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Document Details

Evaluation of Deep Ice Core Drilling Systems
Authors: Koci BR and Sonderup JM
Year: 1990
Periodical/Journal: PICO TR-90-01
Page Range: 1-34

National Science Foundation (NSF) Department of Polar Programs (DPP) has asked PICO to evaluate drilling systems capable of retrieving quality ice core to depths of 4,000 m.

Since there are many drill designs capable of accomplishing this task, a selection path is provided to choose basic drill type which in this case is mechanical. More detailed requirements of core quality, system cost, operating expense, weight and logistics considerations are examined for the final drill selection.

Two drills are considered, a cable suspended electromechanical system, and an oil field type of drill, the wireline system. Based on logistics, coase and ability to provide information on drilling parameters at the drill ice interface, a cable suspended electromechanical system is favored.

The wireline system, while worthy of consideration, currently does not supply core greater than 3.5 in diameter with an off the shelf drill. Increasing core size to 5.25 in requires redesign of the drill string and poses severe weight penalties. Communication with the drill head is difficult.

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