The hand auger is the most basic of the mechanical drills and is driven from the surface by a series of extensions that are added as drilling proceeds into the ice.
IDP has in inventory several types of hand augers:
- IDDO: 3-inch (76 mm) and 4-inch (101 mm)
- PICO: 3-inch (76 mm) and 4-inch (102 mm)
- SIPRE: 3-inch (76 mm)
The maximum depth to which hand augers can be used without power assistance (see Sidewinder) is approximately 20 meters.
Hand augers are individually packed and assigned to specific investigators, depending on project needs. Augers for Antarctic users traveling through McMurdo Station are individually packed by IDP and sent to the BFC (Berg Field Center) for distribution to the specified field project. Drills for use elsewhere are shipped directly to the individual investigators or to the field sites.
The PICO auger is made of fiberglass composite pipe with aluminum fittings and is consequently much lighter than the SIPRE auger. The cutting head incorporates both a taper and core dogs. The extensions are held together using aluminum pins, which allows for rapid assembly and disassembly, much like the SIPRE auger. The lighter weight of the PICO auger, compared to the SIPRE auger, makes deeper penetration without a lifting device possible.
PICO augers come in two different diameters: 77 mm (3.1-inches) or 98 mm (3.9-inches). Both models can be configured to take either one-meter or half-meter long cores. The maximum depth to which these augers can be used without power assistance is approximately 20 meters. As an option, however, the PICO augers can be used with the 'Sidewinder'. The Sidewinder Power Drive applies power to the auger to increase the rate of drilling and to make it possible for a single operator to drill to depths difficult for hand coring systems.
Existing PICO hand augers in inventory are aging and parts that have reached the end of their useful life are being removed from inventory over time. In recent years, IDP developed and fabricated eight copies of the new 3-inch IDDO hand auger. Based on the success of that design, IDP designed and built three 4-inch units. The IDDO hand augers are now being regularly used by investigators in both Greenland and Antarctica.
|Name||Hand Auger, PICO|
|Number in Inventory||
Number in Inventory
|Max. Practical Depth||
Max. Practical Depth
20 m (30-40 m with Sidewinder)
141 mm (5.6-inches)
|Ice Core Diameter||
Ice Core Diameter
76 mm (3-inch)
98 mm (3.9-inches)
|Ice Core Length||
Ice Core Length
|IDP Driller Required?||
IDP Driller Required?
|Drill Fluid Required?||
Drill Fluid Required?
Hand-powered or Sidewinder
|Light Aircraft Transportable?||
Light Aircraft Transportable?
100 lbs for 20 meter kit
|Shipping Volume (Cube)||
|U.S. Ice Drilling Program (2019) IDP Sidewinder Operations and Maintenance Manual. 1-21.||2019|
|U.S. Ice Drilling Program (2019) PICO Hand Auger Operations and Maintenance Manual. 1-32.||2019|
|John J Kelley, Kerry L Stanford, Bruce R Koci, Mark A Wumkes, Victor Zagorodnov (1994) Ice coring and drilling technologies developed by the Polar Ice Coring Office. Memoirs of National Institute of Polar Research. Special issue 49, 24-40. https://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/110000010309||1994|
|Bruce R Koci (1984) A Lightweight Hand Coring Auger. Proceedings of the Second International Workshop/Symposium on Ice Drilling Technology (eds G. Holdsworth, K.C. Kuivinen and J.H. Rand), CRREL Special Report 84-34, 55-59.||1984|
|Bruce R Koci, Karl C Kuivinen (1984) The Pico Lightweight Coring Auger. Journal of Glaciology, 30, (105), 244-245. doi: 10.3189/S0022143000006018. https://doi.org/10.3189/S0022143000006018||1984|
Request More Information
Have a question or require more information?