HFTC 2022: 4-DOF Robotics & High-Res Acoustic Imaging

February 5, 2022

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DarkVision made a splash at this year’s HFTC in Houston, Texas with the presentation of their latest whitepaper titled “High-Resolution Acoustic Imaging and Multi-Axis Robotics: Three-Dimensional Downhole Obstruction Evaluation in Real Time.”

It’s hard not to like cutting-edge imaging technology, mounted on a robotic arm, that can go 15,000 ft below the surface of the earth.

Get a copy of the full whitepaper here.


A novel high-resolution acoustic imaging technology was developed for the identification of downhole obstructions, restrictions, and casing damage in real-time. This system is the first downhole imaging platform that incorporates an articulated robotic head to capture a dimensionally accurate three-dimensional (3D) view of the area of interest with a 0.00016-in² resolution. The imaging head can navigate a well with a positional precision of 0.0005-in; it provides a 3D reconstruction of the adjacent casing and any obstruction that may be of interest. These real-time images can be captured in any fluid, including brine, oil, water, drilling fluids, and bitumen.

The device can replace conventional lead impression blocks and optical-based cameras, both of which have struggled to provide definitive results in challenging environments associated with hydraulically fractured wells. Multi-axis robotics allows navigation through the area of interest and provides the operator with a real-time assessment of casing condition or fish location; it removes any ambiguity associated with the size, location, and orientation of a well obstruction. The rendered 3D point cloud of data is displayed in real-time to field personnel on the surface allowing for operators to start planning and executing remedial action with high certainty before the tool has come to the surface.

This paper outlines the novel technology background and a case study of field deployment. The tool was deployed in the field as a three-dimensional method to overcome inconsistent, low-resolution, and ambiguous results provided by legacy technologies still used in industry.

Interested in working with our world-class team of engineers behind the scenes? Check out our Careers Page for more details! We’re always hiring. Seriously.

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