Here you will find equipment that is currently in development, being proposed for development, and/or being proposed for acquisition by the U.S. Ice Drilling Program.
- Intermediate Depth Drill
- Winch, Deep Logging
- Replicate Ice Coring System (COMPLETED)
- Winch, Intermediate Logging (COMPLETED)
- Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) (ON HOLD)
In the IDPO Long Range Science Plan, the U.S. science community identified the retrieval of cores to depths of 1000-1500 meters for the IPICS 2k array and 40k network as a high priority. IDDO currently has drills capable of drilling to depths of approximately 300 meters with good core quality. The DISC Drill is capable of coring to depths of approximately 4000 meters with excellent core quality; the DISC Drill, however, is large and requires substantial logistics and infrastructure support which precludes its use for the coring of 1000-1500 and shallower holes. The science community, IDPO/IDDO, and NSF consequently agreed that a dedicated intermediate depth drill be developed.
The U.S. Intermediate- Depth Drill (IDD) is the next generation of the Danish Hans-Tausen Drill and Danish Deep Drill, with the capability of producing 2-meter long cores.
The IDD will be sufficiently portable that it can be used for coring at a wide variety of sites, and capable of retrieving 98 mm diameter core from the surface down to 1500 meters depth in two field seasons.
In addition to the drill itself, the IDD conceptual design includes the following ancillary items:
- Power system: three 10kW diesel generators
- Core Processing System: core barrel puller, trays, vacuum, saw, and tables
- Structures: one 16' x 72' Polarhaven for housing the drilling and core processing operations and a second 10' x 16' Polarhaven for housing the generators
The IDD will be designed and constructed to be transportable by Twin Otter or Bell 212 (or similar) helicopter. For field projects lasting more than one season, most equipment will be left onsite to "winter-over". To drill to 1500 meters depth in two field seasons, a 9 person field-team for 24-hour per day drilling and core handling operations is envisioned.
From discussions with the research community and discussions with IDDO staff, a set of science requirements for the IDD have been developed:
Science Requirements - Intermediate Ice Coring Drill
IDDO expects to complete the detailed design by the end of calendar year 2012, with an aim to have an operational, tested drill by the end of FFY2014, in time for deployment to Antarctica for the 2014- 2015 field season.
- SCIENCE REQUIREMENTS
- INFORMATION SHEET
- Intermediate Depth Drill Development: SUMMARY DOCUMENT April 2012
- Intermediate Depth Drill Science Review: October 17, 2012
- Intermediate Depth Drill Final System Engineering Design Review (20 March 2013)
Winch, Deep Logging
Acquisition of a deep logging winch capable of logging boreholes 4000 meters deep is one of the high-priority items identified in the Long Range Science Plan. Through many discussions with the borehole logging community, a set of science requirements for a deep logging winch have been developed. Erin Pettit, Ryan Bay, and Gary Clow will serve as the chief scientists for the deep logging winch development.
Three bids from manufacturers that are willing and capable of building the winch were received by IDDO and a "winner" identified. IDDO has started working with the manufacturer to ensure that the winch will meet the engineering and science requirements.
The winch is 61" L x 53" W x 58" H (109 cube). Weight of the winch and cable is ~2,700 lbs. The total shipping weight and size is estimated at 3,200 lbs and 205 cube, respectively.
Replicate Ice Coring System
Developed, and currently in use at WAIS Divide, Antarctica
The newly developed, state-of-the-art Replicate Ice Coring System is capable of retrieving additional ice cores from specific depths on the uphill side of the main (parent) borehole. The Replicate Coring technique, developed and tested by the IDDO engineers as part of the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) Drill, is a key advance, because it allows scientists to take samples from specific levels of a parent borehole without impeding the hole itself, leaving the parent borehole open for future logging of information.
The Replicate Ice Coring System was deployed in December 2012 to re-enter the 6.5-inch diameter deep borehole at WAIS Divide, Antarctica, and successfully allowed the researchers to drill through the wall of the 3,405 meter deep parent hole and collect a total of 285 meters of additional core from five of the most interesting time periods in the WAIS Divide climate record.
The Replicate Ice Coring System builds on the existing infrastructure of the DISC Drill and thus requires substantial logistics and infrastructure support. However, the design and engineering behind the system is such that it can be scaled down for use with smaller, more agile drilling systems as well. The downhole portion of the DISC Drill, the sonde, was significantly modified to meet the requirements of steering out of the parent hole. The major components of the replicate sonde are described below.
The existing cable interface section of the DISC Drill provides the connection to 4km of fiber optic cable.
The upper actuator section steers the drill, and with the anti-torque levels extended keeps the drill from spinning during cutting operations.
The instrument section provides power and communications to operate the drill.
The lower actuator is identical to the upper actuator, but is configured with discs on the levers to provide smooth nagivation.
The pump/motor section has a powerful pump for chip transport and contains the cutter motor.
The lower sonde includes chip barrels that collect the chips that are cut during coring, a core barrel to collect the core, and the coring head. The lower sonde can be assembled in multiple configurations to meet the needs of the different stages of the replicate coring process (see below).
|Actuator section. Photo: Chris Gibson,IDDO||Broaching head. Photo: Chris Gibson, IDDO|
|Replicate sonde with milling head. Photo: Chris Gibson, IDDO||Replicate sonde with first replicate core drilled. Photo: Chris Gibson, IDDO|
The Replicate Ice Coring System collects additional ice at depths of interest by deploying into an existing borehole and then deviating from it. The drill uses two steering actuator sections to tilt itself in the parent borehole by applying sidewards force against the borehole wall. In the first step of the process, the broaching cutter head is deployed to the target depth. Using the actuators, the drill is tipped to the high ("up hill") side of the borehole to engage the cutters. Ice is removed in repeated passes of approximately 15 meters in the up-stroke. In the second step of the process, a milling head is deployed and creates a landing for the coring head. In the third step of the process, a coring head removes a 20 mm kerf and allows a 108 mm diameter core to enter the core barrel. Two meters of core are removed per trip. The coring is repeated until all of the desired replicate ice from the target depth is obtained.
Winch, Intermediate Logging
Developed, and now available for community use!
Acquisition of logging winches for the borehole logging community is one of the high-priority items identified in the Long Range Science Plan. Through many discussions with the borehole logging community, a set of science requirements for an intermediate-depth winch have been developed. The intermediate-depth winch will be capable of logging holes 1200-1500 meters deep, operate at temperatures as low as -45 degrees C, transportable by a single Twin Otter flight, and is intended for general community use. IDPO Science Advisory Board member Ryan Bay will serve as the science community user contact for IDDO as they pursue acquisition of the winch.
Rapid Access Ice Drill
On hold at IDDO
During the April 2011 Ice Drilling Science Community Planning Meeting, the need for a rapid access ice drilling (RAID) system was articulated. The objective behind the RAID system is to drill through 3.3 kilometers of ice in a week, taking pieces of ice core along the way, and then recover up to 25 meters of bedrock core. Such a drill has long been desired by the glaciology and geology communities; after the April workshop, John Goodge (University of Minnesota-Duluth) asked for IDPO/IDDO assistance in generating information that could support a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) proposal for a RAID drill that he will submit in January 2012. In October 2011, IDPO held a meeting in Madison, WI attended by scientists John Goodge and Jeff Severinghaus (UC-San Diego), IDDO engineers, industry experts, and IDPO to discuss possibilities and tradeoffs of technologies associated with development of a RAID system. The science requirements, initially compiled during the April 2011 IDPO Community Planning workshop, have been subsequently refined by John Goodge and Jeff Severinghaus as part of the scientist-engineer-logistics discussions in biweekly IDPO-organized webteleconferences following the October meeting. An IDDO team led by Michael Gerasimoff evaluated the feasibility of several possible technologies on the basis of meeting science requirements, cost and logistical burden. By the end of December 2011, IDDO had substantially developed a concept for the drill that would meet the science requirements at a reasonable cost and logistical burden. IDDO will produce a report in January 2012 that includes a technical description of the drill system concept, estimates of cost, and schedule for development. Using the input provided by IDPO/IDDO, John Goodge will submit an MRI proposal in January 2012 for construction of the drill.