1. ITV Report

How a British satellite firm helped solve the Malaysia Airlines mystery

Video report by ITV News reporter Lewis Vaughan Jones

Inmarsat is a British satellite company that helped analyse and calculate the route of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from its control centre in London.

The firm's senior vice president for external affairs has told ITV News' Lewis Vaughan Jones that this is the first time the company has ever tried to locate a plane using such little information.

Chris McLaughlin, Inmarsat's enior vice president for external affairs. Credit: ITV News

"It's completely unusual. Inmarsat's been doing the global maritime distress service for 34 years now," Chris McLaughlin said. "We were founded to do that - this is the first time we've ever been asked to try to find something with just a single signal once an hour."

Inside the HQ of British mobile satellite firm Inmarsat, which helped to solve the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Credit: ITV News

For several hours after going missing the plane still gave off a signal, called a "ping."

Pings don't reveal a location on their own, but the experts at Inmarsat used the Doppler Effect - slight changes in the wave frequency as they hit the satellite - to work out how the plane must have been moving.

At one stage the search for the jet extended from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean

Inmarsat claims that the plane could have been fitted with a better tracking system to avoid these delays - even now they still can't pinpoint exact co-ordinates, so the search at sea will continue.

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