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Many of the ice-coring objectives in the Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) Long Range Science Plan, such as those in the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) 2k array and 40k network, are attainable in many locations with an intermediate depth drill (IDD) that can collect core from a fluid-filled hole down to 1500 m depth. The Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDDO) group has designed and is in the process of building an agile IDD to meet this objective. The drill tent, power distribution and core-processing systems are an integral part of the IDD, which can be deployed by small aircraft and assembled by hand to minimize logistic requirements. The new drill system will be ready for testing in Greenland beginning in late spring 2014. The first production drilling is scheduled for the 2014/15 field season at the South Pole.
The Blue Ice Drill (BID) is a large-diameter agile drill system designed by the Ice Drilling Design and Operations group of the University of Wisconsin–Madison to quickly core-clean 241 mm diameter ice samples from near-surface sites. It consists of a down-hole motor/gear reducer rotating a coring cutter and core barrel inside an outer barrel for efficient cuttings transport in solid ice. A variable-frequency drive and custom control box regulates electrical power to the drill. Torque reaction is accomplished on the surface via handles attached to a torsion stem. Core recovery is achieved with either core dogs in the sonde or with a separate core recovery tool. All down-hole tools are suspended on a collapsible tripod via ropes running on a capstan winch. The BID is operated by a minimum of two people and has been used successfully during two seasons of coring on a blue ice area of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. An updated version of the drill system, BID-Deep, has been designed to recover cores to depths up to 200 m.
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