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Cosmin Popescu, Luleå University of Technology 2019 Photo: Richard Renberg
Cosmin Popescu, Luleå University of Technology 2019 Photo: Richard Renberg View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Digital twins for bridges and tunnels

Published: 21 January 2020

To improve safety and lifespan for existing bridges and tunnels, researchers in the subject of Structural Engineering at Luleå University of Technology will develop digital twins for this purpose. Routine inspections of bridges and tunnels are usually done by an inspector performing visual observations on site.

The procedure is highly dependent on the inspector's expertise and experience. The transfer of knowledge from one inspection period to another becomes difficult when various inspectors carry out the inspections.

"The purpose of this project is to develop a digital twin of a concrete bridge and show how it can streamline the management process. A digital twin is a computer model that is linked to the physical object by integrating different types of data, material properties, geometry and existing damage into a uniform model", says Cosmin Popescu, researcher at the Division of Structural and Fire Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

Easier interpretation, analysis and data sharing

The model will be gradually built up so that it can be updated and refined as more processes and more information become available. The digital twin can improve interpretation, analysis and data sharing to different stakeholders so that the use of the infrastructure is optimized.

An in-depth and interactive image is created

Digitala tvillingar för broar och tunnlar

A digital twin of an asset can prevent failures and allow for increased utilization through early detection of damage and prevention measures. The digital model will be generated by photogrammetric methods. In addition, the digital model is provided with information from non-destructive test methods. The virtual bridge model can be used as support for maintenance and inspection planning and represents a major step forward in the management of facilities by creating an in-depth and interactive image for the user / manager.

“With better data collection from novel inspections, prediction tools would gain robustness and be able to better inform decision-makers in the efficient allocation of resources. By efficiently allocating the economic resources, we can contribute to environmental sustainability while keeping our infrastructure in service for longer time.”, says Cosmin Popescu.

In the media

Cosmin Popescu

Popescu, Cosmin - Adjunct University Lecturer

Organisation: Structural Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492322