Ice Drill Controller and Data Logging System

Powering climate change research

As part of the Antarctic Survey, an American university research programme sought technical support from Mage Control Systems for a high-powered motor drive to power the drill responsible for cutting ice cores.

The embedded electronics powering the motor and the motor itself, had to be rated to -50oC and be capable of reaching depths of up to 3km. This was deeper than their current equipment could achieve.

The new system was designed to provide a new drill motor, motor controller and communication systems using a custom LabVIEW HMI.

New features of the system were as follows:

  • 9 axis attitude sensing – capable of sensing anti-torque, and other vibrational modes

  • Borehole pressure monitoring

  • High power density electronics

  • High precision adaptive control

  • BLDC in place of a brushed motor

A new high voltage, high-speed communication system was implemented to work with the accompanying LabVIEW HMI.

The final design for the motor drive has since been upgraded with expanded functionality by our engineers, attracting interest from others working on similar projects across the globe.

We welcome further enquiries about this product and look forward to working with others to achieve their goals.