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Jason II Press Release

Science users seeking more information on Jason II/Medea can go directly to WHOI’s Marine Operations web site


Overview

Jason II
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A new stage of seafloor exploration has begun at WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory with the debut of the Jason II remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Jason II is a precision, multi-sensory imaging and sampling platform that gives researchers a virtual presence in the deep ocean at water depths of up to 6,500 meters...a robotic platform to gather observations and conduct experiments from some of the most remote reaches of the planet.

The new ROV succeeds the original Jason, which spent the past decade showing scientists a new way to visit and sample the seafloor. In more than 30 cruises, Jason helped prove the value and utility of ROVs, allowing scientists to explore the deep without leaving the deck of a ship -- or in some cases, the comfort of their shore-based laboratories.

As the next generation of robotic underwater vehicle, Jason II goes deeper with more maneuverability and dexterity and vastly improved payload and power. Jason II has two spacially corresondant hydraulic manipulator arms, which reach twice as far and lift five times as much as the one arm on the original ROV. State-of-the-art communications systems - including fiber-optic cables and the ability to use a SeaNet wireless connection from its support vessel to the Internet - allow data to be shared and visualized remotely and in near-real time. And a more robust design allows Jason to carry more equipment, to gather more samples, to supply much more power to the instruments, and to do all of it at twice the speed of the older vehicle.

In September 2002, Jason II and its operators executed their first science mission, playing a key role in the Life in Extreme Environments (LEXEN) 2002 cruise. Researchers used Jason to deploy and retrieve several experiments to study the microbes living within oceanic crust and the environmental conditions that support such life.

Sponsors
W.M. Keck Foundation
The National Science Foundation
Office of Naval Research















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