An Australian maritime patrol plane picked up a new signal Thursday in the part of the Indian Ocean where search teams are looking for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that disappeared last month with more than 200 people aboard, officials said.

"The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight but shows potential of being from a man-made source," Angus Houston, the head of the joint agency coordinating the search, said in a statement.

More information will be released when it is available, Houston said.

The Australian air force P-3 Orion picked up the signal on Thursday afternoon in the area where the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which is equipped with a sophisticated signal detection system on loan from the United States and a small robot submarine, is operating.

The Ocean Shield detected signals from what might be the plane's black boxes last Saturday and Tuesday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 left Kuala Lumpur on March 8 at 12:41 a.m. and was scheduled to land in Beijing roughly six hours later, but it disappeared from radar screens less than an hour after takeoff.

Flight MH370 - carrying 227 passengers, most of them Chinese, and a crew of 12 Malaysians - had enough fuel to fly for 7.5 hours.

Ten military aircraft, four civilian planes and 13 ships participated in the search on Thursday. EFE