Rapid Access Ice Drill

The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will drill a borehole through deep Antarctic ice, and core into the glacial bed and bedrock below. This new technology will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and their subglacial geology.

RAID Design

The RAID design is based fundamentally on a conventional diamond drilling system like that used in mineral exploration, modified to operate in polar conditions, operate in an autonomous manner, and reach the depths required by the scientific objectives.

Field Trials

Field trials in Antarctica gave us the opportunity to test the RAID design in real-world conditions. Over three sets of field trials at Minna Bluff between 2016 and 2020, we learned important lessons about fast drilling in ice and how to refine the drilling tools and process, ultimately ending in success.

Blogs From the Field

Visit our blog posts from the field! Get the inside perspective from RAID scientists and field support staff, and see interesting photos from our ups and downs.

RAID Science Workshop

Science Planning Workshop for Research with the Rapid Access Ice Drill
March 2-3, 2017
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California


The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to core through deep ice, the glacial bed, and into bedrock below.


RAID will give the scientific community access to a richer record of change on a variety of timescales, from the billion­-year rock record to thousand­-year ice and climate histories.