Get Started Today! 800-239-5950

SST Guidance System Powers Up DTD Project

Posted on

With two months of daily use on a DTD project in the southeast, DTD has embraced the use of the Digital Control F5 Short Steering Tool (SST). This add-on to DCI’s industry-standard F5 walkover locating system is destined to become a go-to tool in DTD’s inventory of innovative, advanced directional drilling tools.

During our current effort, this HDD navigation tool has allowed us to drill six remediation wells (so far) beneath a building filled with highly secure and inaccessible areas. Once the bit passed beneath these inaccessible zones, we were able to confirm the location of the bit using conventional walkover methods. In each case, the conventional locating technique confirmed the data from the SST.

The SST senses the orientation of the earth’s magnetic field with high precision, enabling the operator to steer the drilling tools to a precise bearing. At the operator’s console, a continuous visual display provides constant steering data for pitch (depth adjustments), roll and yaw (bearing or azimuth). The particular advantages of the system are:

  • The system is remotely operated – there is no need to operate a locator over the bit to steer during drilling. This allows drilling beneath surface infrastructure that is does not allow access for any of a number of reasons: i.e., security, safety, active business areas, etc.
  • No surface coil is required – which means the system can be used virtually anywhere.
  • The system is not depth limited. Data from the downhole tooling is provided by wireline to the driller, therefore there is no theoretical depth limit imposed by wireless signal reception from a subsurface sonde.
  • Despite the fact that you don’t need to use a walkover locator, the system is fully compatible with one. This means that a walkover receiver can be used to verify the position calculated from the SST data. This can be useful if, for instance, a monitoring well is situated near the planned bore path. The walkover can be used in combination with the SST to avoid the obstruction, providing additional clearance. It also means that after drilling under an inaccessible area, a walkover unit can be used to confirm the SST positional data, or to assure that the bore is on path to a desired exit point.
  • The bore navigation software automatically generates the as-built plan and profile drawings as the bore is advanced, and can import bore plans to show a direct as-built vs. planned plot.
  • Unlike other advanced locating and tracking systems, the SST is designed to use with smaller drill rigs, providing opportunity for DTD to use these capabilities on the full suite of environmental remediation projects we encounter; from small to large, drilling under shopping malls, industrial parks, landfills/lagoons, and the like.

Photo courtesy Digital Control, Inc.

DTD’s drill operators and navigators are quickly gaining experience with the intricacies of working with this advanced technology. DTD is excited to be able to offer this cost-effective locating method to our clients, with potential cost savings of tens of thousands of dollars compared to competing remote, wireline-based navigation systems.

For more information, call Mike or Dan at 800-239-5950.