We’ve collected several more sets of water samples, gravity cores, and had a couple more joint autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry and remote operated vehicle (ROV) Jason deployments. All the work through tomorrow is taking place in the northern section of the Escanaba study area, nicknamed “NESCA.”
The dive locations have been centered around “Central Hill” and “Edifice Rex.” The weather has been calm, but we are expecting winds of 20 to 30 knots beginning Friday (June 3) evening and 9- to 11-foot seas by Saturday (June 4). The plan is to head about 50 miles south at that time and begin work in the southern part of Escanaba, called “SESCA.”
As a reminder, Sentry maps the seafloor while Jason has manipulator claws that can be used to collect seafloor samples. The detailed Sentry maps are incredibly useful when planning out the study areas that Jason will visit. Sentry has a 5-person support team, while Jason has a 10-person team (the Sentry engineers insist that ‘smaller is better’).
Jason weighs about 10,000 pounds. However, the full load of the supporting equipment, not including the attached crane, weighs about 100 tons and needs 6 tractor trailer trucks of equipment to support each dive. Sentry is a bit smaller, weighing in at 6,000 pounds, and only needs two large shipping containers to mobilize.
The working time of Sentry and Jason are dictated primarily by battery power. Sentry can operate continuously for about 24 hours, while Jason can operate for about 18 hours.