JASON II reaches most of the world ocean floor and sends data ashore via the Internet
JASON II launch. Photo by Dan Fornari, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
A new generation of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of routine operation to depths of 6,500 meters (21,320 feet) and communicating its data back to shore via the Internet has been developed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The vehicle, JASON II, recently completed its first science cruise off the coast of Washington and Oregon and is currently at sea in the Pacific working off the coast of Hawaii.
The $2.5 million project to build JASON II and upgrade its companion vehicles, the imaging system Argo II and the DSL-120 side scan sonar system, began in 2000. All three systems, designed and built by WHOIs Deep Submergence Laboratory, are part of the U.S. National Deep Submergence Facility operated by WHOI for the U.S. ocean sciences community. The facility, the only one in the nation, includes the three-person submersible Alvin as well as the tethered vehicles and provides scientific access to the deep sea for researchers from many disciplines, including biology, geology, and chemistry.
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