Automatic Steering System

Published: December 6, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Automatic Steering System Mean?

Automatic steering system is an automated system installed in microtunneling machines that do not require personnel to enter the borehole. The microtunneling boring machine (MTBM) can be articulated mechanically to enable steering of the shield and also to make adjustments to maintain stability of the face depending on soil conditions encountered during tunneling.

Microtunneling is a trenchless construction method that is mounted on a jacking frame and moved forward using jacks. The automatic steering system enables pipes of diameters ranging from 48 inches to 12 feet to be installed accurately.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Automatic Steering System

The automated steering system used for guiding the MTBM during the boring procedure gives very accurate results for curved and long distance drives. The system utilizes advanced technology such as laser guidance, gyroscope, tachymetry and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras that help the operator to remotely guide the MTBM.

The position is relayed constantly allowing operators to guide the MTBM precisely.

The automatic system can be controlled remotely from the surface, is capable of controlling rotation, injecting lubricant around the jacked pipe and indicating direction of steering. Microtunneling is carried out by placing a casing pipe in the jacking frame and connecting slurry lines and control cables.

Hydraulic jacks help push the MTBM and casing into the ground.


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