Robotic Drilling Systems has signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to collaborate on the design of the company’s autonomous robotic drilling rig.
NASA will contribute expertise gained from its remote interplanetary Mars rover mission, Curiosity, Bloomberg reported this week.
The unmanned drilling system can be remotely controlled from an interactive 3D interface. It will be packaged with the company’s submerged, encapsulated, and pressure-compensated Seabed Rig model, which is designed for exploration drilling in harsh areas such as the Arctic or ultradeepwater. The rig’s encapsulated design ensures operations with zero discharge to sea.
The rig model is constructed modularly so it can be lowered through a standard moon pool inside the surface vessel and guided into place by guide wires. When deployed, it is connected to the vessel through an umbilical with power, control, and mud flow, and uses subsea mud pumps developed in cooperation with Optipump.