Sensors for Downhole Rock Properties

“In the near future having petrophysical log data with a drill hole will be as natural as having a mobile phone in your pocket. People will wonder how we ever explored without it.” Anton Kepic, Curtin University


To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of drilling by developing sensors to characterise hard rock geology while it is being drilled. These measurements of physical, petrophysical and chemical properties may be used for immediate feedback in ongoing drilling activity.

Background & Aims

This project will create sensor packages that are run by the driller as part of the drilling process. The technology will provide geological data that wasn’t available or practical with wireline logging.

Logging While Drilling (LWD) implements two concepts, the AutoSondeTM and the Autonomous Shuttle, to measure during the drilling process. The AutoSondeTM is lowered into the bottom of the drill string and data is collected as the drill string is pulled out of the hole, the Autonomous Shuttle measures as drilling advances with the sensors attached to the core-barrel assembly. Both can log without impacting drilling significantly.

This project will further sensor development to a wider range of petrophysical measurements and integrate compatible sensors to gather data on multiple rock properties in one logging run. Imaging sensors are also planned to be implemented. Additionally, the AutoSondeTM/Autonomous Shuttle will be reconfigured to be compatible with a greater range of drilling methodologies.