Digital Twin as a Decision-Making Support Tool for Resilience of Urban’s Infrastructure under Extreme Climatic Events
Research Project , 2018 – 2020

Digital Twin of Infrastructure

A Digital Twin of an infrastructure is a living digital simulation that brings all the data and models together, and updates itself from multiple sources to represent its physical counterpart. The Digital Twin, maintained throughout the life cycle of an asset and easily accessible at any time, provides the infrastructure owner/users with an early insight into potential risk to mobility induced by climatic events, heavy vehicle load and even aging of a transport infrastructure. As shown in the figure, this repository of data and models for transport infrastructures, integral to a comprehensive SHM strategy and decision-making support tool, is based on two scientific and technological pillars:

Pillar I – Data Collection: customized integration of terrestrial, satellite and airborne inspection systems with past and future climate data as well as with historical infrastructure data for a comprehensive SHM strategy to enable the use of scientific knowledge for decision makers;

Pillar II – Modelling: optimized integration of the most current data (Pillar I) with most advanced physics-based & data-driven models into a Digital Twin of a transport infrastructure as a decision-making support tool to assess the risks to infrastructures subjected to current/future climate events as well as aging caused by environmental impacts.

 

Project summary

Transport infrastructures are the backbone of our society due to that we heavily rely on the uninterrupted availability of the road network, and bridges are the bottleneck of the urban/rural mobility network. Extreme climatic events and climate change are important threats to the reliability and safety of bridge infrastructures. This project will establish an innovative remedial action in which a Digital Twin of transport infrastructure is leveraged as a decision making support tool to minimize the impact of extreme events on seamless transportation, increase the capacity of the road network for mobility of people/freight, protect the users and provide optimal information to the operators.

Today, road transport assets are designed, built and operated relying on numerous data sources and various models. Design engineers use established models provided by standards; construction engineers document the data on actual material and provide as-built drawings; operators collect data on traffic, incidents, inspections and maintenance; and climate scientists combine climate data and models to anticipate future climatic events. Given the overwhelming sources for and the complexity of data and models, the most current information and updated calculations may not be readily available for crucial decisions, e.g. regarding safety and operability of an infrastructure during episodes of extreme events. This drives inadaptability and uncertainties, and creates costs and inefficiencies. The project’s overarching goal is to implement a comprehensive decision-making support tool leveraging the combined power of data and models ensuring resilience, accessibility, cost-effectiveness and safety of bridges during episodes of extreme events.

 

Strategic collaboration

This project will initiate a strategic cooperation between Chalmers University of Technology, Stanford University, as well as the City of Stockholm and the City of Gothenburg as the collaborating end-users. Both Chalmers and Sanford are among the leading centers for digital transformation surrounded by industries that cultivate digital movement. The complementary expertise of Structures and Composites Laboratory at Stanford in “collecting & analyzing data from structures” together with the expertise of Concrete Structures research group at Chalmers in “developing models for the assessment of structures” will join forces to solve the challenge addressed in this project. Furthermore, in close cooperation with the collaborating end-users, the project aims to further develop and adapt the concept of Digital Twin for civil structures, and to establish Chalmers as a leader and Västra Götaland as a leading knowledge region in this field.

 

Foreseen impact

Västra Götaland’s transport infrastructure includes many large bridges: from Svinesund Bridge in the north to Älvsborg Bridge in the south, as well as the prospect of new landmark bridges, e.g. Hisingsbron. Moreover, the bridge infrastructures in this region are not only exposed to extremely harsh climate – the harshest in Sweden due to both corrosive sea water and freeze-thaw cycles – they are also vulnerable against weather-related floods caused by heavy rains and high sea levels. The implementation of project’s outcome will contribute to sustainable urban development and the growth of Västra Götaland as a leading knowledge region. Moreover, the project will help Västra Götaland to take on the challenge of climate adaptation and to create a resilient urban region by developing next-generation decision-making tools for its key infrastructures.

Participants

Kamyab Zandi (contact)

Docent vid Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Collaborations

City of Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden

Stanford University

Stanford, USA

Stockholms stad

Stockholm, Sweden

Funding

Region Västra Götaland

Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2020

European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2020

Barbro Osher Endowment

Funding Chalmers participation during 2018–2020

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Information and Communication Technology

Areas of Advance

Transport

Areas of Advance

Building Futures

Areas of Advance

C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)

Infrastructure

More information

Latest update

2018-05-10