Capitol Hill Briefing: Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Capitol Hill Briefing: The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) Marine Technology in Support of the Deep Sea Search and Salvage
July 17, 2014
Washington, DC USA
The Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium


The Marine Technology Society, in conjunction with the House Oceans Caucus, hosted a Capitol Hill Briefing on "The Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370); Marine Technology in Support of the Deep Sea Search and Salvage."  
Organizers and Panelists: Whitney Bernstein, Ph.D., Sea Grant Fellow, Representative Sam Farr (CA-20), Richard Lawson, Executive Director, MTS, Thomas Altshuler, Ph.D., VP and Group GM, Teledyne Marine Systems, David Kelly, CEO and President, Bluefin Robotics, Pete LeHardy, Program Manager, Phoenix International Holdings, Inc.,  and Justin Manley, Board Member and Vice President of Government Affairs, Marine Technology Society.

Maritime TV
filmed and produced a professional, network-quality, video of the briefing.  You can watch the MTS/HOC MH370 briefing at this link:

The briefing featured executives from the three MTS member companies involved in the MH370 search; Dr. Tom Altshuler, Vice President and Group General Manager of Teledyne Marine Systems, Mr. David Kelly, President of Bluefin Robotics, and Mr. Peter LeHardy, Program Manager, Phoenix International.  MTS Board Member and Vice President of Government Affairs, Mr. Justin Manley, was the briefing moderator. 
In May, House Ocean Caucus Congressional Staff, Whitney Bernstein, Ph.D., discussed the idea of a briefing with the MTS government relations team.  The briefing would focus on the technology; AUVs used in the search, undersea acoustic locators and technologies used to locate the “black box,” and the process and procedures involved in deep sea search and salvage operations.
Understanding the relevance, importance and timeliness of this briefing, U.S. Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA-Monterey) and Don Young (R-AK), Co-Chairs of the House Oceans Caucus reserved the Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium for the briefing.
Before an audience comprised of key congressional staff, professionals in the ocean technology industry, and officials from government departments and agencies involved in air transportation, marine operations and transportation safety, Whitney Bernstein brought the briefing to order by giving a brief overview of the House Oceans Caucus.
Dr. Bernstein then introduced Richard Lawson, Executive Director of the Marine Technology Society, who welcomed those attending the briefing on behalf of MTS.  Mr. Lawson then introduced Justin Manley who formally began the program.
Mr. Manley began the briefing by giving an overview of MTS and its mission.  He then turned the podium over to Pete LeHardy who provided a full description of Phoenix International, its technologies, its role in the MH370 search, and the process and current status of the actual search.
David Kelly then spent time introducing Bluefin Robotics and, specifically, the Bluefin 21, the AUV searching for MH370.  Mr. Kelly educated the attendees on the abilities of the Bluefin 21, how it operates, how it identifies submerged objects, how technologists read the data brought back to the surface by the Bluefin 21.
Lastly, Tom Altshuler gave a brief review of his company, Teledyne Marine Systems, which, key to the MH370 search, manufactures the so-called ‘pingers’ on the "black box."  Dr. Altshuler provided those attending the briefing with the current state of technology of pingers, next generation pingers, and other technologies that will be available to the airlines in years ahead to have more precise undersea locators with increased longevity and detection range.
The panel took various questions from the attendees.
The briefing was a success and we hope you will take some time to watch the briefing at:


For more information please email Ms. Chris Barrett at

Printable Version