Equipment

IDP maintains and operates existing drills and borehole logging winches, and develops new systems with two principal foci:

  1. to provide high quality ice cores, and
  2. to produce boreholes that provide access to the interior and beds of ice sheets and glaciers for such purposes as embedding instruments, collecting gas samples, setting seismic charges, studying subglacial processes, studying subglacial geology, collecting subglacial bedrock core, and borehole logging.
 

Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill

The Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill is the first sub-glacial access rock coring drill of its kind for IDP. The drill system design is based on a commercially-available minerals exploration rig, which IDP has adapted for drilling through ice and for ice coring. The system is designed to drill access holes through ice less than 700 meters thick and subsequently collect bedrock cores from beneath glaciers.

The ASIG Drill system was successfully used in remote west Antarctica near the Pirrit Hills during the 2016-2017 field season, where it drilled through approximately 150 meters of ice and collected 8 meters of 39 mm diameter rock core of excellent quality. Nearly 5 meters of ice core was also collected near the ice-bedrock transition, however, the core quality was poor.

The ASIG Drill is much less logistically intensive than the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) deep drilling system developed by the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The ASIG Drill is one of two rock coring drills in the IDP inventory (see also Winkie Drill).


ASIG Drill in operation at Pirrit Hills, Antarctica, during the 2016-2017 summer field season. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

A section of the 8-meters of rock core collected with the ASIG Drill at Pirrit Hills, Antarctica, during the 2016-2017 summer field season. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

IDP drillers Clayton Armstrong (at left) and Mike Jayred (at right) operating the ASIG Drill at Pirrit Hills, Antarctica, during the 2016-2017 summer field season. Photo: Tanner Kuhl


Equipment Details

Name Agile Sub Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill
Type Rock coring; ice coring/augering
Number in Inventory 1
Max. Depth Drilling Through Ice 700 m
Hole Diameter 62.5 mm
Rock Core Diameter 39 mm
IDP Driller Required? Yes, 2 drillers (4 people required for drill assembly)
Drill Fluid Required? Yes
Power requirements/source 120 V, 5 kW generator
Estimated Drilling Time Ice: 1m/minute
Rock: 0.15 m/minute rate of penetration
Time to move (breakdown and setup) 2 days
Helicopter Transportable? Yes (see system weight/cube below)
Light Aircraft Transportable? Yes (see system weight/cube below)
Trench Required? No
Total System Weight 19,000 lbs (200 m); 31,000 lbs (700 m)
Shipping Cube 700

Associated Documents