EAD helped a research team create a hot water drilling system as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln WISSARD Project in Antarctica. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the project team constructed, transported and operated a specially-designed hot water drill to bore through a half-mile of ice. The feat marked the first time that humans have been able to reach and sample ice from the “grounding zone” where Antarctic ice, land and sea converge. Data gathered from sediment samples taken from the grounding zone provides information about the mechanics of ice sheets and how they might affect Earth’s rising sea levels.
EAD designed and built the control system for the hot water drill. All instrumentation was specified and mounted in shipping containers sent directly to the drilling site. An EAD controls engineer was on site as part of the operations team to see the drill through the crucial testing phase on the ice shelf near McMurdo Station, Antarctica.