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Satellites to track Malaysia Airlines planes

Posted April 20th, 2017, 11:50 AM IST

Satellites to track Malaysia Airlines planes

Malaysia Airlines has become the first carrier to sign up to a new satellite flight tracking system for its fleet.The airlines has signed up to a new system to track its planes minute-by-minute, three years after the unexplained disappearance of one of its aircraft carrying 239 people, the providers of the satellite-based system said in a statement.

Flight MH370 went missing on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Australia, Malaysia, and China called off a two-year underwater search for the aircraft in January. The new space-based tracking system, due to be operational from 2018, was developed by US-based Aireon, which is working with FlightAware on plane tracking.

Instead of sending tracking signals to ground stations — which means planes’ locations can be lost over oceans or remote areas — the new system will beam them to satellites providing global coverage. It uses existing data from planes and so does not require any modifications to aircraft.