NVIDIA and Lockheed Martin to develop global weather digital twin

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Lockheed Martin and NVIDIA are collaborating on building an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven Earth Observations Digital Twin.

The digital twin will provide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with an efficient and centralised approach to monitor current global environmental conditions, including extreme weather events.

The two companies expect to fully integrate and demonstrate one of the variable data pipelines - sea surface temperature - by September 2023, one year after initial contract award.

At present the NOAA receives terabytes of data about its five earth systems domains - the cryosphere, land, atmosphere, space weather and ocean - from several space and Earth-based sensor sources. NOAA administrators and researchers have to then collect, combine and analyse that information so as to observe and understand environmental conditions and changes.

The new Earth Observations Digital Twin, which will 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 use 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 then convert data into the Universal Scene Description framework, enabling data-sharing across multiple tools and between researchers.

Agatha, a Lockheed Martin-developed visualisation platform, will ingest this incoming data from Omniverse Nucleus and allow users to interact with it in an Earth-centric 3D environment.

“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,” said Matt Ross, senior program manager at Lockheed Martin Space. “We’re pleased that we can use our technology experience to collaborate with NVIDIA on this project to provide NOAA a timely, global visualisation for their own important missions.”

“Digital twins will help us solve the world’s hardest scientific and environmental challenges,” added Dion Harris, lead product manager of accelerated computing at NVIDIA. “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 have burned more than 7.2 million acres in the US this year.

Pairing Lockheed Martin’s AI/ML platforms and joint all domain command and control capabilities with NVIDIA’s Omniverse, the two companies have been able to demonstrate how firefighters can use advanced technology to help better detect, predict and suppress wildfires.