The NOAA will soon be tapping into digital twinning, advanced analytics and predictive tools to monitor and predict global weather events

At the moment, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) receives terabytes of data about its five earth systems domains — the cryosphere; land; atmosphere; space weather and oceans — from numerous space and Earth-based sensor sources.

The organization’s administrators and researchers have to collect, combine and analyze that information to observe and understand environmental conditions and changes.

However, Lockheed Martin and NVIDIA are now in a collaboration to build an AI-driven Earth Observations Digital Twin that will provide an efficient and centralized approach for monitoring global environmental conditions, including extreme weather events.

Using current satellite and ground-based observations the new Earth Observations Digital Twin is expected to provide NOAA with a high-resolution, accurate and timely depiction of global conditions. Lockheed Martin will provide its AI and ML platform to ingest, format and fuse observations from multiple sources into a gridded data product and detect anomalies, while NVIDIA’s world simulation platform will convert data into the Universal Scene Description framework, enabling data-sharing across multiple tools and between researchers. Further, a visualization platform will ingest incoming data and allow users to interact with it in an Earth-centric 3D environment.

The two firms expect to fully integrate and demonstrate one of the variable data pipelines — sea surface temperature within a year of the collaboration — by September 2023.

Explained Dion Harris, Lead Product Manager of Accelerated Computing, NVIDIA: “Digital twins will help us solve the world’s hardest scientific and environmental challenges… and can give NOAA researchers a powerful system to improve weather predictions at a global scale.”

Lockheed Martin Space’s senior program manager Matt Ross said: “We are 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.”