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Drilling question ... For brad?
What happens to the tailings from the drilling? Do you have a way to float them to the surface as in traditional drilling? Do you use a bent-sub? If not how do you keep the drill going straight? Do you any telemetry to locate the drill in the ice? Thanks! - Mark
Drilling Questions

Hi Mark,

I copied and posted your questions into an email to Seth and Brad up at the drill site. They do not have internet access, but we can send messages back and forth and I can even get some low resolution photos from them.

My hope is that they will get the email, reply to me and then I will post the answers. Seth has been pretty good about getting out emails, although I have not heard from the drillers for a few days. I do know, however that they are almost done with a second core.

I wrote this at 9:11pm on Friday night east coast time just to give you a reference point.

Thanks for the questions and I hope we get some answers pretty soon.

Take care,
Ken Williams
PolarTREC teacher on the expedition now back in Maine.

Answers For Mark

Hi Mark,

This just came in from Brad.....8:20pm Tuesday evening east coast time.

This is Brad. I'll try to answer Mark's questions.

1. We don't have any way to float the tailings to the surface as the borehole is dry (that is not fluid filled- its so shallow that fluid would be unnecessary). However we do get all the tailings to the surface. The drill is composed of two barrels one inside the other. The tailings- ice chips in this case- are trapped in the space between the two barrels by some spiraling flights. When we bring the drill to the surface, we push all the chips out.

2.We don't use a bent-sub. Gravity is the only thing keeping the drill going straight, though it doesn't quite do it. Our boreholes have slight incline to them. Its not too big of a deal, they are probably about 5 degrees or less.

3. We don't use any telemetry. We know the depth of the drill by measuring how much cable we pay out. And that's about all we need to know!

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Thanks for the reply! I've

Thanks for the reply! I've really been fascinated by your work in such extreme environments.

If I missed the journal on power requirements, just point me to it, but if I didn't, what are the power/energy requirements for the drill rig?