A low resource subglacial bedrock sampler: the percussive rapid access isotope drill (P-RAID)

Timoney, R., Worrall, K. , Firstbrook, D. , Harkness, P. , Rix, J., Ashurst, D., Mulvaney, R. and Bentley, M. J. (2020) A low resource subglacial bedrock sampler: the percussive rapid access isotope drill (P-RAID). Cold Regions Science and Technology, 177, 103113. (doi: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2020.103113)

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The paleoclimate community has an interest in distributed subglacial bedrock sampling but, while capable drill systems do exist, they are often incompatible with Twin Otter logistics. To address this issue, a design built on the existing low footprint ice-sampler, the Rapid Access Isotope Drill (RAID) is investigated. The new device will retain key features of the parent system, but the ice drilling elements of the RAID will be replaced by a self-contained rotary-percussive core-drill capable of penetrating ice-consolidated and rocky terrain at and below the ice/rock interface. This new front-end will only be deployed once the interface itself has been attained, providing a pristine core sample from the underlying terrain. The proposed Percussive Rapid Access Isotope Drill (P-RAID) has been inspired by planetary drilling technologies to allow autonomous operations at the bottom of the hole. This paper details the development and testing of the proof-of-concept hardware. The mechanical and electrical design challenges encountered, and the results obtained from a series of prolonged cold chamber tests will be discussed, alongside lessons learned from initial testing in Antarctica.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Worrall, Dr Kevin and Firstbrook, David George and Timoney, Dr Ryan and Harkness, Professor Patrick
Authors: Timoney, R., Worrall, K., Firstbrook, D., Harkness, P., Rix, J., Ashurst, D., Mulvaney, R., and Bentley, M. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Cold Regions Science and Technology
ISSN (Online):1872-7441
Published Online:03 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cold Regions Science and Technology 177: 103113
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173178Subglacial bedrock samplerPatrick HarknessNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/P003761/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy
301139Mars Sample Return for Terrstrial Polart SciencePatrick HarknessScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/R00269X/1ENG - Systems Power & Energy