Wireless sub – technology for smarter, faster drilling

Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) has signed a licencing agreement for its technology for monitoring and optimising diamond drilling – the Wireless Sub – with Boart Longyear, the supplier of drilling services, drilling equipment and performance tooling.

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, such as feed force, torque, water pressure, rotation speed, axial acceleration and tangential acceleration.

The data logging feature of the Wireless Sub will enable drillers to replicate the highest performing parameters in any given drilling program, claims the manufacturer. Real-time data from remote drilling sites can be reviewed worldwide by exploration teams. Combined with drilling optimisation software, these data will enable drillers of any level of experience to rapidly determine the most effective drilling parameters.

The Wireless Sub was developed by DET CRC Participants and Affiliates, CSIRO, Globaltech Corporation, Epslog and Boart Longyear.

“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 programs in NSW and SA,” says the leader of the Wireless Sub project team, Stephen Banks of CSIRO. “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.”

“We are very pleased to add the Wireless Sub to our suite of innovations that are being worked on,” says Mike Ravella Director of Geological Data Services, of Boart Longyear. “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 licenced by DET CRC, following the AutoSonde for downhole determination of rock properties and the Lab-at-Rig for surface determination of geochemistry and mineralogy. 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 DET CRC’s flagship project the RoXplorer coiled tubing drill rig for mineral exploration.


To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.