RAID is back in action! The Rapid Access Ice Drill arrived by ship to Antarctica in January of 2016, and after being ’winterized’ it immediately went to bed for about 8 months of over-winter storage. The next step now is to run the drilling system through a set of realistic field trials to verify that it will perform as we expect it to, to test all the capabilities, and to push the system to learn how it will respond. To that end, we have a month’s worth of drilling exercises planned for December – our Antarctic Field Trials – which you can read about in the section under Development.
Our first crews arrived in McMurdo Station in October this year and started bringing it all back to life. Chris & Co. are now staging all of the drilling modules, installing all the do-not-freeze items that were pulled earlier, priming fluids, and getting the generators ready for startup. They plan to traverse out to the Minna Bluff test site on November 23. I along with Jeff, Blaise, and a few other drill hands will fly out to the camp on December 1. That’s weather and aircraft permitting, of course! Then we commence drilling in early December. So stay tuned! We hope to have internet access while in the field that will allow us to post updates to social media as well.