Malaysia releases raw satellite data on missing Flight MH370

Tags: News
Malaysia today released raw satellite data used to determine the path of the missing Flight MH370, over two months after relatives of 239 people, including five Indians, aboard the plane demanded that it be made public.

Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation released 47 pages of raw data obtained from British satellite firm Inmarsat which was used to determine the path of the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that mysteriously vanished on March 8.

The document contains hundreds of lines of highly technical communication logs between the jetliner and Inmarsat's satellite system.

The data released includes the hourly "handshakes" between the plane and a communications satellite that led investigators to conclude that Flight MH370 ended its journey far off Australia in the southern Indian Ocean.

A team of international experts used the satellite data -- in combination with other information, including radar data and engine performance calculations -- to conclude that the plane ended up in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.

Publication of the raw satellite data could allow for independent analysis of what happened to the plane when it veered sharply off its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and dropped off radar screens.

Malaysia believes the plane was deliberately diverted by someone on board.

Meanwhile, some passengers' families, unsatisfied by the official explanation of the plane's fate, say they want an independent analysis of the complex information, a process that could take some time.

"The first thing we're going to expect feedback on is does the data look right," said Sarah Bajc, whose partner, Philip Wood, was on the missing jet. "Is it as complete as we're being led to believe it is?"

She said, though, that she was "annoyed" that Inmarsat and Malaysian authorities had not released the raw data in its entirety.

"I see no reason for them to have massaged this before giving it to us," she was quoted as saying by the CNN.

Families of the passengers on board the plane have been demanding that the raw data be made public. The fate of the plane and those on board has become one of the great aviation mysteries of modern times.

The Malaysian government has been criticised for its handling of the tragedy, particularly by the relatives of the Chinese passengers on board the plane, besides being accused of holding back information.

Analysts have said the raw satellite data could help discount some theories about what happened to the jetliner, and potentially fuel new ones.

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