On this cruise, Jason will be used to survey and sample node deployment sites for the Regional Scale Nodes component of the OOI.
The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason 2 is a robotic vehicle tethered to the ship by a fiber optic cable that is capable of working is water depths up to 6500 meters. This tether is only 2.1 cm in diameter and contains 3 copper conductors and 3 single-mode optical fibers. It is incredibly strong with a breaking strength of 18,600 kilograms. Jason is designed to conduct a diverse range of scientific investigations in the world's oceans. The ROV system also includes the vehicle Medea, which serves as a shock absorber and allows Jason to be decoupled from surface and ship motion. The fiber optic tether runs from the ship to Medea, and then down to Jason, to provide real-time communication to and from the vehicles. When Jason is in the water, it requires three people to operate it: a pilot (who operates the vehicle controls), an engineer (who monitors all of the systems and operates the winch that pays out/hauls in the fiber optic cable attached to Medea), and a navigator (who is responsible for positioning the ship so that the system operates in the desired locations). In addition to these three people during each 4-hour watch, 3 to 5 scientists will also be in the control van working with the Jason crew to accomplish the scientific goals of the cruise.
Jason and Medea are named for the ancient Greek mythological ocean explorer and his wife.