Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Conspiracy People Don't Seem To Understand How Anything Works

Now Mike Adams, the "Health Ranger" is getting in on the act with a claim that a 777 doesn't disappear unless a government wants it to.

Mike follows with five "facts" about RADAR and RADAR signatures.

Mike should stick to writing about coconut oil, because he doesn't appear to understand how RADAR works. Fortunately for you, I do. This is one of the areas I have some expertise in.
Fact #1) Every modern nation tracks air traffic with military radar systems
All the key nations involved in Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 run military radar systems 24/7. This includes Malaysia and India, of course. These radar systems are operated for purposes of national defense, making sure each nation can identify aircraft entering its air space.
If you don't believe that military-grade radar systems can track the altitude, direction and speed of a Boeing 777, then you don't believe in radar at all.
Learn more:

No, military RADARs are not generally used to track civil air traffic. Civil air traffic will show up on them, but that's not the purpose. Few, if any airports have a "military" RADAR. Most are severely outdated, and it often takes a crash to get an upgrade. As late as the 90's, LAX was still using a World War II era RADAR. It took a Cessna colliding with a DC-9 to force an upgrade, but that's only because the NTSB concluded the inadequacy of the obsolete RADAR was a factor in the crash.

Nations, including this one, don't have blanket coverage with "military RADAR systems". There are civil RADAR systems, such as those at airports and air traffic control centers. These are not military RADARs. Not every RADAR is military just because it exists. Mike here is also laying it on the line with his "If you don't believe... you don't believe in RADAR at all." Get bent, Mike. Stuff the Appeal to Ridicule fallacy where you'd put your iPhone 5.

Also, Mike seems to be assuming that all military RADARs are somehow magical and can pick up every last inch of space. No. Actually, most military RADARs have short ranges and specific applications, which don't including Santa Claus like abilities to know if a 777 has been naughty or nice.

Mike then builds his case by mentioning the civil RADARs, the RADAR signature of a 777, then that a 777 can't survive a crash into the ocean and remain intact.

For every point he is fairly accurate on, he has at least one other point where he is talking out his ass.

Here's how a RADAR works: a pulse of radio frequency is sent out into space. It has to be a pulse, not a constant beam, because the RADAR then listens for the return. If that pulse bounces off something, it returns to the receiver. If not, it keeps going until it dissipates.

If the RADAR receiver gets a return pulse, it goes through a signal processor.and a computer to determine the distance to the object, as well as altitude. You can "track" a plane through this process because as the RADAR goes around, it gets multiple returns close together. The computer displays a "blip" on the screen. But each RADAR has a filter, because there is a lot of noise. Rain has a RADAR signature, which would clutter a screen.

RADARs also do not work around the curvature of the Earth. The signal goes in a straight line. At ground level, you personally might be able to see about 3 miles because the Earth curves. A RADAR on a tower can "see" a little farther, but not all that much farther. They also have limited range.

We have not yet managed to cover every last inch of the globe with RADARs. Planes out over the open ocean are not tracked on a RADAR, because none of them are out on the ocean. Sure, a ship has a RADAR platform, but we don't have that many ships with Air Search RADARs.

A plane crashing into the ocean would leave a debris trail, but you still have to find it. That's not as easy as it sounds. And oceans have currents that start moving the debris almost immediately.

If in fact a government, or a collection of governments, for whatever reason wanted the Malaysia Airlines flight to disappear, I'm sure it could happen. But I have yet to see any evidence or even reasonable argument supporting it. All I see area  bunch of people talking out of their asses on subjects they know nothing about. They know nothing about planes, RADARs, search and rescue operations, crash investigations, or even covert government ops.

They probably don't even know the 777 had a fuel filter problem. The altitudes jet liners fly at are very cold. Moisture in the fuel tank freezes. The way the filters on the 777 were built caused ice crystals to form, blocking the flow of fuel into the engines. When the pilot tries to increase throttle, nothing happens. A 777 crashed on the runway at Heathrow Airport because of this. Supposedly Boeing fixed it.

Post a Comment