This paper presents a robust control algorithm for automatic hoisting of a drill string in oil and gas drilling operations. We demonstrate an iterative scheme for trajectory design and present a lumped dynamic model of the hoisting system. The trajectory is used along with the dynamic model to design a hybrid sliding mode and gain scheduled PI controller to deal with the frictional nonlinearities of the system. The simulation results demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in optimally performing the pipe hoisting task.

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