Bridges, Tunnels and other Transportation Structures
Full Session with Abstracts
Infrastructure systems evolve over time and therefore must be assessed at routine intervals, as well as after any disaster event. During an inspection, a broad range of unstructured information is collected, including human observations, localized measurements, images, and the results of nondestructive testing (NDT). While current practices provide safe operating conditions, approaches for modelling and visualizing this broad range of data available to engineers and managers remains limited. In response, there is now an emergent research focus on the concept of a “digital twin”: a living information model that can inform system assessments through visualization, simulation, and data analytics. In the twinning concept, information regarding a physical object is embedded into a virtual computer model of the object and tracked over time. The digital twin thus serves as an integrated platform for the recording, communication, and analysis of inspection information. Here we will discuss the concept of digital twin as it pertains to the bridge and tunnel management use case, given the expanding requirements for robust asset management of these systems. Approaches for the construction and visualization of a twin will be presented, as well as potential avenues for human-twin interactivity through a variety of human-computer interfaces. Initial work on using a twin platform for data fusion of NDT data will be presented as well. The audience will learn about an exciting new approach to life-cycle asset management that integrates advanced visualization through augmented reality, finite element simulation, and condition assessment. As such, it will be of interest to both the professional and academic audience of Structures Congress.