Bentley Acceleration Initiatives today announced the availability of OpenTower iQ, a digital twin solution supported by iTwin for telecommunications towers that provides 3D visualization, real-time decision support and predictive design from the ground up. The product resulted from a digital co-venture between Bentley and Visual Intelligence, a Houston-based sensor technology company, and Aeroprotechnik, an aerial inspection engineering company based in Viseu, Portugal.
Bentley Acceleration Initiatives is Bentley Systems’ strategic investment fund and incubator initiative. Its objective is to bring together ecosystem partners in a digital co-ventures to accelerate the marketing of creative cloud solutions based on the Bentley iTwin platform. OpenTower iQ, as supported by iTwin,’ is an example of co-venturing that combines digital technologies from other companies to address a market need.
As the demand for data continues to grow, tower companies and engineering firms are looking for all-inclusive, engineering-grade solutions to collocate, modify and maintain telecom infrastructure for the 5G rollout. OpenTower iQ facilitates modifying existing towers and maintaining accurate models, automating the repetitive work of producing as-built models and using artificial intelligence to detect critical components.
Tower companies can use OpenTower iQ to monitor the health of their towers and gain access to shared, secured data through an easy-to-understand portal. Data analytics provide cost-benefit analysis to boost operational efficiency and ensure that all possible revenue is collected. Improved accuracy of tower inspections and smart inventory management saves time, cost, and improves safety. The new product is designed to handle the large asset portfolios of operators, easily processing and analyzing tens of thousands of towers.
To accelerate the launch of OpenTower iQ, Bentley Acceleration Initiatives acquired digital twin technology from Aeroprotechnik, an aerial inspection engineering company that specializes in automated asset data capture and digitalization solutions. The technology included artificial intelligence and reality modeling capabilities that provide detailed information on current site conditions, which helps tower companies speed up rollouts, enhance decision-making and shorten sales cycles.
Bentley Acceleration Initiatives also partnered with Visual Intelligence, whose patented dual-sensor drone technology digitalizes physical infrastructure with millimeter accuracy to reliably deliver 3D, engineering-grade asset intelligence. Visual Intelligence is able to map more measurable surface area than alternative aerial and ground-based methods. Its patented drone sensor technology has the unique ability to capture the components of a tower, including bolts, wires, ladders and other items, with an extremely high degree of accuracy that was not previously possible.
With a comprehensive, millimeter-accurate digital twin, a tower company can virtually inspect a tower, see if it has been constructed correctly, determine whether the tower’s structural integrity is intact, and run collocation scenarios. Unlike rudimentary reality models produced from other cameras, Visual Intelligence enables a digital twin with such accuracy that it can support advanced analyses, such as connection integrity analysis and mount mapping analysis.
According to Santanu Das, senior vice president and chief acceleration officer of Bentley Acceleration Initiatives, the company’s objective is to incubate new businesses and augment existing ones using Bentley iTwin technologies.
“We provide a go-to-market accelerator to rapidly bring to users the innovative ideas from Bentley’s research and development in partnership with emerging industry leaders and technology specialists such as Visual Intelligence and Aeroprotechnik,” Das said. “Bentley Acceleration Initiatives helped incubate OpenTower iQ by funding its development, seeking out technology partnerships to fill whitespaces and creating a comprehensive go-to-market strategy.”
Das said the next step is to invite additional interested ecosystem partners to start new digital integrator services to capture emerging opportunities for enterprise integration and implementation for towers.
“The telecom industry is going through a rapid transformation as multinetwork operators are expanding their portfolios through consolidation and moving from a 4G platform to 5G,” Das said. “Without a doubt, digital twin solutions like OpenTower iQ will help tower owners make the most of the industry’s burgeoning opportunities.”
Nikhil Jani, vice president of telecom and utilities at Genesys International, said that OpenTower iQ for tower planning and management is what he called a game-changer for the telecom market. “Within a couple of days, we had a high-quality reality model available with the reports and other aspects of the projects,” he said. “Now, all the tower data is available in digital form, and it’s accurate and current.”
Ted Miller, founder and chairman of Visual Intelligence and a former chairman and CEO of Crown Castle International, said that until now, drone data has failed to live up to its promise to the tower industry. He said this is largely because survey-grade drone sensors cannot collect the fidelity of data required to extract engineering-grade tower intelligence.
“Our patented drone sensor technology is the first of its kind to collect millimeter-class tower information,” Miller said. “We partnered with Bentley to utilize OpenTower iQ to translate this new fidelity of data into as-built digital twins and then apply AI to automate and unlock new kinds of tower insights. With OpenTower iQ, we’re enabling new applications of drone data and accelerating the value of digital twins to tower companies worldwide.”
Nuno Marques, founder of Aeroprotechnik, said that Bentley Acceleration Initiatives “proved to be an effective platform for ecosystem partners like Aeroprotechnik to scale up artificial intelligence-based solutions, transforming emerging technologies into real value for Bentley’s users.”
Read original article at aglmediagroup.com.