System Design of a High-Temperature Downhole Transceiver

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Virginia Tech

The oil and gas industry, aerospace, and automotive industries are constantly pushing technology beyond their current operational boundaries, spurring the need for extreme environment electronics. The oil and gas industry, in particular, is the oldest and largest market for high-temperature electronics, where the operating environment can extend up to 260 degrees Celsius. The electronics currently employed in this field are only rated to 200 degrees Celsius, but with the rise of wideband gap technologies, this could be extended to 250 degrees Celsius or more without the needed for active or passive cooling. This reduces the complexity, weight, and cost of the system while improving reliability. In addition, current downhole telemetry data rates are insufficient for supporting more sophisticated and higher resolution well-logging sensors. Increasing the data rates can also save the industry significant amount of time by decreasing the amount of well-logging excersions and by increasing the logging speed.

Previous work done by this research group saw the prototyping of a high bit rate transceiver operating at 230 MHz - 300 MHz and 230 degrees Celsius; however, at these frequencies, the system could not meet size requirements. Thus, a new high-temperature high data rate transceiver design using the 2.4 GHz - 2.5 GHz ISM band is proposed to miniaturize the design and to allow for IC implementation. The transceiver was designed to meet the minimum specifications necessary to give designers flexibility between power consumption and performance. The performance of the design is simulated using AWR design environment software, which shows the system can support a downlink data rate up to 68 Mbps and an uplink data rate up to 170 Mbps across 10 channels. The effects temperature has on the system performance is also evaluated in the simulation.

oil and gas, downhole communication, extreme environment, high-temperature, high data rate, direct conversion, transceiver