The 2019/20 Antarctic field season was a bustling time for IDP. The entire engineering staff of IDP deployed across five different sites. Using the Winkie Drill and Badger-Eclipse Drill, Engineer Grant Boeckmann and Research Intern Elliot Moravec successfully collected four subglacial rock cores on Thwaites Glacier in the Hudson Mountains for PI Brent Goehring’s project. Engineer Tanner Kuhl and Driller Elizabeth Morton supported PI John Higgins’s work at Allan Hills through operation of the Blue Ice Drill and the new Foro 400 Drill. IDP Warehouse Manager Jim Koehler operated the Intermediate Depth Logging Winch (IDLW) at South Pole Station in support of PI Kael Hanson’s logging of the SPICEcore borehole and then transitioned to WAIS Divide to assist Engineer Chris Gibson with testing of the new RAM 2 Drill components with the original RAM Drill compressors. They were also able to perform brief testing on the Small Hot Water Drill, which will serve as the backup drill for PI Sridhar Anandakrishnan’s GHOST project on Thwaites Glacier in 2020/21. Engineer Jay Johnson deployed to Minna Bluff with the RAID project at the request of PI John Goodge and the NSF. In addition to consulting on operation of the RAID equipment, Johnson also used an IDP 4-Inch Drill and chips bailer to assist in setting the RAID packer. He also re-terminated the IDLW cable following damage at South Pole and was assisted in this effort by Kuhl and Morton. The IDLW was then operated in two RAID boreholes by RAID and IceCube personnel. Despite substantial weather and aircraft delays program-wide, objectives were largely completed for all projects, and feedback received from PIs has been very positive.
IDP Supports a Successful 2019/20 Antarctic Field Season
Field Support to Antarctic 2019-2020 Projects
IDP is providing support to the following projects during the 2019-2020 Antarctic field season:
(1) The Geological History Constraints on the Magnitude of Grounding Line Retreat in the Thwaites Glacier System project (PIs Goehring, Balco, Hall, Campbell; C-443-M; NSF award 1738989) contributes to the joint initiative launched by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to substantially improve decadal and longer-term projections of ice loss and sea-level rise originating from Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The goal of the project is to obtain geological evidence from the Thwaites-Pine Island Glacier system that will show whether glaciers were less extensive than they are at present, and, if so, when. The project will utilize the Badger-Eclipse Drill and Winkie Drill to obtain subglacial bedrock from sites where ice thickness is dynamically linked to grounding-line position in the Thwaites system (specifically in the Hudson Mountains). Observation of significant cosmogenic-nuclide concentrations in these samples would provide direct, unambiguous evidence for past episodes of thinning linked to grounding-line retreat as well as constraints on their timing and duration.
(2) The Thwaites-Amundsen Regional Survey and Network (TARSAN) integrating atmosphere-ice-ocean processes affecting the sub-ice- shelf environment project (PI Pettit; C-445-M/N; NSF award 1738992) contributes to the joint initiative launched by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to substantially improve decadal and longer-term projections of ice loss and sea-level rise originating from Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Thwaites and neighboring glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment are rapidly losing mass in response to recent climate warming and related changes in ocean circulation. The processes driving the loss appear to be warmer ocean circulation and changes in the width and flow speed of the glacier, but a better understanding of these changes is needed to refine predictions of how the glacier will evolve. One highly sensitive process is the transitional flow of glacier ice from land onto the ocean to become a floating ice shelf. This flow of ice from grounded to floating is affected by changes in air temperature and snowfall at the surface; the speed and thickness of ice feeding it from upstream; and the ocean temperature, salinity, bathymetry, and currents that the ice flows into. The project team will gather new measurements of each of these local environmental conditions so that it can better predict how future changes in air, ocean, or the ice will affect the loss of ice to the ocean in this region. The project will use a 400-meter winch with tower and sheave from the 4-Inch Drill as an instrument installation winch to lower instruments into hot water-drilled boreholes on the Dotson Ice Shelf to measure ocean water properties at locations where warm Circumpolar Deep Water reaches the Thwaites grounding line.
(3) The Collaborative Research: Snapshots of Early and mid-Pleistocene Climate and Atmospheric Composition from the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area project (PIs Higgins, Brook, Severinghaus, Mayewski; I-165-M; NSF award 1744993, 1745006, 1744832 and 1745007) will collect new ice cores from the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area. Bubbles of ancient air trapped in ice cores have been used to directly reconstruct atmospheric composition, and its links to Antarctic and global climate, over the last 800,000 years. Previous field expeditions to the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area, Antarctica, have recovered ice cores that extend as far back as 2.7 million years. These ice cores extend direct observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane concentrations and indirect records of Antarctic climate into a period of Earth’s climate history that represents a plausible geologic analogue to future anthropogenic climate change. Through this project, the team will return to the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area to recover additional ice cores that date to 2 million years or older. The new Foro 400 Drill and Blue Ice Drill will be used to recover the ice cores. The climate records developed from these ice cores will provide new insights into the chemical composition of the atmosphere and Antarctic climate during times of comparable or even greater warmth than the present day.
(4) The Phase 2 Development of a Rapid Access Ice Drilling (RAID) Platform for Research in Antarctica project (PI Goodge; D-551-M, D-552-M; NSF award 1419935) will initiate its third Antarctic Field Trial (AFT3) of the RAID drill system – to collect ice and rock samples from a deep ice sheet near Minna Bluff. The RAID drilling system will be put through a complete set of drilling trials, including augering firn, setting a borehole packer, drilling about 600 meters of grounded ice, and obtain samples of ice and rock cores at depth (by wireline rotary coring). All components of the drilling system will be tested and evaluated. The 4-Inch Drill will be used to make 2-3 meters of smooth-walled borehole just below the firn-ice transition, at a depth of approximately 70 meters, to field test the setting of the borehole packer. The Intermediate Depth Logging Winch will be used to field test a borehole dust logger in selected boreholes produced this season at Minna Bluff.
(5) The Management and Operations of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory 2016-2021 project (PIs Halzen and Hanson; A-333-S; NSF award 1600823) will utilize the Intermediate Depth Logging Winch to lower a series of optical+UV and radio sensor packages into the South Pole Ice Core (SPICEcore) borehole to the full depth of the hole (1751 m). The science goals include measurements of the radio absorption length of the ice from 100-1000MHz, radio birefringence in the ice, and ice index of refraction, all measured as a function of depth and ice temperature. The science team is interested in the optical scattering, absorption lengths, and luminescence as a function of depth and optical wavelength from the visible into the ultraviolet.
Beneficial Testing Opportunities Conducted Near Madison, WI
In late February and early March, IDP-WI supported a test of PI Dale Winebrenner's Ice Diver probe in the prototype test well located on the UW Physical Sciences Lab campus outside of Madison. Record-breaking low temperatures in Wisconsin during the week-long test provided a true Antarctic field experience. The team reached 10-meters depth in the 13-meter deep hole and brainstormed beneficial modifications to implement before further testing in Greenland. Following that effort, IDP took an opportunity to test the Stampfli Drill, a newer drill for IDP, but most often used in firn, to determine its suitability for drilling pilot holes for the Winkie Drill on Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica. In the absence of an outer barrel, chip transport was found to be inefficient when drilling in ice. IDP engineers have identified possible modifications to improve the system, such as the addition of a ribbed outer barrel, replacement of the aluminum cutter heads with stainless steel heads and the addition of variable pitch shoes to control penetration based on borehole conditions. For the upcoming Antarctic field season, and after discussion with ASC and PI Brent Goehring, IDP will deploy an Eclipse Drill for drilling of the Winkie Drill pilot holes but may look to upgrade the lighter weight Stampfli Drill to accomplish this task in the future as time and funds allow. IDP was also able to test the performance of a new Thermal Drill cable, new heat rings, and a tool designed by IDP engineers to more efficiently remove cores from the core barrel.
Equipment Updates (2018 Summer)
Foro 3000 Drill
IDDO continued initial development tasks for the Foro 3000 Drill system during the third quarter. Detailed design of the winch drum and level wind are in process. Sizing calculations were made and a design initiated for the chip melter system. Sonde assembly drawings were largely completed. Design work is expected to ramp up in the fourth quarter in preparation for a Detailed Design Review in late September.
Anti-torque section assembly was largely completed and motor section assembly was initiated on the Foro Drill. Cabling was completed for the control box and drill motors were ordered. Shipping cases were received for the sonde, tower, and winch. Cutter head assemblies, spare cable terminations, and anti-torque slip rings were also received. Some assembly and testing have been delayed in light of work on higher priority projects, but procurements are largely complete.
Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
Continued acceleration of RAM Drill design, procurement, and in-house testing. The system was prepared, packed and shipped to Scotia, NY in late June. In early July, IDDO received an Expedition Permit from the Government of Greenland, and a two-week field test was subsequently completed at Camp Raven in late July.
Intermediate Depth Drill
Models and drawings were completed for the winch cable terminations and spare cable termination kits were received for the Intermediate Depth Drill. System maintenance continues at a slow pace, as does the testing and troubleshooting of the Mage Controls components. The components, returned to Mage Controls at the end of the second quarter, are expected back at IDDO early in the fourth quarter.
Borehole casing was specified and purchased in preparation for the Winkie Drill's first use in West Antarctica at a drill site with overlying firn. IDDO sought information from international colleagues regarding methods to seal the bottom of the casing to the ice. Packer components, benchtop testing for compressed air inflation, and detailed models of packer components were also researched.
Blue Ice Drill (BID)
Maintenance and upgrade tasks were largely completed during the quarter for the BID-1. The drill was subsequently cleaned, packed and shipped for the upcoming Law Dome project in Antarctica. IDDO continued communication with BID tent vendor Fabricon. Engineer Tanner Kuhl visited the vendor's location in mid-July to review the design and progress thus far, and the tent was completed in mid-August.
The Engineering Requirements document for the Thermal Drill was approved and released. IDDO engineers worked to identify, procure and test some thermal and power limiting materials and components during the quarter. New heat rings were specified, as the old model is now out of production, and a number of new rings were ordered late in the quarter.
Planned modifications for the cleat and locking break components of the SideWinder units were implemented on all five kits in inventory. Equipment was returned from Svalbard and Greenland and was repaired as needed. Orders were subsequently placed for replacement of a few components that were stuck in the ice during the 2018 Arctic fieldwork.
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.
A more robust top cover and new side panels were installed on the Eclipse Drill traversing system. Beneficial updates were made to the Operator's Manual. Small tools such as strap wrenches and sharpening stones were purchased for use in the field.
Equipment Updates (2018 Spring)
Foro 3000 Drill
IDDO continued initial development tasks for the Foro 3000 Drill system during the second quarter. Modifications were made to the Intermediate Depth Drill cutter head design that may make it possible to perform multiple core breaks during one drill run. This will be of value when drilling brittle ice with the Foro 3000 Drill. Detailed design of the winch drum was also initiated during the quarter.
Fabrication of the Foro Drill core barrels was completed and all parts for the anti-torque and motor sections were ordered except for the actual drill motors for which IDDO expects to pursue quotes in the third quarter. The magnetic slide hammers were assembled, and load testing of the sled and hitch was completed. Shipping cases for the sondes, tower, and winch were also ordered.
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.
Updated science requirements for IDDO's Thermal Drill were finalized at the end of February. A thermal or power limiting feature is being planned as part of the system upgrades, to help prevent premature heat ring failure. A benchtop testing procedure was initiated during the quarter and a number of thermal/power limiting options are under consideration. A manufacturer of suitable heat ring elements has been identified, and a core removal tool was designed and built making use of magnets to disengage the core dogs.
Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD)
The new 1650-meter long winch cable was spooled on the winch drum and was terminated, and the level wind controls were modified to work with the current emergency-stop system. Acceptance testing and troubleshooting of the Mage control system components continued. At the end of the quarter, the IDD's control system components were shipped back to Mage for further tuning.
IDDO is pursuing upgrades to integrate borehole casing with the current Winkie Drill system for a planned Thwaites Glacier project. Technology from the rock drilling industry and international ice drilling community is being researched.
Blue Ice Drill (BID)
Redesigned components for the BID tripod feet were received and installed during the quarter. A custom tent enclosure manufacturer was identified in April, and design of a tent and its integration with the BID tripod system has been initiated.
In summer 2017, IDDO worked to begin fabrication of a second BID-Deep system (for wide-diameter ice coring to 200 meters), based on user demand and per a directive in the IDPO Long Range Science Plan 2016-2026. Fabrication of the second system was initially scheduled for completion in Program Year (PY) 2018. However, there is no longer a funded science project this year that requires a second BID-Deep system, and therefore completion of the second BID-Deep system has been postponed to enable work on higher-priority projects in PY 2018.
Foro 700 Drill
The IDPO Science Advisory Board identified in the IDPO Long Range Science Plan 2015-2025 a priority need to alter the surface equipment for the existing Intermediate Depth Drill to make a drilling operation that is less logistically intensive, to be used for ice coring at sites with limited logistics and with two months or less time on site. From discussions organized by IDPO with iterative discussions between IDPO, scientists, and IDDO staff, the science requirements for a 'Foro 700 Drill' were completed during the second quarter. The next step is to develop the conceptual design for the drill, which could possibly happen in PY 2019 pending availability of funds and project prioritization.
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 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.
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.
Equipment Development (2017 Summer)
In preparation for the upcoming field season in Antarctica, IDDO outfitted the Winkie Drill with a new electric motor and larger diameter core barrel for collecting 76 mm diameter cores. Testing of the updated drill is ongoing at the IDDO warehouse. The Winkie Drill will be shipped to Antarctica in September where it will be used to collect dirty ice cores in Ong Valley, Antarctica, to depths of up to 20 meters.
Stampfli 2-Inch Drill
IDDO shipped the very lightweight, agile Stampfli 2-Inch Drill system to Greenland for field testing in June in conjunction with a funded field project taking place at Summit Station. The small, solar-powered drill operated well during the field test, producing 58 meters of core. Based on the results of the field test, IDDO is working to make minor repairs and modifications to the drill, procure spare parts, and develop a lightweight packing strategy for this system. The system could be ready for deployment and PI operation as early as the 2017-2018 Antarctic field season.
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.
Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill
The Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill is a lightweight, field portable hot water drill for drilling through several meters of sediment-laden lake ice. Following the April external design review and the ordering of components in May, IDDO began assembly of the system in June and plans to complete simple functionality testing at the IDDO warehouse in late summer and early fall. The system could be ready for deployment and PI operation as early as the 2018 Arctic field season.
Foro 3000 Drill
The Design Review of the Foro 3000 Drill was held on June 6. The Design Review was a virtual meeting where IDDO presented the Conceptual Design for the drill, and community scientists Eric Steig, Ed Brook, and T.J. Fudge provided feedback from the scientist/user perspective. The Conceptual Design for the drill is now complete. The Foro 3000 Drill is conceptually the same design as the existing Intermediate Depth Drill, but with a depth range extended to 3000 meters and drill run length extended from 2-meters to 3-meters.
DISC Drill versus Foro 3000 Analysis
Per discussions between IDPO, IDDO and community scientists, the next deep U.S. ice coring project will likely target Hercules Dome, Antarctica. IDDO, with assistance from Antarctic Support Contract and IDPO, is currently working with community representatives on a DISC Drill versus Foro 3000 Drill analysis, to help determine which system should be used for drilling at Hercules Dome. The analysis results will be summarized into a report for use by NSF and the science community.
Following discussions with Mary Albert and PI Ryan Bay, and due to decreased interest by the science community in IDDO purchasing an off-the-shelf winch simulator unit or designing a custom unit, IDDO plans to design a simple simulator circuit for each logging winch in inventory. IDDO envisions providing these circuit designs to PIs for building at their own institutions. PIs could then perform limited pre-deployment testing on their logging tools; however, IDDO will still encourage PIs to travel to Madison to test logging tools on the actual winches to be deployed. IDDO plans to complete design of the simulator circuits by the end of October.
Successful Deployment of IDDO's Two New Rock Coring Drills
In the first quarter, IDDO's Antarctic field efforts included the successful deployment of two new rock coring drills.
The Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill was deployed to the Pirrit Hills (PI John Stone; I-277-M) by traverse from WAIS Divide in December. IDDO Drillers Tanner Kuhl, Mike Jayred and Clayton Armstrong recovered more than 7 meters of ice core and 8 meters of rock core at a depth of 150 meters. Development of the new drill system, which is based on a field-proven minerals exploration drill rig, was completed in PY 2016. The system is capable of coring rock below 700 meters of ice. IDDO will work during the upcoming summer to perform maintenance and upgrades on the system to ready it for future field work.
The Winkie Drill was deployed to the Ohio Range region (PI Sujoy Mukhopadhyay: G-438-M) in late November for its first funded field project. IDDO engineer Grant Boeckmann and the science team drilled a series of shallow boreholes that resulted in the successful collection of five rock core samples and one sample of frozen and largely unconsolidated debris. The Winkie Drill system functioned very well for its first official deployment. Refinements will be made when the equipment returns from Antarctica this spring.
The Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) team made significant contributions to the successes this season through exceptional efforts to expedite additional drill equipment to both sites during the season and to swiftly return the equipment to McMurdo Station to meet the cargo vessel returning to the U.S.
Equipment Development (2016 Fall)
Agile Sub-Ice Geological Drill
During the fourth quarter, IDDO completed all of the system modifications, repairs and upgrades identified during testing performed in the second quarter. The system was shipped to Port Hueneme, CA, in mid-September for use this coming Antarctic field season on PI John Stone's project (see Field Support to Antarctic Projects above).
During the quarter, IDDO completed the fabrication, assembly, and modifications of the Winkie Drill. On 9/16/16, the Winkie Drill system was shipped to Port Hueneme, CA, for its first Antarctic deployment on PI Mukhopadhyay's project (see Field Support to Antarctic Projects above).
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.
MAgIC Drill/Intermediate Depth Drill-Light
Throughout PY 2016, IDDO worked with IDPO and community scientists to develop and refine science requirements for a drill similar to the 1500 m Intermediate Depth Drill, but with a depth target between 400-700 meters and with a much-reduced logistics burden to allow for coring on remote glaciers, for instance, in Alaska. IDDO is working with IDPO and interested community scientists to develop an approach to the desired equipment, and is in the process of compiling system options to present to the community. A decision on the naming of the new system, and whether or not it will be built, will be determined once the science requirements are finalized.
IDDO continued to procure drill components for the Foro Drill during the quarter as planned, including a slip ring and a winch frame assembly. Design of the cable was finalized and the cable subsequently ordered in early August. The control box layout was reviewed, the mechanical design of the box was finalized, and custom aluminum cases and faceplates were procured.
Equipment Development (2016 Summer)
Agile Sub-Ice Geological Drill
During the third quarter, IDDO worked to complete system modifications, repairs and upgrades identified during testing performed in the second quarter. The Agile Sub-Ice Geological Drill is expected to ship to Antarctica in September. Validation and verification are now underway and documentation will be completed in the fourth quarter.
During the third quarter, IDDO completed an internal system design review as well as all necessary fabrication, assembly, and modifications of the Winkie Drill. Multi-round system testing was completed, including ice drilling with a newly-designed air chip transport system and modified Forstner and Irwin bits, coring through an ice/rock interface with multiple layers of ice and different sizes of granite rocks using two different types of mixed-media coring bits and a range of Isopar K temperatures, and coring solid granite with three different types of coring bits and two types of drilling fluid (Isopar K and water). System testing was very successful and helped inform selection of drilling/coring bits for a variety of ice/rock conditions the drill may encounter in the field. In conjunction with system testing, IDDO completed two days of operational training, conducted by Earl Maynard, a Winkie Drill expert, in Madison in July 2016. IDDO continued minor system modifications and started final procurement of replacement and spare parts.
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.
MAgIC Drill/Intermediate Depth Drill-Light
During the quarter, IDDO continued working with IDPO and community scientists to refine science requirements for a drill based on the 1,500 m Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD), but with a depth target between 400-700 m and with a much-reduced logistics burden to allow for coring on remote glaciers. IDDO sent the next round of comments/edits of the IDPO Science Requirements to IDPO on 6/20/16. A decision on the naming of the new system, and whether or not it will be built, is ongoing.
IDDO procured several major Foro Drill components during the quarter as planned, including a Lebus core for the winch drum, a winch motor, a winch motor gearbox, a motor VFD and a pre-fabricated cable assembly for the winch control loop. IDDO finalized the design and ordered a new four-conductor cable in early August. All components for testing of the winch control loop were received. IDDO completed a dimensional report on the winch Lebus core. This core was sent to Innovative Machine Specialists for final assembly, including heat treatment, anodizing and machining. The control box layout was reviewed, and IDDO began finalizing the mechanical design of the box.
Winkie Drill System Tested at IDDO Warehouse
During the quarter (May 1 - July 31), IDDO transitioned from the design and fabrication phase of Winkie Drill development to the in-depth system testing phase. Using multiple test set ups and simple testing apparatus assembled by IDDO engineers, full scale system testing was conducted in solid ice, solid granite and in ice ingrained with various sizes of granite chunks. The cutting ability of a number of bits with varying geometries was tested. In late July, IDDO invited Earl Maynard to Madison to assist with the testing. Mr. Maynard has decades of international experience using the Winkie Drill. His participation served as a very beneficial training opportunity for engineer Grant Boeckmann, as he is scheduled to deploy with the drill to the Ohio Range in Antarctica this coming 2016-2017 field season.
Equipment Development (2016 Spring)
Agile Sub-Ice Geological Drill
During the Second Quarter, IDDO initiated full-scale system testing of the Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill outside of Madison, Wisconsin on the UW Physical Sciences Lab (PSL) campus. IDDO engineers, a contract driller and a trainer from the rig vendor, Multi-Power Products, LLC, were able to test a variety of operations, per the Test Plan drafted by IDDO Project Manager Chris Gibson, including the coring of ice, concrete, solid granite and mixed media. The team was also able to tune the rig, refine fuel and drilling fluid consumption rates, determine the expected operational parameters of the system, such as penetration rates, and identify and refine the spare parts list. The rig performed reliably and is expected to meet or surpass all related science requirements. IDDO hosted several visitors to the test site on February 26, 2016, including Bill Eustes, Blaise Stephanus and Mark Twickler from IDPO, as well as PI John Stone, as the drill system will be used first for his upcoming project in 2016-2017 near Pirrit Hills in Antarctica. Leah Street from ASC, in Madison on other business, was also able to visit the site, as well as several other IDDO personnel. Late in the quarter, IDDO engineers quickly transitioned to system modifications, repairs and upgrades, in anticipation of shipping the system to Antarctica in September.
During the Second Quarter, IDDO continued its modifications and upgrades to the off-the-shelf Winkie Drill purchased from Minex. Early in the quarter, IDDO was able to test its adaptations of auger flights during the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) Auger and Packer Test near McMurdo Station. Important information was gained regarding penetration rates, expected fuel consumption, and the augers' ability to transport ice chips to the surface. Taking advantage of the ASIG Drill test set up, the transportation of ice chips by air was tested as a proof of concept for drilling options in the deep field. Later in the quarter, IDDO identified two types of mixed media coring bits, completed fabrication of a rig base for the system to support the drill and evenly distribute loads across the snow surface during core breaks, completed installation and testing of a variable frequency motor drive for the mud pump, and completed modifications of a drill fluid filtration drum. IDDO will continue its work into the Third Quarter, and also plans to complete additional testing and training in Madison in July 2016, prior to shipping the system to Antarctica in September.
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.
MAgIC Drill/Intermediate Depth Drill-Light
During the quarter, IDDO worked with IDPO and community scientists to develop and refine science requirements for a drill similar to the 1,500 meter Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD), but with a depth target between 500-900 meters and with a much-reduced logistics burden to allow for coring on remote glaciers, for instance, in Alaska. A decision on the naming of the new system, and whether or not it will be built, should be resolved in the Third or Fourth Quarters.
IDDO ramped up its design of the Foro Drill during the quarter, corresponding with winch drum and other winch component manufacturers. IDDO initiated procurement of components for prototyping the winch control system and building the new Foro control box.
Deep Ice Sheet Coring Drill
IDDO has temporarily put any further development work for the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) Drill on hold, until the science community identifies if/when the system will next be deployed. Some minor maintenance and cleaning up of the LabVIEW software was completed during the quarter. A good portion of the DISC Drill cargo also returned from Antarctica in April, and is being unpacked and dried.
Winkie Drill Development in Full Swing
IDDO ramped up its work on the Winkie Drill system during the quarter. Several IDDO engineers were able to test the system's ability to auger through ice outside of McMurdo Station in early February. IDDO also researched and performed additional testing with regard to ice chips transport using a small air compressor. IDDO engineers are working to prepare the system for upcoming Antarctic work in 2016-2017, where a series of holes will be drilled in ice 10-50 meters deep, below which 50 cm bedrock cores will be collected. Utilizing proven rock coring technology in the off-the-shelf rig, along with proven ice coring and ice chips transport technologies, IDDO looks forward to bringing shallow, agile sub-glacial bedrock coring to life.
Equipment Development (2015 Summer)
Agile Sub-Ice Geological Drill
Purchasing efforts ramped up for the Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill project. A web/teleconference review of the Integrated Detailed Final Design was held on May 28, 2015 with participation from IDPO, IDDO and SSEC engineers and several experts and colleagues from various drilling industries. Project Manager Chris Gibson worked with the manufacturer of the base rig (Multi-Power Products Ltd. in British Columbia, Canada) to resolve issues identified in Madison during initial Acceptance Testing. The manufacturer has subsequently completed all rework of system components that did not originally meet the weight specifications outlined in the contract. Planning efforts have increased for the upcoming test of the drill's packer device (for sealing the borehole casing to non-porous ice) near McMurdo Station during February 2016, and for the larger-scale ASIG Drill system test planned in Madison, WI, during the upcoming winter.
Intermediate Depth Drill
Preparation is well underway for the second production season of the SPICEcore project at the South Pole. A new drill motor was purchased to replace one that sustained damage during the 2014-2015 field season. Work was performed to repair, standardize and test all circuit boards in the control system. Maintenance and repairs were initiated for the chip chamber, chip valve, hollow shaft assembly, pump and anti-torque slip sensor. Repair of the tower pendant was completed, with the addition of Teflon cabling for durability during contact with drill fluid. A power meter was also specified and parts for it were ordered. IDDO plans to ship all repaired and modified Intermediate Depth Drill equipment back to the South Pole in mid-September.
Blue Ice Drill – Deep
Engineers monitored the progress of new cutters deployed for testing in Greenland, in an effort to improve Blue Ice Drill – Deep (BID–Deep) core quality. The drill was able to drill to approximately 155 meters using the new step cutters and trying a variety of other techniques before core quality was no longer acceptable. This is approximately 15 meters deeper than the prior year, but still short of the initial 200 meter depth goal. Interactions with the IDPO Science Advisory Board will determine if additional efforts should be made for quality core at greater depths.
IDDO received approval from IDPO to pursue purchase of a commercially available Winkie Drill from Minex. Following telecons with IDPO, NSF and Ohio Range project PIs Robert Ackert and Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, IDPO-IDDO determined purchase of this new rock coring drill would better serve the needs of the Ohio Range project to obtain rock samples from the ice-bedrock interface, and the larger community, as opposed to making repairs and modifications to the Koci Drill. The new Winkie Drill is also expected to prove useful for the joint RAID/ASIG auger and packer tests near McMurdo in February 2016. Necessary purchase orders have been submitted. Upon receipt of the rig, IDDO will make modifications to the Winkie Drill to expand its capabilities to include augering and coring through ice.
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Requesting Field Support
If you are preparing a NSF proposal that includes any kind of support from IDP, you must include a Letter of Support from IDP in the proposal. Researchers are asked to provide IDP with a detailed support request three weeks prior to the date the Letter of Support is required. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.
The U.S. Ice Drilling Program (IDP) is a NSF-funded facility. IDP conducts integrated planning for the ice drilling science and technology communities, and provides drilling technology and operational support that enables the community to advance the frontiers of climate and environmental science.