The 4-Inch Drill is an electromechanical ice coring drill that takes a 104 mm (4-inch) diameter core. Cores can be retrieved from depths to approximately 400 meters. Winches with 100-, 200-, and 400-meter cables are available. The drill is of a mature design and has been used successfully for several decades. It is particularly useful on projects requiring a larger diameter core than produced by the Badger-Eclipse drills. Depending on configuration, the drill can be transported by light aircraft or helicopter.
An electrothermal version of this drill, which melts an annulus around the core, can be substituted for use in ice warmer than -10° C. Both versions use core dogs to break the core off and hold it for retrieval.
The current 4-Inch Drills are repaired as needed, however, the systems are aging. In some cases, replacement parts may no longer be available. To meet continued demand for a drill of this type, IDP has designed and is nearing completion of fabrication of the new Foro 400 Drill. A 4-Inch Drill system will still be maintained; however, the Foro 400 Drill will offer new capabilities and substantial weight savings.
|Number in Inventory||
Number in Inventory
|Max. Practical Depth||
Max. Practical Depth
145 mm (5.7 inches)
|Ice Core Diameter||
Ice Core Diameter
104 mm (4 inches)
|Ice Core Length||
Ice Core Length
|IDP Driller Required?||
IDP Driller Required?
Yes, 1 driller (2 people required for drill operation)
|Drill Fluid Required?||
Drill Fluid Required?
220 V, 5 kW generator
|Estimated Drilling Time||
Estimated Drilling Time
100 m - 30 hours
|Time to Move (breakdown and setup)||
Time to Move (breakdown and setup)
|Light Aircraft Transportable?||
Light Aircraft Transportable?
|Shipping Volume (Cube)||
Complete unit operating is ~1000 lbs. Heaviest component is winch (on sled) at ~500 lbs.
|2019-2020 Antarctic - RAID Antarctic Field Trial (AFT) 3|
|2019-2020 Antarctic - Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network (TARSAN)|
|2018-2019 Antarctic - Reconstructing Carbon-14 of Atmospheric Carbon Monoxide from Law Dome, Antarctica, to Constrain Long-Term Hydroxyl Radical Variability|
|2017-2018 Antarctic - Minna Bluff Firn Core and Firn Air Sampling|
|2016-2017 Antarctic - Characterization of Upstream Ice and Firn Dynamics affecting the South Pole Ice Core|
|2015-2016 Antarctic - RAID/ASIG Packer Test|
|2013 Arctic - Greenland: Greenland Aerosols and Methane Records|
|2011 Arctic - Greenland: Greenland Ice Sheet Snow Accumulation Variability|
|2011 Arctic - Greenland: Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network|
|2010 Arctic - Greenland: Summit Firn Air Cooling Feasibility Study|
|2010 Arctic - Greenland: Understanding the Physical Properties of Northern Greenland Near-Surface Snow|
|2010 Arctic - British Columbia: Ice Core Paleoclimate Records from Combatant Col, Mount Waddington|
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