|Tito explaining how Medea functions|
Today the research team spent the afternoon becoming familiar the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason. Jason II will be our eyes, ears and hands at the bottom of the ocean while we explore the Eastern Lau Spreading Center for the next 15 days. This sophisticated ROV is capable of diving to great depths (over 6000m), is equipped with multiple high definition cameras, powerful LED lights, thrusters for maneuverability and two fully-articulated robotic arms. As Jason collects samples for analysis we use a device called a sample elevator to bring up samples and re-equip the ROV with fresh equipment. Using the elevator, we maximize our time at depth and can do more science. Jason is tethered to another vehicle, Medea, which serves as an intermediary to the ship on the surface. Because of Medea, the motion of the ocean above won’t bother Jason while it is busy working.
|Tito giving a tour of Jason|
The Jason team operates inside a double-wide shipping container outfitted with the equipment necessary to control not only Jason, but also Medea and the ship. At all times during a dive there will be a pilot, a navigator, an engineer, a science leader, a data logger and a video recorder on watch. Teamwork is key and so the Jason team spent some time today (thanks Tito and Scotty!) explaining, to the uninitiated, everyone’s responsibilities.
|The Jason elevator brings samples to|
the surface so Jason can keep working
|Inside the Jason control van|
With less than 20 hours to go until we reach our first dive site –Mariner- all aboard are getting excited and finalizing preparations for our first dive tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Contributed by Carlo Carere