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Design considerations and solutions in rapid-prototyping an ultraviolet reactor for ice borehole disinfection
Authors: Keen PW and Brito MP
Year: 2014
Keywords: Antarctic glaciology, glaciological instruments and methods, ice biology, subglacial lakes
Periodical/Journal: Annals of Glaciology
Volume: 55
Number: 65
Page Range: 74-82

Antarctic subglacial lakes are of great interest to the science community. These systems are considered to be in pristine condition, potentially harbouring an environment containing undisturbed sedimentary sequences and ecosystems adapted to cold oligotrophic environments in the absence of sunlight. Gaining access to subglacial lakes presents major technological challenges. To comply with conventions covering the exploration of pristine Antarctic environments, access should be conducted so the lake is not contaminated in any way. Consequently, all equipment to enter the lake must be sterile and the entrance should isolate the lake from the external environment. Currently, clean access to these environments is achieved using a hot-water drilling system. Differences between the hydraulic pressure head of the lake and the glacial surface result in a section of the borehole being air-filled. It is imperative that this section is disinfected prior to introducing any sampling equipment. This paper describes the design process involved in rapid-prototyping an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection reactor for achieving this goal. Considerations such as UV output, physical constraints, temperature management, and deployment procedures are assessed. We present a design that addresses these considerations.

DOI: 10.3189/2014AoG65A006
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