COVINGTON, La. -- It’s been nearly four weeks since a Malaysian airliner disappeared, and still, leads on the plane’s location continue to dry up.
Tuesday, crews were back on the water searching for wreckage. China says its ships have ruled out 11 areas of the southern Indian Ocean where suspicious objects have been spotted.
As the world waits another day for any discovery in the search for Flight MH 370, Globalstar, Inc., a satellite-network and satellite-based product company out of Covington, has become part of the story.
The CEO recently got a seat in the national spotlight to explain how their technology could have located the plane much sooner.
“As soon as that airplane changed course, as soon as that airplane went higher or lower, or did anything, you would know that every second," Jay Monroe said.
Globalstar partnered with ADS-B technology in 2011, which sends a signal from a plane to various ground infrastructure to track it. But Globalstar has an augmented satellite link to work with the technology, which allows that signal to be tracked through the company's expansive satellite network instead.
“Every second from in 400 milliseconds you're able to deliver that message and track that aircraft down to about 30 feet," Monroe said.
The company says its technology takes out the gaps in coverage that are common with radar and control towers now, especially when planes are over oceans and deep canyons. But it's got other positives too.
"That allows any number of attributes, successful tight routing, saving fuel, flying aircraft closer together," said Monroe.
Two of Globalstar's satellite products are already used in the general and corporate aviation world to improve tracking. And with all new commercial planes coming outfitted with the ADS-B technology, and old planes requiring retrofitting by 2020, Globalstar is hoping to make its satellite link the next necessity to prevent another mystery like MH 370.
The technology can be prevented from being disconnected, as is suspected in the Malaysian flight.
Globalstar, Inc. hopes to have its satellite link certified for use by the FAA in the next 18 months.