Development of the Rapid Access Ice Drill: Phase 1 DesignEntry ID: RAID_Phase_1
Abstract: We completed a detailed engineering design for a new mobile drilling platform for future use on the ice sheets of Antarctica. Based on a competitive bidding process, a search for an engineering design firm was conducted by the University of Minnesota (UM) in late 2012 and early 2013. In response to a Request for Proposals issued by UM, a successful proposal was submitted by DOSECC Exploration ... Services, LLP, based in Salt Lake City (hereafter DES). A design contract was issued to DES in April 2013, with a goal of completing design work by the end of 2013. Intensive design work ensued through most of 2013, bringing together the RAID science team, DES, and principal sub-contractors. Design work ensued through December 2013. The final design is based around a conventional diamond drill coring system using threaded drill-pipe with hardened metal bits to cut through ice using reverse fluid circulation for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature, and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline bottom-hole assembly will enable diamond coring of ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped, and made available for future down-hole measurement of thermal gradient, heat flow, ice chronology, and ice deformation. RAID will also sample for extremophile microorganisms. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3,300 meters of ice and take sample cores in less than 200 hours. This rapid performance will allow completion of a borehole in about 10 days before moving to the next drilling site. The final result of the design effort is a report completed by DES that includes an overview of the drilling system, outline of the major subsystems, specifications for components, schematic drawings of all key subsystem components, and a budget for construction. This design report will serve as the basis for future construction, testing and deployment of the RAID drilling system.
Purpose: The goal of this system is to gain rapid access to deep ice (drilling penetration up to 3300 m depth), followed by coring of the ice-sheet bed interface and bedrock substrate below. This novel drilling technology will provide an entirely new way to obtain in situ measurements and samples of ice, glacial bed, and rock for interdisciplinary studies in geology, glaciology, paleoclimate, microbiology, ... and astrophysics. The new drilling platform will be mobile, logistically autonomous, and capable of drilling to deep ice within a few days. Once a borehole is created, down-hole logging, drilling of short ice and rock cores, and other sampling will follow, and the hole will be kept open for several years to facilitate re-entry. Such a drilling platform will enable a drilling crew to be on-site, drilled, cored and moved to a new site within a few weeks, so that several holes may be completed per field season in Antarctica. It will be deployable in both East and West Antarctica. Once built, the drilling system will be established as an NSF-sponsored facility operated jointly by the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the Ice Drilling Program Office. This new Rapid Access Ice Drilling system (RAID), will provide an interdisciplinary capability to study lithospheric composition, heat flow, ice-sheet dynamics, climate history and atmospheric greenhouse gas composition over the past 1.5 million years, paleothermometry, extremophile organisms, and particle physics.
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Version: Not provided
Start Date: 1970-01-01
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2014-09-18
Last DIF Revision Date: 2018-11-08