The Jason Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system
is operated by the Deep Submergence Laboratory (DSL) at the
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of the National
Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF).
Two Body System and Cable Dynamics
The Jason ROV system dives to depths of 6,500 m and
is operated as a two-body system, composed of Jason
and another vehicle that acts as a suppressor weight, Medea.
The two vehicles are connected by a neutrally-buoyant umbilical.
Medea serves as a buffer between the ROV and the
ship, and prevents the umbilical tether from tugging on the
ROV as the ship rises and falls with sea state. Medea
also reduces the total load on the umbilical, which is the
primary limiting factor in the operation of an ROV that dives
to these depths. Since Medea is equipped with down-looking
cameras, it also provides a bird’s eye view of the ROV
The Jason/Medea system can be operated from
a variety of support vessels. The support vessel must have
a dynamic positioning (DP) system and sufficient deck space
and displacement to accommodate the Jason winch system,
launch and recovery system, control vans, tool van and equipment
storage van. Most of the larger UNOLS
ships work well and are preferred as Jason support
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