April 7th, 2014
11:13 AM ET

The Problems With Searching for Data Recorder in the Ocean

Searching for the data recorder of missing Flight 370 brings a lot of challenges in the Indian Ocean.

Sound waves behave differently underwater than in the air, with multiple factors impacting the signal, CNN's Indra Petersons reports.

Beyond these difficulties, there are other underwater “pings” that could be mistaken for the flight data recorder – including seismic air guns used to look for oil and even the sound of whales.

On top of these challenges, the search area near the newly discovered sounds was impacted by Tropical Cyclone Gillian during the last days of March.

While at one time a category 5 storm with winds of 160 mph, Gillian was much weaker as it crossed over this search region, but questions remain as to what impact the storm might have had on debris.

This map shows where signals similar to pings from flight data recorders have been detected.

This map shows where signals similar to pings from flight data recorders have been detected.

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