R/V Thompson

The Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson works throughout the world’s ocean basins and is the vessel being used for this July 2008 node survey cruise of the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

Operated by the University of Washington

The Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson is owned by the Office of Naval Research and is operated by the University of Washington's School of Oceanography. The vessel 274 feet long and has 22 crew members and officers. In addition 36 scientists and 2 marine technicians can be taken aboard for a research expedition. 

Similar to a Small City

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, provide lighting, and power for laboratories, communications, and navigation equipment. It uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) integrated with dynamic positioning (DP) to hold station within 1-2 meters.

Mapping Tools
On this cruise, the Thompson is host to Sentry, the newest of the U.S. Deep Submergence Facility’s autonomous underwater vehicles, to accomplish highly detailed mapping of the areas around the node sites for Node 1, Hydrate Ridge and Node 3, Axial Volcano. The Thompson’s hull-mounted EM300 sonar system will also be used for mapping and is capable of producing high-resolution bathymetric maps while steaming at 8-12 knots.

The R/V Thompson website contains full information about this vessel.