zbMATH — the first resource for mathematics

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.

86A32 Geostatistics
62F15 Bayesian inference
62C10 Bayesian problems; characterization of Bayes procedures
62P99 Applications of statistics
62-07 Data analysis (statistics) (MSC2010)
Full Text: DOI Euclid
[1] Breivik, Ø., Allen, A. A., Maisondieu, C. and Roth, J. C. (2011). Wind-induced drift of objects at sea: The leeway field method. Applied Ocean Research 33 100-109.
[2] DeGroot, M. H. (2004). Optimal Statistical Decisions . Wiley, Hoboken, NJ. · Zbl 1136.62011
[3] Koopman, B. O. (1956). The theory of search. I. Kinematic bases. Oper. Res. 4 324-346.
[4] Koopman, B. O. (1956). The theory of search. II. Target detection. Oper. Res. 4 503-531.
[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.
This reference list is based on information provided by the publisher or from digital mathematics libraries. Its items are heuristically matched to zbMATH identifiers and may contain data conversion errors. It attempts to reflect the references listed in the original paper as accurately as possible without claiming the completeness or perfect precision of the matching.