A robotic submarine deployed to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean has had its first mission cut short. The Bluefin-21 was sent to search the sea floor for wreckage after signals believed to be consistent with "black box" flight recorders were detected. But the drone exceeded its operating limit of 4,500m (15,000ft) and was brought back to the surface.It was due to return later on Tuesday if weather conditions permitted." To account for inconsistencies with the sea floor, the search profile is being adjusted to extend the sonar search for as long as possible," an update from the US Navy – which operates the Bluefin-21 – said.

My perception: In order to bring a reason for changing in sea floor that caused the drone going more than expected depth of 4500m, search plan (search profile) is being optimized to extend the search limit of the sonar for going in depth as long as possible.


I think the word inconsistencies simply alludes to the fact that the sea floor is not flat and level like a pool table. (If it were, it would be easier to locate a downed plane with sonar technology, and it would also be easier to program a drone to do a search without exceeding its depth limits.)

I would mentally parse the first part of the sentence like this:

To account for (inconsistencies with the sea floor)...

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  • A million thanks. Could you simplify the rest of the sentence please? In order to bring a reason for the sea not being flat.... Thank you so much. – user5036 Apr 15 '14 at 11:07
  • @user5036: It's not obvious to me from your rephrasings that you have actually understood the text (but that may simply be because your English isn't that good). It's actually badly/wrongly expressed anyway. What it means is Because the seabed isn't flat, some parts of it are deeper than the maximum depth the drone can go down to. Therefore the search pattern has been adjusted so the drone can safely search the largest possible area without needing to spend a lot of time going round (to avoid falling down) various extra-deep chasms – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 15 '14 at 14:13
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    ...in other words, the writer has (mistakenly, imho) used to account for where most people would say taking account of. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 15 '14 at 14:18
  • @FumbleFingers, thanks to your comment, now, the sentence makes sense to me too. – Lucian Sava Apr 16 '14 at 11:47

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