One year later: Benefits from the search for MH370
Updated: 2015-03-06 14:28
A member of staff at satellite communications company Inmarsat works in front of a screen showing subscribers using their service throughout the world, at their headquarters in London in this March 25, 2014 file photo.[Photo/Agencies]
Possible satellite improvements
The search exposed some of the limitations of satellite images, said Joseph Bermudez Jr., the co-founder of Longmont, Colo.-based AllSource Analysis. Over the long term, he said, it may prompt companies to improve the technical capabilities of their satellites -- for instance, by having them detect different and enhanced light wavelengths.
Many people assumed that, like in the movies, they could scour satellite images to see the plane veering off course or spot its wreckage. In reality, Bermudez said, commercial satellites aren't generally aimed to take images over remote stretches of ocean and when they do, the images are often unclear and need experts to decipher them.
He said there was such high interest in the plane's disappearance that amateurs around the world studied satellite images on crowd-sourcing websites to identify between 2 million and 3 million possible sightings of the plane or its debris.
"Not one of them was correct," he said. He added that people need to be better trained in reading such images before they are turned loose on the task. Improved image quality, he added, could also help.