John Hudgens (top, at left), a welder and fabricator with UNL’s Engineering Science and Research Support Facility, tested work by the ESRSF team for the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) expedition that departed in October to drill shot holes in the ice sheet for seismic testing during the Antarctic summer. At right, ANDRILL’s Dar Gibson, a research project manager, checked the generator and pump system secured by the “cage” that ESRSF repaired for the sled’s structure.
The nozzle device, designed and built by ESRSF, sprays near-boiling water (typically deployed downward) to melt and abrade ice so that explosive charges can be deployed for the seismic tests. ANDRILL, based at UNL, manages and supports the expedition of scientists and field personnel who conduct the experiments and analyze the seismic data. Past ESRSF Antarctic projects have provided scientific and drilling equipment to retrieve ice samples for scientists to research and recover a history of
paleoenvironmental changes that can guide understanding of the speed, size and frequency of glacial and interglacial changes in the Antarctica region. ANDRILL includes 200 scientists, educators and students from five nations (Germany, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States).
ESRSF Manager Jim McManis said his team enjoyed the design-build challenges associated with equipment’s use in extreme and remote environments such as Antarctica: “It’s always fun to be part of new science and engineering, and this current ANDRILL project has been really exciting science with a promising future.”
Learn more about the current ANDRILL expedition at http://go.unl.edu/m7o; ESRSF’s website is engineering.unl.edu/specialty-units/ESRSF/.