2017 ROV Jason and AUV Sentry Chadwick Cruise

Andrew Bowen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


WHOI operates the NDSF, which includes the human-occupied Deep Submergence Vehicle (HOV) Alvin, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry. These facilities are funded by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a daily rate basis, to provide deep sea capabilities for funded science programs sponsored by these agencies. R/V Atlantis served as the support vehicle for HOV Alvin. The ROV and AUV can be installed on other vessels suitable for their deployment. This fly-away capability provides scheduling flexibility to meet a much wider range of requirements for the scientific community.

R/V Revelle will depart from Newport, Oregon on 13 July, 2017, with the Jason ROV and Sentry AUV on board and associated mission equipment staged for the cruise. The primary mission of the ship is to conduct ROV and AUV operations for a geodetics program funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Drs. Scott Nooner and William Chadwick. The time- series observations and sampling for NeMO require one (1) additional operating day at sea using the ROV. Per agreement with NSF Program managers and UNOLS, NOAA will provide funding for one ROV day to add one day of at sea operations to the expedition. The NeMO time series did not specifically request the Sentry AUV, but NOAA will also fund one extra day of Sentry time because it will be on board. All work is scheduled to be completed for a return to Newport, Oregon on 23 July 2017, to offload associated mission gear and disembark the project personnel.

The primary scientific goal for the NeMO project is to maintain the long-term time-series measurements and observations at Axial Seamount. In addition to ROV operations, we are recovering a mooring with 5 MAPR instruments recording hydrothermal plume data.