Satellite Imagery


Summary of imagery analyses for non-natural objects in support of the search for Flight MH370

Results from the analysis of imagery from the PLEIADES 1A satellite undertaken by Geoscience Australia

Geoscience Australia (GA) was asked to assist the Australian Transport Safety Authority (ATSB) in the analysis of a set of four Airbus PLEIADES 1A images. GA received these images for analysis on the 23rd March 2017.

The data was acquired over the Indian Ocean on the 23rd March 2014. The analysis performed by GA was to determine whether the images included objects that were potentially man-made in origin. GA analyses included semi-automatic workflows and a number of potential objects were identified.

The overall location of the study area is shown in Figure 1, and a detailed overview of the four scenes with associated detected objects is shown in Figure 2. Figure 3 details the relationship between the PLEIADES data and other MH370 search-related activities.

The appendix to the report presents a data summary for each of the images. This includes a browse image of each scene, including the object locations, a cross plot of the representative spectral radiances observed in the image, a table of the object locations plus size metrics and an indicative label as to the object’s origin. The detected objects are shown in true colour and in a false colour derived from Principle Components Analysis (PCA) to help distinguish objects from their surroundings.