The Wireless Sub couples the drill rig to the drill rods in the hole and provides real-time measurement of additional, and more accurate, drilling parameters than provided by traditional drill rig gauges (namely feed force, torque, water pressure, rotation speed, axial acceleration and tangential acceleration), DET CRC explained.
Real-time data from remote drilling sites can be reviewed worldwide by exploration teams. Combined with drilling optimisation software, these data will enable drillers to determine the most effective drilling parameters.
The Wireless Sub was developed by DET CRC participants and affiliates CSIRO, Globaltech Corporation, Epslog and Boart Longyear.
The leader of the Wireless Sub project team, Stephen Banks of CSIRO, said: "We are excited by the Wireless Sub, which has been extensively tested at DET CRC's Brukunga Drilling Research and Training Facility and in field programmes in NSW and SA. Drilling using operating parameters monitored by the Wireless Sub has achieved substantial gains in rate-of-penetration and bit life compared to drilling the same ground with information from the traditional driller's gauges."
Mike Ravella, director of geological data services of Boart Longyear, commented: "We are very pleased to add the Wireless Sub to our suite of innovations that are being worked on. The information obtained from the detailed parameters recorded by the Wireless Sub is the next step in driving safe drilling productivity. In addition, there is much more that can be done with the data. We look forward to commercialising this and other technologies in the future."
The Wireless Sub is the third major technology licensed by DET CRC, following the AutoSonde for downhole determination of rock properties and the Lab-at-Rig for surface determination of geochemistry and mineralogy. According to DET CRC, together these technologies provide a suite of real-time or near real-time drilling, geophysical and geological data from the drill site, and are important developments towards the sensing that will accompany its flagship project, the RoXplorer coiled tubing drill rig for mineral exploration.
The DET CRC was established in 2010 under the Australian Government's CRC Program to develop technologies to discover new mineral deposits at depth beneath barren rock cover.