The possibility of performing electron density and temperature measurements in a high power helicon plasma is a crucial issue in the framework of the AWAKE (Advanced WAKefield Experiment) project, which demonstrates acceleration of particles using GeV m(-1) electric fields in plasmas. For AWAKE, a helicon is currently envisaged as a candidate plasma source due to its capability for low electron and ion temperature, high electron density and production of an elongated plasma column. A plasma diagnostic to accurately determine the electron density in AWAKE regimes would be a valuable supporting tool. A demonstration Thomson scattering (TS) diagnostic was installed and successfully tested on the resonant antenna ion device (RAID) at the Swiss Plasma Center of Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. RAID produces a helicon plasma column with characteristics similar to those of the AWAKE helicon source, and is therefore an optimal testbed for application to the AWAKE device. The spectrometer employed in RAID is based on polychromators which collect the light scattered by plasma electrons in spectrally filtered wavelength regions. Results from TS on RAID demonstrate conditions of electron density and temperature respectively of n(e) = 1.10(+/- 0.19) x 10(19) m(-3) and T-e = 2.3(+/- 0.6) eV in a steady-state discharge in an Ar plasma with 5 kW of RF power. If the same polychromator system is used for AWAKE, where the electron density attained is 2 x 10(20) m(-3), the contribution to measurement error due to coherent scattering is similar to 2.5 %. Presented here are details of the TS diagnostic and the first tests in RAID, and the expectations for the system when employed on the AWAKE device.