The hand auger is the most basic of the mechanical drills and is driven from the surface by extensions that are added as drilling proceeds into the ice.
IDP primarily deploys three types of hand augers:
- IDDO: 3-inch (76 mm) and 4-inch (101 mm) cores
- Kovacs: 3.54-inch (90 mm) and 5.5-inch (140 mm) cores
- SIPRE: 3-inch (76 mm) core
The SIPRE, Kovacs, and short IDDO systems take half-meter cores, while the long IDDO systems take one-meter cores. IDP also has two remaining PICO 3-inch hand auger kits in inventory, which are occasionally requested for drilling in blue ice. Much of the PICO equipment has aged beyond its useful life and several PICO drills kits were decommissioned in early 2022. The maximum depth to which hand augers can be used without power assistance (see Sidewinder) is approximately 20 meters. Hand augers are typically operated by investigators without assistance from IDP equipment operators.
Hand augers are individually packed and assigned to investigators, depending on project needs. Augers for 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. IDP maintains eight copies of the 3-inch IDDO hand auger, three copies of the 4-inch IDDO hand auger and nine copies of the SIPRE hand auger.
The SIPRE auger is made from stainless steel and is consequently heavy. However, this weight helps its penetration. Quick-release pins hold the extensions together for rapid assembly and disassembly. A simple taper on the inside of the SIPRE core head uses the wedging effect of chips inside the core barrel to break and hold the core. This is effective in firn and brittle ice, but not in tough ice or wet ice. Narrow and wide kerf versions of the SIPRE auger are available.
|Name||Hand Auger, SIPRE|
|Number in Inventory||
Number in Inventory
|Max. Practical Depth||
Max. Practical Depth
120 mm (4.7-inches)
|Ice Core Diameter||
Ice Core Diameter
76 mm (3-inches)
|Ice Core Length||
Ice Core Length
|IDP Driller Required?||
IDP Driller Required?
|Drill Fluid Required?||
Drill Fluid Required?
Hand-powered or Stihl BT121 powerhead
|Estimated Drilling Time||
Estimated Drilling Time
6 m - 2 hours
|Time to Move (breakdown and setup)||
Time to Move (breakdown and setup)
|Light Aircraft Transportable?||
Light Aircraft Transportable?
85 lbs for 6 meter kit
|Shipping Volume (Cube)||
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