US aerospace developer Lockheed Martin and computing specialist Nvidia will partner to build an AI-driven digital twin for Earth observations on behalf of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The digital twin will provide NOAA with an efficient and centralized tool for monitoring current global environmental conditions, including extreme weather events. The developers expect to fully integrate and demonstrate one of the variable data pipelines — sea surface temperature — by September 2023.
Presently, NOAA receives terabytes of data about its five Earth systems domains — the cryosphere, land, atmosphere, space weather and ocean — from numerous space and Earth-based sensor sources. NOAA administrators and researchers collect, combine and analyze that information to observe and understand environmental conditions and changes.
The new Earth Observations Digital Twin — developed under contract with Lockheed Martin Space, working with Nvidia — will provide NOAA with a high-resolution, accurate and timely depiction of global conditions, using current satellite and ground-based observations.
For the project, Lockheed Martin’s OpenRosetta3D platform will utilize AI and machine learning (ML) to ingest, format and fuse observations from multiple sources into a gridded data product and detect anomalies. Nvidia Omniverse Nucleus, the collaboration and database engine of its Omniverse world simulation platform, will convert data into the Universal Scene Description framework, enabling data-sharing across multiple tools and between researchers. Agatha, a Lockheed Martin-developed visualization platform, will ingest this incoming data from Omniverse Nucleus and allow users to interact with it in an Earth-centric 3D environment.
Matt Ross, senior program manager at Lockheed Martin Space, said, “At Lockheed Martin we regularly use digital twins and AI to provide our government customers with the clearest, current situational picture and actionable intelligence for their important missions. We’re pleased that we can use our technology experience to collaborate with Nvidia on this project to provide NOAA a timely, global visualization for their own important missions.”
Dion Harris, lead product manager of accelerated computing at Nvidia, said, “Digital twins will help us solve the world’s hardest scientific and environmental challenges. The combination of Lockheed Martin’s AI technology with Nvidia Omniverse will give NOAA researchers a powerful system to improve weather predictions at a global scale.”
Lockheed Martin and Nvidia are already collaborating on an effort to help fight wildfires, which burned more than 7.2 million acres in the USA in 2022. By pairing Lockheed Martin’s AI/ML platforms and joint all domain command and control capabilities with Nvidia’s Omniverse, the two companies are demonstrating how firefighters can use advanced technology to help better detect, predict and suppress wildfires.