A seaborne research laboratory
The R/V Thomas G. Thompson, owned by the Office of Naval Research, will be a primary station for field operations during PISTON. The Thomas G. Thompson will carry polarimetric and Doppler radar, and will be a platform for other observational activities. Atmospheric profiles will be sampled by launching radiosondes, or weather balloons, from the boat's deck, and additional instruments will be used to sample atmospheric aerosols, air-sea fluxes, and upper-oceanic characteristics.
PISTON may be coordinated with research missions from other national departments, including the NASA CAMP2EX (Cloud and Aerosol Monsoonal Processes - Philippines Experiment) and inter-agency YMC (Year of the Maritime Continent) campaigns.