Samsung Electronics developing tower-inspecting drones
Samsung Electronics is developing a system that will allow for the inspection of base stations by drone, eliminating the need for a technician to climb to high and inconvenient places to examine the condition of the antenna up close.
The company introduced a system on Tuesday that uses unmanned aerial vehicles to analyze the angle of antenna and the conditions of the base stations, which are typically installed on the rooftops of high-rise buildings.
While it is pursing commercialization of the antenna inspection method by the end of this year, it recently demonstrated the technique at Samsung Digital City, a research and development center of Samsung Electronics located in Suwon, Gyeonggi.
At the current stage, the solution can only analyze the tilt of the antenna, but it will be developed to remotely make adjustments, Samsung said in a statement. Positioning antenna properly is key to providing stable network connectivity.
To utilize the system, an engineer will fly a camera-equipped drone that captures photos of antennas. The data will be viewable on a smartphone and transmitted to a server, where it will be analyzed.
“As the number of 5G network sites grows, there has been a heightened focus on network performance by operators, and we are seeing an increased market demand for intelligent solutions for site maintenance,” said Chong So-hyong, vice president and head of Network Automation, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.
“Once this solution launches globally later this year, it will offer a safer, more cost-effective and convenient way to satisfy market demands, leveraging our unique capabilities in combining the latest technologies — drones, artificial intelligence and 5G.”
Tokyo-based Rakuten Mobile is developing a similar solution using technology from Santa Monica's AirMap. The Japanese company conducted trials of the system earlier this year. Dallas-based AT&T has been working with the technology for a number of years.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]