On the Possibility of Using ULF/ELF Electromagnetic Waves from Undersea Cables to Detect Airplanes Submerged in the Ocean
Keywords:Airplane, extremely-low frequency, FDTD, ocean, ultra-low frequency
The loss of Malaysian Flight on March 8, 2014, and the subsequent lengthy search for the aircraft highlights the need for an effective detection system for locating airplanes that have crashed into the ocean. The goal of this paper is to test the feasibility of detecting submerged airplanes using ultra-low frequency and/ or extremely-low frequency electromagnetic signals generated by undersea cables located along the bottom of the ocean. The proposed detection system is tested using three-dimensional finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) modeling of the cable source, ocean water, ground, and submerged object (aircraft). The perturbation caused by the object is obtained for different positions of the object relative to the cable source. The magnitude of the perturbation is compared to the expected background level for a depth of 3 km into the ocean. A sensor array is proposed for detecting objects within several km of the cable.
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