IDDO maintains and operates existing ice drilling equipment 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, and studying subglacial geology.

Hand Augers

The hand auger is the most basic of the mechanical drills and is driven from the surface by a series of extensions that are added as drilling proceeds into the ice. The drill, like all other coring drills, has to be retrieved each time a core section is recovered. IDDO has in inventory several types of hand augers: a recently developed IDDO (3-inch (76 mm) core) system, PICO (3-inch (76 mm) and 4-inch (102 mm)), and SIPRE (3-inch (76 mm) core). The IDDO and PICO augers can be configured to take either one-meter or half-meter long cores, and the SIPRE takes half-meter cores. The maximum depth to which hand augers can be used without power assistance (see Sidewinder) is approximately 20 meters.

Hand augers are typically operated by the investigator without assistance from IDDO drillers. Hand augers for Antarctic users traveling through McMurdo Station are individually packed by IDDO and are then sent to the BFC (Berg Field Center) for distribution to the specified field project; drills for use elsewhere are shipped directly to the individual investigators or to the field sites.

IDDO Auger

Photo of IDDO hand auger The IDDO hand auger system is a small lightweight, portable drill system that is designed to take core from firn, but will also work in many kinds of solid ice. It will take cores 3-inches in diameter and can be configured to take ½-meter or 1-meter long cores. The standard IDDO hand auger kit contains everything needed to take core to a depth of 20-meters. Customized kits are provided on request for deeper coring or lighter weight requirements. The IDDO hand auger may be hand or power driven. If power is desired, request the Sidewinder kit in addition.

The IDDO hand auger barrel utilizes a three flight/cutter design and is made of fiberglass composite pipe with metal-reinforced connection points to the coring head and extensions. The coring head contains three planar stainless steel cutters, and three possible options for catching/holding the core: a tapered head, a split ring collet insert, and core dog assemblies. A variety of penetration shoes and core dog springs also come with each hand auger system to allow adjustments for different cutting conditions. The extensions are hollow stem aluminum, which not only makes them lighter but also enables easy delivery of fluid to the bottom of the borehole if needed. Each hand auger system also comes with a gated extension support tool that can be managed with only one driller, and an extension recovery tool for fishing dropped extensions out of the borehole.

Photo of IDDO hand auger
Type: Coring
Number in Inventory: 8
Max. Practical Depth: About 20 meters
Core Diameter: 3-inch (76 mm)
Weight: 90 lbs for 20m kit

IDDO Hand Auger Kit Operator's Manual

Sidewinder Operator Manual


PICO Auger

Photo of PICO hand auger The PICO auger is made of fiberglass composite pipe with aluminum fittings and is consequently much lighter than the SIPRE auger. The cutting head incorporates both a taper and core dogs. The extensions are held together using aluminum pins, which allows for rapid assembly and disassembly, much like the SIPRE auger. The lighter weight of the PICO auger, compared to the SIPRE auger, makes deeper penetration without a lifting device possible.

PICO augers come in two different diameters: 3-inch (76 mm) and 4-inch (102 mm). Both models can be configured to take either one-meter or half-meter long cores. The maximum depth to which these augers can be used without power assistance is approximately 20 meters. As an option, however, the PICO augers can be used with the 'Sidewinder'. The Sidewinder applies power to the auger to increase the rate of drilling and to make it possible for a single operator to drill to depths difficult for hand coring systems.

Type: Coring
Number in Inventory: Seven 3-inch (76 mm) augers
Two 4-inch (102 mm) augers
Max. Practical Depth: About 20 meters; 30+ meters with Sidewinder
Core Diameter: 3-inch (76 mm) or 4-inch (102 mm)
Weight: 100 lbs for 20m kit

PICO Hand Auger Operator Manual

Sidewinder Operator Manual



Photo of SIPRE auger The SIPRE auger is made from stainless steel and is consequently heavy. However, this weight helps its penetration. Quick-release pins hold the extensions together for rapid assembly and disassembly. A simple taper on the inside of the SIPRE core head uses the wedging effect of chips inside the core barrel to break and hold the core. This is effective in firn and brittle ice, but not in tough ice or wet ice. Narrow and wide kerf versions of the SIPRE auger are available.

Type: Coring
Number in Inventory: 4 narrow kerf kits
2 wide kerf kits
Max. Practical Depth: About 20 meters
Core Diameter: 3-inch (76 mm)
Weight: 85 lbs for 6m kit

SIPRE Hand Auger Operator Manual