Once the pinger comes in contact with water, it emits an ultrasonic pulse of 37.5 kHz at an interval of once per second – which is inaudible to the human ear. Locating the pingers for Flight 370 also forms a major part of the search, as the pingers only have a battery life of about 30 days – after which it is lost forever.
I guess this is what they meant - they picked up a signal of 37.5 KHz that was pulsing at one pulse per second intervals.
But like Mary Schiavo says: The signal should have kept going instead of lasting for only one and a half minutes.
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