WHOI Deep-Sea Vehicle Gets Overhaul

WOODS HOLE – A significant upgrade project is now complete on one of the deep-sea vehicles operated by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Jason recently underwent a $2.4 million overhaul, increasing its payload and capabilities while on missions. To accomplish this task, crews had to strip the vehicle down to its base before replacing its frame and installing new redesigned systems.

As part of the upgrades, the Jason had its lift capacity improved from 400 pounds to two tons. The vehicle has a new, stronger cable tether giving it 70,000 pounds of break strength, an improvement for 42,000.

Jason is operated by pilots from a control ship and explores the seafloor with high definition video. Before the upgrade, the Jason needed a second system, known as Medea, to provide lighting and buffered Jason from surface ship movements. After the overhaul, Jason can operate as a single system.

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