Could Gyro Steering Be the Best Approach to Your Horizontal Drilling Job?

Posted on: 8 June 2022


If you have a project that involves laying cables, conduits, or other infrastructure below ground with minimal interference to whatever is above, you may need to consider horizontal directional drilling. This is a sophisticated solution often used when companies have to work beneath rivers, lakes, major roads, or third-party, inaccessible land. Yet the solutions rely on some very specific techniques to help with accuracy, and you may be interested in the different types of tech available. In your case, it may be necessary to use steering by gyro, but what is this, and what are the advantages?

How Drill Bits Are Steered

Clearly, for a job like this to succeed, the contractors will need to drill the hole in a specific direction. They will need to steer the equipment even though they cannot physically see where it is and rely on solutions like gyro steering. These particular tools are very good in areas where the other magnetic steering options may be challenged. For example, your project may call for drilling beneath a busy motorway, where fast-moving and irregular traffic could make magnetic readings difficult.

The Advantages of Gyro Steering

In this case, gyro steering is ideal for a number of reasons. This type of solution involves photons and transmits information through an optical fibre cable back to the surface-based operator. These gyroscopes help to measure how the drill bit moves in relation to roll, yaw or pitch. Fundamentally, the gyros are not affected by any potential interference from anything in the surrounding area. This means that the gyro steering tool can be placed behind the jetting assembly and close to the bit to provide as accurate a reading as possible.

Could Magnetic Steering Work?

There are other instances where magnetic steering may yet be advantageous. If the project needs to deal with particularly robust settings where the drill bit may have to break up large rocks, gyros can sometimes be very sensitive. They may not be able to react well to the associated vibration.

Working with the Experts

When you work with horizontal directional drilling contractors that have the relevant experience, they will be able to advise you what to do next. They will typically differentiate between magnetic steering or gyro steering and know what factors could affect their choice. In short, they'll be able to choose the approach that is likely to be the most effective for your project.