Innovative drone solutions - Deutsche Funkturm teams with vHive

  • Close cooperation for the use of highly automated drone technology
  • The aim: Digitize the site portfolio
  • Use cases: Site planning and maintenance

DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH is teaming up with the Israeli company vHive, a leading global vendor of drone software solutions. The aim of the cooperation is to use vHive’s highly automated drone technology to create digital maps of radio sites and generate operational findings with the aid of AI algorithms. This innovation opens perspectives for many use cases, such as measurements via drone.

vHives software solution enables Deutsche Funkturm to digitize its site portfolio. Specifically, this means using vHive’s platform to convert drone recordings of radio sites to three-dimensional digital twins, which can then be accessed from any location at any time. vHive’s end-to-end solution is already used for a variety of use cases in Deutsche Funkturm’s business operations.

Digital site survey:
A site survey involves the local inspection and review of a site for establishing a new radio station. During a site survey, geometric measurements are taken that are exact to the centimeter and are used to generate the realization plans. In the optimized workflow, the planed building site is overflown by a drone and a 3D scene is created. This dataset makes it possible to make all measurements, such as the calculation of clearances and the heights of surrounding obstacles such as trees and building developments, more quickly and more easily with vHive’s software.


Digitaler Line of Sight-Test (LoS-Test):
A line-of-site test involves ensuring an unrestricted line of sight between two radio sites for directional radio links. During an LoS test that employs drone technology, 360° panorama images are recorded at a variety of altitudes to calculate the available lines of sight. LoS tests using drones can replace the expensive use of cherry pickers in many new building projects.

Operational findings thanks to AI algorithms

By creating digital twins, AI algorithms can identify deviations and ambiguities in datasets that may be older. At the same time, the algorithm aligns the data in the system with the status quo determined by the drone. This makes it possible to serve co-utilization inquiries more efficiently, for example.

Other interesting use cases are already being trialed. Among other innovations, Deutsche Funkturm is working on using virtual reality as part of the approval procedure. This means a municipality or building authority could examine and assess a specific site ahead of time through VR.

Deutsche Funkturm has been cooperating with vHive since October 2019 as an integral component of its digital transformation process. “The greatest added value from our cooperation with vHive comes from the ongoing management of the ‘digital twins’ in our portfolio. With the precise measurement of our sites and the analytic findings that we gain through vHive’s innovative software solution, we believe we can achieve permanent gains in both efficiency and quality,” says Martin Bouchard, COO of Deutsche Funkturm.