The Ice Core Drill

A light-weight, portable drilling system designed for coring to a depth of up to 700 meters was developed and tested by Victor Zagorodnov at OSUís Byrd Polar Research Center (BPRC) for this project. The OSU system is designed to be quickly switched from a dry hole electro-mechanical drill (used to 180 meters) to a thermal-alcohol electric drill. The drill was powered using a combination of solar and diesel generators. The system is powered with a light-weight, highly fuel efficient diesel generator that minimizes environmental impact This lightweight system makes ice core drilling more cost efficient by reducing logistical requirements to bring it to the drill site. Both drills (electro-mechanical and thermal) produce 100-mm diameter core sections up to 2.1 meters long. A newly developed, quick assembly geodesic dome, designed and built at OSU, houses all drilling and core processing activities. These photos show the drill set up under this dome on Kilimanjaro. The photo to the left shows Victor Zagorodnov (right) and Vladimir Mikhalenko (left) operating the drill. The photo below shows the winch and cable, the controller units, the outer barrel resting horizontally in the tilting tray and the inner barrel (background) that is being prepared for the next ice core recovery run.