(19)
(11)EP 3 004 541 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.05.2018 Bulletin 2018/18

(21)Application number: 14804293.0

(22)Date of filing:  21.05.2014
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
E21B 47/18(2012.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/038953
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/193712 (04.12.2014 Gazette  2014/49)

(54)

CHANNEL IMPULSE RESPONSE IDENTIFICATION AND COMPENSATION

KANALIMPULSANTWORTIDENTIFIKATION UND KOMPENSATION

IDENTIFICATION ET COMPENSATION DE LA RÉPONSE IMPULSIONNELLE D'UNE VOIE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 29.05.2013 US 201361828505 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
13.04.2016 Bulletin 2016/15

(73)Proprietor: Scientific Drilling International, Inc.
Houston, TX 77060 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • WHITACRE, Tim
    Houston, TX 77060 (US)
  • WHITE, Matthew, A.
    Houston, TX 77060 (US)
  • VANSTEENWYK, Brett
    Houston, TX 77060 (US)

(74)Representative: Bond, Christopher William 
Forresters IP LLP Skygarden Erika-Mann-Strasse 11
80636 München
80636 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2003 218 940
US-A1- 2006 227 005
US-A1- 2007 189 119
US-A1- 2009 016 160
US-A1- 2006 098 531
US-A1- 2007 132 606
US-A1- 2007 201 308
US-A1- 2009 135 023
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field/Field of the Disclosure



    [0001] This disclosure relates generally to wellbore communication. In particular, the disclosure relates to mud pulse telemetry systems for transmitting information detected from within a wellbore to the surface or to another location within the wellbore.

    Background of the Disclosure



    [0002] Often in drilling an oil or gas well, drilling fluids, (commonly referred to as "mud") are circulated through the wellbore. The drilling fluids operate to convey cuttings generated by a drill bit to the surface, drive a down-hole drilling motor, lubricate bearings and a variety of other functions. Wellbore telemetry systems are often provided to transmit information from the bottom of a wellbore to the surface of the earth through the column of drilling fluids in a wellbore. This information might include parameters related to the drilling operation such as down-hole pressures, temperatures, orientations of drilling tools, etc., and/or parameters related to the subterranean rock formations at the bottom of the wellbore such as density, porosity, etc.

    [0003] Telemetry systems generally include a variety of sensors disposed within a wellbore to collect the desired data. The sensors communicate with a transmitter, such as a mud pulse tool (MP tool), also disposed within the wellbore. The MP tool might, e.g., be configured to generate known patterns of pressure fluctuations in the mud stream that correspond to the sensed data. The patterns of pressure fluctuations travel as waves to a receiver at the surface of the wellbore where pressure sensors associated with the receiver measure pressure fluctuations as a function of time. A decoder is generally provided in communication with the receiver to interpret the pressure measurements made at the surface.

    [0004] The pressure waves generated by an MP tool are subject to attenuation, reflections, and noise as they move through the mud stream. For example, a first pressure wave generated by an MP tool might be reflected off the bottom of the wellbore and be superimposed with a second pressure wave generated by the MP tool as the pressure waves travel up the wellbore. Also, the pressure waves transmitted by the MP tool may combine with noise sources such as pressure waves generated by mud pumps at the surface, or by various down-hole components such as a drilling motor, and a drill bit interacting with the subterranean rock formation being drilled. These factors tend to degrade the quality of the signal and may make it difficult to recover the transmitted information.

    [0005] US 2009/135023 A1 discloses a method of canceling noise in a wellbore telemetry system.

    [0006] Various methods may be employed in an attempt to reduce the interfering effects of the external factors in a telemetry system, and to more accurately interpret the data received.

    Summary



    [0007] The present invention is as defined by the claims. The present disclosure provides for a method of interpreting a signal. The method may include defining a finite number of distinct message signals for representing conditions within a wellbore; transmitting a selected one of the finite number of message signals through a drilling fluid disposed within a telemetry channel of the wellbore; receiving a distorted signal that includes the selected one of the finite number of message signals as distorted by transmission through the telemetry channel; estimating a channel impulse response describing the effects of transmission of the selected one of the finite number of message signals through the telemetry channel; applying the estimated channel impulse response to at least one of the finite number of distinct message signals to generate at least one predicted signal; making a comparison between the at least one predicted signal and the distorted signal; and estimating which of the finite number of message signals is included in the distorted signal based on the comparison.

    [0008] The present disclosure also provides for an interpretation module for interpreting data received from a telemetry channel of a wellbore. The interpretation module may include a storage unit including a non-transitory, computer readable medium for storing a plurality of pressure readings representing a distorted signal received from the telemetry channel; a decoder including a non-transitory, computer readable medium including instructions for estimating and outputting an estimated signal representing which of a finite number of predetermined message signals is included in the plurality of pressure readings representing the distorted signal; and a processor for estimating a channel impulse response "x" for the telemetry channel, the processor including a non-transitory, computer readable medium including instructions for generating an observation vector "b" including the plurality of pressure readings representing the distorted signal, creating a design matrix "A" including ideal pressure pulses synthesized representing the estimated signal, and for solving the equation Ax=b for "x" to arrive at an estimated channel impulse response "x".

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0009] The present disclosure is best understood from the following detailed description when read with the accompanying figures. It is emphasized that, in accordance with the standard practice in the industry, various features are not drawn to scale. In fact, the dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily increased or reduced for clarity of discussion.

    FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a drilling apparatus including a telemetry system and an interpretation module with processing equipment in accordance with one or more aspects of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 2 is a flow chart depicting a method of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 3 is a flow chart depicting an alternate method in accordance with the present disclosure including various optional operations.


    Detailed Description



    [0010] It is to be understood that the following disclosure provides many different embodiments, or examples, for implementing different features of various embodiments. Specific examples of components and arrangements are described below to simplify the present disclosure. These are, of course, merely examples and are not intended to be limiting. In addition, the present disclosure may repeat reference numerals and/or letters in the various examples. This repetition is for the purpose of simplicity and clarity and does not in itself dictate a relationship between the various embodiments and/or configurations discussed.

    [0011] FIG. 1 depicts drilling apparatus 10 of the present disclosure. Apparatus 10 generally includes drilling rig 12 located at upper surface 14 of wellbore 16, and bottom-hole assembly 20 at a lower end of drill string 22. As used herein, the term "upper" refers to a direction or side of a component that is oriented toward the surface of a wellbore, while the term "lower refers" to the direction or side of a component oriented toward the portion of the wellbore most distant from the surface. Drill string 22 may be rotatably driven from drilling rig 12 by rotary table 24 on drilling platform 26. Rotary table 24 may be driven by motor 28. The drill string may also be raised and lowered from drilling rig 12 by draw works 30.

    [0012] Bottom-hole assembly 20 may include rotatable drill bit 34 at a lower end thereof. Drill bit 34 may be rotated with respect to wellbore 16 in response to rotation of drill string 22 by rotary table 24, and/or by the operation of down-hole drilling motor 36. bearing section 40 is provided, which permits rotary motion of drill bit 34 with respect to housing 42 of bottom-hole assembly 20 when down-hole drilling motor 36 is employed. Rotation of drill bit 34 permits drilling apparatus 10 to penetrate deeper into subterranean geologic formation 44.

    [0013] Drilling operations may generally include the circulation of drilling fluid 50 in wellbore 16 by mud pump 52 in the direction of arrows "A0". Drilling fluid 50 is passed from mud pump 52 through fluid line 54 into interior channel 56 of drill string 22. Interior channel 56 extends to bottom-hole assembly 20 where drilling fluid 50 may be passed through down-hole drilling motor 36 to drill bit 34, thereby driving drilling motor 36 and drill bit 34. In some instances, drilling fluid 50 may bypass drilling motor 36 and proceed directly to drill bit 34. Drilling fluid 50 is discharged through an opening in drill bit 34 and circulated to surface 14 through annular space 58 between drill string 22 and wellbore 16. Drilling fluid 50 serves to lubricate drill bit 34, and carry cuttings away from drill bit 34. fluid line 60 carries drilling fluid 50 from wellbore 16 back to mud pump 52. In accordance with at least one aspect of the present disclosure, drilling fluid 50 may also serve as a medium through which telemetry message signals 62a may be transmitted, as described in greater detail below.

    [0014] Embodiments of the present disclosure include sensor module 66 disposed at or near drill bit 34 in, for example, a smart motor sensor bay. Embodiments may also include sensor module 66 disposed above drilling motor 36. In some embodiments, sensor module 66 disposed above the drilling motor may be on the same electrically wired bus as MP tool 74. Each sensor module 66 may include at least one sensor to gather data relating to drilling parameters such as torque supplied to drill bit 34, flow rate of drilling fluid 50, weight supplied to drill bit 34, etc. Sensor module 66 may also include sensors adapted to gather data relating to subterranean geologic formation 44 such as porosity, density, and magnetic resonance information etc.

    [0015] Sensor module 66 is in communication with MP tool 74 by first communication link 70 (represented schematically). First communication link 70 could be a wired connection, an EM or radio link, a mud-pulse telemetry link or another type of communication link known in the art. MP tool 74 may contain additional sensors and/or circuitry. For example, MP tool 74 may include a non-transitory, computer readable medium and/or a database containing a finite number of message signals 62a, as well as containing algorithms for determining which of the finite number of message signals 62a best represents data which may have been sensed by sensor module 66. Second communication link 72 (represented schematically), which may include systems similar to first communication link 70, couples MP tool 74 to pulser module 75. Pulser module 75 might include a valve to temporarily restrict flow of drilling fluid 50 by a known amount for known amounts of time. For example, the valve of pulser module 75 may include a linear piston driven by a pilot valve, a motor driven rotary valve, or other type of mechanism known in the art.

    [0016] Together, MP tool 74 and pulser module 75 may be configured to generate patterns of pressure fluctuations in drilling fluid 50 to generate telemetry message signals 62a based on the sensed data. In some embodiments, MP tool 74 may include software to cause pulser module 75 to generate one of the finite number of selectable message signals 62a. For example, the conditions sensed by sensor module 66 may be categorized into one of a finite number of groups, each of which corresponds to one of the finite number of message signals 62a. Circuitry or software associated with MP tool 74 may then determine into which group the sensed conditions fall, and generate a command signal instructing pulser module 75 to generate the associated message signal. Alternatively, MP tool 74 may include algorithms suitable for coding the sensed conditions into a sequence or series of the finite number of message signals 62a. In some embodiments, a suitable finite number of message signals 62a for representing sensed conditions may be about 144 message signals 62a. MP tool 74 may also include algorithms suitable to determine what portions of the data collected are to be sent to the surface while drilling. MP tool 74 may also store all data collected into on-board memory, and upload the data to the surface after the completion of a drilling operation.

    [0017] The generated message signals 62a are transmitted to surface 14 of the wellbore through drilling fluid 50. As depicted in FIG. 1, the message signals 62a may be transmitted to the surface though drilling fluid 50 disposed within interior channel 56 of drill string 22. This representation is for illustrative purposes only, and it will be recognized that the message signals 62a may be transmitted through other passageways such as drilling fluid 50 within annular space 58 between drill string 22 and wellbore 16 or a through drilling fluid disposed within a dedicated telemetry channel (not shown).

    [0018] When the generated message signals 62a travel to surface 14, message signals 62a may be subject to the distorting characteristics of the travel path, noise generated by reflected signals and/or by the circulation of drilling fluid 50 by mud pump 52. Thus, distorted signals 62b received by up-hole receiver 76 often bear little resemblance to any of the finite number of known message signals 62a that might be generated by MP tool 74. Receiver 76 may include a pressure transducer that converts acoustic or pressure readings representing the distorted signals 62b into electrical signals. The electrical signals are transmitted to interpretation module 80 through electrical conduit 82.

    [0019] Interpretation module 80 converts the electrical signals into meaningful information concerning the sensed data. Interpretation module 80 is comprised of a plurality of interconnected sub-modules including processor 84, storage unit 86, decoder 90, and output device 92. Each of sub-modules 84, 86, 90, and 92 may include a non-transitory, computer readable medium including instructions or algorithms for performing the operations described below. Processor 84 is configured to receive and manipulate electrical signals and/or data, and may comprise a computer processor. Processor 84 may also include algorithms that make decisions about various commands or request signals and/or output signals to other sub-modules 86, 90, and 92. Storage unit 86 may include data storage devices such as flash memory, magnetic disks, random - access memory (RAM) erasable programmable memory (EPROM), or any other type of storage medium suitable for storing pressure readings and other information.

    [0020] Decoder 90 is configured to make decisions related to a signal input thereto. For example, decoder 90 may include a comparator (not shown) configured to compare electrical signals representing a distorted signal 62b with any number of predicted signals. The predicted signals may be stored in storage module 84, may be generated by processor 84 "on the fly," or may originate from within decoder 90. The predicted signals may include a plurality of representations of each of the finite number of message signals 62a based on an estimate of the channel impulse response of the telemetry channel as described in greater detail below. Decoder 90 may make a decision based on a comparison between the distorted signal 62b and the predicted signals to interpret distorted signal 62b. For example, decoder 90 may identify the specific message signal 62a corresponding to the particular predicted signal most closely resembling the distorted signal 62b, and output this specific message signal. The output of decoder 90 may then be transmitted to output device 92, which may include a display screen or any suitable communication media to communicate the output of decoder 90 to information to the users or to other sub-modules, e.g., storage module 84 and processor 86.

    [0021] Referring now to FIG. 2, procedure 100 in accordance with the present disclosure is described for determining and applying a finite channel impulse response estimate for interpreting signals received at receiver 76. Procedure 100 commences with the collection of pressure readings from drilling fluid 50 (box 102) wherein drilling fluid 50 has been imparted with pressure fluctuations from MP tool 74. The pressure readings may be made by receiver 76, and represent a distorted signal 62b (FIG. 1). The pressure readings include a plurality of discrete values corresponding to the observed pressure of drilling fluid 50 at specific times. The pressure readings may then be transmitted to storage unit 86 where each pressure reading is collected along with an indicator of the time at which the specific pressure reading was observed (box 104). In some embodiments, pressure readings may be observed (box 102) and stored (box 104) continuously during drilling operations, and concurrently with other operations of procedure 100 described below. An observation vector "b" is generated from the pressure readings in the storage unit (box 106). The observation vector "b" contains a discrete number of pressure readings taken over a time period beginning at t0 and continuing until tM-1 as indicated below.



    [0022] An additional operation of procedure 100 may include using decoder 90 to decode the pressure readings (box 108) that were collected in box 102. The operation of decoding the pressure readings (box 108) may be performed prior to, concurrently with, or subsequent to the storage of pressure readings (box 104) and the generation of the observation vector "b" (box 106). The pressure readings may be transmitted directly from receiver 76 to decoder 90, or the pressure readings may be accessed from storage unit 86. Decoder 90 may employ any suitable algorithm to attempt to determine which of the finite number of message signals 62a (FIG. 1) that MP tool 74 may have generated is present in the pressure readings observed representing the distorted signal 62b. One particular algorithm may include applying an estimated channel impulse response "x" (see box 114) to each of the finite number of possible message signals 62a, and comparing the resultant predicted signals to the distorted signal 62b. The output of decoder 90 may represent what the decoder determines is the particular signal 62a or sequence of particular signals 62a with the highest probability of being represented in the pressure readings representing the distorted signal 62b (collected in box 102).

    [0023] Ideal pressure pulses are generated from the results of decoder 90 (box 110). The ideal pressure pulses represent the intended pressure imparted to drilling fluid 50 to generate a particular message signal 62a or sequence of message signals 62a, which decoder 90 has determined is the most likely signal or sequence to have been generated. The ideal pressure pulses correspond in time to the period of time over which the observation vector "b" spans as well as a period of time prior to the span of the observation vector "b."

    [0024] Once the ideal pressure pulses are synthesized, the ideal pressure pulses may be organized into a design matrix "A" (box 112). The design matrix "A," illustrated below, is a rectangular matrix having M rows and N columns, and contains a discrete number of synthesized pressure readings taken over a time period beginning at t(1-N) and continuing until t(M-1).

    The number of columns used, N, corresponds to the time period over which the observation vector "b" spans, and represents the desired length of a finite channel impulse response estimate. The number of rows used, M, corresponds to the number of samples contained in the observation vector "b". The design matrix "A" is a non-symmetrical toeplitz matrix having constant diagonals.

    [0025] Once the design matrix "A" has been created and the observation vector "b" has been generated, the system of linear equations Ax=b may be solved for "x" (box 114). In order to solve the system of linear equations Ax=b, embodiments of this disclosure implement a least squares method using the Normal Equations (or Wiener-Hopf Equations), namely

    where "AT" is the transpose of design matrix "A". "ATA" is a symmetric toeplitz matrix. The number of rows and columns of "ATA" both equal to the number of columns of "A". Because all values of a toeplitz matrix are defined by the values of the first row and the first column, the degrees of freedom of "ATA" are 2(N-1) where "N" is the number of columns of "A". In design matrix "A" which will typically have many more rows than columns, the degrees of freedom are given by M x N, where "M" is the number of rows and "N" is the number of columns of "A". This reduction in degrees of freedom may be desirable when solving the system of linear equations as it may reduce the computational power required.

    [0026] "ATA" may be referred to as the autocorrelation matrix of the system of equations, and "ATb" as the cross-correlation between the input vector (the reference pattern sequence) and the actual pressure readings. In at least one embodiment of the present disclosure, the autocorrelation of the reference patterns and the cross-correlation between the reference patterns may be calculated. "ATA" may therefore be assembled using the calculated or estimated autocorrelation vector rather than explicitly calculating "ATA". Likewise, "ATb" may be assembled using the calculated or estimated cross-correlation vector.

    [0027] In order to solve the Normal Equations, the system is rearranged to solve for x, and takes the form:

    where "(ATA)-1" is the inverse of "ATA" and may be calculated by, for example, linear operations. In at least one embodiment of the present disclosure, the pseudo inverse of "ATA" is used to solve the system of equations. Using the pseudo inverse of "ATA" may aid in reducing the error in the resulting impulse response estimation, "x". The pseudo inverse may be calculated using singular value decomposition (SVD). Finding the SVD may also enable calculation of the pseudo inverse for a lower-rank approximation of "ATA" instead of the full-rank "ATA". Using the pseudo inverse for a lower-rank approximation of "ATA" may result in a reduction of the error in the resulting impulse response estimation, depending, for example, on the amount of noise contained in the "b" vector of observed pressure readings.

    [0028] After solving the system of linear equations, the resulting vector "x" is the estimate of the channel impulse response. The estimate of the channel impulse response is a description of the combined effects of all the factors influencing the message signals 62a before reaching receiver 76.

    [0029] Subsequent pressure readings may be collected (box 116) directly from receiver 76 or recovered from storage unit 86. The channel impulse response estimate "x" may then be applied to decode the subsequent readings (box 118). For example, processor 84 may be employed to convolve the channel impulse response estimate "x" with the ideal pressure pulses for each of the finite number of possible signals. The results of this convolution (predicted signals) may be compared to the actual subsequent pressure readings, and decoder 90 may output the most likely represented message signal 62a or series of message signals 62a that is most similar to the result of the convolution.

    [0030] This method of decoding signals may be characterized as a "forward" method for applying a channel impulse response estimate. Forward methods may include methods beginning with a finite number of possible message signals 62a, where the channel impulse response estimate is applied to each of the finite number of possible message signals 62a, and where then the results of that application produces predicted signals that are compared to actual pressure readings representing a distorted signal 62b. In contrast, "backward" methods may include methods beginning with pressure readings representing a distorted signal 62b, where a channel equalizer "x" is applied to the distorted signal 62b to arrive at an estimate of the message signal 62a. Since a forward method does not rely on manipulating actual readings, which may contain various noise sources, a forward method does not present the risk of amplifying the various noise sources by the application of the channel equalizer. Thus, in various applications, a forward method will result in a more accurate outcome than a backward method. Whether a forward or backward method is used, the output of decoder 90 may be transmitted to output device 92 for communication to a user.

    [0031] Referring now to FIG. 3, an alternate embodiment of sequence 200 for determining and applying a finite channel impulse response estimate may include some optional operations. Sequence 200 commences with the collection of pressure readings (box 202) from wellbore 16, wherein the pressure readings include pressure fluctuations induced by MP tool 74. Noise may then be optionally removed from the collected readings (box 204) by pre-processing methods known in the art. Electromagnetic noise cancellation methods as well as methods for cancelling noise generated by mud pump 52 may be contemplated. The pressure readings may also be optionally filtered (box 206). For example, a band pass filter may be employed to remove unwanted frequencies from the pressure readings, such as frequencies outside a range of frequencies of the plurality of known signals.

    [0032] The resulting noise-cancelled and filtered pressure readings may then be stored (box 208), and an observation vector "b" may be generated from the stored readings (box 210). Prior to, concurrently with, or subsequent to the storage of the pressure readings and generation of the observation vector "b," the noise-cancelled and filtered pressure readings may be decoded (box 212). Ideal pressure pulses may be generated from the results of the decoder (box 214) and a design matrix "A" may be created (box 216) in the manner described above with reference to sequence 100 (FIG. 2).

    [0033] The design matrix "A" may then be optionally weighted (box 218) to reflect the confidence in various portions of the design matrix "A." As indicated above, each row of the matrix "A" represents a fixed number of estimated samples from a particular time and extending into the past. For particular times where the confidence may be relatively high, e.g., where relatively little noise is present, the corresponding estimated samples may be considered more reliable and given greater weight in subsequent calculation. Weighting the design matrix "A" may be accomplished by employing a predefined algorithm or more heuristic methods may be employed. The weighted design matrix "A" together with the observation vector "b" may then be used to solve the equation Ax = b for "x" (box 220) to arrive at the estimate for the channel impulse response.

    [0034] Next a decision may be made as to whether or not to update the estimate for the channel impulse response "x" (decision 222). For steady state drilling operations, it may be desirable to update the estimate less often, and for operations with changing conditions, it may be desirable to update the estimate more often. Additionally, it may be desirable to control the average computational load required to estimate "x" by updating the estimate less often, as updating too often may cause high CPU usage in some situations. This may be especially true when long sequences are used in the computation. If it is determined that it is not necessary to update the estimate "x," subsequent pressure readings may be collected (box 224) and, and the estimate "x" may be used to decode the subsequent readings (box 226). Where it is determined that the estimate "x" is to be updated, the decoder may be updated with the estimate "x" (box 228), and the process of decoding the pressure readings (box 212), synthesizing ideal pressure pulses (box 214), creating a design matrix "A" (box 216), weighing the design matrix "A" (box 218) and solving Ax=b for "x" may be repeated.

    [0035] It will be recognized that the repetition of these operations to update the estimate "x" may be accomplished using the same pressure readings collected in box 202, and, thus using the same observation vector "b" generated in box 210 as depicted in FIG. 3. Alternatively, alternate pressure readings may be extracted from storage unit 86, which may be decoded to create a new design matrix A and a new observation vector b, or subsequent pressure readings collected in box 224 may be used to update the estimate "x."

    [0036] By updating the channel impulse response estimate "x" in this manner, compensation for changes in the impulse response of the channel may be achieved using the existing communications occurring to support drilling operations. For example, communication of telemetry data does not need to be interrupted to allow for specific test sequences to be transmitted. Also, the ability to continuously update the channel impulse response "x" facilitates compensation for multiple reflections in drilling fluid 50. In some tests, decoder 90 employed in a sequence such as sequence 200 achieved a higher resulting correlation between the impulse response compensated synthesized pressure pulse waveforms that correspond to the transmitted message symbols contained in the pressure readings collected in box 202.

    [0037] The foregoing outlines features of several embodiments so that a person of ordinary skill in the art may better understand the aspects of the present disclosure. Such features may be replaced by any one of numerous equivalent alternatives, only some of which are disclosed herein. One of ordinary skill in the art should appreciate that they may readily use the present disclosure as a basis for designing or modifying other processes and structures for carrying out the same purposes and/or achieving the same advantages of the embodiments introduced herein.


    Claims

    1. A method of interpreting a signal comprising the operations of:

    defining a finite number of distinct message signals (62a) for representing conditions within a wellbore (16);

    transmitting a selected one of the finite number of message signals (62a) through a drilling fluid (50) disposed within a telemetry channel of the wellbore;

    receiving a distorted signal (62b) that includes the selected one of the finite number of message signals (62a) as distorted by transmission through the telemetry channel;

    estimating a channel impulse response describing the effects of transmission of the selected one of the finite number of message signals (62a) through the telemetry channel;

    applying the estimated channel impulse response to at least one of the finite number of distinct message signals (62a) to generate at least one predicted signal;

    making a comparison between the at least one predicted signal and the distorted signal (62b); and

    estimating which of the finite number of message signals is included in the distorted signal (62b) based on the comparison;

    characterised in that the operation of estimating a channel impulse response comprises the operations of:

    collecting a plurality of observed pressure readings representing the distorted signal (62b);

    generating an observation vector "b" including the plurality of observed pressure readings in the form

    where b(t) is an observed pressure reading observed at a particular time t, and wherein M represents a predetermined number of observations;

    synthesizing ideal pressure pulses corresponding to the estimated message signal to have been included in the distorted signal;

    creating a design matrix "A" including the ideal pressure pulses in the form

    where p(t) is an ideal pressure pulse for the particular time t, M+N-1 represents the number of unique samples in "A" and wherein N represents a predetermined length of the estimated channel impulse response; and

    solving the system of linear equations Ax=b for "x," where "x" represents the estimated channel impulse response.


     
    2. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, the solving operation further comprising:

    calculating a transposition of design matrix "A", defined as "AT";

    solving the normal equations ATAx = ATb for "x", therefore:

    where "(ATA)-1" is the inverse of "ATA".


     
    3. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 2, wherein a pseudo inverse of "ATA" is substituted for "(ATA)-1" in solving the system of normal equations; optionally, wherein the pseudo inverse of "ATA" is found using singular value decomposition (SVD); optionally, wherein the pseudo inverse of "ATA" is calculated for a lower-rank approximation of "ATA" than the full rank of "ATA".
     
    4. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, further comprising removing noise from the plurality of observed pressure readings.
     
    5. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, further filtering the plurality of observed pressure readings to remove a predefined frequency range.
     
    6. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, further comprising the operations of:

    collecting a plurality of subsequent pressure readings representing a subsequent signal;

    making a comparison between the at least one predicted signal and the subsequent signal; and

    estimating which of the finite number of message signals is included in the subsequent signal based on the comparison.


     
    7. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, further comprising the operation of updating the estimated channel impulse response.
     
    8. The method of interpreting a signal according to claim 1, further comprising:

    calculating an autocorrelation vector of a reference pattern sequence;

    calculating a cross-correlation between the reference pattern sequence and the distorted signal; and

    populating "ATA" with the autocorrelation vector and "ATb" with the cross-correlation.


     
    9. An interpretation module (80) for interpreting data received from a telemetry channel of a wellbore (16), characterised by the interpretation module (80) comprising:

    a storage unit (86) including a non-transitory, computer readable medium for storing a plurality of pressure readings representing a distorted signal received from the telemetry channel;

    a decoder (90) including a non-transitory, computer readable medium including instructions for estimating and outputting an estimated signal representing which of a finite number of predetermined message signals is included in the plurality of pressure readings representing the distorted signal; and

    a processor (84) for estimating a channel impulse response "x" for the telemetry channel, the processor (84) including a non-transitory, computer readable medium including instructions for generating an observation vector "b" including the plurality of pressure readings representing the distorted signal, creating a design matrix "A" including ideal pressure pulses synthesized representing the estimated signal, and for solving the equation Ax=b for "x" to arrive at an estimated channel impulse response "x".


     
    10. The interpretation module (80) according to claim 9, wherein the processor (84) further comprises instructions for calculating a transposition of design matrix "A", defined as "AT", solving the normal equations ATAx = ATb for "x", resulting in x = (ATA)-1ATb, where "(ATA)-1" is the inverse of "ATA"; optionally, wherein a pseudo inverse of "ATA" is substituted for "(ATA)-1" in solving the normal equations; optionally, wherein the pseudo inverse of "ATA" is found using singular value decomposition (SVD); optionally, wherein the pseudo inverse of "ATA" is calculated for a lower-rank approximation of "ATA" than the full rank of "ATA".
     
    11. The interpretation module (80) according to claim 9, wherein the decoder (90) comprises instructions to employ a forward method of applying the estimated channel impulse response "x" for estimating and outputting the estimated signal.
     
    12. The interpretation module (80) according to claim 11, wherein the processor (84) comprises instructions for updating the estimated channel impulse response "x," and wherein the decoder (90) includes instructions to employ the updated estimated channel impulse response 'x."
     
    13. The interpretation module (80) according to claim 11, wherein the processor (84) comprises instructions for creating the design matrix "A" and the observation vector b in the forms

    where p(t) is an ideal pressure pulse for the particular time t, M+N-1 represents the number of unique samples in "A", N represents a predetermined length of the estimated channel impulse response, and wherein b(t) is an observed pressure reading observed at a particular time t, and wherein M represents a predetermined number of observations.
     
    14. The interpretation module (80) according to claim 9, further comprising an output module (92) including a display screen configured to display the estimated signal output by the decoder (90).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals, umfassend die Vorgänge zum:

    Definieren einer endlichen Anzahl an individuellen Nachrichtensignalen (62a) zum Darstellen von Zuständen im Inneren eines Bohrlochs (16);

    Senden eines aus der endlichen Anzahl an Nachrichtensignalen (62a) ausgewählten Signals durch ein Bohrfluid (50), das im Inneren eines Telemetriekanals des Bohrlochs angeordnet ist;

    Empfangen eines verzerrten Signals (62b), das das aus der endlichen Anzahl an Nachrichtensignalen (62a) ausgewählte enthält, wie es durch die Sendung durch den Telemetriekanal verzerrt wurde;

    Abschätzen einer Kanalimpulsantwort, die die Auswirkungen einer Sendung des aus der endlichen Anzahl an Nachrichtensignalen (62a) ausgewählten durch den Telemetriekanal beschreibt;

    Anwenden der abgeschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort auf mindestens eines der endlichen Anzahl an Nachrichtensignalen (62a), um mindestens ein vorhergesagtes Signal zu erzeugen;

    Vergleichen des mindestens einen vorhergesagten Signals und des verzerrten Signals (62b); und

    Abschätzen auf Grundlage des Vergleichs, welches der endlichen Anzahl der Nachrichtensignale im verzerrten Signal (62b) enthalten ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Vorgang zum Abschätzen einer Kanalimpulsantwort die Vorgänge umfasst zum:

    Sammeln einer Vielzahl von beobachteten Druckmesswerten, die das verzerrte Signal (62b) darstellen;

    Erzeugen eines Beobachtungsvektors "b", der die Vielzahl der beobachteten Druckmesswerte in der Form

    enthält, wobei b(t) ein beobachteter Druckmesswert ist, der zu einer bestimmten Zeit t beobachtet wird,

    und wobei M eine vorbestimmte Anzahl an Beobachtungen darstellt;

    Zusammensetzen von idealen Druckimpulsen, die dem geschätzten Nachrichtensignal entsprechen, das im verzerrten Signal enthalten hätte sein können;

    Erstellen einer Designmatrix "A", die die idealen Druckimpulse in der Form

    enthält, wobei p(t) ein idealer Druckimpuls für die bestimmte Zeit t ist, M+N-1 die Anzahl der eindeutigen Proben in "A" darstellt und wobei N eine vorbestimmte Länge der geschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort ist; und

    Auflösen des linearen Gleichungssystems Ax = b nach "x", wobei "x" die geschätzte Kanalimpulsantwort darstellt.


     
    2. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Lösungsvorgang ferner umfasst:

    Berechnen einer Transponierten der Designmatrix "A", als "AT" definiert;

    Auflösen der Normalgleichungen ATAx = ATb nach "x", weshalb:

    wobei "(ATA)-1" die Inverse von "ATA" ist.


     
    3. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 2, wobei eine Pseudoinverse von "ATA" für "(ATA)-1" beim Lösen des Systems der Normalgleichungen substituiert wird; wobei optional die Pseudoinverse von "ATA" unter Verwendung einer Singulärwertzerlegung (SWZ) gefunden wird; wobei optional die Pseudoinverse von "ATA" für eine Annäherung von "ATA" mit niedrigerem Rang als dem vollen Rang von "ATA" berechnet wird.
     
    4. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, das ferner ein Entfernen von Rauschen aus der Vielzahl der beobachteten Druckmesswerte umfasst.
     
    5. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, wobei ferner die Vielzahl der beobachteten Druckmesswerte gefiltert wird, um einen vorbestimmten Frequenzbereich zu entfernen.
     
    6. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, das ferner die Vorgänge umfasst zum:

    Sammeln einer Vielzahl von nachfolgenden Druckmesswerten, die ein nachfolgendes Signal darstellen;

    Vergleichen des mindestens einen vorhergesagten Signals und des nachfolgenden Signals; und

    Abschätzen auf Grundlage des Vergleichs, welches der endlichen Anzahl der Nachrichtensignale im nachfolgenden Signal enthalten ist.


     
    7. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, das ferner den Vorgang zum Aktualisieren der geschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort umfasst.
     
    8. Verfahren zum Interpretieren eines Signals nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend:

    Berechnen eines Autokorrelationsvektors einer Bezugsmusterabfolge;

    Berechnen einer Kreuzkorrelation zwischen der Bezugsmusterabfolge und dem verzerrten Signal; und

    Ausfüllen von "ATA" mit dem Autokorrelationsvektor und von "ATb" mit der Kreuzkorrelation.


     
    9. Interpretationsmodul (80) zum Interpretieren von Daten, die von einem Telemetriekanal eines Bohrlochs (16) empfangen wurden, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Interpretationsmodul (80) umfasst:

    eine Speichereinheit (86), die ein nichtflüchtiges, computerlesbares Medium zum Speichern einer Vielzahl von Druckmesswerten enthält, die ein verzerrtes Signal darstellen, die vom Telemetriekanal empfangen wurden;

    einen Decoder (90), der ein nichtflüchtiges, computerlesbares Medium enthält, das Anweisungen zum Abschätzen und Ausgeben eines geschätzten Signals enthält, das darstellt, welches von einer endlichen Anzahl an vorbestimmten Nachrichtensignalen in der Vielzahl der Druckmesswerte enthalten ist, die das verzerrte Signal darstellen; und

    einen Prozessor (84) zum Abschätzen einer Kanalimpulsantwort "x" für den Telemetriekanal, wobei der Prozessor (84) ein nichtflüchtiges, computerlesbares Medium enthält, das Anweisungen zum Erzeugen eines Beobachtungsvektors "b" enthält, der die Vielzahl der Druckmesswerte enthält, die das verzerrte Signal darstellen, zum Erstellen einer Designmatrix "A", die ideale Druckimpulse enthält, die durch Darstellen des geschätzten Signals zusammengesetzt wurden, und zum Auflösen der Gleichung Ax = b nach "x", um eine geschätzte Kanalimpulsantwort "x" zu erhalten.


     
    10. Interpretationsmodul (80) nach Anspruch 9, wobei der Prozessor (84) ferner Anweisungen zum Berechnen einer Transponierten der Designmatrix "A", als "AT" definiert, umfasst, zum Auflösen der Normalgleichungen ATAx = ATb nach "x", was in x = (ATA)-1ATb resultiert, wobei "(ATA)-1" die Inverse von "ATA" ist; wobei optional eine Pseudoinverse von "ATA" für "(ATA)-1" beim Lösen der Normalgleichungen substituiert wird; wobei optional die Pseudoinverse von "ATA" unter Verwendung einer Singulärwertzerlegung (SWZ) gefunden wird; wobei optional die Pseudoinverse von "ATA" für eine Annäherung von "ATA" mit niedrigerem Rang als dem vollen Rang von "ATA" berechnet wird.
     
    11. Interpretationsmodul (80) nach Anspruch 9, wobei der Decoder (90) Anweisungen umfasst, um ein vorwärtsgerichtetes Verfahren zum Anwenden der geschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort "x" zum Abschätzen und Ausgeben des geschätzten Signals einzusetzen.
     
    12. Interpretationsmodul (80) nach Anspruch 11, wobei der Prozessor (84) Anweisungen zum Aktualisieren der geschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort "x" umfasst und wobei der Decoder (90) Anweisungen umfasst, um die aktualisierte geschätzte Kanalimpulsantwort "x" einzusetzen.
     
    13. Interpretationsmodul (80) nach Anspruch 11, wobei der Prozessor (84) Anweisungen zum Erstellen der Designmatrix "A" und des Beobachtungsvektors b in den Formen

    umfasst, wobei p(t) ein idealer Druckimpuls für die bestimmte Zeit t ist, M+N-1 die Anzahl der eindeutigen Proben in "A" darstellt, N eine vorbestimmte Länge der geschätzten Kanalimpulsantwort ist und wobei b(t) ein beobachteter Druckmesswert ist, der zu einer bestimmten Zeit t beobachtet wird und wobei M eine vorbestimmte Anzahl an Beobachtungen darstellt.
     
    14. Interpretationsmodul (80) nach Anspruch 9, das ferner ein Ausgabemodul (92) umfasst, das einen Anzeigebildschirm enthält, der konfiguriert ist, das vom Decoder (90) ausgegebene geschätzte Signal anzuzeigen.
     


    Revendications

    1. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal comprenant les opérations consistant à :

    définir un nombre fini de signaux de message (62a) distincts pour représenter des conditions à l'intérieur d'un trou de forage (16) ;

    transmettre un signal de message sélectionné du nombre fini de signaux de message (62a) à travers un fluide de forage (50) disposé à l'intérieur d'un canal de télémétrie du trou de forage ;

    recevoir un signal distordu (62b) qui comprend le signal de message sélectionné du nombre fini de signaux de message (62a) tel que distordu par une transmission à travers le canal de télémétrie ;

    estimer une réponse impulsionnelle de canal décrivant les effets de la transmission du signal de message sélectionné du nombre fini de signaux de message (62a) à travers le canal de télémétrie ;

    appliquer la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée à au moins l'un du nombre fini de signaux de message (62a) distincts pour générer au moins un signal prédit ;

    réaliser une comparaison entre l'au moins un signal prédit et le signal distordu (62b) ; et

    estimer lequel du nombre fini de signaux de message est inclus dans le signal distordu (62b) sur la base de la comparaison ;

    caractérisé par le fait que l'opération consistant à estimer une réponse impulsionnelle de canal comprend les opérations consistant à :

    collecter une pluralité de lectures de pression observées représentant le signal distordu (62b) ;

    générer un vecteur d'observation « b » comprenant la pluralité de lectures de pression observées sous la forme

    où b(t) est une lecture de pression observée à un temps particulier t, et où M représente un nombre prédéterminé d'observations ;

    synthétiser des impulsions de pression idéales correspondant au signal de message estimé comme ayant été inclus dans le signal distordu ;

    créer une matrice de conception « A » comprenant les impulsions de pression idéales sous la forme

    où p(t) est l'impulsion de pression idéale pour le temps particulier t, M+N-1 représente le nombre d'échantillons uniques dans « A » et où N représente une longueur prédéterminée de la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée ; et

    résoudre le système d'équations linéaires Ax=b pour « x », où « x » représente la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée.


     
    2. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, l'opération consistant à résoudre comprenant en outre :

    calculer une transposition de matrice de conception « A », définie comme « AT » ;

    résoudre les équations normales ATAx = ATb pour « x », ainsi :

    où « (ATA)-1 » est l' inverse de « ATA ».


     
    3. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 2, dans lequel une pseudo-inversion de « ATA » remplace « (ATA) » dans la résolution du système d'équations normales ; facultativement, dans lequel la pseudo-inversion de « ATA » est trouvée à l'aide d'une décomposition en valeurs singulières, SVD ; facultativement, dans lequel la pseudo-inversion de « ATA » est calculée pour une approximation de rang inférieur de « ATA » par rapport au rang plein de « ATA ».
     
    4. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre le retrait d'un bruit vis-à-vis de la pluralité de lectures de pression observées.
     
    5. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, filtrant en outre la pluralité de lectures de pression observées pour supprimer une plage de fréquences prédéfinie.
     
    6. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre les opérations consistant à :

    collecter une pluralité de lectures de pression ultérieures représentant un signal ultérieur ;

    réaliser une comparaison entre l'au moins un signal prédit et le signal ultérieur ; et

    estimer lequel du nombre fini de signaux de message est inclus dans le signal ultérieur sur la base de la comparaison.


     
    7. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre l'opération consistant à mettre à jour la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée.
     
    8. - Procédé d'interprétation d'un signal selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    calculer un vecteur d'autocorrélation d'une séquence de motif de référence ;

    calculer une corrélation croisée entre la séquence de motif de référence et le signal distordu ; et

    remplir « ATA » avec le vecteur d'autocorrélation et « ATb » avec la corrélation croisée.


     
    9. - Module d'interprétation (80) pour interpréter des données reçues en provenance d'un canal de télémétrie d'un trou de forage (16), caractérisé par le fait que le module d'interprétation (80) comprend :

    une unité de stockage (86) comprenant un support lisible par ordinateur non transitoire pour stocker une pluralité de lectures de pression représentant un signal distordu reçu en provenance du canal de télémétrie ;

    un décodeur (90) comprenant un support lisible par ordinateur non transitoire comprenant des instructions pour estimer et délivrer un signal estimé représentant lequel d'un nombre fini de signaux de message prédéterminés est inclus dans la pluralité de lectures de pression représentant le signal distordu ; et

    un processeur (84) pour estimer une réponse impulsionnelle de canal « x » pour le canal de télémétrie, le processeur (84) comprenant un support lisible par ordinateur non transitoire comprenant des instructions pour générer un vecteur d'observation « b » comprenant la pluralité de lectures de pression représentant le signal distordu, créer une matrice de conception « A » comprenant des impulsions de pression idéales synthétisées représentant le signal estimé, et pour résoudre l'équation Ax=b pour « x » afin de parvenir à une réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée « x ».


     
    10. - Module d'interprétation (80) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel le processeur (84) comprend en outre des instructions pour calculer une transposition de matrice de conception « A », définie comme « AT », résoudre les équations normales ATAx = ATb pour « x », conduisant à x = (ATA)-1ATb, où « (ATA)-1 » est l'inverse de « ATA » ; facultativement, dans lequel une pseudo-inversion de « ATA » remplace « (ATA)-1 » dans la résolution des équations normales ; facultativement, dans lequel la pseudo-inversion de « ATA » est trouvée à l'aide d'une décomposition en valeurs singulières, SVD ; facultativement, dans lequel la pseudo-inversion de « ATA » est calculée pour une approximation de rang inférieur de « ATA » par rapport au rang plein de « ATA ».
     
    11. - Module d'interprétation (80) selon la revendication 9, dans lequel le décodeur (90) comprend des instructions pour utiliser un procédé direct d'application de la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée « x » pour estimer et délivrer le signal estimé.
     
    12. - Module d'interprétation (80) selon la revendication 11, dans lequel le processeur (84) comprend des instructions pour mettre à jour la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée « x », et dans lequel le décodeur (90) comprend des instructions pour utiliser la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée mise à jour « x ».
     
    13. - Module d'interprétation (80) selon la revendication 11, dans lequel le processeur (84) comprend des instructions pour créer la matrice de conception « A » et le vecteur d'observation b sous les formes

    où p(t) est une impulsion de pression idéale pour le temps particulier t, M+N-1 représente le nombre d'échantillons uniques dans « A », N représente une longueur prédéterminée de la réponse impulsionnelle de canal estimée, et où b(t) est une lecture de pression observée à un temps particulier t, et où M représente un nombre prédéterminé d'observations.
     
    14. - Module d'interprétation (80) selon la revendication 9, comprenant en outre un module de sortie (92) comprenant un écran d'affichage configuré pour afficher le signal estimé délivré par le décodeur (90).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description