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.

Winkie Drill

In 2015, IDP purchased a commercially-available Winkie Drill system from Minex that is capable of coring rock. IDP subsequently worked to modify and upgrade the system to add ice augering and ice coring capabilities. The system has a depth capability of 120 meters. All components of the Winkie Drill system can fit in a Twin Otter or similar-sized aircraft.

The ice augering capability of the system was initially tested outside of McMurdo Station, Antarctica in February 2016. The system then underwent more comprehensive testing in Madison prior to its shipment back to Antarctica in September 2016 for a funded field project in 2016-2017. The drill performed well during that initial season, drilling 8 holes between 12-54 meters depth. Rock cores between 28-67 cm in length were collected in five of the holes and a semi-consolidated sediment core was retrieved from one hole. Modifications were made following that season to accommodate a request for larger core diameter as well as the replacement of the gas engine for an electric motor, for improved reliability and to allow for operation within an enclosed space (e.g. a tent). Following those upgrades, the drill was again used successfully during the 2017-2018 season in Ong Valley, Antarctica, where two continuous mixed-media cores were collected to a depth of 9.45 meters and 12.36 meters.

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

The assembled Winkie Drill system at the Ohio Range, Antarctica, during the 2016-2017 summer field season. Credit: Grant Boeckmann

Packaged rock cores drilled with the Winkie Drill during the 2016-2017 summer field season. Credit: Sujoy Mukhopadhyay

The Ohio Range field team (2016-2017 summer field season) after their first successful rock core with the Winkie Drill. Credit: Sujoy Mukhopadhyay

Equipment Details

Name Winkie Drill
Type Rock Coring; Ice Coring/Augering
Number in Inventory 1
Max. Depth Possible in Ice 120 meters using standard AW34 drill rod
Max. Depth Possible in Rock 120 meters (designed as a rock drill; should be possible with enough time and fluid)
Hole Diameter (augering) 50 - 52 mm
Rock Core Diameter 32.5 mm
Ice Core Diameter 33.4 mm
Core Length 1.5 m; 3 m
IDP Driller Required? Yes, 2 drillers
Drill Fluid Required? Yes
Power Requirements/Source Generator 2.5 kW
Estimated Drilling Time Augering Ice: 0.4-0.5 m/min rate of penetration
Coring Ice: ?
Rock: 0.02-0.05 m/min rate of penetration
Above values do not include rod tripping time (can be significant in deep holes)
Time to move (breakdown and setup) 3 hours (set up time)
Helicopter Transportable? Yes
Light Aircraft Transportable? Yes
Trench Required? No
Shipping Weight 2,200 lbs
Shipping Cube 110
Restrictions Current drill capabilities require the drill site to be blue ice up to the surface, without cracks, and frozen to the bed.