Tassie to get 4D digital twin with Virtual Tas

The Virtual Tas team
The Virtual Tas team

Enzen Australia and 42-24, a TasNetworks’ subsidiary business, today launched Virtual Tas, a joint venture which will undertake annual statewide aerial captures of Tasmania to create a 4D Digital Twin.

Using laser scanning and image capture technology, along with the ability to model and visualise big data, Virtual Tas will create a life-scale 4D map (known as Digital Twin) which will be used to help prevent and respond to natural disasters (e.g. bushfires and flooding), guide remote rescue missions and guide new infrastructure and developments.

The development of Virtual Tas will provide the opportunity to deliver safer and more resilient communities at the same time as providing a positive economic impact to GSP of between $160-$320 million over 10 years.

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TasNetworks CEO and Virtual Tas chair Sean McGoldrick said, “We are proud and delighted to be the foundation customer for Virtual Tasmania. Over a 10-year period, it will transform the way we run as a utility. We expect this project will touch every part of our business; from asset management, to vegetation management to travelling and making sure our people are safe. It will help to ensure that our network is reliable and that we are delivering efficiently and affordably for our customers.”

Enzen Australia CEO and Virtual Tas board director Dileep Viswanath said, “We are thrilled to be working with 42-24, TasNetworks, and our government partners on Virtual Tas and for the future of this digital technology and business model in Australia and globally. We are excited about what this will do for Tasmania and its businesses and communities by enabling collaboration using new and shared data on an open and extensible platform.”

DIsaster SMART Tasmanian Communities is a first use case of the technology which Viswanath said was an exciting development for Australia and the future of planning and disaster reduction.

Enzen has received $2.6 million in federal funding from the National Recovery and Resilience Agency to deliver a digital twin solution and disaster risk reduction and community resilience application using annual data and modelling provided by Virtual TAS.

Virtual Tas’ Digital Twin will be built using a base of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), adding satellite data, drone footage, high-resolution photography and other data to create a tapestry of all forms of spatial data. Bringing together new technology with existing data will enrich the available information, allowing it to be used for in-depth planning and infrastructure, particularly in remote and unreachable locations.

42-24 leader and Virtual Tas board director Kelly Walker said aircraft laser scanning would occur annually over the next 10 years to create and enhance the Digital Twin.

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“This is about helping to build a better Tasmania, protecting and saving lives and working smarter,” Walker said.

“It’s about Tasmanians having the best data models in Australia for preventing and tackling natural disasters, safely exploring our island, and building more efficiently.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the devastating impact of fire and flood across Australia. The kind of detailed 4D models achieved by Virtual Tas will become a key weapon in how we prevent, plan, rescue and fight back into the future,” she said.

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