Magazine article Oceanus

After Overhaul, Jason Is Stronger Than Ever

Magazine article Oceanus

After Overhaul, Jason Is Stronger Than Ever

Article excerpt

Since it was first launched in 1988, the remotely operated vehicle Jason has been a workhorse for oceanographic scientists, hauling instruments, conducting experiments, collecting samples, and taking images in the depths.

In April 2015, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution engineers began a yearlong $2.4 million upgrade of Jason-its first major overhaul since 2002. The team stripped Jason down to its base, replacing its frame and redesigning its systems to increase its payload and capabilities and streamline its operations.

During missions, pilots operate Jason in real time from a control van on a ship via a .842-inch-thick umbilical cable, while the vehicle sends back data and high-definition video from the seafloor. Until now, Jason has been operated as a two-body system with Medea, a smaller remotely operated vehicle above Jason that buffered it from surface ship movements and provided lighting. …

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