INSTRUMENTATION firm Radiodetection has launched a tracking and guidance system for horizontal and directional drilling machines.
It claims the DrillTrack G2 greatly improves the speed and accuracy of horizontal directional drilling.
The system comprises three parts that communicate with each other to track the drill bit. Features include accurate location of the drill head, automatic tracking, remote steering capability, no mislocation due to 'ghosting' and down hole frequency change to overcome localised interference.
A signal is emitted from a data sonde in the drill head which transmits information about its position and status. The signal emitted is picked up by the receiver which has a large display showing the locations and status of the sonde. Sonde depth is automatically displayed when the receiver is over it.
The receiver can be used in a tracking or a steering mode. Tracking mode is used when the operator walks the ground, physically tracking the drill head by following the instructions on the receiver's display.
When conditions do not allow the operator to physically track the sonde, for example at a river crossing or a busy road, the receiver can be used in steering mode. It is placed ahead of the obstacle, becoming a stationary target. Steering information and orientation of the drill head is radioed to the drilling machine, allowing the operator to change the direction if necessary.
Data is recorded and stored on a DrillTrack System data logger and can be downloaded to a PC.