The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight
370 in the southern Indian Ocean. The most promising clues to the final location of the aircraft are satellite communication (SATCOM)
signals between MH370, the Indian Ocean Region Inmarsat satellite, and the Inmarsat ground station in
Perth, WA. Work by an international team of specialists using the Burst Timing Offset (BTO) identified the
seventh arc as the likely final location of MH370. Further work has been done using the Burst Frequency
Offset (BFO) to identify the priority search area along the seventh arc.
The ATSB has been asked to provide further technical information on the BTO jitter or variation
characteristics. The ATSB has been approached with questions regarding an observed ‘jitter’ characteristic
in the BTO signal and its relationship in determining the location of the 7th arc. This factsheet details work
done to clarify and determine the source of the ‘jitter’. The presence of the jitter was taken into account
during the original analysis and the location of the seventh arc and placement of the search area allow for
any effect it might have on calculations.