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**Search for the wreckage of Air France Flight AF 447.**
*(English)*
Zbl 1332.86017

Summary: In the early morning hours of June 1, 2009, during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, Air France Flight AF 447 disappeared during stormy weather over a remote part of the Atlantic carrying 228 passengers and crew to their deaths. After two years of unsuccessful search, the authors were asked by the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation to develop a probability distribution for the location of the wreckage that accounted for all information about the crash location as well as for previous search efforts.

We used a Bayesian procedure developed for search planning to produce the posterior target location distribution. This distribution was used to guide the search in the third year, and the wreckage was found with one week of undersea search. In this paper we discuss why Bayesian analysis is ideally suited to solving this problem, review previous non-Bayesian efforts, and describe the methodology used to produce the posterior probability distribution for the location of the wreck.

We used a Bayesian procedure developed for search planning to produce the posterior target location distribution. This distribution was used to guide the search in the third year, and the wreckage was found with one week of undersea search. In this paper we discuss why Bayesian analysis is ideally suited to solving this problem, review previous non-Bayesian efforts, and describe the methodology used to produce the posterior probability distribution for the location of the wreck.

### MSC:

86A32 | Geostatistics |

62F15 | Bayesian inference |

62C10 | Bayesian problems; characterization of Bayes procedures |

62P99 | Applications of statistics |

62-07 | Data analysis (statistics) (MSC2010) |

### References:

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[5] | Kratzke, T. M., Stone, L. D. and Frost, J. R. (2010). Search and rescue optimal planning system. In Proceedings of the 13 th International Conference on Information Fusion ( FUSION ), Edinburgh , Scotland , 26 - 29 July , 2010 1-8. IEEE. |

[6] | Ollitrault, M. (2010). Estimating the Wreckage Location of the Rio-Paris AF447. Technical report, from the Drift Group to BEA. |

[7] | Richardson, H. R. and Stone, L. D. (1971). Operations analysis during the underwater search for Scorpion. Naval Research Logistics Quarterly 18 141-157. |

[8] | Stone, L. D. (1992). Search for the SS Central America: Mathematical Treasure Hunting. Interfaces 22 32-54. |

[9] | Stone, L. D. (2004). Theory of Optimal Search , 2nd ed. INFORMS, Catonsville, MD. |

[10] | Stone, L. D., Keller, C. M., Kratzke, T. M. and Strumpfer, J. P. (2011). Search Analysis for the Location of the AF447. Technical report, BEA. |

[11] | Troadec, J.-P. (2011). Undersea search operations to find the wreckage of the A 330, flight AF 447: the culmination of extensive searches. Technical report, note from BEA Director. |

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