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Sub hunting for source of 'pings' in plane search

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PERTH, Australia - New clues tonight in the search for that missing Malaysian airliner. Search crews are zeroing in on an area where a high-tech listening device detected 2 audio signals. As Repoter Tory Dunnan shows us, the latest evidence provides new hope, but isn't conclusive just yet. It's been more than a month since Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing. That's more than the expected 30-day life span for batteries in the plane's black box. Still, new signs of hope in the search. On Sunday, an Australian Navy ship towing a U.S. pinger detected signals consistent with those sent by a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder. Not once, but twice. The first for more than 2 hours. The 2nd some 13 minutes. The location: more than 1000 miles northwest of Perth, Australia.

It's like finding a needle in the haystack, in this case the Indian Ocean. The sounds were located about 15,000ft below the sea's surface. Now crews are trying to hear the signals again. A pinging/pulsing sound. For search teams, there's also a cautious yet optimistic approach. The thing that's slowing the search now is that crews have to re-acquire those underwater signals again. That means the pinger-locator has to make other passes. First, at least 3 runs parallel to those it made when it first detected the signals.

Then, perpendicular runs, so they can isolate the source and triangulate its position. Experts caution the ocean is full of sonar sounds, and these could be false-positives. They say everything from fishing equipment to whales can emit sonar signals, but the frequency of the black box signals is intended to be unique, 37.5 kilohertz, and the operators of the pinger locator are trained to listen and watch closely.

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