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Looking to MARS to Locate Missing Aircraft

Grant Cates*, Linfield College (Undergraduate Student)
Zakaria El Amrani Elidrissi, Linfield College (Undergraduate Student)
Thomas Shearer, Linfield College (Undergraduate Student)
Talk Abstract: 
Locating aircraft that have crashed in open water is a monumental task. The recent disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 underscores the importance of having a robust, yet flexible response system in place. In this paper, we outline a recommendation to the Obama Administration for the implementation of MARS, Missing Aircraft Recovery System, to locate missing aircraft feared to have crashed in open water. We use information collected by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) about the missing the plane to determine the remaining engine runtime and the algorithm behind Google Maps Places Search to locate all potential emergency landing sites within range of the aircraft. We then outline a method to determine the likelihood of the pilot choosing each site, and then prioritize search zones using the same methods used to create topographic maps. This information is then passed along to the USAF (United States Air Force), which will dispatch a fleet of MQ-1B Predator drones to conduct the search. In the event that new information on the missing aircraft becomes available, MARS has contingency plans built in for updating search zones and determining the most probable point of impact once debris is discovered utilizing existing models for predicting drift paths. With response times only limited to that of computer processing speeds, MARS can revolutionize the ways in which search and rescue operations are performed and save an untold number of lives.

Talk Subject: 
Talk Type: 
Oral Presentation
Sunday, March 15, 2015 - 21:15