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.

Badger-Eclipse Drill

The Badger-Eclipse Drills are modified Eclipse Drills manufactured by Icefield Instruments, Inc. The drill is an electromechanical system capable of collecting 81 mm (3.2-inch) diameter core to depths of approximately 300 meters. The drill system is transportable by small aircraft or helicopter. IDP has two Badger-Eclipse Drill systems that it regularly deploys and a third Eclipse Drill was transferred from the University of New Hampshire to IDP in 2010.

In 2013, IDP designed and fabricated a solar and wind power system for use in operation of the drill, which has proven particularly useful at field sites where environmental impact is of special concern and where use of a generator for drill operation is not desirable or permitted. IDP also owns two Mountain Hardwear Space Station Dome tents for use with the Badger-Eclipse Drill systems. The tents have allowed drilling operations to continue safely and reliably during inclement weather on recent projects in Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica, where drilling progress would have been halted had the tents not been available. In 2017, IDP completed a full redesign of the aging control boxes and readout boxes to provide for simplified operation, weight reduction and new sealed cases. In 2018, new cover panels were implemented for the traversing system. New cases were also procured for the motor section and tower frame. New load pins and load pin amplifiers were implemented and tested to make the load sense circuit more robust.

Two Badger-Eclipse drills are available for use. One is referred to as the 'standard' Badger-Eclipse Drill and the other as the 'traversing' Badger-Eclipse Drill, since it is sled-mounted. In late 2016 and early 2017, IDP performed a thorough assessment of the Eclipse Drills and has since implemented numerous minor, but very beneficial modifications to the drills.

Drilling tent and Eclipse Drill in operation at a snowy Allan Hills, Antarctica, during the 2015-2016 summer field season. Credit: Mike Waszkiewicz

A solar and wind power system in use for Eclipse drilling in Denali National Park during the 2013 field season. Credit: Mike Waszkiewicz

Mike Waszkiewicz (right) drills with the Eclipse Drill while John Higgins (left) packs core at Allan Hills, Antarctica, during the 2009-2010 summer field season. Credit: Andrei Kurbatov

IDP driller Lou Albershardt operates the Eclipse Drill during the Norwegian-U.S. traverse of East Antarctica. Credit: Stein Tronstad

Equipment Details

Name Badger-Eclipse Drill
Type Ice coring
Number in Inventory 2
Max. Practical Depth 300 meters
Hole Diameter 113 mm (4.4 inches)
Core Diameter 81 mm (3.2 inches)
Core Length 1 m
IDP Driller Required? Yes, 1 driller (2 people required for drill operation)
Drill Fluid Required? No
Power requirements/source 120v, 3kW generator or Solar and wind power system
Estimated Drilling Time 100 m - 60 hours
150 m - 110 hours
200 m - 150 hours
Time to move (breakdown and setup) 4 hours
Helicopter Transportable? Yes
Light Aircraft Transportable? Yes
Trench Required? Yes (1.5 m x 0.7 m x 1.5 m)
Shipping Weight 2000 lbs
Shipping Cube 160
Comments Complete unit operating ~800 lbs. Heaviest component is the winch (on sled) 400 lbs. Winch control box 250 lbs.