Dynamic Toolface Estimation for Rotary Steerable Drilling System

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Sep 4;18(9):2944. doi: 10.3390/s18092944.


In drilling engineering, Toolface is an angle used to describe bit direction. It is a challenging task to accurately estimate Toolface while drilling because of the downhole harsh conditions, but it is a primary step for the dynamic point-the-bit rotary steerable system (DPRSS). A new dynamic Toolface estimator is present, which fuses measurements from two accelerometers and one gyro. A dual-accelerometer Toolface measuring method is designed to compensate the circumferential acceleration of DPRSS. A nonlinear Complementary Filter (CF) is used to suppress the effect of vibration and axial acceleration. The frequency-domain characteristics of nonlinear CF are analyzed and its natural frequency is determined adaptively based on real time drilling conditions. This new estimator is validated on a DPRSS prototype under typical drilling modes; it is demonstrated with high robustness and follows the references satisfactorily.

Keywords: accelerometer; dynamic Toolface estimation; gyro; nonlinear complementary filter; rotary steerable drilling system.