The industry began developing what is now most commonly referred to as "rate-gyro surveying systems" in the late 1970's. The goal of the overall development was to adapt modem aerospace guidance techniques for oil industry applications with the following objectives:

  1. Provide a significant enhancement in survey accuracy.
  2. Provide a means of quality assurance.

The existing surveying methods could not provide a reliable means of quality assurance for the level of accuracy wanted by the industry. Wellbore survey technology can be classified into four groups, as follows:

  1. Inclination Only Device (Totco)
  2. Magnetic-Based (film-based / electronic, single I multi-shot, MWD, steering tools, dip-meter)
  3. Free-Gyro Systems (film-based/electronic)
  4. Rate-Gyro Systems

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