A Heliportable Sonic Drilling Platform for Microhole Drilling and Exploration—Resodyn Corporation, 130 N. Main Street, Butte, MT 59701; 406-497-5252, http://www.resodyn.com/ 

Mr. Richard Williams, Principal Investigator, rwilliams@resodyn.com

Mr. Lawrence C. Farrar, Business Official, LCFarrar@resodyn.com

DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-06ER84618

Amount:  $100,000 


The exploration and development of new energy resources in remote and environmentally sensitive areas can benefit greatly from a reduction in the size of the associated equipment and operations.  This project will develop reliable, small-footprint instrumentation-deployment systems that can operate at lower costs and in environmentally sensitive areas not accessible to conventional drilling systems.  The approach will combine sonic drilling with an advanced control technology, in order to enable the development of a helicopter-portable, sonic, microhole drilling system capable of deploying seismic instrumentation to depths of 1500 feet.  Phase I will establish the instrumentation and methodology (algorithms and software) to automatically maintain resonant drilling (for maximum efficiency) throughout the process.  Modular design features will be included to allow the system to be helicopter transportable and field assembled at remote sites.


Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee:  The development of an environmentally-friendly, microhole drilling system, capable of being deployed to remote locations, should be of a great benefit to geophysical exploration, placement of geoprobes, etc.  Another likely application involves the monitoring of carbon injection and long-term CO2 storage in carbon-sequestration systems, which also may utilize microhole wells.  The advanced instrumentation and control technology also should have "retrofit" application to existing sonic drilling systems related to environmental sampling, water wells, minerals exploration, etc.