Thai satellite spots possible debris

national March 28, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Images of 300 floating objects passed on to Malaysia as MH370 search continues

A Thai satellite has detected 300 floating objects in the Indian Ocean, about 200 kilometres from the area where a search is being conducted for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. 
Anond Snidvongs, executive director of Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Gistda), said the Thailand Earth Observation Satellite or Thaichote had recorded the objects in the Indian Ocean on Monday at 10am. 
This site is about 2,700 kilometres from Perth, Australia, and some 200 kilometres from the area where the flight is believed to have crashed. Some objects were more than two metres long, Anond said.
Speaking at the same press conference, Science Minister Peerapan Palusuk said the satellite, which orbits the Earth, was initially cover other areas but was moved to where foreign satellites had reportedly detected debris. Then on Monday, Thaichote captured images of several floating objects beyond the location mentioned by the foreign satellites. 
The minister added that he was glad Thailand could help Malaysia in the hunt for the missing jet. 
Anond explained that Gistda had been contacted by several foreign space agencies, who wanted Thaichote to look in the southern Indian Ocean to the southwest of Perth and on Monday, it recorded images of possibly as many as 300 objects in the area. 
“The resolution of the images on Thaichote were not good enough even after we removed noise such as waves and clouds. We are confident that what we saw were floating objects, but we can’t say what they are,” Anond said. He pointed out that in an area that is so far from land, there should not be so many floating objects. Though Gistda has said it will try to verify the accuracy of the location again, the job might be tough as there is no station on land to confirm it. 
“We will capture images at the same location again,” he said, adding that he believed the error margin for the location calculated from the images should be no greater than 5 kilometres, adding that Malaysia and relevant agencies would be asked to verify the objects. 
Anond said the findings had already been submitted to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and that Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichak-chaikul had forwarded them to his Malaysian counterpart to see if the debris could be that of MH370.
The Thaichote satellite is normally used to observe natural resources. 
Using data derived from “pings” from the plane, UK satellite firm Inmarsat concluded that the flight had crashed in the Indian Ocean and all passengers were presumed dead. Though a satellite image showed 122 objects in the Indian Ocean, search teams have yet to find them. 

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