IDDO maintains and operates existing drills and borehole logging winches, and develops new systems with two principal foci:

  1. to provide high quality ice cores, and
  2. to produce boreholes that provide access to the interior and beds of ice sheets and glaciers for such purposes as embedding instruments, collecting gas samples, setting seismic charges, studying subglacial processes, studying subglacial geology, collecting subglacial bedrock core, and borehole logging.

Stampfli 2-Inch Drill


In Development/Procurement


In late PY 2016, IDDO procured an off-the-shelf Fast Electromechanical Lightweight Ice Coring System (FELICS) 2-inch coring system from Dieter Stampfli in Switzerland. The drill was purchased to meet requests by the community for a very lightweight, PI-operable system capable of collecting core down to 100-meters depth.

The drill was received at IDDO in mid-April 2017, at which point IDDO engineers/drillers completed an initial assembly and inspection. IDDO shipped the very lightweight system to Greenland in early May 2017 for some preliminary in-field testing. Following completion of the testing, IDDO will assess any necessary modifications needed for the system and will work to identify and procure spare parts. As the system comes shipped from the manufacturer in one wood crate, IDDO also plans to research and procure smaller shipping bags and cases for the system, to allow for backpack transport of the drill in remote locations.

Science Requirements

Science Requirements

The following are the final approved science requirements for the drill that have been defined through discussions with the research community and with IDDO staff.

  1. Electromechanical drill to produce firn cores 2" - 2.25" nominal core diameter.
  2. The core barrel should be 1.5-2 m long; retrieved core length should be 75-100 cm per run.
  3. The drill should have two depth configurations, one setup includes a winch and cable for 50 m depth and another has a winch and cable for 100 m depth.
  4. The drill should be very field portable. Individual pieces, including packaging, should not exceed approximately 60 lbs, as the 50 m drill may be transported up a mountain solely by a human on foot or skis.
  5. The drill should be operable in ambient temperatures down to -25°C.
  6. One trained person should be able to set up and operate the drill in the field, with a second person logging the core. IDDO drillers should not be needed in the field.
  7. Operators should have the option of powering the electromechanical drill and winch by batteries to be charged with lightweight flexible solar panels (or by generator in some cases). The solar panel power option should not require use of a generator.
  8. Electronic controls should be simplified for use by a non-IDDO operator. Feedback should include drilling depth and does not have to be digital.
  9. The drill setup procedure can be considered in two steps: an initial unpacking and setup after shipment from Madison, WI to the field region (perhaps a base camp), and a final setup at the drilling site. The final setup time for the drill should be within two hours at the drilling site, excluding any tent setup.
  10. The drill should be transportable with the longest piece less than 108". The entire drill system should fit inside one helicopter or twin otter packed in cases or bags that can be lifted by one person. The weight and dimensions of each case should comply with airline baggage requirements, so that the drill can be transported as checked baggage or easily shipped with a domestic/international carrier. (Each case should be less than 125" in length, and weigh less than 60 lb.)
  11. The drill system should not require digging of a trench or pit.
  12. The drill should be easily maintainable in the field by non-IDDO operators.
  13. IDDO shall provide a back-packable tent with the system, in which the drill can operate.
  14. Core packaging materials (tubes, boxes, straps) and transportation materials (pallets, blankets) shall be provided by the logistics provider.

Associated Documents

Questions or Comments

Questions or comments should be sent to Mary Albert.