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Katapult Engineering

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Telecom Engineering Consultants

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Here at Katapult Engineering, we've been engineering data from telephone and utility poles for nearly 30 years.

At the beginning, we operated mostly as telecom engineering consultants—helping third-party attachers apply to build new fiber and CATV networks on existing distribution poles.

As our methodology improved and we learned more about the industry, we started to develop software solutions to simplify the engineering process. The first major shift that needed to occur was the switch from profile sheets to annotated photos.

An example ole sheet with documentation regarding the pole in question

PMV was a web application that allowed our team create robust, annotated photos that served as defensible data for make ready and loading analysis. The designs were created based on aerial imagery that provided critical information like break angles and span lengths, and our calibrated heights contained attachment heights, wire diameters, and more.

PMV gave way to Katapult Pro, which was our answer to distribution challenges like make ready engineering and pole loading analysis. The solution continues to develop as our Engineering Team and software clients serve utilities across North America. Katapult Pro's success is based on the marriage of two highly-powerful web applications: Maps and Photos.

Katapult Pro’s user interface for annotation telephone poles

Combined, users can use katapultpro.com to process OSP and distribution design jobs full-stack. The process is broken down into four main steps:

  1. Design - aerial or underground routes are delivered to a project manager. In Katapult Pro, a design is built using shapefiles from the client, along with aerial imagery and Street View. Depending on the scope, design may vary. Though some of the design steps can be automated, our team has found that project managers still need to review that a design makes sense before deploying a crew to collect the data.

  2. Deployment - field technicians are given a map of necessary collection sites and have a thorough understanding of each project's scope. A field crew may be required to collect data across multiple scopes in the same day. Because there is overlap in the Katapult method of data collection (most deliverables call for identical field workflows), the burden lies on project managers to clearly communicate the depth of their project's scope, instead of trying to manage whether their crews are properly trained. The methodology is simple enough that all teams are trained for the most intensive scopes (power and comm make ready, PLA); less in-depth workflows simply result in higher throughput volumes. When field crews return from collection, they offload photos to a backup drive and upload them to Katapult Pro.

  3. Data Processing - the engineering team will make sure all photos have been categorized and calibrated, and that each photo ends up in the right location after automatic association. Height photos are then annotated based on the deliverable, and the team performs necessary make ready calls and loading analysis.

  4. Delivery - a project manager reviews the team's work for QA/QC purposes, then downloads the final deliverable and shares the Katapult Pro link with the client. In addition to permitting sheets, SPIDA/O-Calc reports, and annotated height photos, clients can also view every photo that was taken as well as the attributes added to each pole. Attributes can be styled (such as Make Ready Complexity in the photo below) to create visually-appealing heat maps of costs associated with the design.

a heatmap that shows the pole costs overlayed on google maps

Katapult Pro is the result of years of telecom engineering consulting, and continues to evolve as our Engineering Team (and subscribers across the country) solves newer, tougher challenges in the industry.

Shoot me an email (aschmehl@katapultengineering.com) to set up a demo or consultation with one of our Project Consultants!