Drill, Intermediate Depth

2016 Summer

Equipment Development

MAgIC Drill/Intermediate Depth Drill-Light
During the quarter, IDDO continued working with IDPO and community scientists to refine science requirements for a drill based on the 1,500 m Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD), but with a depth target between 400-700 m and with a much-reduced logistics burden to allow for coring on remote glaciers. IDDO sent the next round of comments/edits of the IDPO Science Requirements to IDPO on 6/20/16. A decision on the naming of the new system, and whether or not it will be built, is ongoing.

2016 Spring

Equipment Development

MAgIC Drill/Intermediate Depth Drill-Light
During the quarter, IDDO worked with IDPO and community scientists to develop and refine science requirements for a drill similar to the 1,500 meter Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD), but with a depth target between 500-900 meters and with a much-reduced logistics burden to allow for coring on remote glaciers, for instance, in Alaska. A decision on the naming of the new system, and whether or not it will be built, should be resolved in the Third or Fourth Quarters.

2015 Winter

SPICECORE Drilling Successfully Surpasses Depth Goal!

On January 23, 2016, a team of seven IDDO engineers and drillers concluded drilling operations at South Pole Station in support of the two-year South Pole Ice Core project (SPICECORE; PI Murat Aydin). Supported by the SPICECORE PIs and fantastic science techs, the team reached a final borehole depth of 1751 meters, surpassing the original target of 1500 meters! With NSF permission, the drilling continued within the originally established schedule and the extra meters collected have ensured that the much sought-after Laschamp Event has been captured in the core samples. Nearly 550 meters of core, enough to fill one refrigerated SAFECORE shipping container, are now on the cargo vessel bound for the U.S. In addition, the core storage trench at the South Pole is full of cores that will fill yet another SAFECORE container in February 2017. The cores will then be transported to the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory for processing. IDDO disassembled and packed much of the drilling equipment and extended the borehole casing to allow for future borehole logging operations. A limited IDDO crew of 1-2 people will return to the site during the 2016-2017 season to assist with borehole logging, to disassemble and pack any remaining equipment, and to remove the drill tent with assistance from ASC and the science techs on site.

Driller Dom Winksi and Engineer Grant Boeckmann operate the Intermediate Depth Drill. Credit: IDDO.

The very last run of ice (1751 meters depth) inside the barrel of the Intermediate Depth Drill. Credit: Jay Johnson

Dr. Eric Steig, SPICECORE co-PI, cleans a run of core from 1600 meters depth. Credit: Jay Johnson

2015 Summer

Equipment Development

Intermediate Depth Drill
Preparation is well underway for the second production season of the SPICE Core project at the South Pole. A new drill motor was purchased to replace one that sustained damage during the 2014-2015 field season. Work was performed to repair, standardize and test all circuit boards in the control system. Maintenance and repairs were initiated for the chip chamber, chip valve, hollow shaft assembly, pump and anti-torque slip sensor. Repair of the tower pendant was completed, with the addition of Teflon cabling for durability during contact with drill fluid. A power meter was also specified and parts for it were ordered. IDDO plans to ship all repaired and modified Intermediate Depth Drill equipment back to the South Pole in mid-September.

Science team members work in the South Pole Ice Core (SPICE) drilling tent cleaning the Intermediate Depth Drill and measuring ice cores. Credit: Peter Rejcek, NSF

2014 Winter

Rewarding Debut of Intermediate Depth Drill at South Pole Station

Despite weather, aircraft and program administrative delays, IDDO, together with the Antarctic Support Contractor (ASC) and project investigators, successfully completed the first season of the planned two-season South Pole Ice Core project near the South Pole Station. The project aims to recover a 1,500-meter ice core with IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD). A crew of seven IDDO engineers and drillers deployed in early November 2014 to Antarctica to begin set up of the drill site and installation of the IDD. Together with onsite PI, post-docs, and a graduate student core processing staff, the field team surpassed its seasonal drilling goal of 700 meters, collecting 736 meters in total. Nearly 600 meters of core, enough to fill one SAFECORE refrigerated shipping container, safely arrived to the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, CO, on March 4, where it will remain for processing this summer.

The SPICE Core team with the first core drilled on December 8, 2014. Credit: Mindy Nicewonger

Ice cores being transported to South Pole skiway. Credit: Leah Street

View of the drilling operation inside the drill tent. Credit: Murat Aydin

View of the core processing station inside the drill tent. Credit: Murat Aydin

2014 Summer

Successful Field Test of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill System in Greenland

Early in the third quarter, IDDO deployed a team of engineers and drillers to Summit Station, Greenland for a complete field test of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) system. Despite a delayed start to the season due to a mechanical issue with the LC-130 Hercules fleet, the IDDO team of six was able to successfully set up the entire drill system and put the equipment through its paces. Roughly 285 meters of ice core were drilled over the 14 days of testing, allowing IDDO engineers to test all of the new equipment. Twickler represented IDPO and participated in a site visit to the IDD test camp. All personnel returned to the U.S. on June 13 and the drill system followed in late June and early July. IDDO is now working to complete system repairs and modifications prior to shipping the drill to the South Pole station in late September for the South Pole Ice (SPICE) Core project. IDDO continued monthly teleconferences with ASC and the SPICE Core PIs in preparation for the IDD's deployment to the South Pole in November 2014. In addition, IDDO engineer/driller Tanner Kuhl attended the SPICE Core Planning Meeting in Centennial, Colorado on July 25, 2014.

Inside the un-insulated WeatherPORT tent for housing the drilling and core processing operations

Inside the un-insulated WeatherPORT tent for housing the drilling and core processing operations. Credit: IDDO

The IDD field test crew during a special visit from our Danish colleagues Steffen Bo-Hansen and Trevor Popp

The IDD field test crew during a special visit from our Danish colleagues Steffen Bo-Hansen (second from right) and Trevor Popp (fourth from right). Credit: IDDO

2014 Spring

Changing Seasons for Field Project Support: Wrapping up a Successful Antarctic Season and Readying for a Bustling Arctic Season

Intermediate Depth Drill cargo in New York, ready for transport to Greenland

Intermediate Depth Drill cargo in New York, ready for transport to Greenland.

The second quarter (February 1, 2014 - April 30, 2014) saw several Antarctic projects closed out, with final End-of-Season Reports submitted for the Blue Ice Drill's work on Taylor Glacier and for a successful first deployment of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Logging Winch at Siple Dome. Later in the quarter, IDDO also worked hard to compile and review information for three Support Information Packages for the following 2014-2015 Antarctic field season.

Substantial efforts during the second quarter brought the final setup of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) to life. The majority of the equipment was shipped to Scotia, NY by the end of March, with certain critical components shipped shortly after. A team of six drillers completed the PQ process, and all travel arrangements for their deployment were made. The drillers deployed to Scotia on April 21, but were returned home on April 24, due to a mechanical issue with the LC-130 Hercules fleet. IDDO worked with the NSF, CH2M HILL Polar Field Services and the 109th Air National Guard to weigh options for an abbreviated test season and on April 30, the last day of the quarter, IDDO received a call that the northbound Greenland flights were back on. The IDDO crew made it to Summit, Greenland, on May 6 and had the first core drilled at the Isi test site on May 14. The testing of the Intermediate Depth Drill (in Greenland) is now finished. The last core was drilled on Saturday, May 31. The final depth of the test borehole is 285.3 meters. The drillers are now working on packing to prepare the first round of cargo for a flight to Kangerlussuaq on June 4. The remainder of the cargo is scheduled to fly to Kangerlussuaq on the June 10 flight. The drill team was able to complete all desired tests except for the brittle ice drilling test, due to the Hercules issue delaying the start of the field season.

IDDO continued monthly teleconferences with ASC and the SPICE Core PIs in preparation for the IDD's deployment to the South Pole in November 2014. In addition, engineer/ driller Tanner Kuhl attended the 2014 SPICE Core Planning Meeting at the University of California-Irvine.

IDDO worked with NSF, ASC and the dedicated cargo personnel in Scotia, NY to expedite the return of the Blue Ice Drill (BID) system to Madison after vessel-loading issues in McMurdo threatened to delay the return of much of the Antarctic cargo. The BID was needed in Madison in order for IDDO to implement new BID-Deep components and turn the system around for the upcoming Arctic field season. By the end of April, all cargo was packed for PI Vas Petrenko's upcoming project at Isi Camp, and driller Mike Jayred and engineer/driller Josh Goetz were PQed. Jayred and Goetz subsequently deployed on May 11.

Blue Ice Drill Deep System at IDDO warehouse

Blue Ice Drill - Deep System at IDDO warehouse.

Blue Ice Drill - Deep winch and tripod assembly

Blue Ice Drill - Deep winch and tripod assembly.

IDDO also prepared for a few upcoming hand auger projects in Greenland. Kits were packed and shipped for PI Sarah Das, who used one of IDDO's new 3-Inch hand auger kits to drill shallow cores at one site on Disko Island and at two sites on the Nussuaq Peninsula in late April. A hand auger and Sidewinder kit were packed and shipped for PI Erich Osterberg, who plans to drill cores up to 40 meters depth outside of Thule airbase in late May. Initial preparations were also made for the packing and shipping of hand auger and Sidewinder equipment for PI David Noone's project at Summit Station. Noone's field work in late June and early July will mark the fourth and final year of his four-year project. One additional hand auger project was completed early in the quarter for PI Mike McKay at Bowling Green State University. McKay utilized a new IDDO hand auger to collect river and lake ice samples in the Midwest US as well as in Canada. His project, funded through the NSF Division of Environmental Biology, is scheduled to continue into 2016.

In addition to field season planning and cargo preparation, IDDO also completed proposal support estimates for thirteen separate science projects for the 2014 NSF Antarctic Proposal solicitation. Letters of Support and Cost Estimates were provided to PIs for inclusion in their proposal submissions.

2014 Spring

New Technology for the Community

New Generation of an Intermediate Depth Drill
In the second quarter of PY 2014, IDDO completed the building, final testing, and integration and troubleshooting of the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) system. By April 15th, the entire IDD drill had been packed and shipped to Greenland for field testing. In spite of the extra effort needed for the building, testing and troubleshooting of four newly developed electronic boards and the electrical failure of the new Sorensen 600V Power Supply during the final testing, all equipment was fully tested and shipped to Greenland on time. The IDD drill will be used for PI Eric Saltzman's two-year South Pole Ice Core project (SPICE Core) during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 field seasons.


 
2013 Winter

Equipment Development

Intermediate Depth Drill
IDDO is in the final stage of the development of a new Intermediate Depth Drill, capable of producing ice cores to depths of 1,500 meters. In the first quarter of PY 2014, the procurement of all system parts and components was nearly completed. At the same time, most major assemblies, including the tower, the winch, and the sonde were completed and partially tested as well. Completion of several of the electronics modules, however, has lagged as the result of the responsibility for remaining design, fabrication and testing being assumed by contract engineers and a contract technician after the resignation of the IDDO staff electrical engineer last fall. After the completion of the system integration test in Madison in March of 2014, the entire system will be ready for a full field test in Greenland during the spring-summer of this year.

View of the Intermediate Depth Drill's chips chamber

View of the Intermediate Depth Drill's chips chamber.

2013 Fall

Equipment Development

Intermediate Depth Drill
Assembly of the various drill subsystems are in process for the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD), and all assembly and preliminary testing of the IDD is expected to be completed on schedule for the field test in Greenland during the spring of 2014. Upon repair/upgrade from the field test, the drill will be shipped to Antarctica for use at the South Pole during the 2014-15 field season.


2013 Summer

Equipment Development

Intermediate Depth Drill
IDDO continued work on the procurement of the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) parts and components and started system fabrication, assembly, and components testing. The final assembly of the entire system is planned to be completed by September 30, 2013.

IDPO-IDDO continued to work with the NSF Arctic Logistic contractor (CH2M Hill Polar Services) on the field logistics required for the 2014 IDD field test in Greenland. The Estisol-140 drilling fluid and borehole casing needed for the test were also purchased and are currently on vessel for delivery in Thule, Greenland for subsequent transportation to the field test site (the proposed Isi Station; ~3 miles due north of Summit Station) via the Greenland Traverse in April 2014.

2013 Spring

Equipment Development

Intermediate Depth Drill:
IDDO continued work on the design and fabrication of the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD). On March 20, IDDO held a web-based Final IDD System Engineering Design Review with the South Pole Ice Core PIs, along with several members from the IDPO Science Advisory Board, the IDDO Technical Advisory Board, and IDPO personnel. The final system design has been approved, and IDDO is actively procuring IDD system components and support equipment. The presentation from the Final IDD System Engineering Design Review is available for download at:
http://www.icedrill.org/library/printsection.shtml?ID=340

Image of front page of the Final IDD System Engineering Review presentation
2012 Winter

Intermediate Depth Drill

IDDO continues to work on the design and fabrication of the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD).

The design of the IDD is similar to the Danish Hans-Tausen Drill and Danish Deep Drill, with upgrades including a 2-meter core length. The IDD will be sufficiently portable (e.g. transportable by Twin Otter or similar size aircraft) 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. All surface equipment is being designed for operation to -40oC, and all sonde components are being designed for operation to -55oC.

In addition to the drill itself, the IDD system will also include the following ancillary items: a core processing/ handling system; a centrifuge to recover the drill fluid from the chips created by drilling the core; a drill fluid handling system; vacuums to clean the drill cable and the core; a pilot hole system (polyethylene casing and reamers); a 4.9 m (16 ft) x 22.0 m (72 ft) x 2.8 m (9 ft) un-insulated Weatherport for housing the drilling and core processing operations; and a 3.0 m (10 ft) x 4.9 m (16 ft) un-insulated Weatherport for housing the generators.

On October 17, IDPO-IDDO held a virtual meeting, Science Review of the Intermediate Depth Drill, with the South Pole 1500m Ice Core PIs, along with several members from the IDPO Science Advisory Board, and IDPO personnel. If you are interested in the details of the IDD, we highly recommend that you download the presentation and minutes from the meeting at:
http://icedrill.org/Documents/Download.pm?DOCUMENT_ID=866

The IDD design process will be completed during the 2nd quarter of FFY2013, with the IDD Final Engineering Review scheduled for March 20 in Madison, WI. Fabrication of the drill is expected to begin during the second quarter.

The IDD will be field tested in Greenland during the summer of 2014, and deployed to Antarctica for the 2014-15 field season in support of the South Pole 1500m Ice Core project (http://spicecore.org). While the drill is being designed to be compatible with existing ice drilling fluids, the drilling at South Pole is planning to use either Isopar-K or, more likely, Estisol-140 as the drilling fluid.

Image of IDD cutter head

The cutter head for the IDD is based on the Danish drill design, and has three cutters and three core dogs.

Image of IDD weatherport

The Weatherport for housing the drilling and core processing activities is shown above. The IDD system also includes a separate Weatherport for housing the generators.

Image of IDD

The tilting tower and winch, shown above, is a brand new design by IDDO using a lot of new technological advances from the DISC Drill. The tower is modular allowing it to fit inside a Twin Otter, or similar sized, aircraft.

2012 Fall

South Pole 1500 m Ice Core

The University of California-Irvine (Saltzman, PI), University of Washington (Steig, PI) and University of New Hampshire (Twickler, PI) have recently been funded to obtain a 1500 meter ice core at the South Pole. Drilling is planned for 2014-2015 (~700 m, through the Holocene) and 2015-2016 (to 1500 m / 40,000 years). The drilling will be conducted with the new Intermediate Depth Drill currently under development by IDDO. The ice core obtained will be 9.8 cm in diameter, about 1/2 the volume of the WAIS Divide core, so availability of ice to the community will be less. Proposals to work on the core will need a letter of support from the South Pole Ice Core Executive Committee, currently composed of Eric Saltzman, Eric Steig, Murat Aydin, and Tom Neumann. If you intend to submit a proposal to work on the South Pole ice core, please let the Executive Committee know by sending an email to contact@spicecore.org. In particular, it is important to let them know if you have any special sampling needs, such as sampling in the field. Planning is already underway for the ice core trench; the intention is to process only minimally in the field.

In addition, the first planning workshop for the project is planned for Tuesday, March 19, Friday, February 22, 2013 at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder, CO. The purpose of the workshop is to give scientists interested in participating in the South Pole Ice Core project an opportunity to discuss site selection, science goals, and analytical measurements, as well as an opportunity to coordinate the submission of science proposals (to analyze the ice) in June April, 2013. The intention is to have web-conferencing capability for the workshop so that people can participate in the workshop remotely, if desired. To help plan for the workshop, please let the PIs know (by sending an email to contact@spicecore.org) if you are interested in participating in the workshop, and if so, if you believe you will attend the workshop in person or via web-conferencing.

For the lastest information about the project, and to subscribe to the project's electronic mailing list, visit: http://spicecore.org

2012 Summer

Intermediate Depth Drill Starts Taking Shape

IDDO made progress in design and systems procurement of the new Intermediate Depth Drill, based on the Danish Hans Tausen drill. In cooperation with Centre for Ice and Climate in Copenhagen, Denmark, several component designs are being modified and upgraded. With the help of a contract engineer and a new IDDO mechanical engineering research intern, the design work shows good progress. The winch, tower and anti-torque designs have been completed. Several components of the system, including a winch drum with Lebus groove and a Teflon coated cable, have been procured. The first system design review is scheduled for July 26th. IDDO expects to complete detailed design of the entire drill system 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 2014-15 field season.

Image of IDD

New Intermediate Depth Drill winch and tower design.

Image of IDD

New Intermediate Depth Drill anti-torque design.

2011 Winter

Intermediate-Depth Drill

IDDO is undertaking the design and construction of an Intermediate-Depth Drill (IDD), based on the Hans Tausen drill, in cooperation with the Centre for Ice and Climate (CIC) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Agreement on the nature of the cooperation was worked out (exchange of information) between IDPO/IDDO and CIC in fall 2011. 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 2014-15 field season. During the first quarter (Oct-Dec 2011), IDDO personnel made substantial progress on the design of the drill winch and tilting tower before their deployment to WAIS Divide.

For more information about the IDD, visit: http://icedrill.org/equipment/development.shtml#IDD

2011 Fall

Intermediate-Depth Drill

Development of an Intermediate-Depth Drill capable of retrieving cores to 1500 meters depth is underway. IDDO is undertaking the design and construction of the drill, based on the Hans Tausen drill, in cooperation with the Centre for Ice and Climate in Copenhagen, Denmark, who will provide drawings and technical information on the Hans Tausen drill to IDDO. While complete drawings do not exist, 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 2014-15 field season. The science requirements can be viewed/downloaded at: http://icedrill.org/library/us-plans.shtml#sciencerequirements

2010 Winter

Intermediate Drill

IDPO continued to work with the science community to iterate between the community, IDPO, and IDDO on Science Requirements for an intermediate drill. IDDO continued to research capabilities of existing intermediate drills and suggested possible revisions/changes to the science requirements based on that research. IDPO provisionally approved the Science Requirements, which will be modified after the evaluation of capabilities of other drills, especially the Danish Hans Tausen Drill. Existing intermediate drills are expected to provide the model for the US Intermediate Drill. IDDO engineer Tanner Kuhl submitted a report on his observations of a new NZ intermediate drill at the NEEM site in Greenland and Engineering and Research Director Alex Shturmakov and IDDO engineer Jay Johnson are scheduled to travel to Copenhagen in February to discuss the design of the Hans Tausen Drill with the Danes and to assess the availability of drawings and specifications for use in the U.S. effort.

2010 Fall

Intermediate Drill

The IDPO Long Range Science Plan identifies acquisition of an intermediate drill as a high priority item for the US research community. In FFY2010, IDPO initiated community discussions on the science requirements of the drill, which may be modeled after the Hans Tausen drill (or the NZ modification of that drill). In August, IDDO engineer Tanner Kuhl traveled to NEEM to observe testing of the NZ drill, in order to gain some first-hand knowledge about the drill. IDPO will finish the process of working with the community to come to consensus on the science requirements for an Intermediate Drill in the first quarter of FFY 2011. During FFY 2011, IDDO will create a Project Management Plan, IDPO-IDDO will confer with international partners to gain drawings and collaboration, and IDDO will provide cost estimates and a construction plan for an intermediate drill.

2010 Summer

Planning for New Capability

In addition to soliciting input into the Science Plan, IDPO solicited input from the community with regards to a proposed intermediate depth drill, logging winches, and preservation of older boreholes for future logging. Draft science requirements will be circulated through the research community for comment soon for the intermediate drill and logging winch, and will also be discussed at the upcoming WAIS Divide meeting in La Jolla in September.

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Requesting Ice Drilling Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of support from the IDPO-IDDO, you must contact IDPO ( IceDrill@Dartmouth.edu ) at least six weeks before you submit your proposal to obtain a Letter of Support and a Scope of Work document that MUST be included in your proposal.
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Program Information

The U.S. Ice Drilling Program conducts integrated planning for the ice drilling science and technology communities, and provides drilling technology and operational support that enables the community to advance the frontiers of climate and environmental science.
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