2nd RAID Science Planning Workshop, 2024

Science Planning Workshop for Research with the Rapid Access Ice Drill

SEPTEMBER 25-27, 2024


We invite interested researchers to participate in a science planning workshop to help shape future interdisciplinary research with the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID). Goals and initial planning for the workshop are outlined below.

Goals of the workshop: The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) is ready for Antarctic ice-sheet exploration!  RAID completed successful field trials in the 2019-20 austral season (see Field Blogs), as summarized by Goodge et al. (Annals of Glaciology, 2021). Since then, RAID has completed a series of important tooling upgrades and technical improvements. With new developments in knowledge of subglacial materials & basal ice-sheet environment, new technologies & micro-instrument methodologies, discovery of very old (up to 4 m.y.) ice from blue ice fields, and an engaged new generation of young cryosphere & solid-earth scientists —

Now is a good time for a 2nd planning workshop to reunite the community & articulate the future science that we want to do with RAID!

Please plan to join us at the workshop to be held this September in Virginia.


Wednesday, September 25, 2024 — Half-day afternoon session for Early Career Researchers at NSF-HQ

Thursday-Friday, September 26-27, 2024 — Full 2-day workshop

Where: Washington Dulles Marriott Suites hotel, Herndon, VA. The hotel is located a few miles from Dulles airport (IAD), and accessible by free hotel shuttle and other ground transport.

Who: The workshop is open to all scientists interested in using or contributing to the science enabled by RAID. We encourage young investigators and under-represented groups to participate.


Sarah Shackleton (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

John Goodge (Planetary Science Institute)

Allie Balter-Kennedy (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Shuai Yan (University of Texas Institute for Geophysics)

Jeff Severinghaus (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Sponsor:  NSF Office of Polar Programs

Expression of Interest:  Please express your interest in attending by filling out this form before July 15, 2024: Expression of Interest Form

Early-career attendees:  Travel support is available for 15 Early Career participants, with focus on current PhD students, post-docs, and early career professionals. Support will be considered by application only. The expression of interest form contains the application form for Early Career travel support. Please fill out the form before July 15, 2024 so that your application can be considered.

Registration deadline:  August 15, 2024

Cost:  No registration fee. Most meals will be provided to all participants during the Workshop. Rooms in the Workshop hotel will be available at a discounted rate (participants to pay all room charges on their own). Travel support is available for 15 Early Career participants (by application). Preference will be given to young and under-represented investigators.

Workshop goals — RAID is a multi- and inter-disciplinary research tool. To utilize its full capacity, we will discuss:

(1) rejuvenate & grow scientific user community for RAID;

(2) enable new generation of early-career scientists in cutting-edge Antarctic research;

(3) promote inter–disciplinary research synergies, including use of new cryosphere technologies;

(4) engage the geophysical community for reconnaissance, site selection & data analysis;

(5) help integrate RAID and COLDEX activities;

(6) stimulate new cross-disciplinary research & proposal collaborations;

(7) develop new concepts to support traverse platforms in Antarctica; and

(8) create a new Long-Range Science Plan for RAID based on community research goals & priorities for future drilling.

Early Career focus — A program for early-career researchers (ECR’s) will include:

Travel support

Mentoring on professional development, science problems & approaches to Antarctic research

Research posters

Half-day ECR program with NSF representatives —

ECR community building

Perspective on future of Antarctic fieldwork, proposal process, and communication strategies with the NSF

Current & future research projects by ECRs

Q&A with program managers

Multi- and inter-disciplinary research — We seek a diverse group of participants for this NSF-funded workshop. If your field of interest in one of the following, you won’t want to miss this workshop:

    • old ice dating
    • paleoatmospheric records
    • paleoclimate reconstructions
    • subglacial exposure histories
    • subglacial geology
    • heat flow
    • glacial & solid-earth geophysics
    • glaciology
    • ice-sheet dynamics
    • borehole logging
    • glacial bed mechanics
    • thermal and landscape histories
    • subglacial sedimentology
    • potential-field geophysics
    • seismology
    • glacial-rebound geodetics

Contact information:

Sarah Shackleton – sarah.shackleton@whoi.edu
Kim Foote – kfoote@psi.edu
John Goodge – jgoodge@psi.edu

The 1st RAID science workshop was a great success! We thank all of those who participated and look forward to another get-together.

What is RAID?

The Rapid Access Ice Drill is a mobile system capable of rapidly drilling deep boreholes in the Antarctic ice sheets and retrieving cores of deep ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. It can provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and subglacial features over a wide area. RAID is designed to enable interdisciplinary research, including direct observation at the base of the modern ice sheets, access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, and recovery of billion-year rock cores from ice-covered East Antarctica, among many other multidisciplinary topics of interest that RAID can address. Because of its traversing capability, RAID can quickly make deep boreholes that will remain open for future down-hole observation. The RAID system was designed and optimized for drilling and coring in dry, frozen-bed conditions as will be encountered in the thick East Antarctic ice sheet. The initial operating region for RAID will be in a broad corridor between South Pole station toward the ice sheet interior toward Dome A.

What can RAID do? With an ice-cutting rate of up to 3 m/min, RAID is capable of making rapid boreholes in thick ice followed by coring in ice, the glacial bed, and subglacial bedrock.

Example drilling targets include:

    • ice borehole — laser/optical logging to determine age of ice; acoustic log of deformation
    • short ice cores — reconnaissance sampling of ‘old’ ice (>1 Ma?)
    • glacial bed — ice flow conditions, basal material, microorganisms
    • short rock cores — samples for age dating, composition, surface exposure ages, crustal and uplift history, validation of potential-field characteristics
    • rock borehole instrumentation — heat flow, seismology, geodetics

RAID status: RAID is currently on the ice and has completed successful field tests. Recent developments include:

    • design completed in late 2013
    • construction and outfitting of modules began in Utah in mid-2014
    • construction of cryogenic ice-drilling facility in Utah in early 2015
    • North American test of key components and drilling rates completed in March 2015
    • fabrication and construction of all major sub-systems in Utah in 2015
    • completion of integration and validation in October 2015
    • commissioned in early November 2015
    • shipment to Antarctica complete in January 2016
    • winter-over storage in McMurdo
    • Antarctic Field Trials completed near McMurdo Station during the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2019-20 austral field season
    • retooling and redesign of major components and tooling in 2021-24