Reference:Recommended Reading

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This Reference Section identifies Recommended Reading" related to MH370.

References: Recommended Reading

Lost: Untold stories of MH370[1]

The Straits Times provided excellent coverage of the developing story of flight MH370. Sadly, some of those articles are no longer available on their website.

However, the online booklet Lost: Untold stories of MH370 is an excellent compilation and is presented in six sections themed just as it was as people's interest shifted from the initial loss of contact to the ongoing quest for answers as next of kin wait for certainty.

Hidden in this publication are snippets of information, descriptions of people and events, which could also have become lost. Reading this series is highly recommended!

The Straits Times cover for Lost: Untold stories of MH370

Malaysian MH370: SATCOMS 101[2]

Couverture satellite inmarsat
      Inmarsat Satellite Coverage

To gain any real understanding of the MH370 story it is necessary to have a basic grasp of satellite communications and the air-to-ground services which rely on the SATCOM link. Amidst all the attempts by journalists in March 2014 to explain these concepts, one publication stood out from the rest. This was a four-part series published on the Air Traffic Management .Net site, linked below. The original material was written by Tim Farrar of TMF Associates - see panel to the right for details.

About TMF Associates

From the TMF Associates website:-

Telecom, Media and Finance Associates, Inc is a consulting and research firm based in Menlo Park, CA. We focus on business planning, technical analysis, financial and spectrum valuations and expert witness services in the satellite and telecom sectors and have particular expertise in Mobile Satellite Services (MSS), where we have worked for almost all of the leading operators over the last decade.

Tim Farrar made the original post on the TMF Associates blog on 17 March 2014 with the title Understanding Satellite Pings[3]

MH370 Data Review[4]

Calculations based on the satellite communications data recorded by Inmarsat indicated that MH370 was most likely flown to the South Indian Ocean. The problem faced by those searching for it was that no-one knew for certain where it went. Engineers, scientists and mathematicians collaborated to use the only data available - values for Burst Frequency Offset and Burst Timing Offset - which provided some clue as to the distance of the aircraft from Inmarsat's satellite for the Indian Ocean Region, and the direction in which the aircraft may have been travelling. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before.

On 8 June 2014, TMF Associates published a document which provides a good overview of what had been understood and achieved:-

This 10-page paper is in portable document format (.pdf) and can be downloaded from the link provided.

Comments and Notes

The TMF Associates author of this analysis paid tribute to the efforts of others:-

Particular thanks are due to Duncan Steel, Victor Iannello, Mike Exner, Don Thompson, Bill Holland and Brian Anderson, who’ve spent days and weeks performing numerous complex calculations and analysis of satellite and other data, much of which I’ve relied on in the write-up below.

Collectively these scientists and experts became known as the Independent Group (IG)

Papers by the IG are also recommended reading.

The Search for MH370[5]

Further attempts to refine the calculations and models used to determine a probable location for MH370 were made; one of the most accessible being a paper which was published online by the Journal of Navigation in October 2014.

This paper, The Search for MH370 was authored by Chris Ashton, Alan Shuster Bruce, Gary Colledge and Mark Dickinson (Inmarsat).

This paper presents an analysis of the satellite signals that resulted in the change of search area.

Comments and Notes

The main focus of the teams analysing the satellite signals was to refine the search area so that MH370 could be located.

If it all seems too much, just leave it to the experts. However, there is much to be gained from an appreciation of the role satellite communications played in the segment of the flight up to the loss of contact and the apparent turnback. And a highly significant issue that after a period with no tranmissions the Aeronautical Earth Station (AES) on the aircraft logged back on to the Inmarsat system.


  1. Lost: Untold stories of MH370
    Source: The Straits Times
  2. Malaysian MH370: SATCOMS 101
    Source: Air Traffic Management .Net website
    Note: Originally published as Understanding Satellite Pings by Tim Farrar of TMF Associates.
  3. Understanding Satellite Pings, by Tim Farrar
    Source:Telecom, Media and Finance Associates, Inc., Menlo Park, CA.
  4. MH370 data review, June 8, 2014
    Source: Telecom, Media and Finance Associates, Inc., Menlo Park, CA.
  5. The Search for MH370, by Chris Ashton, Alan Shuster Bruce, Gary Colledge and Mark Dickinson (Inmarsat)
    Source: The Journal of Navigation / Volume 68 / Issue 1 / January 2015