As the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 becomes more focused following the discovery of debris, the Pentagon is planning on sending a Bluefin-21 submarine to aid in any possible search and salvage mission.
The Bluefin-21 measures 17 feet in length, nearly two feet in diameter, and weighing just over 1,700 pounds.
And if anything is likely to find wreckage from Flight 370 beneath the rough waves, it is this autonomous underwater survey vehicle developed by Bluefin Robotics.
The Bluefin-21 is specially designed for deep sea investigation, capable of reaching depths of 14,700 feet for as long as 20 hours.
Andrew Tarantola of Gizmodo has more:
"It carries a state of the art modular sensor suite, including a side scanning radar and a multibeam echo sounder, as well as an HD camera for capturing images of items it discovers through its acoustic payload. The Bluefin-21's inertial navigation system operates in tandem with its on-board GPS to provide precise coordinates of everything it finds."
The Bluefin-21 is set to augment an already massive search team operating west of Australia. The U.S. alone is sending a black box locator to the region, and it has already committed P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to the search.
Below is a video from Bluefin Robotics detailing in depth the submarine's capabilities.