Fugro will be providing an additional vessel in the search for missing flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
The vessel, the 93-meter Havila Harmony, is under long-term charger to Fugro and will head for the search area to re-deploy an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The AUV, known as the Echo Surveyor VII, was deployed earlier this year in the search for the missing airplane but was withdrawn due to sea conditions.
The state-of-the-art AUV will again be used to scan the deepest and more difficult portions of the search area that cannot be searched as effectively by the deep tow systems on the other search vessels. The deepwater system is a Hugin 1000, specifically designed for high resolution and efficient survey operations in water depths to 4,500 meters. With a 75 kHz side scan sonar and a dual-head Kongsberg 2040 multibeam echosounder, its configuration is the same as the systems deployed from the other vessels in the search, the Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator. The AUV is also equipped with an underwater camera.
After calibration trials off the coast of Fremantle, Havila Harmony and its international crew of 40 will head to the search area to begin search operations on December 3rd.
The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft disappeared from air traffic control radar on March 8, 2014 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing, China with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
The search for the missing aircraft is being led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) on behalf of Australia.
So far, the search has covered more than 70,000 square kilometers of seafloor, according to the ATSB.