EAGER: Handbook of Hot Water Drill System (HWDS) Design Considerations and Best Practices.
This award provides support for "EAGER: Handbook of Hot Water Drill System (HWDS) Design Considerations and Best Practices" from the Antarctic Integrated System Science within the Office of Polar Programs. More and more science projects are proposing to use hot-water drilling systems (HWDS) to rapidly and/or cleanly access glacial and subglacial systems. To date the hot-water drill systems have been developed in isolation, and no attempt has been made to gather information about the different systems in one place. This proposal requests funds to document existing HWDS, and to then assess the design, testing, and development of a hot-water drill system that will be integrated with the evolving over-ice traverse capability of the USAP program.
Intellectual Merit: A working handbook of best practices for hot-water drill design systems, including safety considerations, is long overdue, and will 1) provide suggestions for optimizing current systems; 2) contribute in the very near term to already funded projects such as WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access and Research Drilling); and 3) fit the long-term needs of the Antarctic science community who have identified rapid and clean access to glacial and subglaical environments as a top priority for the next decades. The collected information will be used for community education and training, will discuss potential design and operational trade-offs, and will identify ways to optimize the capabilities of an integrated USAP traverse and HWDS infrastructure. EAGER funding for this project is warranted because such a handbook has not been tried before, and needs to be shown to be doable prior to larger investments in such compilations. It fits the AISS (Antarctic Integrated System Science) program as an optimized HWDS will meet the needs of many different Antarctic research disciplines including biology, geology, glaciology, and oceanography.
Broader Impacts: The proposed work is being done on behalf of the Antarctic research community, and will seek to capture the knowledge of experienced hot-water drill engineers who are nearing retirement, and to educate the next generation of hot-water drillers and engineers. The PI indicates he will work with the owners of such systems both within the US and abroad. Identification of best practices in hot-water drilling will save several different Antarctic research communities significant time, effort, and funding in the future.
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