British Antarctic Survey Utilises the ISA500, ISD4000 & ISP1 in Borehole Research

Impact Subsea British Antarctic Survey

The use of Impact Subsea technology in a non-contact underwater measurement system for hot water drilled ice boreholes has been covered in a recent paper.

Developed and deployed by the British Antarctic Survey, the system is covered in the paper “Non-contact measurement system for hot water drilled ice boreholes”.   The paper covers the use of a programmable borehole measurement system.  The system was deployed during the ‘Bed Access And Monitoring of Ice Sheet History’ (BEAMISH) project to drill to the bed of the Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica.

The hot water drilling BMS operates autonomously after deployment, obtaining non-contact measurements of the borehole diameter as well as the water column pressure, heading and inclination.

This application utilised three of Impact Subsea’s ISA500 Altimeters to obtain high accuracy non-contact measurements of the borehole diameter.  An OEM version of the Impact Subsea ISD4000 Depth sensor was used to provide high accuracy depth and pressure readings together with secondary AHRS functions (Heading, Pitch & Roll).

In addition to the above sensor technology, Impact Subsea designed and supplied the housings for the Battery Logger Unit, Hole Measurement Unit and Sideways Looking Cameras used in this project.

Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea commented: “We are delighted to see the success of this project and are proud to have assisted the British Antarctic Survey team through the provision of our underwater sensor technology and pressure housing services”

The full paper is available online here.

To learn more about the Impact Subsea technology used on this project, please see the following links:

ISA500 Underwater Altimeters

ISD4000 Depth & Temperature Sensors

ISP1 & 2 Pressure Housings

To learn more about the British Antarctic Survey please click here.

Ben Grant

Ben Grant

Managing Director at Impact Subsea.



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