It's important to manage expectations of what's an Airport Owner's Digital Twin, how to achieve it, and how to sustain it.
There are various vendors trying to sell software, which is advertised as "Digital Twin" for airports. Most of these are not sustainable by the airport owner.
Our team has carefully assembled the optimum combination of technologies and solution providers that achieve practical
It is an integration of airport information (involving processes, data, and technologies) that provides visual multi-dimensional representation of the airport’s ecosystem including its airspace, surroundings, infrastructure, facilities, assets, systems, flux (e.g., aircraft, vehicles, passengers, meeter greeters), staff resources, workflows, etc. It provides integrated displays/dashboards of correlated information from multiple systems/sources in the form of analytic graphs, tables, schedules, and maps. It also provides temporal analysis of past, current, real-time, forecast, and/or simulated data. It is key to achieving Airport Business Intelligence (BI).
Please see detailed explanation below in the PDF roadmap document, developed by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Digital Twin Working Group.
No, an airport digital twin is applicable to the spectrum of airport sizes ranging from large hub down to medium hub, small hub, non-hub, national, regional, local, and even basic.
An airport digital twin does NOT replace existing airport systems, but rather expand their utility. The airport digital twin integrates and correlates the data from existing systems in support of airport enterprise management Business Intelligence (BI) needs. Some older existing systems, which are essentially pre-cursors to today's digital twin, may become obsolete or consolidated, as a result of an airport digital twin.
BIM is a design and construction analysis, simulation, and collaboration tool. It's used for developing new airport buildings, such as terminals, and for renewing, modifying, and/or expanding such buildings. For Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) professionals, BIM enables their project centric digital twin, which is NOT the airport digital twin. BIM deliverables from such projects are leveraged to update the airport's digital twin. Most airport digital twin use cases involve correlation of data from multiple systems over a two-dimensional map of the airport campus or floor plan of the terminal. There are few airport management use cases benefiting from three-dimensional data; however, in such cases 360 degree imagery overlaid on LiDAR, usually provides more practical and cost effective results than BIM. BIM usually represents theoretical design modeling or delivered snapshot, rather than existing conditions. Airport facilities change rapidly, from the first day tenants move in and start modifying the facility to suit their specific needs. That said, the airport digital twin provides access to such historical BIM data for approximate research of interstitial layers (i.e., building elements not easily accessible) in support of facility troubleshooting or modifications.
An airport digital twin is an integrated assembly of various software products/systems used by the airport. Some of the key software components enabling an airport digital twin include a Business Intelligence (BI) analytics platform, an Airport Enterprise Geospatial Information System (AEGIS), Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) with Building Information Models (BIM), and middleware (such as Safe Software's FME) for integrating various system data sources.
The airport's digital twin skeleton should be maintained in x-Spatial's Airport Enterprise Geospatial Information System (AEGIS), which enables handling a variety of spatial data types including CAD, GIS, BIM, LiDAR with draped imagery, and overlaid CCTV imagery, other sensor data, and analytics. GIS is structured most efficiently to handle the entire airport's campus including outdoors and indoors. BIM is a detailed design and construction tool that is needed for Architectural-Engineering-Construction (AEC) project delivery, but not appropriate for sustaining an airport's digital twin spatial skeleton. That said, BIM deliverables are linked for reference to the spatial skeleton maintained in GIS.