As part of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) environmental research initiative sponsored through the National Science Foundation (NSF), EAD was sent across the world to assist with climate change research in Antarctica.
Working in partnership with a group of University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers, EAD designed and built a command-and-control system for a hot water drill specially designed to cleanly bore through a half mile of ice. The drill was able to function as designed, a feat that marks the first time that humans have been able to reach and sample ice from the “grounding zone”, a unique locale where Antarctic ice, land, and sea converge.
Data gathered from samples of sediment taken in the grounding zone will provide clues about the mechanics of ice sheets and how they might affect earth’s rising sea levels. EAD deployed an engineer on-site to see the drill through its crucial testing phase on the ice shelf near McMurdo, Antarctica.
All of the control system instrumentation was specified and mounted in shipping containers and sent directly to the drill site. EAD completed the command and control installation on the ice as part of the acceptance testing and commissioning of the hot water drilling system.
Client: University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Market(s) Served: Education, environmental Science
- Project Management