Thursday, June 25, 2009

More about Jason II

Jason II

  • Jason II is rated to 6500 m
  • Longest Jason II dive on record - 96 hours
  • Biggest limiting factor to the length of a dive:  oil.  (There are approx. 38 gallons of oil in Jason II at a time)
  • Annual hours on the seabed:  ~2000
  • Jason and accompanying equipment take up 5 shipping containers

Motors used to drive Jason II: 

  • 6 thruster motors
  • 1 hydraulic
  • the motors are 5hp each; they are made by Kongsberg Simrad.  They have proven to be very reliable, and the electrical parts are cast in epoxy.

 Jason weighs 9800 lbs in air, but -50 lbs in water due to positive buoyancy.  The buoyancy is achieved by a 50 cubic foot foam block.  The foam is made of glass epoxy spheres.  Because of the positive buoyancy, Jason is actually driven to the seafloor at a rate of 30 meters per minute, rather than sinking.


Medea acts as a cushion so that Jason can move around freely and maintain a constant depth, without being affected by the ship's movement.  Medea is typically about 30 meters above Jason in the water column and contains two additional motors.

In the Jason Van:

  • 51 monitors
  • 15 cameras (10 on Jason, 3 on Medea, 2 on deck)
  • 14 computers
  • 2 A/C units
  • 12 DVD recorders


6 people occupy the van when the vehicle is in the water:  3 members of the Jason team- a navigator, pilot and engineer; 3 members of the science party- a watch leader, data recorder and DVD recorder.