Drill, Rapid Air Movement (RAM)

2018 Spring

Rapid Air Movement Drill Upgrades in Full Swing at IDDO

Work is quickly progressing at IDDO on the Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill upgrade project. Equipment upgrades for the modified system, also known as RAM 2, are being accelerated for completion in June to allow enough time for a field test before shipping the drill to West Antarctica for its first use on a science project. The ultimate objective of the upgrade project is to greatly reduce the overall system weight while maintaining the rapid production rate of dry shot holes. During the second quarter, all major component orders were placed. Electrical testing of the sonde commenced and initial testing for air pressure loss was completed.

The original RAM Drill system in use during the 2010-2011 field season for the Askaryan Radio Array project at South Pole. Credit: Michael DuVernois

Upgraded RAM Drill 2 compressor testing in Madison, WI. Credit: Chris Gibson

Proposed layout of the RAM 2 Drill in the field. Snowmobiles can now be used in place of heavy equipment for towing the equipment between drill sites. Credit: Chris Gibson

2018 Spring

Equipment Updates

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
Acceleration of RAM Drill design and procurement tasks continued to accommodate a potential test of the system in Greenland during summer 2018. All major component orders have been placed and electrical testing of the sonde was initiated. Initial testing for air pressure losses was completed.

2017 Winter

Equipment Updates

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
Design and procurement tasks were accelerated to accommodate a potential test of the Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill system in Greenland during summer 2018. Component purchases included a new hose reel and downhole motors and controllers. Initial subsystem testing has begun.

2017 Summer

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
A conceptual design for extensive weight reduction based on the revised science requirements was completed in July. The conceptual design was presented to community scientists Sridhar Anandakrishnan and Paul Winberry for input in early August. Following that external review and any necessary modifications to the design, IDDO plans to begin purchasing primary components for the lighter-weight RAM Drill system in September/October.

2017 Spring

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
The science requirements were finalized for the modification and upgrade to the current Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill, which is used to create ~100-meter deep shot holes for seismic exploration. The science requirements target a system capable of drilling as fast as the existing RAM Drill, but at a small fraction of the current system weight. Numerical modeling and testing was initiated during the quarter to identify both the hose and drill head configurations required to achieve the desired results. The science requirements are available on the IDPO-IDDO website at http://icedrill.org/equipment/ram.shtml.

2016 Winter

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
During the first quarter, IDDO worked with IDPO and community scientists to define the science requirements for intended modifications and upgrades to this drill system. The requirements target a system capable of drilling as fast as the existing Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill, but at a small fraction of the current system weight. The speed required is not achievable with double-walled drill rod used in a typical Reverse Circulation drill system. Alternative solutions, including two approaches using a hose like the existing RAM drill, are being analyzed. Numerical models and testing will be used to identify both the hose and drill head configurations required to achieve the desired results. A system-level concept will also be completed.

2016 Fall

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
During the quarter, IDDO continued review of the existing sled design and its suitability for use with a reverse circulation dual walled pipe drill. With interest by both the seismic and physics communities on modification and use of the RAM Drill, IDDO plans to work with IDPO in PY 2017 (Nov 1, 2016 - October 31, 2017) to develop updated science requirements for the drill, upon which all subsequent modifications and upgrades will be based. During the quarter, IDDO also completed necessary paperwork for participation in a capstone project at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). The project was accepted for the current school year where CSM students will study air flow and down hole tooling analysis for the RAM Drill.

2016 Summer

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
During the quarter, IDDO continued researching multiple approaches for RAM Drill modification and decided to primarily focus on a dual walled pipe drill design that looks more promising than a dual walled hose design or a design based on a new standard hose reel assembly. IDDO started reviewing the existing sled design and its suitability for use with a reverse circulation dual walled pipe drill.

2016 Spring

Equipment Development

Rapid Air Movement Drill
During the quarter, IDDO began researching a new hose reel design for the Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill. IDDO also explored dual-wall hose designs and rigid, lightweight aluminum pipe applications as it looks to lighten and lessen the drill's logistics for future deployments. IDDO engineers also corresponded with engineers in the Chinese drilling program, as they are investigating similar technologies.

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