• Khatib & Alami

    3D Reality Model for Military

    Muscat, Oman

Project Summary

Creating a Nation-scale Digital Twin

To improve national security, the Sultanate of Oman wanted to create a detailed digital twin of approximately 250 square kilometers of the Middle Eastern country. They contracted Khatib & Alami to capture approximately 330,000 images with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and construct a 3D reality model that included 43,000 fully textured buildings. To meet Oman’s needs, Khatib & Alami had to provide a high level of accuracy and meet a strict deadline of 125 days, with only 14 days available for flying and image capturing. The weather presented a challenge with harsh sunlight, high temperatures, elevated humidity, and windy conditions. Working against a strict flight schedule, they needed to ensure that captured images were accurate before they lost the opportunity to fly.

Solving Challenges by Seeking the Right Applications

The flight challenges required careful management, with teams working in parallel to check the accuracy of captured images during the limited flight time. Seeking the best software for capturing data and producing a reality model was key to both meeting the deadline and the high level of accuracy required. Before the project began, Khatib & Alami examined various applications to determine what would work best. One application produced image sizes that were too large, preventing quick work over a large production area. Another application could not produce accurate enough ground sampling distance (GSD) calculations, while a third failed to produce strong quality over a large area.

Finding Success again with Bentley Applications

Khatib & Alami finally found the solution to their challenges with ContextCapture. They quickly realized that the application supports reality modeling of large areas and can quickly produce information in a variety of formats for full, smooth GIS integration. Tiling support helped them overcome data errors during capture by finding matches for the correct images. Reconstruction algorithms helped them seamlessly integrate differing image brightness levels and angles. Khatib & Alami leveraged ContextCapture’s interoperability to export the captured data into a third-party application with which they were familiar to produce the 3D reality model. With LumenRT, they brought the digital twin to life with animated videos that could simulate potential flooding simulations and produce a day/night cycle.

Saving Money while Exceeding Expectations

With the help of Bentley applications, Khatib & Alami far exceeded Oman’s expectations. Their UAV flights captured more data than anticipated and they were able to expand the survey area from 250 square kilometers to 280 square kilometers, all within the same 14-day deadline. While the original plan was to achieve GSD of 10 centimeters and a DSM accuracy of 20 centimeters, the result had both a GSD and DSM accuracy of 5 centimeters. Even with the greatly improved results, Bentley applications helped them save money during the design process. Automation allowed the team to reduce resource hours, which saved USD 150,000. They finished the project in just 90 days rather than the expected 125 days, lowering costs by another USD 48,000. The cost savings are now passed onto the Oman government to leverage the digital twin for complex scenario planning and optimized solutions, keeping the country secure and prepared for any potential disruptions. 


Project Playbook: ContextCapture, LumenRT

  • The Oman government tasked Khatib & Alami with creating a 250-square-kilometer digital twin in and around Muscat, including 43,000 buildings, at a high level of detail.
  • ContextCapture allowed them to capture 330,000 images and verify their accuracy within a strict 14-day UAV flight schedule.
  • ContextCapture also helped the UAVs to capture more data than anticipated, expanding the digital twin from 250 square kilometers to 280 square kilometers.
  • Though the overall deadline of 125 days was considered aggressive, improved efficiencies allowed them to finish in just 90 days while saving significant costs.
  • To deliver the project, our team captured 330,000 drone images and created a digital twin model and auto-vectorized 43 thousand buildings of the whole area in 3D using Bentley’s ContextCapture and Esri ArcGIS, resulting in extremely detailed, high quality visualizations and analysis. [The digital twin] was delivered in just 90 days – 35 days ahead of schedule with enhanced quality and at a reduced cost.

    Rouba Zantout Manager and Senior Business Analyst Khatib & Alami