The Sidewinder is not a drill but is a drive/lifting system used in conjunction with the hand augers. It is driven by an electric motor (power hand drill) and a winching system to help in both lowering and retrieving the drill string. The power hand drill is also used to spin the hand auger barrel during drilling. The Sidewinder extends the maximum practical depth of coring with a hand auger to about 40 meters.
Like the hand augers, the Sidewinders are typically operated by investigators without assistance from IDP equipment operators.
|Name||Sidewinder Power Drive|
Power unit for hand augers
|Number in Inventory||
Number in Inventory
|Max. Practical Depth||
Max. Practical Depth
|Ice Core Diameter||
Ice Core Diameter
|Ice Core Length||
Ice Core Length
|IDP Driller Required?||
IDP Driller Required?
No (while 1 person can operate the Sidewinder, a 2-person crew helps share the labor and speeds up the cycle time)
2 kW generator or solar cells
|Estimated Drilling Time||
Estimated Drilling Time
5 m - 2 hours
|Time to Move (breakdown and setup)||
Time to Move (breakdown and setup)
|Light Aircraft Transportable?||
Light Aircraft Transportable?
|Shipping Volume (Cube)||
6 (does not include generator or hand auger)
Shipping weight includes generator but not hand auger. 130 lb shipping weight w/o generator.
|U.S. Ice Drilling Program (2019) IDP Sidewinder Operations and Maintenance Manual. 1-21.||2019|
|Vladimir Aizen, Christine Foreman, Andrei Kurbatov, Erich Osterberg, Eric J Steig (2011) 10 year plan for Shallow Coring Capabilities (1-400 m deep). 2011 Ice Drilling Science Community Planning Workshop, April 15-16, 2011, Herndon, Virginia, USA, 1-5.||2011|
|Jay D Kyne, Joseph McConnell (2007) The SideWinder for powering a hand-coring auger in drilling and lifting. Annals of Glaciology, 47, 101-104. doi: 10.3189/172756407786857721. https://doi.org/10.3189/172756407786857721||2007|
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|2018 Arctic - Greenland: Refreezing in the Firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet|
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|2018 Arctic - Greenland: Quantifying Heat/Mass Structure and Fluxes through the Full Thickness of Greenland's Percolation Zone|
|2017 Arctic - Greenland: Refreezing in the Firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet|
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|2013 Arctic - Wyoming: Prairie Dog Drilling Near the Twin Lakes Ice Patches of Northern Wyoming|
|2013 Arctic - Greenland: Closing the Isotope Hydrology at Summit|
|2013 Arctic - Alaska: McCall Glacier Ice Cores|
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