Trajectory Tracking and Rate of Penetration Control of Downhole Vertical Drilling System

[+] Author and Article Information
Masood Ghasemi

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Xingyong Song

Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039365 History: Received September 18, 2017; Revised February 04, 2018


This paper investigates a nonlinear control design for trajectory tracking and rate of penetration (ROP) control of the vertical downhole drilling process. The drilling system dynamics are first built incorporating the coupled axial and torsional dynamics together with a velocity independent drill bitrock interaction model. Given the under-actuated and nonlinear feature of the drilling dynamics with sharp transients, we propose a control design that can prevent significant downhole vibrations, enable accurate tracking and achieve desired rate of penetration. It can also ensure robustness against modeling uncertainties and external disturbances. The controller is designed using a sequence of hyperplanes given in a cascade structure. The tracking control is achieved in two phases, where in the first phase the drilling system states converge to a high-speed drilling regime free of stick-slip behaviour and in the second phase the error dynamics can asymptotically converge. Finally, we provide simulation results considering different case studies to evaluate the efficacy and the robustness of the proposed control approach.

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