The IDP Science Advisory Board identified in the IDP Long Range Science Plan 2015-2025 and later, a priority need to envision and develop a drilling operation that is less logistically intensive than the existing Foro 1650 Drill (formerly referred to as the Intermediate Depth Drill or IDD), to be used to retrieve ice cores from 700 m depth at alpine or polar ice coring sites with limited logistics and with two months or less time on site. In continuing discussions, it became evident that a smaller diameter core than the Foro drills produce (e.g., 98 mm) would result in significant logistical savings.
From discussions organized by IDP with iterative discussions between scientists, and IDP staff, the 700 Drill Science Requirements were finalized, a Conceptual Design was created, a Conceptual Design Review was completed, a Detailed Design was developed, and a Detailed Design Review was completed. The proposed 700 Drill system design is guided by and meets the science requirements identified by the research community. The system will be optimized to have minimal logistical requirements for drilling projects up to 700 meters in depth. The 700 Drill will produce a 70 mm diameter core (potentially adapting to 64 mm in the future) and 88 mm diameter borehole, which will minimize the quantity (i.e., volume and weight) of drilling fluid and the number and weight of core boxes. With NSF approval, IDP is now moving forward with the construction of the drill, currently slated for completion in February 2024.