French Sub Hunts For Pinger
The French nuclear submarine FS Émeraude (S 604) has arrived in the central Atlantic to look for the "black box" from Air France Flight 447. From a BBC article:
The "black boxes", which emit a locator signal for about 30 days, could be up to 6,100m (20,000ft) deep, on the bed of the Atlantic. They could provide vital clues as to why the Airbus A330 crashed on 1 June...Here's a picture from the Navy website of some of the equipment we're sending down. ScoopDeck has more on the Navy's role in the search. I'm not sure how much help the submarine will be compared to the pinger detectors that will be towed around the area; it all depends on what the Sound-Velocity Profile of the wafer is like in that part of the world. If the layer's around a few hundred feet or shallower, the French boat could make the discovery. If not, it was probably sent down as a PR move to show that the French military is putting all their assets to use -- after all, they've already paid for the fuel.
...French military spokesman Captain Christophe Prazuck said the submarine - the Emeraude - should be able to cover an area of 26 sq km each day. It has advanced sonar equipment on board.
"There are big uncertainties about the accident site, the ocean floor is rugged... so it's going to be very difficult," he told French radio.
"It's going to be very complicated and we're going to need a lot of luck" to find the plane's data recorders.
The US is also joining the search, sending two sophisticated listening devices, which will be deployed on two large vessels hired by France. They will be towed in a grid pattern across the search area.
If the aircraft's two black boxes are located, a mini-submarine called the Nautile will be sent down to retrieve them. The vessel, which has a crew of three and is about 8m long, is the same one which explored the wreck of the Titanic.
Has your boat ever been sent to look for something like this?