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MUD PULSE MWD

THEORY MANUAL

Scientific Drilling
Nov. 2000

MWD MUD PULSE MANUAL CONTENTS


Chapter 1

Tool Specifications............................................................... 1

Chapter 2

Tool Operation ...................................................................... 6


Introduction .................................................................. 7
Super or Golden EYE .................................................. 9
MWD Controller ........................................................... 13
Gamma ....................................................................... 16
Pulser Driver ................................................................ 19
Battery ......................................................................... 23
Power and Communication.......................................... 25
Tool Block Diagram ..................................................... 26

Chapter 3

Pulser Operation................................................................... 28
Overview...................................................................... 29
Detailed Description..................................................... 30

Chapter 4

Surface System..................................................................... 35
Overview...................................................................... 36
Standpipe Pressure Sensor ......................................... 38
Pump Position Sensor ................................................. 41
Depth Sensor............................................................... 42
Rig Floor Display ......................................................... 44
Tool Communication.................................................... 45
Surface System Hook Up............................................. 46

Chapter 5

Detection Decoding.............................................................. 48
Telecommunications Basics ........................................ 49
Mud Pulse Encoding Scheme...................................... 60
Signal to Noise Ratio ................................................... 69

Chapter 6

Talkdown Scheme ................................................................ 76

Chapter 7

Troubleshooting Flow Diagram........................................... 81


Company Confidential
2000 Scientific Drilling International Revision Nov. 2000
Written by Mike Meadows Toucan Consultancy Inc. (Orig. release Jan. 2000)

TOOL SPECIFICATIONS CHAPTER 1


Contents

CONTENTS ......................................................................................................................................................... 1
PRODUCT INFORMATION .............................................................................................................................. 2
TOOL SPECIFICATION IN PETROLEUM ENGINEER FORMAT............................................................... 3
COMPLETE SENSOR SPECIFICATIONS ....................................................................................................... 4
UPDATE RATES................................................................................................................................................. 4
MAKE-UP TORQUES......................................................................................................................................... 5
GAMMA SCALE FACTORS.............................................................................................................................. 5

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2000 Scientific Drilling International

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Product Information

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Tool Specification in Petroleum Engineer Format


GENERAL
Tool OD available, in
Length, ft (tool OD)
Directional Only
DIR + Gamma Ray
Maximum dogleg severity
degrees/100ft (tool OD)
Sliding (non-rotating)
Rotating
Equivalent bending stiffness
OD x ID, in (tool OD)
Maximum operating temperature
Degrees C (degrees F)
Power Source
Operating time, hours
Maximum working pressure, psi
Mud flow rate range, gal/min
(Tool OD)
Lost circulation material
maximum size and concentration
Surface mud screen required?
Pressure drop, psi through tool
(tool OD) for water
@250 gal/min
'@500 gal/min
'@1,000 gal/min
Pulsation damper required?
Transmission trigger
Telemetry type
Is tool wireline retrievable?
Maximum bit pressure, psi
Downlink:
Mud flow
Rotary
Wireline
Electromagnetic

4 , 6, 6 , 6 , 8, 9
16.8 (plus 4.0 pulser sub)
16.8 (plus 4.0 pulser sub)

12(8"), 20(6 "), 28(4 ")


7(8"), 10(6 "), 12(4 ")
4.66 x 2.25 (4 )
150 (302)
Lithium Battery
150
20,000
100 - 400 (4 - 6 )
125 -1000 (6 ) 125-1500 (8 - 9 )
Medium nut plug 40 lb/bbl,
consult field engineer
Yes
40
50
75
Recommend charge to 30% of SPP
Stop pumps, stop rotary, start pumps
Positive
No
No limit
Yes
Yes
Yes
No

DIRECTIONAL
MTF/GTF switching, inclination degrees
Tool face update period, seconds
Survey time, seconds
Survey while drilling:
Sliding/Rotating?
Directional measurement point, ft
Tool face accuracy, degrees
Azimuth accuracy, degrees
Inclination accuracy, degrees

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5 increasing, 3
11.2 (fast), 14 secs normal
150 (fast), 172 secs normal
No/No
14 from pulser bolts
1.4
0.25
0.15

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GAMMA RAY
Detector type
Measurements
Gamma measurement point, ft
Available Real time?
Recorded?
Spectral GR?

Scintillation
AAPI GR
10.3 from pulser bolts
Yes
Yes
No

OTHER
Vibration monitoring?
Downhole weight on bit and torque?
Other sensors available?
Electronic caliper?

Yes
No
Temperature
No

Complete Sensor Specifications


Measurement
Inclination
Azimuth
Tool Face (survey)
Tool Face
Gamma
H-Total
Temperature*
Battery Voltage
Peak Vibration VIB
DIP
G-Total

Range
0 - 180
0 - 360
0 - 360
0 - 360
0 - 64
30 - 70
0 - 175
17 - 21
0 - 20
-90 - 90
984 1016

Units
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Counts
nanoTeslas
Degrees C
Volts
g
Degrees
Mg

Bits
11
12
8
7
7
9
5
3
7
10
5

Transmitted
EYE
Resolution Accuracy
0.09
0.15
0.088
0.25
1.4
0.15
2.81
0.15
.5
78
5.5c
.5v
156mg
.18
1mg

* average of Gt & Ht

Update Rates
12 Windows
Measurement
Survey (plus 60 sec delay)
Tool Face
Tool Face with Gamma
Gamma

Pulse Width 0.76

Pulse Width 1.0

2 min 7 sec
10.6 sec
21.3 sec
21.3 sec

2 min 48 sec
14 sec
28 sec
28 sec

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Make-up Torques
Connection

Pulser Sub
OD Inches

7-5/8 Regular

9-1/2

Top
Btm
Box
Pin

Collar I/D
Inches

Torque
ftlbs

4.5' Tong Arm


Line Pull lbs

4' Tong Arm


Line Pull lbs

3.5' Tong Arm


Line Pull lbs

3-1/2

75,000

17,000

19,000

21,000

6-5/8 Regular

Box
Pin

3-1/2

45,000

10,000

11,000

13,000

5-1/2 Full Hole

6-3/4

Box
Pin

3-1/2

25,000

5,500

6,000

7,000

4-1/2 Extra Hole


(NC46)

6-1/2

Box
Pin

2-13/16

22,000

5,000

5,500

6,000

4-1/2 Extra Hole


(NC46)

6-1/4

Box
Pin

2-13/16

22,000

5,000

5,500

6,000

3-1/2 IF

4-3/4

Box
Box

2-13/16

10,000

2,000

2,500

3,000

Gamma Scale Factors


Collar Size

Scale Factor

6-1/2

6.33

4-3/4

4.22

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TOOL OPERATION CHAPTER 2


CONTENTS
CONTENTS.............................................................................................................................................6
INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................7
EYE.........................................................................................................................................................9
OVERVIEW.......................................................................................................................................................... 9
DIRECTIONAL SENSORS ..................................................................................................................................... 10
SURVEYS .......................................................................................................................................................... 11
DETERMINING CORRECT SURVEYS .................................................................................................................... 11
EYE POWER AND COMMUNICATION .................................................................................................................. 12
MWD CONTROLLER ............................................................................................................................13
OVERVIEW........................................................................................................................................................ 13
FLOW ACCELEROMETER .................................................................................................................................... 13
TOOL OPERATION ............................................................................................................................................. 14
MEMORY .......................................................................................................................................................... 14
VIBRATION DETECTOR ...................................................................................................................................... 15
GAMMA ................................................................................................................................................16
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................. 16
SENSOR DESCRIPTION ....................................................................................................................................... 16
PULSER DRIVER..................................................................................................................................19
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................. 19
TIMED MODE .................................................................................................................................................... 20
SMART MODE ................................................................................................................................................... 21
BATTERY .............................................................................................................................................23
OVERVIEW........................................................................................................................................................ 23
TEMPERATURE .................................................................................................................................................. 23
LOADING AND SHELF LIFE ................................................................................................................................. 23
BATTERY PACK WIRING .................................................................................................................................... 24
LIFE CYCLE ...................................................................................................................................................... 24
POWER AND COMMUNICATION .........................................................................................................25
TOOL BLOCK DIAGRAM .....................................................................................................................26
DOWNHOLE TOOL OPERATION QUIZ................................................................................................27

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INTRODUCTION
The Mud Pulse MWD tool consists of six major sections:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Pulser Sub
Pulser
Pulser Driver
Battery
Controller and Gamma sensors
Directional sensors

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The pulser subs are similar to standard steering tool orienting subs. They have been bored out to
accept the pulsers, and contain two bolts that are used to secure the tool to the BHA after
alignment of the tool to the mud motor tool face. The pulser sits on a special sleeve called a
collar spacer, that in turn sits on a shoulder inside the sub. The purpose of the collar spacer is to
ensure that the pulser is spaced exactly at the right place for the orienting bolts.
The pulser contains a solenoid that drives a pilot valve, which controls the main poppet valve
that creates the positive mud pulses.
Currently there are three different pulser configurations that are optimized for four different flow
rate ranges. The four different pulsers are suitable for operation in six different pulser sub sizes
as shown in the chart below.
Pulser Sub Size
(inches)
9-1/2
8
6-3/4
6-1/2
6-1/4
4-3/4

Pulser Used
1000 GPM or 1500 GPM
1000 GPM or 1500 GPM
1000 GPM
400 GPM
400 GPM
400 GPM

Flow Rate Range


(GPM)
125 to 1000 or 200 to 1500
125 to 1000 or 200 to 1500
125 to 1000
100 to 400
100 to 400
100 to 400

The pulser driver is an electronic module that controls the solenoid in the pulser.
The battery module contains high-energy batteries that power the whole downhole tool.
The directional and gamma sensors are housed in a barrel that also contains an MWD control
section. The directional and gamma sensors are identical units to those used by Scientific
Drilling for steering tool applications. Both the Super EYE and the Golden EYE sensors can be
used by the MWD Mud Pulse system.
The pulser driver, the battery, and the directional and gamma sensors are all housed in 1.75
pressure barrels and connected together by centralizer modules. In addition to these modules, a
vibration isolator and a bull nose are added to complete the probe assembly that hangs down
from the pulser. The centralizers provide shock and vibration damping and they can be
configured for use in different drill collar sizes.

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SUPER OR GOLDEN EYE

Overview
The function of the EYE section is to:
1. Measure directional data
2. To communicate these measurements to the MWD controller and the surface equipment
The three primary directional measurements provided are:
1. Azimuth the directional orientation of the wellbore relative to magnetic north.
2. Inclination a measure of the deviation of the wellbore from vertical.
3. Tool Face Highside Tool Face (or gravity tool face) and Magnetic Tool Face.
Toolface is a term used in connection with deflection tools or steerable motors, and can be
expressed in two ways.
The place on a deflection tool, usually marked with a scribe line, that is positioned to a particular
orientation while drilling, to determine the future course of the wellbore.
The orientation, expressed as the direction either from north or from the topside of the hole, of
the navigation sub of a steerable motor.
Toolface orientation then is an angular measurement of the toolface of a deflection tool with
respect to either up (highside) or north (magnetic toolface).
Secondary or quality measurements are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Total Magnetic Field, called H Totals


Total Gravity Field
Magnetic Dip
Tool Temperature called Ht for magnetometer temperature and Gt for accelerometer
temperature.

Directional data is measured using three accelerometers, three magnetometers, and two
temperature sensors.
This block diagram shows the major parts of the EYE section.

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To MWD Controller

9 Pin MDM Connector

RS-485
Power

Processor
Signal Conditioning

Accelerometers
& Gtemp

Magnetometers
& Htemp

Directional Sensors
Accelerometers measure acceleration. Gravity is an acceleration. If we attach a spring to a mass
and hold it vertically, it will stretch the spring. The amount of stretch will depend upon the
spring, the magnitude of the acceleration, and the mass. The Earths acceleration is called g.
If we could reverse the direction of g, the spring would compress by a similar amount. This is
the principle of the accelerometer. Three accelerometers are used, each aligned at 90 degrees to
each other, and refereed to as the Gx, Gy, and Gz accelerometers.
Magnetometers measure the intensity of the Earths magnetic field in a particular direction. A
magnetometer is a device consisting of two identical cores with a primary winding around each
core but in the opposite directions. A secondary winding twists around both cores and the
primary winding. An excitation current produces a magnetic field in each core. These fields are
of equal intensity, but opposite orientation, and therefore cancel each other out such that no
voltage is induced in the secondary winding. When the magnetometer is placed in an external
magnetic field, which is aligned with the axis of the magnetometer, an unbalance occurs and a
voltage directly proportional to the external field is produced in the secondary winding.
A measurement of the voltage induced by the external field will provide a precise determination
of the direction and magnitude of the local magnetic field relative to the magnetometers
orientation in the borehole. Magnetic field intensity or strength is measured in micro Teslas (T)
or nano Teslas (nT). A nano Teslas is sometimes referred to as a gamma.
Both accelerometers and magnetometers give voltage outputs that have to be corrected by
applying calibration coefficients. The calibration data corrects for span and bias errors, the effect
of temperature, alignment errors, and other slight imperfections in the manufacturing process.
The calibration data are stored in memory in the EYE tool, and updated every time the tool is
calibrated. A temperature sensor is required by the tool in order to apply some of these
corrections when the tool is taking measurements in real time.

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Surveys
Calculations for the survey values are made in the downhole tool.
Inclination calculation uses the three accelerometer sensors only.
Azimuth calculations use the three magnetometer sensors and the three accelerometer sensors.
Highside Tool Face calculations use the accelerometers only.
Magnetic Tool face calculations use both the accelerometer and magnetometer sensors.
Total Magnetic Field calculations use the three magnetometer sensors
Total Gravity Field calculations use the three accelerometer sensors
Magnetic Dip calculations use the three magnetometer sensors and the three accelerometer
sensors.
The downhole tool can transmit Tool Face data in three modes,
1. Permanently set to Highside Tool Face
2. Permanently set to Magnetic Tool Face
3. Automatically switch from Magnetic to Highside depending upon the inclination.
The automatic tool face switching occurs when inclination increases to a value of 5 degrees, or
decreases to a value of 3 degrees.
Which sensors can be relied upon?
1. Inside casing, inclination below the crossover angle. There is magnetic interference and
therefore none of the data that uses the magnetometers can be relied upon. Since inclination
is below the crossover angle, highside tool faces are highly variable. No tool data are
useable.
2. Inside casing, inclination above the crossover angle. We can now use the data that uses the
accelerometers, i.e. inclination and highside tool faces.
3. H-Total bad. We can rely upon inclination and highside tool face but none of the
magnetometer data.
4. Total Gravity Field bad. Question all data.

Determining Correct Surveys


You need to be certain that your survey is correct before giving it to someone else. Check the
following:
1. Are the Inclination and Azimuth readings what would be expected?
2. Was the last H-Total transmission correct? There are several programs that can estimate a
value if your longitude and latitude is known.
3. Is the Total Gravity Field correct? It should be around one, and consistent with previous
surveys.
4. Have you entered the correct magnetic and grid declinations?

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5. Is the temperature reading correct? A bad temperature sensor in the tool will result in the
wrong calibration calculations and all data will be suspect.
6. Was the pipe moving when the survey was taken?
7. Double-check the depth. The survey calculation program must the correct depth to yield
correct section and dogleg results.

EYE Power and Communication


Direct communication with the EYE tool is possible at the surface or with an electric wireline
when downhole. The communication method is the same as that used by Scientific Drillings
Steering tools, namely Frequency Shift Keying (FSK).
When communicating with the EYE using FSK, power is supplied by the surface system, and is
superimposed on the same wire as the communication line.
The EYE tool passes its data onto the MWD controller using a serial line called RS-485.
In order to save battery life, the EYE tool is only powered up when directional data is required.
The MWD controller is responsible for this power switching.

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MWD CONTROLLER

Overview
The purpose of the MWD controller is to:
1. Control the acquisition of data from the EYE tool.
2. Measure natural gamma ray radiation
3. Control the timing of data acquisition and transmission by monitoring the flow accelerometer
switch.
4. Format data for output to the pulser driver, which then controls the transmission of data to
the surface.
5. Adjust the pulse width and the data transmission sequence formats according to timed flow
on /off or rotation on/off sequences. This reprogramming of the tool from surface is referred
to as Talkdown.
6. Measure the battery voltage, and shock and vibration that the tool is experiencing.
7. Store measured data in memory for redundancy and store diagnostic information.
8. Provide a communication link for use at the surface to initialize and test the tool.

At the heart of the MWD controller is a microprocessor. The software inside this microprocessor
performs the control functions listed above.
The major elements of the controller are shown in this block diagram.

Drive Line
Red/Black

FSK/PWR
(RED)

Not Used
(RED/White)

To Other Sections

PMT/Gamma
Memory 6 MB
(3 X 2MB)

FSK/Power

Processor
Flow Accelerometer
RS-485
From Eye Section

Flow Accelerometer
The tool is designed to actuate the pulser when there is either, flow or rotation on the drill string.
The design uses an accelerometer to detect the slight vibration on the tool caused by either flow
or rotation. This has proved to be very reliable and has the added benefit of allowing the
downhole tool to be mode switched (talkdown) by drill string rotation as well as by pump
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pressure. A drawback of this design is that any movement of the tool will cause it to switch on
and start transmitting. This means that the tool will be consuming battery energy during trips,
and also increases the chances of unintentional talkdown changes.
One of the set points that the operator can adjust, is the level at which the flow accelerometer
activates the tool. Currently the optimum level is set to 0.050 volts.
The talkdown scheme is described in chapter 6.

Tool Operation
A simplified sequence of the tool operation is as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Wait until flow accelerometer detects flow.


Wait for 60 seconds for the pumps to stabilize.
Transmit the survey data, inclination azimuth and tool face.
Transmit continuously tool face and if selected gamma data.
Transmit status data (battery voltage, temperature, and H-total) at times programmed at
surface.
6. Stop transmitting when flow accelerometer has detected flow off for more than 30 seconds.
7. Measure next survey data 40 seconds after flow-off initially detected*.
8. Back to step one.
*An exception to this time is during talkdown, when the survey is taken 20 seconds after the
flow accelerometer has detected flow off.

Memory
The controller section has two types of memory:
1. Volatile memory (data is lost when power is removed).
2. 6 MB of Non-volatile memory (data is retained even when power is removed).
Recorded in the volatile memory is a record of the main activities of the tool with time. Most
surface communications to the tool are recorded such as pulse width changes, clearing of
memory etc. In addition, when the tool is operating the flow on and flow off times are recorded.
In the main non-volatile memory, more diagnostic data is recorded such as flow accelerometer
voltages. In the future, this memory will also be used to store gamma ray and survey data.
The non-volatile memory does not wrap; i.e. when full, all recording of data ceases. The nonvolatile memory stores data in 3 Meg. The remaining 3 MB will be used for storing gamma data.

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Vibration Detector
The MWD controller uses the raw output of the accelerometers to provide two measurements, a
peak vibration and an averaged vibration. The range for both measurements is 1 to 16.5 g in 1 g
increments.
The primary use of these measurements is to warn of possible excessive vibration on the BHA
and in particular, the relatively delicate MWD tool. If high values are seen, some action must be
taken, such as changing the rotary rpm, or the weight on bit or both, until more normal values are
seen.

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GAMMA

Introduction
The gamma ray sensor measures the naturally occurring gamma radiation in the formations.
Most naturally occurring radiation comes form potassium which is contained in clay minerals.
The gamma ray log is therefore useful for distinguishing shales from non-shales. Some gamma
radiation comes from uranium, (which is most often found in formations through which water
once flowed), or thorium, (which is found in various clay minerals).
The uses of the gamma ray log are:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Distinguish shales from non-shales


Estimate clay content in sands and limestones
Correlation of real-time data with offset logs to determine geological location.
Picking casing and coring points.

There are two major limitations to the gamma ray sensor:


1. Gamma measurements are time dependent and are therefore less accurate at high ROPs.
2. The drill collar absorbs gamma rays differently to the housing of a wireline tool, making
exact comparison of wireline and MWD gamma ray logs difficult.

Sensor Description
The gamma ray sensor consists of three components, a scintillation crystal, a PhotoMultiplier
Tube (PMT), and power and measurement electronics.
When gamma rays emitted by the formation pass within the crystal lattice, they impart their
energy to a cascade of secondary electrons, which are finally trapped by impurity atoms. As the
electrons are trapped, visible or near-visible light is emitted. This is called scintillation.
The light flashes are then detected by a PMT tube optically coupled to the crystal and
transformed into an electrical pulse. The PMT tube detects the visible light from the crystal, and
emits two secondary electrons. This multiplying effect of the original gamma ray causes a much
stronger signal to be read by the counter.

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gamma ray
photocathode

Electrical pulses
to counter

NaI Crystal

PMT

The sensitivity of the sensor changes when the tool is placed in different collar sizes. To
compensate for this there are several different calibration constants for each drill collar size.
These constants are called the Gamma Scale Factor, and are entered into Mfilt.
Two main problems can occur with the gamma sensor. The crystal may crack, causing a marked
change in the sensitivity. This is manifested by a drop in the gamma values on the log. After
long period of use and several heat cycles, such as the same tool used over a year or so, the
crystal structure can degrade, which causes a gradual loss in sensitivity. Frequent calibration
checks can help identify and correct this problem.
Other factors that can affect the gamma response are:
1. Hole diameter, the larger the hole diameter, the less sensitive the response.
2. Mud density, the denser the mud, the less sensitive the response.
3. Mud additives, certain mud types such as potassium chloride polymers (KCL) can have an
effect on the response depending upon the levels of concentration.
The absolute radioactivity of a rock varies; however, the relative radioactivity of the rock types is
fairly constant.
The various gamma responses in certain rock formations can be seen in the diagram below.

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Gamma Ray Lithology Response


Gamma Counts per Second
low

high

Sandstone - mostly SiO2 may be


contaminated with clays and
other K minerals

Siltstone - same as sandstone

Shale - clay minerals, abundant K

Salt - halite, normally pure NaCl,


no K contamination.

Salt - sylvite, KCL

Limestone - CaCO3 may be


contaminated with K minerals

Marine Shale - clay minerals, hot

Dolomite - CaMg (CaCO3) same


as limestone

Coal

Granite - large amounts of K, very


hot

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PULSER DRIVER

Introduction
The purpose of the pulser driver is to:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Accept pulse commands from the MWD Controller.


Activate the solenoid in the pulser with a specific current profile.
Double the voltage from the battery pack to increase the power to the solenoid.
Store current and voltage profiles in memory for diagnostic purposes.

The MWD controller simply outputs a signal, whenever it requires the driver to activate the
pulser. The width of this signal is the same time as the pulse width that the tool has been set at.
A functional block diagram of the driver section is shown below along with the pulser.

FSK/PWR
(RED)

Wet Connector
Solenoid

FSK/PWR (RED)

Tool
Ground

Driver

Capacitors

Processor

Memory 2MB

PULSER

PULSER DRIVER

Drive Line
From MWD Controller

The energizing time for a solenoid to complete a given stroke is measured from the beginning of
the initial application of power to the seated or energized position. For a given solenoid, this
time is dependent upon the load, duty cycle, input power, stroke, and temperature. When a DC
voltage is applied across the solenoid coil, the current will rise to point (a) as shown on the graph
below.

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Current (amps)

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c
a

Time (milliseconds)

This time delay, which occurs before the plunger motion, is a function of the inductance and
resistance of the coil, and the flux required to move the armature against the load. An increase in
the magnetic force is created by closing the air gap as the plunger moves through the stroke,
causing a dip in the current trace. The low point at (b) indicates that the solenoid has completed
the stroke. The current trace then begins to rise to a steady state current value.
If the load on the solenoid increases, more time is required to reach point (c), as shown by the
dotted line current trace.
If the load on the solenoid is larger than the solenoid can handle, then the current in the coil will
build to a steady state value and a dip in the trace will not occur since the plunger has not moved.
The driver circuitry provides the initial current for the solenoid to move and reach the steady
state current, and then switches down to a lower current to keep the solenoid energized for the
rest of the pulse duration. This lower current level is called the hold current, and has the real
benefit of minimizing the energy used from the batteries of the tool.
The driver operates in two modes, timed and smart mode.

Timed Mode
In timed mode, the driver provides two current profiles, a high current to crack open the pilot
valve, and a lower hold current to keep the pilot valve open. The profile of the available current
to the solenoid is shown below.

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Current (mA)

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1,000

300
Time determined by pulse width - on time

Min time >40<150


Max time >70<225
Typically set to
40 min, 150 max

Time (milliseconds)

The operator can select the minimum and maximum times that the initial current is provided to
the solenoid.

Smart Mode

Current (mA)

In smart mode, the driver automatically controls the current to the solenoid. Up to 1 amp is still
provided during the initial open period. However, this high current level is stopped once the
solenoid has reached the steady state level after the solenoid has stopped moving. This results in
a significant current savings compared to the timed mode.

1,000
High current
stopped at this
point

300
Time determined by pulse width - on time

Time (milliseconds)

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The current required to drive the solenoid is near the limit that the batteries are capable of. To
overcome this problem, energy is slowly stored in capacitors during pulse off times, and
discharged from the capacitors instead of directly from the batteries.
The memory in the driver module stores the current and voltage profiles of each pulse. If there is
a pulsing problem, this diagnostic data can be very useful in the determination of the problem.
The memory has a wrap feature, so only the most recent profiles are kept. The memory will
typically store about 24 hours worth of data.

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BATTERY
Overview
The battery pack consists of 6 lithium thionyl chloride, DD size cells connected in series. The
cells have a lithium anode, a carbon cathode, and a thionyl chloride electrolyte.
Each cell has a nominal voltage of 3.6 volts. The six cells connected together therefore have a
combined nominal voltage of 21.6 volts (6 x 3.6). The actual voltages are lower than this due to
various effects discussed later.
The voltages in the downhole tool are normally measured with respect to ground. Ground is
connected directly to the body of the tool through the pressure barrels.
Temperature
The maximum operating temperature of the battery pack is 300 F (150 C). Above this
temperature, the cells may start to swell and become extremely dangerous.
The battery voltage will drop if the battery temperature is allowed to fall below freezing. Once
the batteries are re-warmed, the voltage will recover, but the battery life may have been
shortened. Precautions should be taken to ensure that the batteries are not frozen, even during
transportation.

Loading and Shelf Life


New and unused batteries have a long shelf life of up to ten years.
Before a newly built battery pack can be used it must be activated or loaded down. When
loaded, the voltages in new batteries will be well below the nominal voltage. This is because the
electrolytic reaction within each cell is slowed down by a passivation layer of lithium chloride
crystals around the anode.
Loading down is performed by connecting a 75 ohm resistor across the positive and negative of
the battery pack. As current flows through the load resistor, the passivation layer is broken
down, the electrolytic reaction speeds up and the voltage gradually rises to the nominal operating
level. This process is often referred to as de-passivating. The time taken for the voltage to build
back up to a steady value depends upon the remaining capacity, and the temperature cycle
history of the batteries.
Before handling these batteries, you must read and understand the SDI Safety Procedures.

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Battery Pack Wiring


Each cell in the battery pack has a diode connected to it to avoid the possibility of one or more of
the other cells sourcing current into itself. The battery pack also has a 5 amp protective fuse, and
a final protective diode. There will be a small voltage drop across the diode, which will further
reduce the nominal voltage from 21.6 to about 21 volts.

Fuse 5A

Volts

Life Cycle

21

Voltage drops if batteries freeze,


rises again on warming

Loading brings
voltage up

Voltage drops
quickly at end
of life

About 150 hours depending on data rate

Time in Hours

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POWER AND COMMUNICATION


There are several options that the operator can set that customizes the service to be provided. In
order to configure the tool for these various options, a method of communicating with the tool is
required. Scientific Drilling uses the same method of communication as used by their wireline
tools, namely Frequency Shift Keying (FSK).
To save battery power in the tool, an external power source is superimposed on the FSK
communication line.
This external power and communication is made through the wet connect at the top of the
pulser.
A zener diode is used to isolate the battery power, when external power via the surface system is
available. The diagram below shows the general power arrangement in the tool.

21 volts

FSK/PWR (RED)

Choke

Fuse 5A
MWD
TOOL

22 volts from MSI

22 volt
Zener
Diode

Communication between the microprocessors in the MWD controller and the EYE tool is via an
RS-432 serial line, running at 9600 baud.

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TOOL BLOCK DIAGRAM


For a complete overview of the down hole tool, the following diagram will be useful:

MWD TOOL BLOCK DIAGRAM

FSK/PWR
(RED)

Wet Connector
Solenoid

PULSER

Tool
Ground

Red/wht
Red/blk

FSK/PWR (RED)

Red

Driver

Capacitors

Processor

PULSER DRIVER
Red - FSK/Power
Red/black - Solenoid Drive Line
Red/white - not used

Memory 2MB

Centralizer
Spring Assy
7

9 Pin MDM

FSK/PWR
(RED)

Drive Line
Red/Black

Not Used
(RED/White)

Fuse 5A

9 Pin MDM

BATTERY

1
Tool
Ground

Connector
Chassis Assy

Drive Line
Red/Black

Centralizer

PMT/Gamma
Memory 6 MB
(3 X 2MB)

FSK/Power

Processor

MWD CONTROLLER
Flow Accelerometer

RS-485
9 Pin MDM Connector

RS-485
Power

Processor

EYE DIRECTIONAL SENSOR

Signal Conditioning
Accelerometers
& Gtemp

Magnetometers
& Htemp

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DOWNHOLE TOOL OPERATION QUIZ


1. What nominal voltages are provided by the whole battery pack and by a single cell?

2. What is the minimum time that the tool can withstand no flow or movement without shutting
down?

3. What is the purpose of battery loading?

5. You are checking a tool in the slips after a bit-trip and can hear the pulser clicking at the usual
rate, despite no flow. What would you suspect is wrong?

6. List seven steps to determine if a survey is correct.

7. Name four possible sources of magnetic interference.

8. Where are the directional sensor calibration factors stored?

9. The driller takes a survey using the BHA described below. The bit is at a measured depth of
10,112 ft. What is the depth of the survey?
Bit 1.00
Crossover 1.24
Stabilizer 3.12
Pulser sub 4.75
Monel 30.11

Crossover 1.68

NMDC 30.24

10. After a few hours of drilling ahead, the directional driller starts to question your surveys.
The last H-Total reading is nearly 25% higher than all the previous values. What can you tell
him?

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PULSER CHAPTER 3

CONTENTS
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 28
OVERVIEW....................................................................................................................................................... 29
PULSER PRINCIPLE - SIMPLE...................................................................................................................... 29
PULSER PRINCIPLE - DETAILED ................................................................................................................ 30
FILTER SCREEN.............................................................................................................................................. 34

Company Confidential
2000 Scientific Drilling International

Confidential

OVERVIEW
The type of pulser used in the Mud Pulse MWD tool, is a positive one. At its most basic, the
pulser consists of a valve that, when actuated, restricts some of the mud flowing down the drill
string. A pressure gauge at the surface will see this temporary restriction as a positive going
pressure pulse.

Valve

Standpipe pressure

Mud

Positive
going pulses

time

Actuator

PULSER PRINCIPLE - SIMPLE


The pulser consists of two major sections, a power valve and a pilot valve assembly. The main
poppet shaft is attached to a power spring that always acts to try to close the valve. Therefore,
with no flow on the tool, the poppet valve will be in the closed position.
The three diagrams below show a very simplified representation of the pulser operation.
The first drawing shows the situation with no flow through the pulser.
The second drawing shows what happens when there is flow through the pulser, but the actuator
is not creating a pulse. The pressure of the drilling fluid pushes the driving piston down against
the spring, which pulls the main poppet down, allowing mud to flow.

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NO FLOW
NO PULSE

FLOW
OFF PULSE

FLOW
ON PULSE
Phigh

Phigh

Main
Poppet
Valve

Main
Orifice
Plow

small area

Driving
Piston

Plower

large area

Main
Spring
Phigh

Phigh -Plower

Pilot Valve
Assembly

Plower

The third drawing shows the status when the tool needs to create a pulse, and the pilot valve is
opened.
Through the poppet assembly is a small bore that links the pressure at the top of the pulser, to the
back of the driving piston. The cross sectional area of this piston is larger than the cross
sectional area of the poppet valve seat. With the pilot valve open, the same pressure across the
main valve is acting on the back of the piston. Force is pressure x area, and because the area on
the piston is larger than the area on poppet seat, the piston assembly will move upward.

PULSER PRINCIPLE - DETAILED


The pulser has two very useful features:
1. Controls the pulse height to be nearly constant over a very wide flow range.
2. Very little power is required to operate the pulser, only about 10 watts.
A more detailed look at the pulser operation is required to understand how these two features
work. Each of the three conditions will be described.

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No Flow, No Pulse

NO FLOW
NO PULSE

The actuator assembly consists of a


solenoid, pilot valve, relief valve,
and a pressure compensator.
The pressure compensator contains
a spring that is changed out for the
three different pulser flow ranges.

Main
Poppet
Valve

The solenoid and pressure


compensator is housed in a pressure
compensated chamber that is oil
filled. A floating piston
compensates for temperature,
pressure, and displacement changes.

Main
Orifice

Driving
Piston

Main
Spring

Pilot Valve

Relief valve

Pilot Valve
Assembly

Floating Piston
Compensator

Solenoid

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Oil chamber

Page 31

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FLOW
NO PULSE
P1

mud flow

Flow and Off Pulse

mud flow

1. When the pumps are started, the pressure pushes the


poppet down against the main spring (black arrows).
2. Flow across the main orifice results in a small pressure
drop across the main valve.
3. The pressure on both sides of the driving piston is the
same - P2.
4. There is no flow through the main poppet and pilot valve
assemblies.

P2
P2<P1

P2

P1

P2

P2

Solenoid

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Flow and On Pulse

FLOW
ON PULSE
mud flow
mud flow P1

mud flow

P2

1. When the solenoid is activated, the pilot valves opens, and


the relief valve closes.
2. This applies the same pressure drop that is across the main
valve, to the back of the driving piston.
3. The pressure area of the driving piston is larger than the
area of the main valve. Therefore the piston will move up
and the main poppet valve will move to the close position.
4. There is now flow through the main poppet and pilot
valve assemblies.
5. With no pressure control, the main valve would move to
the hard close position. However, the relief valve is
spring loaded to maintain a pressure that is defined by the
valve area and the spring force. Once this control
pressure is reached, the valve will begin to open to bypass
pilot flow so that the control pressure is maintained at a
near constant pressure over a wide flow range. This in
turn, produces a constant force on the driving piston that
pushes the poppet closed to produce a near constant
pressure drop across the main valve.

P2<P1

P1

P1

P1

P2

Solenoid

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FILTER SCREEN
A filter screen is incorporated into the main valve to prevent mud particles from blocking the
pilot valve assembly. The filter intake screen assembly is situated at the top of the main valve.
If the screen itself becomes plugged, the tool will not pulse.

Filter screen

To prevent the filter screen from becoming caked, the pulser should be flushed with water before
being removed from the pulser sub.

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Mike Meadows Jan 2000

Page 34

SURFACE SYSTEM CHAPTER 4

CONTENTS
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 35
SURFACE SYSTEM OVERVIEW ................................................................................................................... 36
STANDPIPE PRESSURE.................................................................................................................................. 38
PUMP POSITION SENSOR.............................................................................................................................. 41
DEPTH SENSOR............................................................................................................................................... 42
RIG FLOOR DISPLAY..................................................................................................................................... 44
TOOL COMMUNICATION ............................................................................................................................. 45
SURFACE SYSTEM HOOK UP....................................................................................................................... 46
SURFACE SYSTEM QUIZ ............................................................................................................................... 47

Company Confidential
Scientific Drilling International 2000

Confidential

SURFACE SYSTEM OVERVIEW


The main function of the surface system is to convert pressure pulses to directional data.
Inputs:
Standpipe pressure
Pump position
Depth

Surface System

Outputs:
Inc, Azi, Toolface, Htot
Gamma
Vibration

In more detail, the surface system:


1. Provides signal conditioning for the Input sensors
Standpipe Pressure
Pump Position Sensor (for noise subtraction)
Depth Encoder (for gamma depth)
MWD Tool Memory
2. Detects Pulses by
Removing dc pressure component
Filtering out unwanted frequencies
Subtracting pump noise
Correlating pressure transitions to pulse transitions
3. Decodes the pulse data into final measured parameters
4. Stores data into files
5. Outputs data to:
Rig Floor Display (RFD)
Computer Screen
Printer
Plotter
The two major components of the surface system are the Multi System Interface (MSI) and a
laptop PC.
All of the signal conditioning functions are carried out by the MSI. The MSI is basically a
computer with various specialized boards to perform data acquisition and output control
functions.
The main functions of the MSI are therefore:
1. Power and measure the signal transmitted by the downhole tool from the standpipe
transducer and pass this onto the PC
2. Power and measure the pump position transducer and pass this onto the PC

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3. Power and measure the depth encoder and pass this onto the PC
4. Output processed information from the PC to the rig floor display
5. Provide direct communication to the tool for setup and retrieving memory data

Standpipe Pressure
Pump Position

Multi System Interface


MSI

Rig Floor Display


Depth Display

Depth Encoder

Tool Memory

Laptop PC

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STANDPIPE PRESSURE
The standpipe pressure sensor operates in a similar manner to a strain gauge. It contains voltage
regulator circuits, current measurement, and precision detection circuits. The pressure in the
standpipe causes a diaphragm to deflect. This deflection is detected by a semiconductor bridge
and amplifier. The bridge amplifier outputs to a current control circuit that sends the output
signals to the MSI.
The transducer has an operating range of 10 to 40 volts dc, but is supplied with approximately 24
volts dc from the MSI. The standpipe sensor outputs a current of between 4 and 20 mA to the
MSI, which represents 0 to 3,000 psi or 0 to 5,000 psi depending upon which transducer you are
using.
This 4-20 mA signal is converted to a voltage of 0 to 10 volts before being digitized by the
Analog to Digital Converter in the MSI.
24

Current (mAmps)

20
16
12
8
4
0
0

1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

Pressure (psi)
3,000 psi Sensor

5,000 psi Sensor

The chart above shows the relationship between pressure and current output for each of the two
sensors used.
To determine the current output for a particular pressure use the following equation
Current (in mA) = (16/ pressure range x pressure) + 4
For example, what is the current output when the standpipe pressure is 2,500 psi. when using a
5,000 psi sensor?
Current (in mA) = (16/5,000 x 2,500) + 4
The answer is 12 mA

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The diagram below shows the complete routing of the standpipe pressure signal and will be
useful for troubleshooting.

Standpipe Pressure Signal Routing


Pressure Sensor Assy

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Standpipe
Pressure
Sensor
Red

4-20 mA

Black

Readout Cable

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Male Female
8 pin
8 pin

MWD Y Cable

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Male Female
8 pin
8 pin

Multi System Interface

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L

Male
11 pin

Female
11 pin

Current to
Voltage

For Pump Position Sensor

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
Female
8 pin

Analog to Digital
Converter

Processor

Serial Output

Troubleshooting:
1. Unplug readout cables at Y Connector and confirm voltage
across H&L and K&L are approx. 24 volts. If not, swap out MSI
boxes
2. If voltages OK, check cables all the way up to pressure
transducer (across G&H)

Laptop Computer

3. Short pins G&H at female connector that transducer plugs


into. Mfilt should show about 3,000 or 5,000 psi. If not, replace
transducer.

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The pressure transducer and the pump position sensor can be plugged into either of the two Y
connectors.
The transducer should be installed as close to the main mudflow as possible, and the transducer
body parallel to the ground.
The pressure transducer has zero and span adjustment capability. When back at the shop,
connect the sensor to an MSI, and adjust the zero by turning the zero screw on the sensor while
watching the Mfilt screen. Attach an Enerpac to the transducer and carefully pressure up to
either 3,000 or 5,000 psi as appropriate. Adjust the span screw until the Mfilt screen reads 3,000
or 5,000 psi.
Do not press or touch the diaphragm as you may damage or alter its calibration.

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PUMP POSITION SENSOR


The purpose of the pump position sensor is to measure the motion of the pump piston shaft in
order to determine a pressure signature of the pump noise. This signature is then subtracted form
the raw standpipe pressure and usually all that will remain is the MWD pulses. A secondary
purpose of this sensor is to measure the stroke rate of the pump.
The sensor consists of a single chip accelerometer and signal conditioning circuitry mounted on a
printed circuit board. The sensor assembly is mounted on one of the piston shafts on the pump.
The accelerometer outputs a voltage that is proportional to the vibration on the shaft. Circuitry
inside the sensor covert this voltage to a 4-20 mA signal. If the pump is running, the output of
the sensor will be a sine wave. The frequency of this sine wave will be the pump stroke rate.
The surface system uses this signal to remove the noise due to the pump.
By telling the surface equipment the barrels per stroke for the pump, the flow rate in gallons per
minute can be computed and displayed.
The diagram below shows the complete routing of the pump position signal and will be useful
for troubleshooting.
Pump Position Signal Routing
Multi System Interface

MWD Y Cable

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

For Standpipe Sensor

Female
8 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
J
K
L

Male Female
11 pin 11 pin

Pump Position Sensor

4-20 mA signal P1
-12 volts
P4
+12 volts
P2
ground
P3

White
Blue
Red
Black
Green

Current to
Voltage

Readout Cable
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Male Female
8 pin 8 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Female Male
8 pin
8 pin

Analog to Digital
Converter

Processor

Serial Output

Troubleshooting:
1. Unplug Y Connector at MSI and confirm voltage across E&C
and E&D is approx. -12 volts, and +12. If not, swap out MSI
boxes.

Laptop Computer

2. If voltage OK, check cables all the way up to pressure


transducer (E&C and E&D).
3. If voltages at female connector that transducer plugs into
are correct then replace sensor.

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DEPTH SENSOR
The depth sensor monitors the position of the kelly indirectly by measuring the movement of the
cable connected to the rigs Geolograph.
The actual transducer is an optical shaft encoder that translates rotary shaft movement to a series
of square waves. The shaft encoder is attached to the bushing of a wheel that is connected to the
Geolograph cable.

Geolograph Cable

Shaft Encoder Wheel

The sensor requires between 5 and 24 volts for its supply voltage. The MSI actually supplies
12volts.
The sensor outputs the following signal to the MSI.
1 Cycle
90

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By counting the number of pulses and the frequency of the two signals, it is possible to compute
the distance and speed moved by the sensor wheel and therefore the position of the kelly.
Direction of movement, depth increasing or decreasing, is determined by measuring the phase
shift between the two signals.
By entering a calibration factor of 133.3 counts per foot into the Mlink software, each turn of the
wheel, will result in 3 feet of depth change. For metric operation, enter 437.4 counts per meter.
In addition to the sensor, a local display of depth and rate of penetration can be connected to the
MSI.
The diagram below shows the complete routing of the depth encoder signal and will be useful for
troubleshooting.

Depth Encoder Signal Routing


Multi System Interface
Optional
2nd
Local
Display

A
B
C
D
E
F

Local Display

Pigtail

Optical Shaft Depth Cable


Encoder
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
Male
7 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F
G

Encoder Adapter
A
B
Not Used

Power V+
Not Used

Ground
Shield

Female
7 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F
G

A
B
C
D
E
F
G

Male
7 pin

Female
7 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F

A
B
C
D
E
F

Male
6 pin

Female
6 pin

A
B
C
D
E
F

A
B
C
D
E
F

Male
6 pin

Female
6 pin

Local Display

Processor

Encoder
Serial Output

Troubleshooting:
1. Unplug adapter cables at MSI Connector and confirm
voltage across D&F is approx. 12 volts. If not, swap out MSI
boxes
2. If voltage is OK, use back-up sensor to test each cable by
rotating the wheel one turn and noting a three foot change in
the depth display.

Laptop Computer

3. If all cables check out, replace depth sensor.

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RIG FLOOR DISPLAY


The rig floor display consists of a circular Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) divided into 120
segments and 2 alphanumeric LCD displays of 8 characters each. Each segment on the circular
display represents 3 degrees of Tool Face data. Data is transmitted to the display via a standard
RS-232 serial interface. The minimum input voltage is 7.5 volts with a minimum current of 20
mA.
When first powered up, the rig floor display runs through a self-test.
1. All the digits of the alphanumeric displays are sequenced from 0 to 9.
2. Each segment of the circular display is sequentially turned on
3. Each segment of the circular display is sequentially turned off
4. The internal firmware version number is shown on the alphanumeric displays
This self-test takes about six seconds. The display is then ready to receive and display data.
The display requires three lines, supply voltage, RS-232 serial data, and ground. The serial data
is sent at 1200 baud, eight data bits, no parity and one stop bit (8N1).
The display is not currently certified for Intrinsically Safe use.

Rig Floor Display Signal Routing

Rig Floor Display

Readout Cable
A
B
C

Multi System Interface

Optional Splitter Cable

Intercom 2
Intercom 3
Intercom 1

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

male

female

RS-232
Intercom1
Not Used
Power V+
Ground
Not Used
Intercom 2
Intercom 3

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

male

female

RS-232
Intercom1
Not Used

Power V+
Ground
Not Used
Intercom 2
Intercom 3

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

male

female

Troubleshooting:
1. Unplug display on the drill floor, and
reconnect to check the self-test sequence. If
fails test, replace display.
2. Unplug readout cables at splitter or MSI
and confirm voltage across D&E is approx.
7.5 volts, and serial line has approx. -8.4
volts. If not, swap out MSI boxes.
3. If voltages OK, use back-up display to
test the cables each in turn up to the drill
floor.

Intercom1

Ground
Intercom 2
Intercom 3

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Processor

Serial Input

female

Laptop Computer

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TOOL COMMUNICATION
Direct communication with the tool through the wet connect is facilitated by using a technique
called Frequency Shift Keying (FSK).
FSK modulation sends digital signals over a power line by using two or more separate
frequencies that are in a fairly narrow band. This is the technique used by modems to connect
computers via telephone lines.
Two distinct frequencies represent binary 1s and 0s. The center frequency is 1820 KHz.
To reduce the number of wires and connectors, the supply power is superimposed with the
communication signal.
This diagram shows the two frequencies superimposed on top of the dc power line.

22 volts

0 volts

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SURFACE SYSTEM HOOK UP


Connecting the system is straightforward. The diagram below shows all the connections to be made.

Mud Pulse MWD Instrumentation


and Surface Equipment

IPL751

3
3

26

17

16

10

15

10

25
18

SPI UP/DWN Load

5
13
ENCODER

MWD

AUX

COMPUTER

POWER

13A-E
Multi System I nterface
WIRELINE

TRANSMIT
RECEIVE

TOOLSUPPLY

REMOTE

LINEIN
115/230

DISPLAYS

12
24
14
8

10

11
21

9
20
19
22

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SURFACE SYSTEM QUIZ


1. What is the normal voltage on the pressure transducer line?

2. What is the normal range of currents on the pressure transducer line?

3. How many turns on the depth sensor wheel will be required to display an additional 9 feet?

4. What is the normal voltage supplied to the pump position sensor?

5. What is the normal range of currents on the pump position line?

6. The computer screen does not show the correct strokes per minute, what do you suspect is the
problem?

7. What safety precaution would you take before installing or removing a pressure transducer?

8. What safety precautions would you observe while installing the pump position sensor?

9. If your laptop is reading zero psi with the pumps running, what actions would you take?

10. What is the normal voltage supplied to the depth-tracking sensor?

11. Convert the following, 1536 psi on a 5,000 psi transducer to mA, and 9.33 mA. to psi using a
3,000 psi transducer.

12. What is the normal voltage supplied to the rig floor display?

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DETECTION DECODING CHAPTER 5

CONTENTS
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 48
TELECOMMUNICATIONS BASICS .............................................................................................................. 49
CHARACTERISTICS OF A SIGNAL ......................................................................................................................... 49
TIME DOMAIN AND FREQUENCY DOMAIN .......................................................................................................... 50
FOURIERS EXPANSION...................................................................................................................................... 53
FILTERS ............................................................................................................................................................ 55
TIME CONSTANTS ............................................................................................................................................. 57
MUD PULSE ENCODING SCHEME............................................................................................................... 60
SURVEY DATA .................................................................................................................................................. 61
MAIN SYNC ...................................................................................................................................................... 61
SUB SYNC ......................................................................................................................................................... 61
DATA FORMATS ................................................................................................................................................ 62
UPDATE TIMES ................................................................................................................................................. 64
DETECTION DECODING...................................................................................................................................... 65
PUMP SUBTRACTION ......................................................................................................................................... 66
CORRELATION DETECTOR ................................................................................................................................. 66
SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO ............................................................................................................................. 69
SIGNAL STRENGTH ............................................................................................................................................ 69
NOISE STRENGTH .............................................................................................................................................. 72
DETECTION DECODING QUIZ ..................................................................................................................... 75

Company Confidential
2000 Scientific Drilling International

Confidential

TELECOMMUNICATIONS BASICS
Characteristics of a signal
A signal is any physical parameter that changes with time. The real world is full of many
different kinds of signals. There are electrical signals, radio signals, pressure signals, thermal
signals, and mechanical signals. The beat of ones heart produces a signal which doctors
measure and call the pulse. Speaking into a telephone creates acoustic and electrical signals that
carry sound from one telephone to another through miles of connected wires. The pulsing of the
mud pulse valve produces a signal by creating changes in the standpipe pressure.
The rate and magnitude of the changes in the physical parameter give the signal its
characteristics. Two main categories of signals exist: periodic signals and aperiodic signals. A
periodic signal is a signal that repeats itself regularly and exactly over a specific interval of time.
A sine wave, as shown below, is the simplest example of a periodic signal. Another periodic
signal is a square wave. The square pulses in the sync sequence of a mud pulse message are
periodic signals. An aperiodic signal, however, is a totally random non-repeating signal. A truly
aperiodic signal will never repeat itself.
Sine Wave

Period

Square Wave

Period

As mentioned, periodic signals repeat regularly at determinable intervals. The time duration for
a signal to complete a full repetition or cycle of an up pulse and down pulse (or a down and up
pulse) is called its period. The measure of how many cycles occur in a specific block of time is
its frequency. Frequency is expressed mathematically in units of cycles per second or Hertz and
is equivalent to the inverse of the signals period.
Frequency (Hertz) = # of cycles / time (seconds)
Frequency (Hertz) = 1 / period of the signal (time to complete one cycle)
A signals amplitude describes the strength or energy within a signal. The amplitude of a mud
pulse signal is the height of the pressure pulse.
Periodic signals are often described in terms of their amplitude and frequency. A standard wall
outlet in the U.S. provides a periodic A.C. voltage signal that has a frequency of 60 Hz and
amplitude of 120 Volts. In the UK the outlet signal is 240 Volt periodic signal at 50 Hz.
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This figure shows a sine wave with a period of 5 seconds and a frequency of 0.2 Hertz.

Amplitude

Time Domain

Period T = 5 seconds
Frequency = 1/T = 1/5 = 0.2 Hz

Pulse width is the time for one half of a signals period. The period is the total time for the full
up and down pulse. There are two pulse widths currently in use by the Mud Pulse MWD tool,
0.8 and 1.0 seconds.
To calculate the frequency of these pulse widths use the following equation:
Frequency = 1/pulse width x 2
For example, for 0.8 pulse widths,
Frequency = 1/0.8 x 2 = 0.625
For a 1 second pulse width, the frequency is 0.5 Hz

Time Domain and Frequency Domain


Recall that any physical parameter that changes produces a signal. This signal can be expressed
graphically in either the time domain or the frequency domain.
In the time domain a signal is drawn as a change in the amplitude of the physical parameter
versus time. This is the domain used to draw the pulse data on the Mfilt screen.
In the frequency domain a signal is portrayed as a change in energy versus frequency where the
graph produced is referred to as a Power Spectral Density (PSD) plot. The frequency domain is
simply a different perspective to view the characteristics of a signal. All the information found
in the time domain also exists in a frequency domain representation, only the way we view it has
changed.

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The diagram below shows a sine wave with a period of five seconds and a frequency of 0.2 Hertz
in both the time and the frequency domains.

Energy

Amplitude

Time Domain

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

Frequency
(Hz)

Period T = 5 seconds
Frequency = 1/T = 1/5 = 0.2 Hz

To understand the importance of analyzing signals in both the time and the frequency domains,
let us first consider a relationship established by Fourier over one hundred years ago. Fourier
proved that any signal that exists in nature can be uniquely expressed as the sum of sine (and/or
cosine) waves of different frequencies and amplitudes.
Simply put, this concept means that any signal, no matter how random, can be created by adding
specific sinusoidal signals together and conversely, that same signal can be broken down and
represented as the sum of its sinusoidal parts. This allows us to take a signal, like the standpipe
pressure signal, and break it down by frequency into its individual components for analysis.
For instance, the total change in pressure observed in the standpipe has many different sources.
The mud pulse valve, the mud pumps, the drillpipe rotation, and bit torque all produce vibrations
that combine to create the total standpipe pressure signal transmitted to the decoder. This raw
data signal is sorted in the frequency domain into its different components.
Then the decoder isolates the part of the signal that contains the mud pulse data and discards the
rest.
This chart is a time domain plot of the raw signal. The time domain plot demonstrates the
amplitude and shape of the signal. What you can not see is the various frequencies that form the
signal.

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The next chart, however, is the same standpipe pressure signal shown in the frequency domain.
This figure shows the frequencies from 0.1Hz to 10Hz that form the signal, as well as, the energy
contained in each frequency.

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Fouriers Expansion
To help understand Fouriers theorem, that any signal can be expressed as the sum of a series of
sine (and/or cosine) waves, let us take the example of a square wave signal. Fourier states that a
square wave of a known frequency, say 0.2 Hz, can be created by summing together sine waves
in the following expansion series.
0.2Hz square wave = sin(0.2kt) + 1/3 sin(3x0.2kt) + 1/5 sin(5x0.2kt) + 1/7 sin(7x0.2kt) + ...
where:
k = 2
t = time
All periodic waveforms consist of a fundamental frequency and its harmonically related
components. The expansion above starts with a sine wave that has the same frequency as the
square wave. This frequency is the lowest and strongest frequency component in the signal and
it is called the fundamental frequency. Added to the fundamental are successively higher
frequency sine waves that are odd integral multiples of the fundamental frequency. These sine
waves at the odd integral multiples are termed the odd harmonics of the signal.
The next diagram illustrates the step by step addition of the components in the Fourier expansion
of a square wave. As each higher harmonic is added, note that the shape of the signal is brought
closer and closer to a square wave.

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If the expansion were continued to infinity, the shape of the signal would approach a perfect
square wave.
The next diagram illustrates an ideal square wave in the time and frequency domains. Note that
the number of harmonic frequencies that form the square wave continue into infinity.

Energy

Amplitude

Time Domain

1
T

3
T

5
T

Frequency
(Hz)

Period T
Frequency = 1/T

The decoder isolates the frequencies that are part of the mud pulse by invoking one or more
filters.

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Filters
Filters are signal processing tools that are designed in the frequency domain and work in the time
domain, filters isolate and act on a specific range of frequencies within a signal by applying a
varying gain to all the frequencies of a signal. The gain applied may be either greater or less
than one depending on the filters function and design. A gain greater than one is referred to as
amplification whereas a gain less than one is called attenuation. Applying a gain of one or
greater than one to some frequencies in a signal results in those frequencies being passed (saved)
by the filter. Applying a gain of less than one to the remainder of the frequencies in the same
signal results in those frequencies being rejected by the filter. The signal that remains after the
filter is the sum of all the frequencies that have been passed.
The following text lists several categories of filters and a general description of their function.
The filters are described graphically by plotting the gain they apply verses frequency.

Lowpass Filter

Signal Size

A lowpass filter passes the lower frequencies within a signal while rejecting the higher
frequencies. The filter usually achieves this by attenuating the higher frequencies.

Signals passed

Signals rejected

Low Pass Filter

Low

High
Frequency

Highpass Filter
A highpass filter passes the higher frequencies within a signal while rejecting the lower
frequencies. The filter usually achieves this by attenuating the lower frequencies.

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Signal Size

Signals rejected

Signals passed

High Pass Filter

Low

High
Frequency

Bandpass Filter

Signal Size

A bandpass filter passes a specific range or band of frequencies within the signal while rejecting
the frequencies within the signal that arc outside the band. The filter usually achieves this goal
by attenuating the frequencies outside the band. This passed band of frequencies is called the
passband.

Signals rejected

Signals passed

Signals rejected

Band Pass Filter

Low

High
Frequency

Notch filters
Notch filters isolate a much narrower band or notch of frequencies within the signal. They then
act by either amplifying or attenuating the frequency within the notch.

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Time Constants
A Time Constant (TC) is defined as the time it takes for any system to reach about 60% of its
final steady state value.
If an input to a system, is a square wave, then the rise and fall characteristics of the output will be
determined by the time constant of the filter. For this example, the time constant of the system is
1.0 second.

Pressure

Input
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
-1

10

Time

The shape of the system output to the rising edge will look like,

Pressure

Rising
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0

Time constant

Time

and the shape of the falling output will look like:

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Pressure

Falling
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
4

5
Time constant

10

Time

The time constant for this particular system is 1.0 second. It takes 1 second for the output to rise
to 63% of its final value, and 1 second to drop from 100 psi to 37 psi (a 63% drop).

The drawing below shows the effect of increasing the time constants.

Increaing time
constant

The diagram below shows the response of a system with a slow time constant, to a narrow square
input pulse. The output signal never reaches the height of the input signal.

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This shows two important factors to remember:


1. Systems or filters with longer time constants give smaller pulses because it takes longer for
pressure transitions to reach steady state.
2. The faster the data rate the smaller the pulse height. This is because it is time constant
dependent and at faster data rates, the pressure has less time to reach steady state value.

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MUD PULSE ENCODING SCHEME


The tool typically transmits the following data sequences:
Directional Only
Tool Face (Auto, HS or M)

Directional Gamma
Tool Face (Auto, HS or M)

Main Sync

Main Sync

Survey Sub Sync

Survey Sub Sync

Survey Data

Survey Data

Main Sync

Main Sync

Sub Sync

Gamma

Tool Face

Tool Face

Tool Face

Gamma

Tool Face

8 Word
sequence

9 Word
sequence

Tool Face

Tool Face

Gamma

Tool Face

Tool Face

Tool Face

Gamma
Tool Face

Periodic Messages
(Time Starts @ Beginning of Survey)

VIB

Inc. /Az.

Main Sync

Main Sync

STAT sub sync

Inc./Az. Sub Sync

Tool Status

Data
Data
Data

The transmission system is very flexible and many of the transmitted items can be customized.
The sequences shown above represent defaults in use at the time of writing.
All transmissions (words) are 14 pulse widths long.
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Survey Data
The survey takes 12 transmissions (words) the format is shown below. Inclination and azimuth
require two words each because greater accuracy is required for these values.
12 words
Main sync

Sur sync

Word 1
Word 2
Word 3
Word 4
Word 5
Word 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
INC (11 bits)

Azimuth (12 bits)

Tool Face

BATV

GTotal

12 words
Word 7
Word 8
Word 9
Word 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
HTotal

DIP

Temp

I H V

Checkson

The status bits are defined as:


I = Tool Face Mode 0 is HS, 1 is MTF
H = H-Total beyond limit
V = Vibration beyond limit.
Main Sync
The main sync fulfills two functions, to keep track of the start of a transmission and also to
impart information as to what type of tool faces will follow. So there are two types of main
sync, a high side sync and a magnetic tool face sync.
The two main sync patterns are:

HTF

1
4

MTF

2
4

1.5
2

1.5

Sub Sync
A sub sync is primarily used to tell the surface system what type(s) of data will follow. There
are 8 different sub syncs:
GYSUR - for Gyro Survey
MSUR - for Magnetic Survey
Inc./Az. - for Inclination and Azimuth with pumps on.
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GYTF_Gamma for Gyro Tool Face with Gamma


GYTF - for Gyro Tool Face
MTF - for Magnetic Tool Face
HTF - for High Side Tool Face
HTF_GAMMA - for Gamma
MTF_GAMMA - for Gamma combined with vibration
VIBS - for vibration data, average and maximum
ERR - for error messages
HTOT is a special sync for a magnetic ranging product.
GAMMA - for Gamma only
RANGE - for Ranging

Data Formats
128 unique patterns of pulses are available for each data word transmission. Each of these
patterns represents a number for the data value being transmitted.
These 128 patterns have been carefully chosen for maximum probability of successful decoding.
One rule adopted in picking the patterns was that the off time after a pulse must be at least as
long as the on-time of the pulse. This reduces the chances of pulses running into each other, and
disturbing the clock tracking routines.
The tool can transmit eleven different data items. These are shown below along with the range
of values.
Measurement
Range
Inclination
0 180
Azimuth
0 360
Tool Face (in survey)
0 360
Tool Face
0 360
Gamma Raw
0 64
H-Total
30k 70,000
Temperature*
0 - 175
Battery Voltage
17 - 21
Peak Vibration
0 - 20

Units
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Counts
nanoTeslas
Degrees C
Volts
g

The table below shows the number of words (14 pulse widths each) and the number of bits used
to transmit each data item.

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Data Item

Words

Bits

2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

11
12
8
7
7
9
5
3
7

Inclination
Azimuth
Tool Face (in survey)
Tool Face
Gamma
H-Total
Temperature
Battery Voltage
Peak Vibration

The transmitted resolution for each measurement can be calculated by


Resolution = Range 2#bits
For example, the resolution for normal tool face is
=360/27 = 360/128 = 2.81
The transmitted resolution for all the measurements is shown below.
Measurement
Inclination
Azimuth
Tool Face (survey)
Tool Face
Gamma
H-Total
Temperature*
Battery Voltage
Peak Vibration
DIP
G-Total

Range
0 - 180
0 - 360
0 - 360
0 - 360
0 - 64
30k 70,000
0 - 175
17 - 21
0 - 20
-90 90
984 1016

Units
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Degrees
Counts
nanoTeslas
Degrees C
Volts
g
Degrees
Mg

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Bits
11
12
8
7
7
9
5
3
7
10
5

Transmitted
EYE
Resolution
Accuracy
0.09
0.15
0.088
0.25
1.4
0.15
2.81
0.15
.5
78
0.996
.5v
156mg
.18
1mg

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Update Times
The data update times are easy to calculate. Since tool face data are one word long, and one
word is 14 pulse widths, the update rate for second pulses is 14 x 0.5 = 7 seconds. For 1
second pulse widths, the update rate is 14 seconds.
The transmission time for a survey is 8 words x 14 pulse widths. For second pulse widths this
results in 56 seconds, for 1 second pulse widths, a transmission time of 1 minute 52 seconds.

Measurement
Survey
Tool Face
Tool Face with Gamma
Gamma

Pulse Width 0.76


2 min 7 sec
10.6 sec
21.3 sec
21.3 sec

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Pulse Width 1.0


2 min 48 sec
14 sec
28 sec
28 sec

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Detection Decoding
This diagram provides an overview of the signal detection and decoding process.

Detector Decoder Principle

Raw A/D Input

Remove DC
component

Pump
Subtraction

Low pass
Filter

Sync
Detector

Matched Filter
Match Patterns
Data
Decode

Digital pressure data is provided by the MSI to the decoding program called Mfilt. The first step
is to remove the high background pressure. A pump subtraction routine removes the signals
caused by the mud pumps. A low pass filter is then used to remove the remaining high

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frequency noise from the signal. Finally a matched filter, or correlation filter, performs the main
task of identifying pulses and decoding the data.

Pump Subtraction
The pump subtraction routine runs at two different rates. The downhole tool does not transmit
any pulses for the first 60 seconds after the pumps have been turned on. This provides an
opportunity for the surface system to measure the signature of the pumps without the
complication of having pulses present.
The user can make three adjustments to the pump subtraction routine; the low and upper bound
pump periods and the graph adaptation time constant. The pump periods give the software an
initial guess as to the periods of the pump noise. The two numbers should be kept to a ratio of
four. For example, if the low bound is set to 0.3, the upper bound should be set to 1.2. Setting
the upper bound pump period to zero effectively turns off pump subtraction.
Sometimes the pump subtraction can do more harm than good, especially with a pump that has
poor speed control. The graph adaptation time constant is the update time for the pump
subtraction routine after the tool has started pulsing. The long default of 70 seconds is usually
sufficient to allow for slowly changing pump characteristics.

Correlation Detector
The next stage is the correlation or matched filter detector. Correlation detection is similar to
decoding by eye, and is accomplished by matching the pulse shapes received, with the ideal
shapes for the 128 patterns of ones and zeros, and determining a best fit. The correlation
detector displays a measure of how close a fit it has found and shows it as a percentage.
The program automatically adjusts three set points after detection has started. They are the lower
and upper bound pulse time constants and the RMS amplitude. The default values will suffice
for most jobs running at 1 second pulse widths.

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Detector Decoder Settings


Raw A/D Input

Remove DC
component

Mean Cancellation TC = 4.00

Lower Bound Pump Period = 0.3


Pump
Subtraction

Upper Bound Pump Period = 2.5


Graph Adaptation TC = 70

Low pass
Filter

Freq (rel.corner) = 1.00


Damping Ratio = 1.00
TC 4 Activation Calc. = 2.0

Lower Bound TC = 0.500


Upper Bound TC = 1.500
Matched
Filter

Downslope Time = 0.100


Time for Upslope = 0.050
Expected Sync ID (0=None) = 0
Amplitude (RMS) = 5.000

Data
Decode

Fraction Rand/Rand+Sys = 0.500


Base RMS Noise/Signal = 0.80
TC Signal Loss = 10.0
Delay to Comm Start = 4
Lower TC Lock 2 Synch = 1.0

The Mfilt quick guide shows the values that all of the parameters should be set to at the start of a
run.

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Mfilt Quick Guide


1. Pulses
Program automatically changes this value, start job at 1/2 pulse width

Lower Bound TC = 0.500

Program automatically changes this value, start job with 1-1/2 pulse width

Upper Bound TC = 1.500

Not for wellsite use

Downslope Time = 0.100

Not for wellsite use

Time for Upslope = 0.050

2. Noise Filter
Adjust to remove noise, start at 1.00

Low pass filter settings


relative to pulse width

Leave at 1.00

Removes the changes in baseline pump pressure

Freq (rel.corner) = 1.00


Damping Ratio = 1.00
Mean Cancellation TC = 4.00
Lower Bound Pump Period = 0.3

Pump subtraction
Set to 0.0 if not installed
Set high enough to allow pump(s) to stabilize, lower when shallow testing
Low pass filter TC determines if pressure high sufficient for pulsing, leave at 2.0
Pump signature update time, leave at 70 seconds
For removing pulse echoes, set to -100 to disable, call office if echoes

Upper Bound Pump Period = 2.5


Activation Amplitude = 500.0
TC 4 Activation Calc. = 2.0
Graph Adaptation TC = 70
Value to Clip to (PSI) = -300

3. Calculations
Enter Offset Toolface between pulser and EYE
Enter longitude, East is negative (North America)
Enter latitude, North of equator is positive (North America)
Enter altitude in feet above sea level

Terms used for


azimuth correction

Offset for Toolface = 000.00


E.Longitude = 200.00
Latitude = -123.0
Altitude (ft) = 34.0

Leave as is

Interference along Axis = 1000

Leave as is

Cross-axis Interference = 100

Leave as is

Horiz Fld. Uncertainty = 100

Leave as is

Vert Fld. Uncertainty = 100

Leave as is

Total Fld. Uncertainty = 100

For 6.5 collars, use 6.33


Enter value shown on well plan chart (positive for most of North America)

Gamma Scale Factor = 1.00


Mag field Declination = XX.X

4. Sync/Decode
Change only if sync problems (20004 for HTF, 20006 for MTF)
Program automatically changes this value, start at 5
Not for wellsite use
Start at 0.8, increase if sync problems to 1.2max, decrease if false syncs
Time program waits before declaring signal lost, and stops looking for pulses?
Time after program starts before searching for sync, leave at 4
Time program waits before declaring best pattern match, set to 1 - 1.5 pw

Expected Sync ID (0=None) = 0


Amplitude (RMS) = 5.000
Fraction Rand/Rand+Sys = 0.500
Base RMS Noise/Signal = 0.80
TC Signal Loss = 10.0
Delay to Comm Start = 4
Lower TC Lock 2 Synch = 1.0
5. Initialization

Reads all values from file filter1m.ini

Load

Stores all values into file filter1m.ini

Write

Loads all values from file filter1m.ini

Defaults

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SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO

For successful MWD data decoding, we want to maximize our signal to noise ratio.
Signal to noise ratio

Signal strength
Noise strength

Signal Strength
The MWD signal strength is the pulse height of the signal measured at the standpipe. Two
factors, the initial size of the pulse at the transmitter and the damping (reduction) the pulses
suffer along its path, determine the pulse height seen at the transducer. Therefore to improve the
pulse height, you must either increase the initial pulse size at the pulser, or reduce the amount of
dampening, or both.
Signal Strength at the Pulser
The pulse height in the SDI tool is self-regulating and keeps a fixed pulse height. Therefore,
nothing needs to be done by the field hand to increase the pulse height.
Damping Factors
Another way to increase the pulse height is to reduce the influence of the damping factors that
act upon the signal. The damping factors are any physical parameters that rob energy from all or
part of the signal. The first step in reducing these influences is to identify them. You must be
aware of the sources of signal damping and alert for any adjustments that might be made to
improve decoding. Depth, mud weight, viscosity, pulsation dampeners, flow restrictors, mud
motors, and mud aeration are all sources that can steal energy from our signal.
Frequency
The smaller the pulse width (faster tool frequency), the smaller the pulse height. In marginal
decoding conditions, the largest pulse width will produce the best decoding.
Depth
Obviously the longer the path the signal must travel, the more energy it will lose. However this
influence by itself it has less effect on the signal than one might expect.
Valve Obstruction
Self-explanatory, use of pipe screens can reduce the occurrence.
Air in Mud
Gas or air in the mud will severely attenuate our pulses. This can occur when the pre-charger on
the pump fails and there is not enough hydrostatic head on the suction side of the mud pump.

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Gas or air in the mud can be recognized by a severe unexplained reduction of the pulse height
with the high frequency (narrow pulse width) pulses smaller than the low frequency (wide pulse
width) pulses.
During the initial Sync pattern, it is possible to determine if some form of damping is acting
upon the signal. Look for reduced pulse height in the narrow pulses compared to the wide pulse
widths.
Pulsation Dampeners
The mud pumps create a surging flow rate that rises and falls periodically with the action of their
pistons. The standpipe pressure sees this rise and fall in the flow rate as a sinusoidal change in
pressure at either the stroke frequency and the piston frequency (number of pistons X the stroke
rate). To smooth out and to reduce the pressure fluctuations, pulsation dampeners (also called
accumulators or desurgers) are attached to the discharge side of the mud pumps. Their purpose
is to reduce the mechanical vibrations and fatigue failures of the pump components such as
valves, fluid cylinders, pipe and fittings.

The dampers consist of large metal spheres attached directly to the discharge line of the mud
pumps. In the upper portion of the sphere, there is a flexible bladder, which is filled with
nitrogen at a set pressure. This bladder is exposed to the lower portion of the dampener to the
surging flow and it works to absorb and stabilize the changing flow and pressure. It functions
much like a pressure shock absorber or capacitor as it attempts to damp out any sudden changes
in flow rate or pressure.

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The main problem that the pulsation dampener creates for us is that it treats the pressure pulse
created by MWD tools in the same manner as pump pressure changes i.e. it smoothes them out.
Often the amount of energy taken by the pulsation dampener is not significant enough to cause
decoding problems. However, when small pulse height is already a problem, it is important to
properly set the pre-charge on the pulsation dampener. Under marginal decoding conditions,
success of the job can hinge on a properly adjusted pulsation dampener.
Rule of thumb: The pulsation dampener pre-charge should be set to 1/4 to 1/3 of the standpipe
pressure e.g. with a standpipe pressure of 3,000 psi, the dampeners should be charged to
between 750 and 1,000 psi.
Two dampeners act as very efficient pulse dampeners, especially if only one pump is in use and
the other pump, with its dampener, is not isolated.
If only one pump is being used, always isolate the other pump.

Suction Pulsation Stabilizers

Without suction stabilization, pumps cannot function smoothly or efficiently. In extreme


decoding problems, it is worth having the rig crew check the operation of the suction stabilizers,
especially on rigs where there is little drop down from the mud pits to the pumps.

Pressure Transducer
The position of the transducer in the flow system can be significant in low signal to noise
conditions. Try to position the transducer as close to the main flow as possible. Avoid being at
the end of a side pipe that has several valves and other transducers.
Always try to position the transducer horizontally. This is a compromise that reduces the chance
of mud cake building up, and reduces the chance of trapping air. Including a bleed valve in the
transducer assembly, and pre-packing with grease, are useful improvements.
Finally, try to reduce the number of 90-degree bends in the run to the transducer.
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Noise Strength
It is imperative that the field hand knows the frequency that tool is operating. The frequency of
other noise sources, only become significant when they become close to the tool frequency.

Pulse Width
(secs)
0.8
1.0

Tool Frequency
(Hz)
0.625
0.5

Pump Noise
Normally with a mud pump in good condition two signals will exist in the standpipe due to the
mud pumps. The first and weaker signal will be at the overall stroke rate or drive rate of the
pump. The second, and stronger signal, will be at the piston frequency. For example a single
acting triplex pump at 55 spm, will create a signal at
55 spm X 3 pistons per stroke/ 60 seconds = 2.75 Hz
Most of the time, these frequencies are well above the tool frequency, and are removed by the
low pass filter.
Many problems with a pump can cause problems such as bad valves, unbalanced chambers,
malfunctioning prechargers, cavitation, and seal failures. An alert MWD hand can often spot a
problem developing well before the motorman notices. Having hard copies of pump noise
signatures before and after a problem develops can really help to convince a toolpusher to have
someone check out a suspect pump.
If two pumps are being used at different stroke rates, it is possible to create a beat frequency.
This occurs at a frequency that is the difference between the stroke rates of the two pumps. If
two triplex pumps are operating at 60 spm and 50 spm, a low frequency beat signal might be
seen at either of the following frequencies:
(50 spm - 60 spm)/60 secs = 0.167 Hz or
(50 spm - 60 spm) X 3 pistons/60 secs = 0.5 Hz
The tables below show a selection of possible pump frequencies.

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Single Triplex Pump


SPM
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120

Frequency
(Hz)
0.33
0.50
0.67
0.83
1.00
1.17
1.33
1.50
1.67
1.83
2.00

Piston Frequency
(Hz)
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6

Two Triplex Pumps


Delta SPM
2
3
4
5
10
15
20
25
30

Frequency
(Hz)
0.03
0.05
0.07
0.08
0.17
0.25
0.33
0.42
0.50

Piston Frequency
(Hz)
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.5
0.75
1
1.25
1.5

Torque Noise
The easiest way to identify torque noise is to look for noise that disappears as soon as drillpipe
rotation stops. Toque noise can exist on or off bottom depending upon the source. If the cutting
action of the bit is the main source of torque, then it should disappear as the bit is pulled off
bottom even before rotation is stopped. However, if the stabilizer configuration is supplying
significant torque then the interference will not disappear until rotation is stopped, regardless of
bit location.
Torque noise is formation related. Harder rock formations, high angles, PDC bits, and packed
assemblies all increase the chances of suffering from torque noise. The frequency is often
between 0.1 to 0.3 Hz.
What can be done? The first attempt is to try to filter it out with a high pass filter, being careful
not to filter out the pulses. The next step is to try to alter the drilling parameters to move the
frequency away from the MWD signals, or to reduce the level of the torque noise. Changes in
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WOB and rpm will have the biggest effect. Try decreasing the WOB and increasing the rpm.
Another possibility is to reprogram the tool to a faster data rate in order to move away from the
noise frequency. If none of these changes work, then the only remedy is to persuade the
company man to change the BHA; rock bit instead of PDC, undergauge stabilizers, etc.
Mud Motor Noise
The frequency of the mud motor noise can be determined if three properties of the motor are
known.
1. The number of lobes
2. The rpm for each gpm
3. The minimum on flow rate
Frequency = (Flow rate min flow on) X rpm/gpm X # of lobes
60
Usually mud motor noise is much higher than the tool frequency and can be ignored.
Stalling of the mud motor will cause a loss of sync. The motor stalls when the resistance to
rotation exerted by the formation on the bit is greater than the maximum torque the motor can
produce. When this occurs, the standpipe pressure increases suddenly as the rotor in the motor
stalls and the mud flow forces a breakdown in the rotor to stator seal in the motor. Drilling with
too much WOB causes motor stalls because the resistance to the bit increases with an increase in
WOB. Drilling with a constant differential pressure will give the best decoding conditions.
In addition to actually stalling, poor drilling practices can cause decoding problems. If the driller
fails to keep a relatively constant WOB, abrupt changes in the standpipe pressure will be seen.
The driller needs to avoid the practice of slacking off on the pipe and allowing the motor to drill
off the weight. If there is an automatic driller on the rig, then try to persuade them to use it, if,
and only if, it has been adjusted correctly. The automatic driller usually makes very small
changes on the brake, which allows the decoding software to maintain sync.
Swab/Surge
Swab and surge effects are sudden changes in the standpipe pressure that occur when the pipe is
abruptly worked up and down. Moving the pipe suddenly will cause a sharp increase in pressure
and abruptly lifting the pipe will cause a sharp drop in pressure. If there is an automatic driller
on the rig, then try to persuade them to use it, if, and only if, it has been adjusted correctly. The
automatic driller usually makes very small changes on the brake, which allows the decoding
software to maintain sync.
Electrical Noise
This occurs due to pick up from cables adjacent to the standpipe cable. SDI uses shielded cables,
so this should not be a problem.

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DETECTION DECODING QUIZ


1. What is the frequency when using a pulse width of 0.8 seconds?

2. Gas or air in the mud severely reduces our signal. Will the effect of air in the mud be greater
or smaller on the wider pulses than the normal pulses (e.g. the 3 pulse width pulses of the main
sync)?

3. What is the recommended pulsation dampener charge?

4. What are the frequencies of the pump noise for two triplex pumps operating at 60 spm? What
would be the beat frequency if one pump were slowed to 40 spm?

5. When is it important to bleed the pressure transducer?

6. What setting on Mfilt would you change to turn off pump subtraction?

7. What is the update rate for tool face when also transmitting gamma ray?

8. How long after the pumps are started does it take to obtain a survey?

9. On the Mfilt screen, what does the correlation number mean?

10. You are having trouble detecting data and the directional driller is getting impatient with the
loss of tool faces. You are on 0.5 second pulse widths. What can you do to improve the
situation?

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TALKDOWN SCHEME CHAPTER 6

CONTENTS
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 76
OVERVIEW....................................................................................................................................................... 77
TALKDOWN MESSAGES................................................................................................................................ 77
USER DEFINED TALKDOWN MESSAGES................................................................................................... 78
PULSE WIDTH ................................................................................................................................................. 79
INCLINATION MESSAGE SWITCHING....................................................................................................... 80
TALKDOWN PATTERNS ................................................................................................................................ 80

Company Confidential
2000Scientific Drilling International

Confidential

OVERVIEW
Talkdown is the method by which transmission modes of the downhole tool can be remotely
modified from the surface.
Communication down to the tool is accomplished by the flow accelerometer and the MWD
controller. The controller constantly looks for specific patterns of on and off times measured by
the accelerometer. When a match is found, the tool switches to a different mode of operation.

TALKDOWN MESSAGES
There are several mode options, currently 10 different ones. What these modes do is governed
by a talkdown table. Two of these modes are fixed, while the remaining eight can be
configured by the operator before running the tool downhole. The modes are referred to as
talkdown messages.
A talkdown table is a simple text file that can be viewed and changed by any text editor.
This extract from the talkdown table lists the 10 different messages.
[**************************************************************************]
[
POPPET Talkdown Table Created 01/06/00 12:30:12
]
[**************************************************************************]
[
Talkdown Message Structure
]
[ ======================================================================== ]
[ TDMess1 - Survey then Auto Tool Face
(System Defined) ]
[ TDMess2 - Toggle Pulse Width
(System Defined) ]
[ TDMess3 - User defined message 1
]
[ TDMess4 - User defined message 2
]
[ TDMess5 - User defined message 3
]
[ TDMess6 - User defined message 4
]
[ TDMess7 - User defined message 5
]
[ TDMess8 - User defined message 6
]
[ TDMess9 - User defined message 7
]
[ TDMess10- User defined message 8
]
[--------------------------------------------------------------------------]

Talkdown Messages 1 and 2 are the hard coded ones.


Message 1 sets the tool to transmit a survey on pressure up, and then continuous tool faces that
automatically switch from magnetic to highside depending upon the inclination taken during the
survey. In addition, every 15 minutes, a tool status sequence will be transmitted up. The tool
status sequence is H-Total, battery voltage and the tool temperature.
Message 2 sets the data rate of the tool by changing the pulse width from high to low. The actual
values for the pulse width can be changed, but only by creating a new talkdown table and storing
it in both the downhole tool and the surface equipment. At the time of writing, the two default
pulse widths are set to 0.8 and 1.0 seconds.

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USER DEFINED TALKDOWN MESSAGES


The User Defined messages must be configured by creating a new talkdown table. This extract
shows the format for creating your own user messages.
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[
[

======================================================================== ]
User Message Definition Area
]
]
Definitions:
<Msg> = <MsgType>[-<MsgType>...]
]
]
Message Format:
<Msg>[,<time>][;]<Msg>[;]<Msg>[,<delay>,...]
]
\____________/
\___/
\_________________/
]
|
|
|
]
Sent Once
Sent Continuously
Sent Periodically
]
]
Where: <time>
= Time to wait in minutes before sending Msg again,
]
even if the pumps cycle before <time> has elapsed.
]
<delay> = Delay in minutes for periodic message
]
; = Mmessage section separator
]
<MsgType> = Defined in table below...
]
]
============================== <MsgType> =============================== ]
AutoTF - Auto Toolface
MSur - Magnetic Survey
]
Gam
- Gamma Counts
HTOT - H-Total Message
]
HsTF
- Highside Toolface
IncAz - Inclination and Azimuth
]
MTF
- Magnetic Toolface
Vib
- Vibration
]
GyroTF - Gyro Tool
GySur - Gyro Survey
]
GMSur - Gyro-Magnetic Survey
Range - Ranging Message
]
======================================================================== ]
Example1:
]
TDMsg3 = MSur; HsTF-Gam; IncAz,15
]
In this example, send the survey once each time pumps are cycled
]
followed by high-side tool-face continuously. Every 15 minutes send
]
the inclination and azimuth.
]
]
Example2:
]
TDMsg3 = GySur,15; GyroTF-Gam; Vib,10
]
Send the gyro survey once, but only if 15 minutes have passed since the ]
last gyro survey was sent. Then send both gyro tool-face and gamma
]
continuously. Send vibrations every 10 minutes.
]
]

Another important example is = Msur; AutoTF-Gam; Vib,10


This will cause the tool to transmit auto tool faces and gamma data (standard resolution), along
with tool vibration data every 10 minutes.
It is prudent to test any talkdown messages you create, with a simulator box at the surface, before
ever running it downhole. Some messages just do not work, even though they obey all the rules,
for example,
Msur; Gam; Vib,15
Sends up a sequence of one magnetic tool face and then a STOP sub synch.
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This is the area of the talkdown table where the user talkdown messages are changed. Note the
absence of square brackets in the lines that can be changed.
[**************************************************************************]
[ Message
Definition
]
[ TDMsg1 = MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
>>> REFERENCE ONLY, System Defined
]
[ TDMsg2 = (Pulse Width Toggle)
>>> REFERENCE ONLY, System Defined
]
TDMsg3
= GSur; GyroTF-Gam; Vib,15
TDMsg4
= MSur; MTF-Gam;Vib,15
TDMsg5
= MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
TDMsg6
= MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
TDMsg7
= MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
TDMsg8
= MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
TDMsg9
= MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15
TDMsg10 = MSur; AutoTF;Vib,15

Occasionally the tool may be accidentally switched to another talkdown mode. This could
happen during tripping in the hole. If you are sure that you only wish to transmit one particular
message sequence, then you should adjust the talkdown table so that all the user messages are the
same. This will reduce the odds of your having to perform talkdowns to switch to tool back to
the desired message format.
It is possible to disable talkdown completely. This is done in Mlink.

PULSE WIDTH
The pulse width section of the talkdown table is shown below:
[--------------------------------------------------------------------------]
[Pulse Width Settings for Toggle between Low and High (Seconds)]
PulseWidthLow = 0.80
PulseWidthHigh = 1.00
TDPulseWidth
= 30
[--------------------------------------------------------------------------]

This is where the absolute pulse widths may be changed. If you do want to change the pulse
width, you have to pick a number that is divisible by 0.02. A pulse width of 0.75 will not work,
the nearest number that will work is 0.76.
In addition to the pulse widths concerning data rate, the window size for the patterns of on and
off times can also be changed. It is set to 30 seconds in the above example, and there must be a
good reason to have to change it.

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INCLINATION MESSAGE SWITCHING


[
Inclination Message Switching
]
[ ======================================================================== ]
[ Inclination message switching allows the operator to switch between two ]
[ messages based on the current inclination. When the inclination of a
]
[ survey is above the GyroToMagIncl TDMsg3 will be sent. When below,
]
[ TDMsg4 will be sent. This feature is only enabled when a Gyro message
]
[ is seen in either TDMsg3 or TDMsg4 (or both).
]
[
]
GyroToMagIncl = 10.00

TALKDOWN PATTERNS
The actual patterns for on and off times are hard coded and are also shown in the talkdown table:
[--------------------------------------------------------------------------]
[
________________________________________________________________ ]
[ _______|
Come up in Default Mode
]
[
]
[
| 30sec | 30sec | 30sec | 30sec | 30sec | 30sec | 30sec |
]
[
_______
_______
_______
Msg 01 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______________________|
|________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______
_______
Msg 02 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______________|
|________________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______
_______________
Msg 03 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______________|
|________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______
_______
Msg 04 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________________________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______
_______________
Msg 05 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______
_______________________
Msg 06 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______________
_______
Msg 07 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______________|
|________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______________
_______
Msg 08 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______________
_______________
Msg 09 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________ ]
[
]
[
_______
_______________________
_______
Msg 10 ]
[ _______|
|_______|
|_______|
|________ ]
[
]

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For example, to change from user message 3 (or any other message), to the default message 1,
The pumps and the rotary table must be off for at least 30 seconds before starting the talkdown
cycles.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Turn on the pumps and/or rotate the drillstring for 30 seconds.


Turn off the pumps and/or stop rotating for 30 seconds.
Turn on the pumps and/or rotate the drillstring for 30 seconds.
Turn off the pumps and/or stop rotating for 90 seconds.
Turn on the pumps and/or rotate the drillstring for 30 seconds.
Turn off the pumps and/or stop rotating for greater than 45 seconds.
Turn on the pumps and the first survey will be transmitted in 60 seconds.

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TROUBLESHOOTING CHAPTER 7

CONTENTS
CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 81
OVERVIEW....................................................................................................................................................... 82
TROUBLESHOOTING CABLES..................................................................................................................... 83
FINDING AN OPEN CIRCUIT ................................................................................................................................ 83
ISOLATION & CONTINUITY ................................................................................................................................ 83
TROUBLESHOOTING CHART ...................................................................................................................... 85

Company Confidential
2000Scientific Drilling International

Confidential

OVERVIEW
A major difference between an average MWD operator and a top hand, is in their ability to
troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently. The two old adages an ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure, and if it aint broke dont fix it, both apply to MWD systems. Do as
much testing and checking out of your tools and equipment as possible before running in the
hole. Check the mud pumps and dampener settings, be firm on you transducer location. Keep a
good eye and ear on activities around the rig for any actions that may cause you a problem such
as mixing of mud additives, traffic around your cables, broken de-sander etc. However, once the
system is in the hole and working, do not fiddle with anything!
The first step in fault finding is to decide where to begin investigations. Sometimes this is
obvious, but on other occasions, a little detective work will be necessary. The field operator who
makes a dozen haphazard adjustments or replacements may be successful in fixing a problem,
but he will be none the wiser if the problem recurs and he may well have spent more time and
money than was necessary. A calm and logical approach is more satisfactory in the long run. A
good understanding of how the MWD tool and software works will really help.
Some general points to remember:

Always take into account any warning signs or abnormalities that may have been noticed
before the problem. For example, have the vibration readings been slowly increasing? Has
anyone been talking about lost returns?

Verify the fault. Be sure that you know what the symptoms are before starting to
troubleshoot, and especially before calling the office for help.

Dont overlook the obvious. For example, have they just switched pumps?

Cure the disease not the symptom. Dont adjust the decoder settings when the pressure
transducer just needs bleeding.

Dont take anything for granted. Just because the office sent you a new part do not assume
that it works or that it is configured the same way the rest of your kit is, check it out yourself.

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TROUBLESHOOTING CABLES
Most electronic and electrical faults are due to wiring and connectors. You should know how to
use a multimeter.

Finding an Open Circuit


Testing with a voltmeter.
1. Set the meter to handle 24 volts dc.
2. Starting at the MSI, disconnect the appropriate cable and test the voltage across the power
lines. If no voltage is present, replace the MSI.
3. If the voltage was good in step two, reconnect the cable to the MSI, and work your way up to
the next connector. Test the power lines again. If no voltage here, then you have found the
bad cable/connector. The open circuit is somewhere between the connector in your hand and
the last connector that passed the test.

Using the MSI for Standpipe Pressure Cables.


1. For circuits that use 4-20 mA, a direct short circuit will read maximum values e.g. for the
standpipe pressure sensor 3,000 or 5,000-psi. Unplug the Y connector at the MSI and use a
paper clip to short the appropriate pins. The mfilt screen should show maximum pressure, if
it doesnt, replace the MSI.
2. Reconnect the Y connector and unplug the readout cable going to the pressure sensor. Use
the paper clip again. If full pressure is not seen, the problem is in the Y cable.
3. Repeat this test all the way up to the sensor until you isolate the problem.

Isolation & Continuity


Testing for isolation and continuity is done with the multimeter set to the ohms position.
Isolation testing is for finding shorts and continuity testing for finding short opens.

Isolation
1. Disconnect both ends of the cable.
2. Set the multimeter to the maximum ohms setting.
3. Measure the resistance across the all combinations of pins.
4. The resistance should read the maximum reading on the meter, usually Meg ohms.
5. If the meter shows any resistances less than 1 meg ohm, there is a short in the line. A dead
short will read close to zero ohms, and a partial short will read a higher resistance.

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Continuity
1. Normally this test is performed with both ends of the cable within reach of the meters leads.
If you can not connect both meter leads to both ends of the cable, you will have to use a
jumper such as a paper clip.
2. Touch the leads to the same pins at each end of the cable, i.e., pin A to pin A. If you used a
jumper, touch the leads across A and B on the connector without the jumper. The resistance
of a 200 foot cable is about 5 ohms.

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TROUBLESHOOTING CHART

Detection Troubleshooting

Transducer Problem
YES
Short G & H at Transducer
Full scale pressure?

Start

Cable Problem

YES

NO
NO
Does Mfilt see pressure?

NO

YES
Are the pumps on?

Short MWD G & H on MSI


Full scale pressure?

NO
MSI Problem

YES

NO

NO
Are pulses visible on Rig Floor?

Are pulses visible?

Surge pipe, rotate, cycle


pumps drill a few feet etc.

YES

YES

Check transducer, bleed,


valve position etc
YES
NO

Set correct pulse width

Any pulses visible?


NO

Is pulse width correct?


Any changes to mud recently?
eg viscosity, LCM

YES

YES

Circulate until
flushed through

NO
Talkdown Enabled?
Has PW switched?

Some form of damping is present,


check:
Pumps are isolated
No open surface valves
Transducer location
No trapped air in transducer
Dampeners are charged correctly
Motor hand to check pumps
Pumps jacking off (air lock, fluid
starvation)

Problem Found?

Downhole Tool Failure

Set all Mfilt settings to


default

YES

Check with office before


declaring failure

Are pulses small &


rounded?
NO

YES
YES

NO

Pumps near tool


frequency?

Noisy signal?

Change tool pulse width


to highest

NO

YES

NO

Check:
Filter Freq set to pulse width.
Try
lower setting, 0.1 increments
Identify noise source:

Change strokes and/or


liner, or install pump
position sensor.
If using 1 pump, try
swapping pumps

Try:
Activation amplitude sufficient
Turning off pump subtraction
Changing Expected Sync ID
Increase Base Noise/signal

YES

Syncs Problems?

Bit torque
Mud motor status
Weight on bit
RPM near pulse frequency
Pump noise, eg valve springs

Problem Found?

NO

NO
Change tool pulse width
to highest/different
YES

Detection OK off
bottom?

Some form of drilling problem is


present, check:

NO

Set Upper & Lower


Bound TC to 1/2 & 1-1/2
pulse width

Bit torque
Mud motor status
Weight on bit
RPM near pulse frequency

Problem Found?
NO
Check with office for
other ideas
M.M.
Jan 2000

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