Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason 2
The Jason 2 is a robotic vehicle tethered to the Thompson by a fiber optic cable. It is designed to conduct a diverse range of scientific investigations in the worlds' oceans. The ROV system also includes the vehicle Medea, which serves to help with tether management such that when Jason is at depth it is not highly impacted by wave action at the surface of the ocean. The fiber optic tether runs from the ship to Medea, and to Jason to provide real-time communication to and from the vehicles, and to deliver streaming of video and digital still imagery from several cameras into the command center on the ship.
On this cruise, Jason will routinely be working at water depths of 2200 meters beneath the surface (7218 feet!) in an area of volcanic terrain dotted with black smoker chimneys that vent hydrothermal fluids at 360°C (680°F). Jason will provide round-the-clock science operations through use of elevators that can take equipment and samples to and from the seafloor.