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Pressure-Controlled Valve Tool Configuration

A major oilfield services company hired ProtoLink to develop software for a pressure-controlled valve tool. Once downhole, the only way to communicate with the tool is by varying the pressure in the well by specific patterns. he patterns consist of variations in relative pressures along with minimum or maximum times that each pressure must be held. Each pattern has two parts: an address pattern and a command pattern. Each tool has a microprocessor and a pressure gauge to monitor the pressure over time and detect the specific patterns. Once the tool recognizes its specific address pattern, it continues to look for a command pattern that it recognizes. Once the tool recognizes a valid command pattern, the tool executes the command to move the valve to a specific position.

The software developed by ProtoLink allows users to configure an address profile for each tool while on the surface via a standard RS-232 serial interface. It also generates a detailed plot of pressure over time showing the exact pattern needed to send each command to the tool once it is downhole. These plots can be viewed on the screen or printed. Finally, upon retrieval of the tool to the surface, the software is used to read diagnostic information that was logged by the tool while it was downhole.

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