News & Features

FVCC Alumnus to Present Technology Used in Search for Missing Airline

Larsen will discuss his involvement in the search that followed the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

Flathead Valley Community College will welcome alumnus Jay Larsen to present “Using High Resolution Sonar in the Search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370” on Nov. 13.

Larsen will discuss his involvement in the search that followed the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 when his Whitefish-based company Hydrospheric Solutions, Inc. was hired to search for the airline’s wreckage. The presentation will also cover the evolution of mapping sonar and Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) technology.

Larsen attended FVCC before completing his degree in electrical engineering from Montana State University. He got his start doing sonar work through graduate courses in applied physics at the University of Washington.

After working in ocean floor mapping for over a decade, Larsen’s desire to try something new got the best of him. He was considering ways to make a better product when he came across Applied Signal Technologies who had Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) technology developed for military applications. Larsen wanted to bring the high-resolution SAS technology to the commercial world. In 2009, he and a partner launched SL Hydrospheric, LLC, and worked closely with Applied Signal Technologies to integrate the SAS technology, which allows acoustic imaging of the seafloor with improved resolution. This technology has been extensively employed during the search for Flight MH370.

Free and open to the public, the presentation will be held at 3 p.m. in the large community meeting room in the Arts and Technology building on campus. This is a special presentation of the college’s “STEM Colloquium,” a weekly presentation and discussion of science, technology, engineering and math research projects.

For more information, contact FVCC Associate Professor of Physics Jim Boger at jboger@fvcc.edu.