Updated: 07/24/2014 10:46 PM
Created: 07/24/2014 10:40 PM WDIO.com
The University of Minnesota Duluth was recently awarded nearly $9 million to construct a new drilling platform for research in Antarctica.
The Office of Polar Program at the National Science Foundation says the $8.97 million grant will build what's called the Rapid Access Ice Drill, called the RAID for short.
Professor John Goodge, with the UMD geology department, is the lead principal investigator on this project. He says that nothing like this has ever been built before.
In an e-mail, Goodge explained that they will be making a long borehole into the Antarctic ice sheet and then into the bedrock.
Instead of a an ice coring operation, "our system will be quite a bit bigger in scale and because it uses jointed steel pipe will be more like an oil or gas drilling rig," Goodge said.
According to a release from UMD, this type of technology has never been tried in Antarctica and could provide a critical first look at the interface between the major ice caps and their geology.
What's unique about this system is the speed at which it will be able to operate. RAID will be able to take sample cores in less than 200 hours, according to UMD. That means a crew will be able to gather a sample in about 10 days before moving on to the next drilling site.
The samples will allow scientists to build a build a three-dimensional picture that has never been done before.
Construction of the drilling system will start next June, with field trials beginning in 2016, and the program planned to begin in late 2017.
Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail
A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.
Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener
The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.
Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season
Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.
"By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth
Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally.
MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000
Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.