. This resulted in extending the search area slightly with two smaller circles.
I have also been asked how I arrived at a recommended 40 nm radius search area given the 2 minute resolution of the data and 3 alternate locations in the flight path direction East of the 7th Arc?
The 2 minute resolution results leads to one component of uncertainty. In 2 minutes at 500 knots ground speed an aircraft will travel 16.7 nm and I cannot assume that the aircraft was not turning. There is a component of uncertainty as to whether the aircraft was on a constant track of 141.6°T from the final analysis (or even 154.6°T from the initial analysis) or whether the aircraft turned slightly in the remaining seconds of flight.
The WSPRnet data uses a 6 character Maidenhead Grid locator which has an inherent uncertainty of ± 9 nm. I have found much better accuracy during the many tests against actual aircraft data such as supplied by the RNZAF into the AMSA search area in 2014, but I cannot assume that is always the case.
Another uncertainty that is still being investigated is that not only the aircraft but also its wake will disturb the WSPRnet signals, which leads to another component of uncertainty. A final uncertainty is whether the aircraft was breaking up before the crash and certain control surfaces or even an entire wing separated before impact.
My proposal of a 40 nm radius is very cautious. In my view, the major aircraft wreckage will most likely be found much closer to the crash location identified at 33.177°S 95.300°E and within 5 nm of this point (a search area of 270 km2).
In the original report I incorrectly stated that the crash location was not included in the ATSB 2015 search area and only in the ATSB 2016 extended search area. I am grateful to the ATSB for kindly pointing out this error.
In fact the crash location was included by Go Phoenix deep tow operations in February 2015. Here is a link to the ATSB Final Operational Search Report Figure 49, which shows the sonar coverage by all vessels up until April 2015:
The location 33.177S 95.300 E was included in the ATSB initial search area. The ATSB led search then covered the location 33.177S 95.300E as part of Deep Tow operations on board Go Phoenix in Feb 2015. Within the 40nm radius of this point was continued Deep Tow coverage on board Go Phoenix until June 2015, data holiday coverage by Fugro Supporter AUV in April 2015, Deep Tow on Dong Hai Jiu 101 in July 2016 and AUV on Fugro Equator in November 2016.
My apologies for this error. The updated report can be downloaded from the link at the top of this post.
As far as I am aware, the data and sonar scans from previous underwater searches in the area of the crash location I have identified is being reviewed again. I can imagine that this may take some time.
That is good. I hope they take your findings seriously and thoroughly review the scans. What would be the reason behind the wreckage being missed twice during the searches?
I received a private email from Alan Eustace, retired head of Google Engineering, in which he stated: “The greatest mystery of our time is solved by ingenious engineering and incredibly hard work. What an inspiration!”
Many thanks Alan for your kind words.
The wreckage lies in very difficult underwater terrain. There are mountains and valleys, ridges and canyons, cliffs and even volcanoes.
With deep tow underwater vehicles you have to start winding in the cable in good time to ensure that the equipment does not crash into any obstacle. With autonomous under water vehicles they automatically look ahead and take avoiding action.
Either way, the sonar scan of the sea floor may be compromised if the underwater vehicle is focused on terrain avoidance and not on the search pattern.
I have been contacted by Dr. Hannes Coetzee, PhD, call sign ZS6BZP, an expert in radio communications and a design authority on antennas, who has analysed my work.
He concludes: “In my opinion the info that you’ve provided confirms the scientific principles of your approach and must help to convince the authorities to resume the search in the area that you’ve indicated.”
This analysis has been supported by Dr. Robert Westphal, call sign DJ4FF, and Dominik Bugmann, call sign HB9CZF.
Dr. Hannes Coetzee has built a VOACAP model of the WSPRnet link between HB9CZF and VK1CH, which I used as a worked example of a WSPRnet detection of MH370. Dominik Bugmann supplied details of the site of his radio shack, equipment and antennas.
Hannes set VOACAP’s minimum take-off angle to 2˚ and found that the first hop distance is close to 3,000 km at an elevation angle of 2.29˚ (marked in red in graph linked below). There is then a transition to the next hop (marked in green). From here onwards Dominik’s antenna has done its part and now the ionosphere controls the elevation angle and not the transmitting antenna. VOACAP’s software is freely available online (www.voacap.com) and the capability has been extended and now predicts which angles are supported by the ionosphere for communications:
The next step was to see what would happen if Dominik’s antenna system was more modest and launched the wave at a minimum angle of 7˚ as illustrated in the link below:
The first hop now occurs at a distance of 2,000 km and the signal seems to “fizzle out” at around 7,000 km. I guess that that is VOACAP’s way of indicating excessive path loss or other limiting factors. There is definitely not a distinguishable hop at around 10,000 km etc. The 7˚ take-off angle is thus not a likely scenario as we know that the signal was received by Craig Hunter call sign VK1CH and propagation was thus possible.
Next the exercise was repeated for a take-off angle of 9˚ as illustrated in the next link below. Here the signal totally “fizzles out” at around 7,000 km. This propagation scenario is thus very unlikely.
Hannes summarises: “In short Dominik’s antenna system is holding the key for what we see in this specific case. VOACAP also shows that the propagation as described by Richard is highly probable and he is thus not bending the rules of physics etc.”
Hannes comments: “On a short term basis the ionosphere is very variable and changing constantly. Richard, I think that WSPR’s principle of operation enabled you to make the observations and to spot the anomalies. At such a low data rate and with a transmission that lasts nearly 2 minutes lots of coherent integration and other signal processing must take place deep inside the WSPR processor. Without these advanced DSP techniques the variability of the ionosphere would have been too much and your approach would probably not have worked.”
Hannes plans to further refine his VOACAP model but he thinks that the principles are already well illustrated.
As far at the detractors go, I’m reminded of a quote that is often attributed to Amelia Earhart:
“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” Amelia Earhart
Fantastic work Richard. Did the ATSB provide you with the phase 2 Fugro side scan data to correlate the data gaps with your coordinates? Air France Flight 447 had a debris field approximately 200×600 metres. Are these data gaps large enough to hide a debris field this size?
Welcome to the blog!
ATSB have not given me the data from the previous underwater searches. Underwater sonar scan data is not my field of expertise.
Ocean Infinity have all the data from previous searches and have confirmed that they are looking at the data again in the area around the crash location I have identified.
The AF447 debris field covered a wide area (map courtesy of Andy Sherrell, a world leading underwater crash investigator at Ocean Infinity):
I expect items like the landing gear or engine cores to show up on the scans:
When do you expect the results of the Ocean Infinity review to come out? Since MH370 most likely did a dive during the end of its flight I’d imagine and hope that at least some type of abnormality would show up on the scans. Also…I recall that during the 2018 Ocean Infinity search, there were several noted areas of interest. Are any of them near your proposed location and if so, have they been ruled out? A
@Chinese MH370 next of kin and friends,
A new article in the news in China:
Geoffrey Thomas MH370 Podcast:
(Sorry for repost, creating a new thread is only at the bottom!)
I am not really in this field unfortunatly (CryptoCurrency and blockchain) but I have always had a passion for this specific event. One of my favorite reads of all time was of the book by Larry Vance, which goes into incredible detail about how the aircraft was pilot the entire time and was most definitively ditched in a controled manner with nearly leveled wings to the water. If you have not read this already, I think many of the stated facts in the book will corroborate with the evidence you have presented.
I have just one small question about your findings, How do we know that the anomalies ended at the point shown, and not that there were no links further south than that? It might just be my misunderstanding of WSPR but this is some extremely promising evidence, and a 40nm search area is basically nothing compared to previous search areas.
Wishing the best of luck with this, and I’d love to go in depth and help you out with this, since I am notorious for figuring out just about anything if I get the drive to!
Welcome to the blog and for the well wishes!
In my view, Larry Vance is wrong about a controlled ditching for four reasons:
1. For a controlled ditching the standard procedure is partially extended flaps. The flap found in Pemba, Tanzania was examined by the ATSB and was shown to have not been extended at the time of impact.
2. The Inmarsat satellite data shows an accelerating dive of nearly 15,000 fpm at the end of flight after fuel exhaustion and dual engine flameout.
3. We have recovered 33 items of floating debris with an average weight of 4.88 kg. MH370 weighed 174 MT at fuel exhaustion and based on the average weight of debris items found, there would be around 35,600 pieces. We have debris items from the interior and exterior, nose and tail, wings and engines, cabin seating and cabin dividers. It is clear that MH370 broke up into a large number of pieces.
4. The WSPRnet data shows no evidence of an extended glide path to a controlled ditching.
You ask: “How do we know that the anomalies ended at the point shown, and not that there were no links further south than that?”
I tracked MH370 every two minutes since take off. I predict where MH370 could be in the next two minutes and look for an intersection of two or more anomalous WSPR links at the predicted position. If found, I call this a position indicator. If not found, I keep looking ahead in two minute steps until I do find another position indicator. If after say 30 minutes following fuel exhaustion nothing is found then I assume the aircraft had crashed.
Interesting, but it seems you have not read his book. The flaps we’re most definitively in the extended position, and if you remember the swissair high speed dive into the ocean, there was no way you would find a completely intact flaperon section. Just the speed of such an impact would create a pressure inside these flaps and flaperons which would blow them into thousands of pieces. Once again, I highly recommend you read his book, as the debris being in such great condition after a high speed ditching into water (Which at 15 000 FPM is like concrete) would be miraculous.
He goes into great detail about every aspect of a high speed dive and a controlled ditching and basically all evidence points to a controlled ditching.
I do understand there is some contradictory evidence, but most can be dismissed, such as the inmarsat data, which only provides a set of possible locations based on pings to the aircraft every once in a while. Additionally, the aircraft may not have even reached fuel exhaustion because it would be much easier for captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah to ditch the aircraft with controllable thrust from the engines.
Thank you for your explanation of the WSPR links, but it doesent answer my question wether or not theres a possibility of a lack of possible links further south of your last point.
Pardon my interjection but among the pieces of debris recovered were several interior fixtures and items. Based on their appearance alone, like the TV seat frame which has been wrenched from the rest of the seat assembly, it seems to indicate a high speed impact. In the case of AF447 which also impacted at a high speed, major control surfaces like the tail and parts of the wings were found largely intact. There is also a piece of the tail belonging to MH370 which was recovered and it is very small and jagged. Personally, if this was a suicide, I would imagine that dying instantly in a dive would be much more optimal than drowning alone in a monstrous ocean in the middle of nowhere after ditching. Make of it as you wish really.
Your assumption is wrong! The Independent Group (IG) has read all Larry Vance’s work and we have shared all our work with Larry Vance. We even set up a joint review, but Larry Vance pulled out at the last minute.
I disagree that the Inmarsat satellite data can be dismissed. It has been the foundation of both many official analyses as well as my analyses.
Please ask Larry Vance what he thinks of the official ATSB report on the Outboard Flap found in Pemba, Tanzania! He would not give us an answer.
The ATSB, IG and I all agree that the Inmarsat satellite data shows there was a logon due to the reboot of the Satellite Data Unit following a power up using back up power from the Auxiliary Power Unit after fuel exhaustion and dual engine flameout. All the various analyses show an accelerating dive at around 15,000 feet per minute.
You asked: “How do we know that the anomalies ended at the point shown, and not that there were no links further south than that?”
and again: “(sic) wether or not theres a possibility of a lack of possible links further south of your last point”.
I apologise if I was not clear in my lengthy answer to your question previously.
There are a large number of WSPR links all over the globe including anomalies south of my crash location. There are no anomalous WSPR links that fit an aircraft position further south in the Indian Ocean on 8th March 2014 in the hour following the last Inmarsat satellite communication from MH370 at 00:19:37 UTC.
@Richard @Ahmad @Wedergarten
Larry Vance said the fuselage was largely intact underwater after a controlled ditching. He ignores the ATSB determination that the Tanzania wingflap was retracted. I have found collected and held in my hands 14 pieces of small shattered 370 interior cabin debris. That includes the monitor case around the TV on the back of an economy class seat. The photos are readily available on the internet. I was in the sun on the beach breathing normally, not in the dark under 4000 meters of water crushed by the pressure.
A new TV interview by the Beijing News in English with Chinese subtitles.
… and a report by Beijing News in Chinese (for our Chinese readers):
Dr. Hannes Coetzee has supported my work and WSPRnet analysis on this website.
Hannes stated: “In short Dominik’s antenna system is holding the key for what we see in this specific case. VOACAP also shows that the propagation as described by Richard is highly probable and he is thus not bending the rules of physics etc.”
Hannes concludes: “In my opinion the info that you’ve provided confirms the scientific principles of your approach and must help to convince the authorities to resume the search in the area that you’ve indicated.”
There has been misinformation on a number of websites claiming that Hannes is a Vet and not an expert in HF Radio Engineering and also claiming that he does not have a PhD and is just a student.
Here is a link to the PhD certificate:
Here is a link to the PhD Thesis held in the University of Pretoria repository:
Some remarks on WSPR and MH370:
1. Many detractors just ignore the fact that before starting to work on MH370 I did some preliminary testing on air accidents AF447, MH17 and EW9525. These accidents are well documented by the authorities and final reports exist with all the details. The interim results gave the confidence to start the challenging work on MH370 in Mid 2020.
2. WSPR detection capabilities have been proven a number of times in Antarctica where there are not too many aircraft to be found. I reported on the results. Detractors ignore the detections close to Australian Davis Station in 2020 and 2021. Davis Station is neither close to the RX (receiver) in ZL (6.000 km) nor to Georg-von-Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica close to the Weddell Sea (app. 3.500 km).
3. If they now start to work on Doppler, they will be heading in the right direction. Anyway it is just one aspect of all observations. Anyway please have the limits of secondary WSPR signals in mind (drift less than 4 Hz/min. max). We do not just have Doppler but also Doppler slope. Please do not compare apples and oranges (Doppler, integration time,…)
4. Space weather is more important than most people think. In my humble opinion WSPR and MH370 will only “collaborate” as space weather was close to the peak in solar cycle 24 with SFI well above 100.
5. Detractors should look at all the three data bases I identified.
6. Detractors should start to look at the live raw WSPR signals to gain more insight.
7. Detractors often have extensive expertise and constructive collaboration is welcome!
There is a lot of work to be done. No time for accusations and stuff like that!
WSPR and maybe goodies from the Solar eclipse close to Union Glacier Camp on 2021.12.04 in Antarctica:
Go to WSPR data base (www.wsprnet.org) and check 2021.12.04 in the morning (UTC).
The Solar eclipse happened at 07:44 h UTC and there were LATAM joy flights LA1241 and LA1245 with tourists in the air, East of Islaide de los Estados and Southeast of the Falkland Islands.
There are only 3 spots on that day between TX at DP0GVN (IB59ui) in Antarctica and RX AI6VN/KH6 in Maui with rather strong SNR at 10.140 MHz at 07:28 h UTC: -18 dB, 07:38 h UTC: -16 dB and finally 07:58 h UTC: -20 dB SNR with increasing frequency of +2 Hz from 10.140135 MHz to 10.140136 MHz to 10.140137 MHz. Check radio path with VOACAP!
You can still see the flights and WSPR signals in FR24, Flightaware for a couple of days and for 14 days in http://www.wsprnet.org. SFI that day: 85. No other WSPR signals on this baseline that day. Flights in dawn of daylight after app. 07:25 h UTC.
Next day 2021.12.05 early morning after mid night at 14 MHz, 18 MHz almost at Grayline, flight Chilean Air Force 996, FACH996, C130H heading North from Antarctica peninsula. SFI: 88. Same baseline. Check the results yourself.
We missed Argentinian Air Force flight FAG671, TC-61, C-130H heading North from Antarctica peninsula further East on the evening of 2021.12.04 on this baseline to Maui but we got it in Alaska (KL) at 20.28 h UTC at 10 MHz (probably flights LA1292 and FX5986 helped a little bit, to be checked by Proplab 3.1) and 23:10 h UTC at 14 MHz. 23:40 h UTC probably was Flight AR1889 from Ushuaia or the two of them. The clutter of numerous aircraft around Hawaii and Alaska is no problem as long as the clutter does not increase the number of detected WSPR spots along the baseline.
KL7L and KL3RR as RX probably got flight FACH996 at 02:10 h UTC at SNR -4 dB (!!!) and -16 dB; both at 14 MHz on 2021.12.05. Also strong signals earlier. Counterproof to clutter: No – 4 dB SNR WSPR signal since 2021.11.28.
This is just a short and very incomplete excerpt of observations for two days in that region at the tip of South America.
We also learn from those examples to watch for changes in frequency bands such as 14 MHz to 18 MHz or vice versa. SFI above 80 is still benign compared to SFI > 100. Space weather was quiet to unsettled with regard to Kp. There was a 10 % probability of Aurora aurealis (not too good for propagation).
Commonality of those examples: RX and TX are nowhere near the observed aircraft (TX DP0GVN closest > 3.000 km, Maui and Alaska > 10.000 km).
An article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung about the work that Rob and I have been doing to help find MH370 …
I am putting together a list of observations which we have made during the research into WSPRnet technology and analysis of aircraft detections. The list is being updated all the time with new findings we make. The purpose of the list of observations is to be able to structure them into a working hypothesis regarding the use of WSPRnet technology to detect and track aircraft.
List of observations:
1. An ionospheric radio wave normally (but not always) follows a great circle path when projected on to the Earth’s surface and the transmitter, receiver and interim landing points generally align closely to the great circle path.
2. There are tilts that occur especially when an interim landing point is in an area of rugged terrain or turbulent ocean.
3. We know from signals that do reach the WSPRnet database that a transmission was sent with a certain transmission power level and frequency, received with a certain signal level, frequency drift between ± 4 Hz/min and over a certain distance.
4. Calm ocean, flat terrain and even flat ice in polar regions offer much improved reflection at the Earth’s surface.
5. An ionospheric WSPRnet link that shows some disturbance is often found to align near an interim landing point on one of the hops with the position of an aircraft at altitude.
6. The radio wave propagation path may be disturbed by the upper side of an aircraft on the way down from the ionosphere or by the lower side of an aircraft on the way back up to the ionosphere.
7. The ionosphere is dynamic, but the IRI2007 model seems to be able to define interim landing points reasonably accurately to enable alignment with aircraft positions.
8. A large number of aircraft in crowded skies, despite the horizontal and vertical separation rules from air traffic control, require position data from ADS-B or other sources to separate WSPRnet detections.
9. The flight path of a target aircraft, must be accurately documented with latitude, longitude, altitude, ground speed, track, wind speed, wind direction, rate of climb and rate of turn. This data is not always available.
10. There are more WSPRnet link anomalies when an aircraft is turning, climbing or descending.
11. There are more WSPRnet link anomalies in areas of turbulence and when an aircraft experiences high along track or cross track winds. On the other hand heavy weather can negatively influence WSPR reception.
12. The aircraft disturbs radio waves both in front, behind and either side of an aircraft.
13. An aircraft can disturb radio signals by forward scatter, back scatter and side scatter. It appears there is more forward scattering and side scattering than back scatter.
14. Engine exhaust and wave vortex both may disturb a radio wave.
15. The disturbance due to an aircraft passing through the propagation path of a radio wave diminishes with the distance from the aircraft. In other words, when there are multiple anomalous WSPRnet links close to the position of an aircraft, the closest anomalous WSPRnet link might be more than 1.0 standard deviation (SD) from the mean, a bit further away from the aircraft the next anomalous WSPRnet link might be 0.5 SD and a bit further still from the aircraft the next anomalous WSPRnet link might be 0.25 SD. The signal level anomalies reduce as you move further away from the aircraft.
16. Both short path and long path radio propagation can show disturbances due to WSPRnet link anomalies. This depends on the Solar Flux Index (SFI) and the global auroral activity (Kp-Index). There are normally much more Short Path (SP) than Long Path (LP). There are variations due to latitude.
17. There are different categories of raw WSPR links: (a) no disturbance, (b) interference in amplitude (signal strength), (c) steady Doppler slope and steady amplitude, (d) steady Doppler slope and amplitude interference, (e) wild amplitude variations and frequency fluctuations.
18. Anomalies are both low and high received signal levels as well as both signals with an unusually large deviation and signals with only a small deviation from the mean. Both + 1.0 SD and – 1.0 SD are disturbances, which detect aircraft. But even +0.25 SD and -0.25 SD are also disturbances, which detect aircraft.
19. There are disturbances due to aircraft that result from reflection and deflection.
20. Refraction, diffraction, polarisation and phase angle changes may also occur.
21. The position of a detected aircraft is not always between transmitter and receiver on the short path, the aircraft can also be on the long path. An aircraft can also be offset from the path.
22. The position of a detected aircraft can be on the short path between the transmitter and receiver or beyond the receiver reflecting back to the receiver along the short path. This was demonstrated on Qantas flights between Perth, Australia and the Antarctica.
23. The position of a detected aircraft can be on the long path between the transmitter and receiver or beyond the receiver reflecting back to the receiver along the long path depending on time, frequency, daylight zone, SFI and Kp.
24. Vary rarely, it appears that signals can propagate further than a circumnavigation of the globe.
25. Multipath signals can reach the receiver following the disturbance by an aircraft from a single path transmission. A single transmission will emit multiple rays. Each ray will follow its propagation path via the ionosphere and may be slightly tilted at any of the interim landing points. It is feasible, that more than one ray is disturbed by one and the same aircraft in their multiple paths. It is feasible, that the receiver picks up more than one ray from the transmitter via multiple paths from the transmitter via the aircraft.
26. Multipath transmissions can be combined by an aircraft disturbance into a single reception. The time delay is only milliseconds compared to the 2 minute WSPRnet interval.
27. Aircraft at low altitude and low speed (e.g. helicopters) have been noted to disturb WSPRnet signals. This was demonstrated by helicopter detections near the Davis station in Antarctica.
28. The presence of an aircraft can make a radio propagation possible that otherwise would not happen (e.g. Air Corsica flight CCM772V dated 16th September 2016, map https://www.dropbox.com/s/ndkk9zulqw6nkfs/Flight%20Path%20Analysis%20CCM772V.png?dl=0 and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gc0vVk3XBg )
29. In my view, a better understanding of the digital signal processing in a WSPRnet receiver is required. KiwiSDR has a Beaglebone processor which is often overloaded. KiwiSDR works better with the software WSPRDaemon by Rob Robinett, AI6VI in Maui, Hawaii. Looking at the raw WSPR signals of a KiwiSDR you see that often between 50% to 80% of raw WSPR signals will not be decoded and therefore will never show up in the WSPRnet database.
30. A better understanding of the local noise floor level at each WSPRnet receiver is required. Rob Robinett has done an extensive noise signal analysis for KiwiSDRs.
31. The speed of an aircraft is small compared with the speed of light, but is sufficient to create certain Doppler effects (e.g. Inmarsat satellite Burst Frequency Offset data). You can see extensive Doppler slopes or shifts from aircraft in the vicinity of airports. This has been demonstrated on aircraft flying holding patterns at Zürich airport with two KiwiSDRs on mountains at 900 m above sea level.
re your 10 December 2021 at 11:49 to @All,
A list of observations upon which to form a working hypothesis:
There is one aspect you may have to yet add.
If and/or when a radio beam is deflected and returned back to the surface of the earth, or sea, by processes within the ionosphere, then I do not see why the deflection may not also be in the lateral sense as well in the vertical sense. There seems sufficient evidence (or experience) that the ionospheric effects upon radio waves are arguably quite inconsistent, even if somewhat characterizable. Why is it assumed, – or is it – , that the characteristics of the ionosphere which may cause deflection of radio waves or beams are simply spherical about the centre of the earth ?
Rob W and/or others may wish to argue my terminology “quite inconsistent”. They are welcome to suggest alternatives.
My point, nevertheless, is that perhaps a radio beam, or radio waves, returning from the ionosphere may differ in azimuth or horizontal direction from that of the beam when entering the ionosphere.
Your Observation No 27. Aircraft at low altitude and low speed (e.g. helicopters) have been noted to disturb WSPRnet signals.
Yes. To we mere mortals on the surface of the earth the variation in altitude that our aircraft may achieve seems great. It is small in comparison to the depth of the atmosphere and the ionosphere.
Your Observation No 18.
“Anomalies are both low and high received signal levels as well as both signals with an unusually large deviation and signals with only a small deviation from the mean.”
“Both + 1.0 SD and – 1.0 SD are disturbances, which detect aircraft. But even +0.25 SD and -0.25 SD are also disturbances, which detect aircraft.”
Please Richard, I sincerely hope that you will soon clearly detail an explanation for these two sentences.
I, and I suspect many others reading this, look forward to just what you mean by these two sentences.
Please provide us all with a clear detailed explanation.
I suspect that you are referring to “the mean” in a specific context.
But, no-one else can determine what the sentences mean without your clear detailed explanation.
You may need to define, in context, what you mean when you write “SD”, particularly also in context to your use of “SD” with the qualifiers “1.0”, “0.5” and “0.25”.
Another boring Day in Antarctica from 2021.12.09 til 2021.12.10 monitoring WSPR?
Yesterday (2021.12.09) and today SFI being low at 77, so I did not expect much to see in WSPR.
Big surprise when I routinely checked my WSPR baseline DP0GVN as TX and ZL2005SWL as RX on wsprnet.org. Many WSPR spots! 14 MHz and surprisingly 18 MHz at this SFI of 77.
What happened? More or less commuter air traffic by the old Douglas DC-3C, C-GEAI, from QAN to QAO at 16:10 h UTC , DC-3 BT67 (20 h UTC), the Kenn Borek Air propeller aircraft (DHC-6-300 Twin Otter, C-GKCS, 2021.12.10, 01:20 h UTC to 01:50 h UTC seen on ADS-B)) at Davis station QAD and now surprise!!!
Two big jets from CPT, one going to Russian Novolazarevskaya Station QAO (IL76-TD, RA-76503) and one (A340-313, 9H-SOL), probably going to “Wolf’s Fang”, a new kind of adventure camp (No ADS-B). Almost air traffic jam at Air Space QAO at 22:40 h UTC.
Two expeditioners on skis that I most likely would not see in WSPR. At app. 22:30 h UTC the two jets were very close to each other. 2021.12.10, 01:00 h UTC RA-76503, 02:00 h UTC 9H-SOL headed back to CPT. Arrival there at app. 6:42 h UTC and 07:20 h am, 2021.12.10
In summary, absolutely no boring day with regard to WSPR detection in Antarctica; this time opposite of South Africa. Please remember the sequence of events. I studied my WSPR data link from Georg-von-Neumayer-Station-III as TX to Newzealand as RX, saw the WSPR spots, concluded s.th. going on there at identified time slots and choose FR24 for validation at the times WSPR spots have been registered! Confirmation!
Not the other way around!
Special of the day: 2021.10.12 DP0GVN TX 21 MHz SNR -25 dB Drift -1; Reporter VK6XT (Western Australia) 7.633 km, the only 21-MHz-Signal in 14 days to VK6XT and 2 jets heading North to CPT from Antarctica. Try VK5, VK4 etc. yourself and report the results!
Art and science of WSPR detection: Hint (TX DP0GVN and RX EA8BFK sitting on an island in the atlantic on a hill with good antennas and receivers, look especially at 21 MHz, 24 MHz, 28 MHz and the drift rates observed!
Even with my two KiwiSDRs at an altitude of 900 m a.s.l. on a mountain (no man-made-noise) I received some WSPR signals deflected off an old DC3 in Antarctica 2021.10.10 at 13:14 h and 13:44 h UTC at 21 MHz! Have a good day! Thanks! Enjoy the weekend!
You suggest: “There is one aspect you may have to yet add. If and/or when a radio beam is deflected and returned back to the surface of the earth, or sea, by processes within the ionosphere, then I do not see why the deflection may not also be in the lateral sense as well in the vertical sense.” and add “My point, nevertheless, is that perhaps a radio beam, or radio waves, returning from the ionosphere may differ in azimuth or horizontal direction from that of the beam when entering the ionosphere.”
A radio wave is refracted in the ionosphere in multiple layers. This process is often simplified as a reflection or deflection. Dr. Hannes Coetzee states: “The ionosphere is an extremely dynamic medium and from my experience I would have discarded the observations as a short term variance or something maybe similar to a travelling ionospheric disturbance etc. But the existence of the anomaly and the correlation with the position of the aircraft seems to be undeniable.”
You missed the point in Observation No. 1, where I talk about great circle paths: “An ionospheric radio wave normally (but not always) follows … “
You missed the point in Observation No. 2, where I talk about “tilts”, which is the term usually applied for a lateral deflection of a radio wave propagation: “There are tilts that occur especially when an interim landing point is in an area of rugged terrain or turbulent ocean.“
You missed the point in Observation No. 7, where I talk about the International Reference Ionosphere and the dynamic of the Ionosphere: “The ionosphere is dynamic, but the IRI2007 model seems to be able to define interim landing points reasonably accurately to enable alignment with aircraft positions.
Proplab Pro V3.1 includes the IRI2007 model as well as an advanced topographic model of the Earth’s surface. Due to the extreme variability of the ionosphere the best way to describe and predict propagation is with the aid of statistics. It is very difficult to predict from moment-to-moment what is going to happen in the ionosphere. To that extent the IRI is also a statistical model that uses smoothed sunspot numbers. The IRI however allows the implementation of very advanced ray-tracing algorithms.
Dr. Hannes Coetzee and colleagues hosted two IRI working group conferences in South Africa and they are contributing on a regular basis to the further development of the IRI with their four Lowell Digisondes. (https://spaceweather.sansa.org.za/products-and-services/current-conditions/ionograms) They have also published numerous scientific papers on the subject, especially under the guidance of Dr. Lee-Anne McKinnell (also a radio amateur). Dr. Hannes Coetzee has also published a paper in Advances in Space Research in 2004: Applications of the IRI (International Reference Ionosphere) in Southern Africa under the name P.J. Coetzee. (For the benefit of your fellow detractors P. J. Coetzee is Petrus Johannes Coetzee and he has the nickname Hannes).
Regarding Observation No 18, you harp on again about you pet peeve on the meaning of terms such as mean and standard deviation in basic statistics and state: “I sincerely hope that you will soon clearly detail an explanation for these two sentences.”
Sir Francis Galton who lived in England between 1822 and 1911 is quoted as saying: “It is difficult to understand why statisticians commonly limit their enquiries to Averages, and do not revel in more comprehensive views. Their souls seem as dull to the charm of variety as that of the native of one of our flat English counties, whose retrospect of Switzerland was that, if its mountains could be thrown into its lakes, two nuisances would be got rid of at once.”
With the WSPRnet data, we are dealing with a large volume of data over each two minute period. Dr. Hannes Coetzee comments: “At the moment the big focus is to determine under which conditions WSPR can be used to detect (large, high speed) aircraft and the manipulation of all the available data to determine the position of the aircraft as accurately as possible. Obviously there must exist a propagation path that the aircraft needs to cross or interfere with. The requirement for the aircraft to be at one of the reflection points has also been noted. But after all has been said and done the big question still remains: What is there, in the structure of a WSPR signal, or more accurately in the processing that is implemented to decode a WSPR signal, that is sensitive to the presence of the aircraft under the conditions mentioned above. Or is it a combination of the processing of WSPR signals and the ionospheric mechanisms that allow the propagation of electromagnetic signals?”
I stated above that ionospheric propagation is often simplified as a reflection, but in reality is a much more complex dynamic process. Dr. Hannes Coetzee explains: “In the worst scenario propagation through the ionosphere is generally described as being a reflection from a smooth surface similar to a mirror. Next step is to allocate a thickness to the applicable ionospheric layer and to use ray tracing techniques. But all of these approaches are based on statistics. I rather feel that the ionosphere is like clouds with lots of edges and forms to them. There are also gaps between these electron clouds and everything is constantly in motion. This is evident when the elevation angle of a received signal is monitored in real time with the aid of an interferometric direction finder. As the radar cross section (RCS) of an aircraft in flight is considerably smaller than the reflective ocean beneath it, there must be another dynamic at play here.”
There are a number of types of WSPRnet receivers. Dr. Robert Westphal comments: “KiwiSDR has a Beaglebone processor which is often overloaded. KiwiSDR works better with the software WSPRDaemon by Rob Robinett, AI6VI from Maui, Hawaii. This software was not available in 2014. Looking at the raw WSPR signals of a KiwiSDR you see that often 50% to 80% of raw WSPR signals will not be decoded and therefore will never show up in the database.” This is why Dr. Robert Westphal recommends looking at the raw WSPRnet data live rather than the secondary data in the WSPRnet database, which has been subject to a Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Obviously, this is fine for research into current aircraft flights using live WSPR data, but for historical research into MH370 I only have the historic processed data in the WSPRnet database. That is why Rob does his WSPR research on current flights especially using the relatively empty skies of the Antarctic and why I am doing my MH370 WSPR research using the historic data.
Fortunately, the WSPRnet database gives the DSP software version used for each WSPR spot. From 7th March 2014 16:00 UTC to 8th March 2014 01:00 UTC, during the flight timeframe of MH370, there were 91,058 WSPR spots. These spots were received by 376 different receivers around the world using 288 different software versions. The software version is not known for 11 receivers, but all the other 365 receivers did not change their software version during this 9 hour timeframe.
I agree that I am dealing with processed data and not raw data, but the processed data has been for each WSPRnet link similarly processed in each of the two minute links between a particular transmitter and receiver pair. There are 11,241 unique WSPR links with the 365 receivers with unchanged software comprising 85,035 spots. Each WSPR link will provide on average 8 data points. I also separately check each transmitter and each receiver in this timeframe and outside the timeframe to see if there are any permanent features e.g. the drift is always – 1 Hz/min.
The overall dataset contains 91,058 spots and 11,753 unique transmitter receiver links. Often transmitters will automatically send multiple transmissions at the same time which are picked up by over 20 different receivers around the globe. It is possible to see signal anomalies over the timeframe of MH370 and on other days before and after the MH370 timeframe, as well as across the globe from the same transmitter at a particular time. The transmitted power ranges from 0 dBm to 50 dBm, the frequency bands range from 1 MHz to 28 MHz, the propagation distance range from 500 km to 19,437 km and the SNR ranges from – 33 dB to + 17 dB. Each transmitted power and each frequency band has to be treated separately. Each transmitter and each receiver and each link between them has to be treated separately. There are different antennas used and different terrain profiles at each location.
For each individual dataset we are interested to find the centre and the spread. I use the mean or average to find the centre. I have looked at the median and the mode. I use the standard deviation to measure the spread. I have looked at the interquartile range. The standard deviation can be thought of as a sort of average deviation. For each candidate detection of MH370 I check each WSPR link involved using the Proplab Pro V3.1 software. The maximum usable frequency, elevation angle, number of hops, interim landing points and proximity to the position of MH370 or other aircraft is checked. Only once a detection candidate passes all the tests do I use it as a single WSPR link progress indicator or multiple WSPR link position indicator to determine the position of MH370.