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Phase 2: 1 January 2022 31 December 2024
This project focuses on drilling optimisation and automation for both diamond drilling and reverse circulation drilling.
Our overall strategy is to improve and optimize drilling performance by: (i) real-time automation and (ii) post-mortem semi-automatic review.
Real-time automation relies on (i) tailored instrumentation and recording systems (monitor) that allow for sampling rates and resolution not common in mineral drilling and (ii) advanced signal processing methods to filter and pre-process the data in real time, and (iii) automation principles. Reliable optimisation/automation also requires efficient real time algorithms and robust engineering models of the drilling processes to analyse the data, recommendation optimised drilling parameters and output commands.
We employ a two-pronged approach to build robust engineering models and test real time algorithms. The first is state-of-the-art laboratory experiments to capture drilling processes such as bit-rock interactions, fluid rheology, and air/water/cutting transport. The second is field trials where – with the support of our industry partners – we can test our monitoring system, interpretation algorithms, drilling procedures and eventually automation units.