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Dive with Jason

Persistent, reliable access to the seafloor

ROV Jason

Jason is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system designed and built by WHOI's Deep Submergence Laboratory and funded by the National Science Foundation to allow scientists to have access to the seafloor without leaving the deck of a ship.

Jason can be operated as either a two-body or a single-body ROV, depending on mission requirements. A 10-kilometer (6-mile) reinforced fiber-optic cable delivers electrical power and commands from the ship to the vehicle, which then returns data and live video imagery throughout a multi-day dive.

Jason is equipped with sonars, video and still imaging systems, lighting, and numerous sampling systems. Jason's manipulator arms collect samples of rock, sediment, or marine life and place them in the vehicle's basket or on "elevator" platforms that float heavier loads to the surface.

Pilots and scientists work from a control room on the ship to monitor Jason's instruments and video while maneuvering the vehicle. The average Jason dive lasts one to two days, though operators have kept the vehicle down for as long as seven days.

The system has been used to make hundreds of dives to hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. ROV Jason is now in its third generation, with a sturdier, more flexible vehicle being launched in 2016 that includes:

  • New bigger and stronger cable tether with break strength (BS) of 70,000 pounds compared to the traditional cable tether with a BS of 42,000 pounds, allowing the heavy lift operations of up to 4,000 lbs.
  • A modified Active Heave Compensated winch to accommodate the new cable
  • A new Launch and Recovery System (LARS) that accommodates the increased payload rated to 15,000 pounds.
  • A new vehicle frame capable of withstanding the increased loads.
  • A new swappable heavy-lift tool skid that will be used for these lift operations.
  • New science tool skid with increased space and payload for scientific equipment.
  • Additional flotation to accommodate the increase in weight of the new frame.

Vehicle Tour

Jason Video

Get a deeper understanding of what Jason can do.