WITS Format as used by Mezintel MWD Products

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Mezintel Depth Tracker streams out ASCII data every 4 seconds via a 9-pin RS-232 male serial port. This data is in WITS format.

WITS (Wellsite Information Transfer Specification) is a 20 year old worldwide oil and gas industry standard that specifies how to format text-based (ASCII) drilling data for transmission between two devices connected by serial ports (RS-232) or by an Ethernet link.

By conforming to the WITS standard, PCs and other communication devices from different vendors can readily interface and share information regardless of the proprietary nature of technology behind those systems.

How to Interpret WITS ASCII Data

The structure of WITS-formatted data constitutes a set of text lines that starts with the characters && and concludes with the characters !!. Between these starting and ending characters are one or more lines that form the body of data packet being transmitted. Each line in the body section defines a sample name and the associated value of the sample.

Collectively these three parts form a complete WITS data packet as further itemized in the table below.

Line Position


WITS Lines

Start Line Starting characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . &&
Body Line Data line 1 for sample name and value, and . . . 01083650.40
Body Line Data line 2 for sample name and value, and . . . 011323.38
End Line Ending Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . !!

The first four digits of the body data lines highlighted red stand for the agreed sample identifier WITS code. Thus WITS code 0108 stands for the sample name: “Bit Depth”, while WITS code 0113 stands for the sample name: “ROP” (Rate of Penetration).

The digits that follow highlighted in blue stand for the sample values associated with those sample names. Thus the digits 3650.40 is the numeric value for sample 0108 (Bit Depth), which thus means Bit Depth has a value of 3650.40. Similarly the numeric 23.38 is the value for sample 0113 (ROP), which means that Rate of Penetration value is 23.38.

Thus for this example, the WITS packet will be sent as:


The WITS standard does not include information on units so the people in control of the transmitting and receiving systems must agree beforehand the units to be associated with the values in the WITS data packets.

More information on the WITS format can found here: home.sprynet.com/~carob/
This website includes documentation for data formatting and interpretation.

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