Katapult Engineering

Katapult Engineering


The Katapult Method: Part 2

katapult logo image article banner

The Katapult Method is optimized for a collection team of two. We equip our team with the following items:

necessary field equipment for data collection

Once our crew arrives at the site, we pull up the job on the smartphone. After taking a "sync shot" on both cameras, we begin taking pictures of our line.

a timestamp that you take a picture of for the sync shot for field collection

The first picture will be a midspan height shot before the first pole. The shot is taken perpendicular to the cables and must be framed so that the full stick and all wires are in view.

In environments where there isn't enough space to view the full stick and all cables in one photo, we take a split midspan shot. We use a measured height in the first photo to more accurately calibrate the second photo.

a midspan photo between two poles

After the midspan photo has been taken, the SLR operator will click the corresponding button on the smartphone. This process creates a time bucket that will hold all the photos taken. When processing the job in the office, time buckets will automatically associate all photos to the correct nodes.

As the crew approaches their first pole, the SLR operator will take a "hallway shot," which includes the pole, the span, and the next pole in the line. A similar shot will be taken on the other side of the pole facing the other way.

a hallway shot, which displays the current pole, all it's wires, and the next pole in the line

As the second crew member places the stick at the pole, the SLR operator will get a "height shot" at a 45-degree angle to the pole. It is important for the small camera operator to keep the stick straight against the pole with all height targets facing the SLR operator.

a height shot of the pole, using the 17 foot height stick

At the pole, the small camera operator takes all necessary photos at the pole. This will include pole tags, birthmarks, inspection tags, and "up shots" (pictures against the pole that help recognize angles of power hardware, streetlights, and more). The final picture the small camera will take is called the "back shot." This is taken opposite of the height shot to give a better perspective of the power and communications space.

a shot of pole tags that are used for data collection and processing
a birthmark that is stamped into the side of the pole
an "up shot", which is taken at the base of the pole looking upwards
a "back shot" which displays the top of the pole and all of it's wires

After taking the height shot, the SLR operator will take a zoomed in "side shot" of the power and communications space on the pole.

a photo of the comm space of a telephone pole

As the team moves to the next midspan, the SLR operator will take their opposite "hallway shot," and mark the pole "done" on the smartphone. If the crew returns to take additional photos of the pole, the SLR operator can press the "took more photos" button to create another time bucket for the node in question.

using the mobile version of katapultpro to input field data

The process is then repeated until the job is complete. A field team's progress can be tracked at any time within the job, as time buckets and midspan sections update in real-time. Design can be completed quickly in the field, and SLR operator can add spans and anchors easily from the smartphone.

Though scopes of work differ, a two-person crew should be able to collect 100-200 poles in a given day.


If you'd like a set of gear, or want training on how to collect pole data using the Katapult method, send me an email at aschmehl@katapultengineering.com!

Next week, we'll take a look at photo uploads and association.

Adam SchmehlData Collection