Patent Number: 6,308,787

Title: Real-time control system and method for controlling an underground boring machine

Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling an underground boring tool involve rotating the boring tool and sensing a parameter of boring tool rotation. The boring tool is also displaced along an underground path and a parameter of boring tool displacement is sensed. Various sensors monitor boring machine activities, boring tool location, orientation, and environmental condition, and geophysical and/or geologic condition of the soil/rock at the excavation site. Data acquired by these sensors is processed by a boring machine controller to provide closed-loop, real-time control of a boring operation. The controller receives the boring tool signal and other sensor signals in real-time and, in response, transmits control signals to each of the rotation and displacement units substantially in real-time so as to control one or both of a rate and a direction of boring tool movement along the underground path.

Inventors: Alft; Kevin L. (Pella, IA)

Assignee: Vermeer Manufacturing Company

International Classification: E21B 7/00 (20060101); E21B 7/26 (20060101); E21B 47/022 (20060101); E21B 47/02 (20060101); E21B 049/08 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018