Acoustic drill pipe communications for mining


Mr Md Shahriar Islam (Graduate Student - University of Saskatchewan), Dr Allan Dolovich (Associate Professor - University of Saskatchewan), Mr Nathan Peter (Business Unit Manager - Saskatchewan Research Council), Dr Travis Wiens (Assistant Professor - University of Saskatchewan)

Bi-directional communication through the drill pipe in many mining operations is important for control and feedback with the tool end since the borehole process is otherwise an invisible operation. There have been different methods used throughout history for communication, although they all have a very slow data rate. Moreover, different parameters affect the process and attenuate the data that are transferred through drill pipes. Acoustic telemetry is a method of transferring data through a medium using continuous wave propagation of forces. Using this new method may become popular in the mining industry because of its faster data transmission rate and ability to ignore most attenuating parameters. Although the theory of acoustic telemetry has existed for quite some time, the new method is still in its optimization stage and the use of a perfect tool to match with the parameters of the drill pipe and surroundings is still a challenge to overcome. These different parameters play an important role in attenuating the data through pipes, which need to be modeled correctly, as well as modelling the transducer for bi-directional communication. This paper will present a review of the current research in this field.