Norwegian special vessel to find MH370

AUV from Kongsberg Maritime to Search for MH370. Photo: Ocean Infinity

Norwegian special vessel involved in attempt to find MH370

A Norwegian special vessel is now making another attempt to locate Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014.


The plane from Malaysia Airlines has never been located, but findings of debris from the wreck have limited the search to a 25,000 square kilometer area of the Indian Ocean.

After almost three years, Australia, Malaysia and China halted the search for the aircraft last January, but pressure from the families has led to it being resumed.

Malaysia has given the American company Ocean Infinity a three month permit to search for MH370 and promise just over NOK 540 million in reward if the wreck is located

– We hope that Ocean Infinity will find the aircraft during the first month,” says Marine Researcher at Australian Research Institute CSIRO, David Griffin. CSIRO has assisted the American company with their preparations.

Ocean Infinity  has leased the Norwegian supply vessel Seabed Constructor from the company Swire Seabed in Bergen. The vessel is now present in the exploration area.

Seabed Constructor has six advanced Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle’s (AUV) on board, which are developed by Kongsberg Maritime in Horten. These can dive to depths of up to 6,000 meters.

According to Australian marine scientists, it is up to 5,000 meters depths in the area where it is being searched, and the seabed contains both volcanoes and submarine mountain ranges.

– There is immense water pressure down there – give or take 500 atmospheres, says US marine scientist David Gallo to Australian ABC News.

About the Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

Sensor Payload

Side Scan Sonar – EdgeTech 2205
Multi-Beam Echosounder – Kongsberg Maritime EM 2040
Sub-Bottom Profiler – EdgeTech 2-16 kHz
HD Camera – CathX Ocean Still Colour Camera
Conductivity/Temperature/Depth Sensor – SAIV
Self-Compensating Magnetometer – Ocean Floor Geophysics
Turbidity Sensor – FLNU (RT)D
Methane and Cathx Laser Sensor

Minimum and Maximum Speed

2 and 6 knots

Operating Depth

ca 5 – 6,000 metres


6.2 metres


Acoustic Positioning
HiPAP 502


60 hoursr at 3.6 knots with SSS/SBP/MBES operating


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today