Successful Deployment of IDDO's Two New Rock Coring Drills
The Winkie Drill was deployed to the Ohio Range region (PI Sujoy Mukhopadhyay: G-438-M) in late November for its first funded field project. IDDO engineer Grant Boeckmann and the science team drilled a series of shallow boreholes that resulted in the successful collection of five rock core samples and one sample of frozen and largely unconsolidated debris. The Winkie Drill system functioned very well for its first official deployment. Refinements will be made when the equipment returns from Antarctica this spring.
During the quarter, IDDO completed the fabrication, assembly, and modifications of the Winkie Drill. On 9/16/16, the Winkie Drill system was shipped to Port Hueneme, CA, for its first Antarctic deployment on PI Mukhopadhyay's project (see Field Support to Antarctic Projects above).
Winkie Drill System Tested at IDDO Warehouse
During the quarter (May 1 - July 31), IDDO transitioned from the design and fabrication phase of Winkie Drill development to the in-depth system testing phase. Using multiple test set ups and simple testing apparatus assembled by IDDO engineers, full scale system testing was conducted in solid ice, solid granite and in ice ingrained with various sizes of granite chunks. The cutting ability of a number of bits with varying geometries was tested. In late July, IDDO invited Earl Maynard to Madison to assist with the testing. Mr. Maynard has decades of international experience using the Winkie Drill. His participation served as a very beneficial training opportunity for engineer Grant Boeckmann, as he is scheduled to deploy with the drill to the Ohio Range in Antarctica this coming 2016-2017 field season.
During the third quarter, IDDO completed an internal system design review as well as all necessary fabrication, assembly, and modifications of the Winkie Drill. Multi-round system testing was completed, including ice drilling with a newly-designed air chip transport system and modified Forstner and Irwin bits, coring through an ice/rock interface with multiple layers of ice and different sizes of granite rocks using two different types of mixed-media coring bits and a range of Isopar K temperatures, and coring solid granite with three different types of coring bits and two types of drilling fluid (Isopar K and water). System testing was very successful and helped inform selection of drilling/coring bits for a variety of ice/rock conditions the drill may encounter in the field. In conjunction with system testing, IDDO completed two days of operational training, conducted by Earl Maynard, a Winkie Drill expert, in Madison in July 2016. IDDO continued minor system modifications and started final procurement of replacement and spare parts.
Winkie Drill Development in Full Swing
IDDO ramped up its work on the Winkie Drill system during the quarter. Several IDDO engineers were able to test the system's ability to auger through ice outside of McMurdo Station in early February. IDDO also researched and performed additional testing with regard to ice chips transport using a small air compressor. IDDO engineers are working to prepare the system for upcoming Antarctic work in 2016-2017, where a series of holes will be drilled in ice 10-50 meters deep, below which 50 cm bedrock cores will be collected. Utilizing proven rock coring technology in the off-the-shelf rig, along with proven ice coring and ice chips transport technologies, IDDO looks forward to bringing shallow, agile sub-glacial bedrock coring to life.
During the Second Quarter, IDDO continued its modifications and upgrades to the off-the-shelf Winkie Drill purchased from Minex. Early in the quarter, IDDO was able to test its adaptations of auger flights during the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) Auger and Packer Test near McMurdo Station. Important information was gained regarding penetration rates, expected fuel consumption, and the augers' ability to transport ice chips to the surface. Taking advantage of the ASIG Drill test set up, the transportation of ice chips by air was tested as a proof of concept for drilling options in the deep field. Later in the quarter, IDDO identified two types of mixed media coring bits, completed fabrication of a rig base for the system to support the drill and evenly distribute loads across the snow surface during core breaks, completed installation and testing of a variable frequency motor drive for the mud pump, and completed modifications of a drill fluid filtration drum. IDDO will continue its work into the Third Quarter, and also plans to complete additional testing and training in Madison in July 2016, prior to shipping the system to Antarctica in September.
IDDO received approval from IDPO to pursue purchase of a commercially available Winkie Drill from Minex. Following telecons with IDPO, NSF and Ohio Range project PIs Robert Ackert and Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, IDPO-IDDO determined purchase of this new rock coring drill would better serve the needs of the Ohio Range project to obtain rock samples from the ice-bedrock interface, and the larger community, as opposed to making repairs and modifications to the Koci Drill. The new Winkie Drill is also expected to prove useful for the joint RAID/ASIG auger and packer tests near McMurdo in February 2016. Necessary purchase orders have been submitted. Upon receipt of the rig, IDDO will make modifications to the Winkie Drill to expand its capabilities to include augering and coring through ice.
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