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Underwater experts prepare to search for missing plane with unmanned submarine

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Underwater experts prepare to search for missing plane with unmanned submarine

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An unmanned submarine may be the key to finding the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. It has not yet been confirmed whether the REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring Unit) will be called to assist in the hunt for the mssing Boeing 777, but it is being prepared for all eventualities.

REMUS was developed for the US Navy and used to search for the Air France Flight which went down in the South Atlantic Ocean in 2009.

Dave Gallo, Director of Special Projects, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, explained the importance of the REMUS in the search: “You want to leave no spot uncovered and nothing beats an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) like this for covering the sea floor with unprecedented accuracy. I like to think of it like mowing the lawn, you want to cover every bit of the sea surface with sensors like sonar.”

If put into action, REMUS will scan the ocean bed searching back and forth until it locates any debris.

After that would come the painstaking process of sorting through the images collected.

It all comes at a considerable cost. Malaysia has not indicated who would pay for the underwater operation, but say finding the jet is the top priority.