Patent Number: 6,490,527

Title: Method for characterization of rock strata in drilling operations

Abstract: A method and system for determining the relative strength and classification of rock strata in near real-time during drilling operations is provided for use in underground mines. Neural network technology is used to classify mine roof strata in terms of, for example, relative strength or strength index as the roof bolt hole is being drilled (i.e., in near real-time). Measurements taken while a layer of the rock strata is being drilled are used to compute the specific energy input and convert these data to suitably scaled features. A neural network is then used to classify the strength of the layer. The neural network can be trained using data of known rock strata classifications prior to using it to classify new measurements. The present system allows for detection of unsafe conditions within the rock strata being drilled, and allows appropriate warnings to be issued in near real-time so that appropriate actions can be taken.

Inventors: Utt; Walter K. (Spokane, WA)

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services

International Classification: G01V 9/00 (20060101); E21C 39/00 (20060101); E21F 17/00 (20060101); E21F 17/18 (20060101); G01V 001/28 ()

Expiration Date: 12/03/2011