Drill, 4-Inch

2018 Summer

Antarctic Cargo Preparation Commences for Law Dome Project

In early June, IDDO turned its attention to cargo preparation for the Law Dome field project (PI Petrenko). IDDO staff have been participating in regular teleconferences with the science team and the Australian Antarctic Division to prepare for the joint U.S.-Australian supported fieldwork. At IDDO, an extensive cleaning protocol was implemented for a 4-Inch Drill, a Badger-Eclipse Drill and the Blue Ice Drill, to ensure carbon-free sampling during the upcoming Law Dome project. Drill parts underwent ultrasonic cleaning in acetone, followed by further cleaning in ethanol and deionized water. Metal parts such as coring heads, cutters, etc. were further baked overnight in an environmental chamber. The cargo was subsequently shipped on July 26, 2018, to Port Hueneme, CA, eventually bound for Hobart, Tasmania.

Ultrasonic cleaning of cutters and other metal parts. Credit: Jay Johnson

Baking of drill parts in a Tenney environmental chamber at 50 °C. Credit: Jay Johnson

2018 Summer

Equipment Updates

4-Inch Drills
Maintenance was completed for the 4-Inch Drill system that returned from Antarctica. One core barrel set was modified to match beneficial modifications made to another barrel set in inventory. An improved cable keeper for the crown sheave was designed, fabricated and implemented.

2017 Winter

IDDO Completes Support of 2017-2018 Antarctic Season

IDDO deployed four separate drilling/logging systems for use during the 2017-2018 season, along with three IDDO equipment operators.

IDDO engineer Tanner Kuhl accompanied the 4-Inch Drill and Deep Logging Winch to Minna Bluff for the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) second Antarctic field trial (AFT2; PIs Goodge and Severinghaus; D-551-M) project. The 4-Inch Drill was used successfully to drill one hole to 131 meters, with firn air samples collected by the science team (PI Severinghaus; D-551-M) from nine separate depths. The 4-Inch Drill coring activities found the firn-ice transition at Minna Bluff to be at approximately 82 meters depth, providing valuable firn-ice transition data for the nearby RAID AFT2 operations. IDDO's Deep Logging Winch was deployed to allow for logging of the RAID AFT2 boreholes using Ryan Bay's optical logging tool. The Deep Logging Winch was ultimately not used during the RAID AFT2, however, as the RAID system was unable to complete a hole to depth. While development, fabrication and testing of the RAID system is being conducted by DOSECC Exploration Services LLC and is not an IDPO-IDDO activity, Kuhl's deployment to Minna Bluff also gave him the opportunity to drill with the RAID field team, learn about the RAID system operation, and provide trouble-shooting support to the RAID team.

The 4-Inch Drill in use at Minna Bluff, Antarctica, during the 2017-2018 Antarctic field season. Credit: Tanner Kuhl

The Intermediate Depth Logging Winch was sent to the South Pole, where it was used successfully by the Askaryan Radio Array (ARA) field team (PI Karle; A-107-S) to log the existing South Pole Ice Core (SPICEcore) borehole to gather physical properties data as well as radio properties and ARA calibration data. IDDO engineer Chris Gibson joined the ARA field team at the South Pole this season to gain valuable hands-on experience with their hot water drilling operation.

ARA hot water drilling at South Pole. Credit: Chris Gibson

The Winkie Drill successfully completed its second field season, this time in Ong Valley (PIs Putkonen and Morgan; G-192-M). Drill upgrades made in Madison following the previous project in the Ohio Range proved successful, and IDDO engineer Grant Boeckmann was able to collect quality mixed media cores consisting of ice, silt and rock. While the original project goal was to collect three cores from two separate sites (six cores total), the ice encountered contained much more sand, silt and rock than the PIs anticipated. One core was collected at each of the two sites, with one core to 10 meters and one to 12 meters depth. The higher debris content proved very useful for the science goals, reducing the number of holes needed.

The Winkie Drill in Ong Valley, Antarctica. Credit: Grant Boeckmann

A mixed-media core consisting of ice, silt and rock collected with the Winkie Drill in Ong Valley, Antarctica. Credit: Grant Boeckmann

IDDO also supported six hand auger projects during the 2017-2018 field season through the provision of Hand Auger and Sidewinder equipment.

2016 Winter

2016-2017 Antarctic Field Season Wraps Up

In addition to the two sub-glacial rock drilling projects described above, IDDO successfully supported three projects at or near the South Pole, and one at WAIS Divide, during the 2016-2017 Antarctic field season. South Pole Ice Core (SPICECORE; PI Murat Aydin; I-164-S) operations were completed in just three years at South Pole, with 1751 meters of ice core drilled, one round of borehole logging (PI Ryan Bay; I-194-S) with the Intermediate Depth Logging Winch completed, and all equipment has now been removed from the site. Engineers Jay Johnson and Josh Goetz completed all remaining activities this season, with help from the science team onsite. Also near South Pole Station, drillers Mike Waszkiewicz and Elizabeth Morton completed a number of holes ranging from 5 to 125 meters depth using the IDDO 4-Inch Drill system (PI Michelle Koutnik; I-193-S). In West Antarctica, despite needing to make a last-minute operator change, borehole logging with the Deep Logging Winch was also successfully completed at WAIS Divide (PI Erin Pettit; I-166-M).

Laser dust logging of the SPICECORE borehole. Credit: Jay Johnson.

The IDDO 4-Inch Drill near South Pole Station. Credit: Mike Waszkiewicz.

Borehole logging at WAIS Divide. Credit: Elizabeth Morton.

Decommissioning of the SPICECORE drill site. Credit: Joe Souney.

2015 Spring

Beneficial Design Upgrades Continue for 4-Inch 'Foro' Drill

During the Second Quarter, IDDO completed the preliminary design of the new 'Foro' Drill System to upgrade the popular, yet aging, 4-Inch Drill equipment. IDDO engineers have utilized feedback from 4-Inch Drill operators to make this new system lighter, more robust, more easily controlled, and more user-friendly. The sonde design is based on that of IDDO's Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) and the current 4-Inch Drill designs, with certain components being interchangeable with the IDD, including the anti-torque section, motor section, and the cutter head. The designs for the 'Foro' Drill sled, winch, cable, and control system are brand new designs, and the tower is a modified and improved version of the current 4-Inch Drill tower design. The new sled, winch and tower assembly alone offer a 40% weight savings over the current 4-Inch Drill components. In addition, upgrading the control system to include only one comprehensive control/readout box, as opposed to the two separate boxes used by the 4-Inch Drill, will offer an additional 30% weight savings in this area. In March 2015, IDDO circulated a 'Name That Drill' Doodle poll to encourage IDPO and IDDO team members to vote on a name for the new components, so that distinguishing between the old and new equipment would be more straightforward. The name 'Foro' was selected, and is Latin for "to make a hole, pierce or to bore". On the last day of the Second Quarter, April 30th, IDDO held a Preliminary Design Review where the engineers presented the new system design and future plans for the 'Foro' Drill.

The major design upgrades for the 'Foro' Drill include:

  1. Redesign tower and winch to be lighter/smaller
    • 5.7 mm diameter steel electromechanical winch cable, same as used on the IDD Drill (current 4-Inch Drill cable is 13mm in diameter)
    • New cable weight is 13.1kg/100 m (current 4-Inch Drill cable weight is 17.1kg/100 m)
  2. Upgrades for wet conditions
    • New sealed motor section – submersible in drilling fluid or water (current 4-Inch Drill is not submersible)
  3. Upgraded control system
    • Drill and winch motors will be able to be run simultaneously
    • Off-the-shelf motor controllers
    • Reduced weight, compared to the existing 4-InchDrill control boxes

SolidWorks model of the new 'Foro' Drill winch, tower and sonde.

SolidWorks model of the new 'Foro' control box.

2013 Summer

Scientific Drilling

Greenland Aerosol and Greenhouse Gases Core (PI McConnell)
Despite being forestalled by weather in previous attempts to drill ice cores on Tunu Glacier in Greenland several years ago, IDDO driller Bella Bergeron and the science field team were able to recover successfully over 350 meters of ice core during the month of May. Using an IDDO 4-Inch Drill, one hole was completed down to 213 meters while a second hole was completed down to 141 meters.

2011 Summer

Multidisciplinary Science on the Greenland Ice Sheet is Enabled by Agile Ice Core Drills

Despite battling bitter winds and cold April temperatures in Greenland, P.I. Rick Forster's Arctic Circle Traverse (ACT) field team successfully drilled and processed over 200 meters of ice core at four traverse sites in Greenland under the leadership of IDDO Lead Driller, Terry Gacke. The cores may yield insights on snow accumulation. Meanwhile, in the center of the ice sheet, the field team for P.I.s David Noone and David Schneider drilled a shallow core array near Summit Station, Greenland using an IDDO PICO 4-inch hand auger system and Sidewinder kit. At Raven Camp on the ice sheet, activity focused on a detection system for ice sheet movement; a 300-meter borehole was drilled and a seismometer successfully deployed in May for P.I. Kent Anderson's Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) project. Under the leadership of IDDO Lead Driller Bella Bergeron, IDDO driller Terry Gacke, IDDO engineer Tanner Kuhl and the GLISN science team utilized the 4-Inch drill system winch to control descent of the seismometer. In addition, three solar arrays were constructed, surface seismometers buried, wind turbines and GPS antennas erected, and interconnecting cables buried.

Photo of GLISN field team

GLISN field team. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

Photo of Lead Driller Beth Bergeron operating the winch

Lead Driller Beth Bergeron operates the winch. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

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