It is common knowledge that Autodesk has invested heavily into building meaningful cloud services for the last three years. We have several popular cloud services like AutoCAD WS and those that fall under the umbrella of Autodesk 360.
But today, I will blog about an exciting new applications that Autodesk has been working on for some time and is not very well known even within the organization but for a few CEO staff and the crack developer team building it in secret, because of its potential to change the way engineering projects are managed for ever.
Before I dive into the details of the project, let me ask you what is your biggest frustration when you try to manage a large scale engineering project like that Construction of a Dam, Designing and implementing a Manufacturing Assembly line?
I would bet some serious money that more often than not, it is the lack of ability to predict what could go wrong. The more complex and more time consuming the project, the greater the probability that something could seriously go wrong and cost the project time and money. Up until now, there was no way to mitigate or completely eliminate the chance of going wrong. It can be controlled to a certain extent by employing experienced project managers and advanced project simulation environments.
Well, now you have a much better choice as Autodesk has once again risen to the challenge! Autodesk has reached beyond cloud platforms into the stratosphere to bring you a prediction model that not only predicts to an accuracy of 99.99999999% the chance of something going wrong but also visually illustrates what will go wrong.
I am happy to announce the Autodesk Orbital Movement Epoch Notification System (Autodesk OMENS for short ). This is a cloud based system that *predicts* how long your projects would take and what will go wrong with a great degree of accuracy:
For this Autodesk uses technology that is very much at the frontier of research. The concept is simple enough. Physics shows that the faster an object travels, the slower the time is for that object. This is called Time Dilation and has been a well researched issue since Einstein. What is not as well known though is that there are real world examples of time dilation that is actually being applied in what is today a very common occurrence: GPS Satellites. Satellites travel at incredible speeds and time for a satellite actually is slower than it is on Earth.
Some smart Autodesk engineers (cannot name them for legal reasons) hit upon a novel use of the time dilation phenomenon. We are aware that satellites can measure (with great accuracies) features on earth. Combine that with time dilation and we have a very accurate predictor.
Since time is slower on a satellite and moves faster on earth, a satellite receives images of a time that is yet to pass on the satellite’s clock. i.e., the satellite is essentially looking into the future. The faster the satellite moves, the further it can look into the future. However, if the satellite has to look at a the location of a single project all the time, it has to be geostationary. At the current locations of a standard geostationary satellites however, the time dilation is a fraction of a second. So if we want the satellite to look, at days, weeks, months or even years ahead, the satellite has to orbit further away from earth and will need to power themselves and not depend on earth’s gravity to power them.
This again poses another problem. The further the satellite from the earth, the greater the optics has to be to watch a project on Earth. So Autodesk is working with several research organizations right now building state of the art research optic equipment and a propulsion mechanism like warp drive to speed up the satellites to the speeds we need.
As you can imagine, these technologies are very bleeding edge and proprietary and so I cannot reveal a lot more at this stage. However, I can say that we have had some successful trial runs and have satellites in orbit (a joint venture between, Autodesk and certain public-private organizations) for the last few months that can predict the events that would occur a day in advance. Though this might not seem like much right now, it is a start and we hope to deploy more satellites in the near future that could predict events a couple of months in advance. The plan is to provide the OEMNS service for free with limited predictability (a couple of days in advance) and provide the full capabilities as a part of Autodesk’s subscription services.
We hope to be able to demonstrate this at AU this year. However, it is very likely we will invite a limited set of third party users to try out the service before then.
The trials should start in a few weeks. If you are interested in participating in these trial runs, please leave a comment below with your email ID/contact details and we will contact you shortly.