The replicate ice-coring system was developed by Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDDO) for the US National Science Foundation. The design of the system leverages the existing infrastructure of the deep ice-sheet coring (DISC) drill to create a steerable drill capable of recovering replicate core at any targeted depth in an existing borehole. Critical requirements of the system include: collecting up to 400 m of core from the high side of an open hole; maintaining access to the entire borehole for logging tools; collecting up to four cores at a single depth; and operating to a depth of 4000m at −55°C and 34 MPa. The system was developed and tested from 2010 through 2012 and integrates several new mechanical subsystems, including two electromechanical actuators capable of pushing the sonde to any targeted azimuth, new reduced diameter core and screen barrels made from off-the-shelf casing tube, and new cutter heads optimized for the multiple stages of the replicate coring procedure. The system was successfully deployed at West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide in the 2012/13 field season, recovering 285 m of core from five intentional deviations at four target depths.
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