2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Phase 2 development of a Rapid Access Ice Drilling (RAID) platform for research in Antarctica

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Event Number:
NSF/OPP Award 1419935

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Colleen Hardiman / Matthew Kippenhan

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Goodge

University of Minnesota
Department of Geological Sciences
Duluth, Minnesota

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Minna Bluff


The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) aims to rapidly drill to deep ice (up to 3,300-meter depth), followed by coring of ice, ice-sheet bed interface, and the bedrock substrate below. The RAID drilling platform will give the scientific community access to a rich record of geologic and climatic change on a variety of timescales, from the billion-year rock record to thousand-year ice and climate histories. The RAID drill was designed and commissioned for testing in 2015 and the drill has undergone two field tests near Minna Bluff.

Field Season Overview

The second Antarctic Field Trial (AFT2) will operate at a site near Minna Bluff during the 2017-18 austral summer field season. This trial will commence in late 2017 after the RAID equipment is de-winterized, followed by a short traverse of approximately three days. A reconnaissance visit to the area conducted last year determined an ideal site location lying the farthest from subglacial water of the Ross Sea with great ice thickness (approximately 600 meters). Time on site is expected to be approximately four weeks. Crew will create three boreholes in proximity to the main camp site. At the conclusion of the drill trial, the equipment will be returned to the McMurdo area and winterized on snow berms at Williams Field for storage.

Deploying Team Members

  • Brian Shaw (Team Leader)
  • Richard Szentmiklosi (Team Leader)
  • Anthony Vecchiarelli
  • Michael Vinson