A modulated reflectance well telemetry apparatus having an electrically conductive pipe extending from above a surface to a point below the surface inside a casing. An electrical conductor is located at a position a distance from the electrically conductive pipe and extending from above the surface to a point below the surface. Modulated reflectance apparatus is located below the surface for modulating well data into a RF carrier transmitted from the surface and reflecting the modulated carrier back to the surface. A RF transceiver is located at the surface and is connected between the electrically conductive pipe and the electrical conductor for transmitting a RF signal that is confined between the electrically conductive well pipe and the electrical conductor to the modulated reflectance apparatus, and for receiving reflected data on the well from the modulated reflectance apparatus.
The present invention generally relates to oil field exploration techniques, and more specifically to means for telemetering information relevant to the subterranean environment to the surface. This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.