The 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson is a global-class research ship that is part of the UNOLS fleet. The Thompson is owned by the Office of Naval Research and is operated by the University of Washington's School of Oceanography. The ship has 22 crew members and officers and room for up to 36 scientists and 2 marine technicians.
The Thompson is similar to a small city in that it is self contained with food stores that can supply the crew for >45 days, desalinators that produce 8,000 gallons of fresh water each day, and generators that produce power to run the ship and provide lighting and power for laboratories, communications, and navigation equipment. The ship uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) integrated with dynamic positioning (DP) to hold station within 1-2 meters.
During the VISIONS'14 expedition, many tons of equiment will be loaded onto the Thompson's aft deck, known as the fantail.The gear includes the robotic vehicle ROPOS, junction boxes, drums of extension cables to be deployed on the seafloor, instruments, and specialized winches for deploying the deep and shallow profiler systems and their associated seafloor instrument packages.
Visit the R/V Thompson's homepage for more information on the research vessel.