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2nd of February 2021
ASKAP's Digital Twin
Digital twins are virtual replicas of small and large-scale physical objects, buildings, cities, regions and systems, and often incorporate and visualise large amounts of information gathered or streamed in real-time from the site by a range of technologies such as sensors and mobile mapping. By applying state-of-the-art computer graphics, simulation, virtual reality and augmented reality, researchers from CSIRO’s Data61 in collaboration with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), CSIRO’s Information Management and Technology (IM&T) and UNSW’s Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre (EPICentre) have designed a digital twin of ASKAP. With this particular digital twin, users will be able to visualise ASKAP in its entirety with a virtual or augmented reality app on their smart phone, a head-mounted display, or a virtual reality system such as EPICylinder (which can display almost ~120 million pixels in 3D). In the future, the ASKAP Digital Twin will be able to be used via an online web platform, similar to the NSW Spatial Digital Twin. “The project itself pushed the limits of computer graphics techniques, simulation, and modelling to not only to deliver amazingly realistic replicas of the Australian landscape, but also enable the realistic positioning of the galaxies and celestial objects ASKAP is studying,” explains Dr Tomasz Bednarz, Team Leader of the Visual Analytics Group at Data61 and Epicentre’s director. “The user can setup a time to the hour, say 45 years from now, and the ASKAP digital twin will display an accurate visualisation of how the sky will look at that exact moment, based on current knowledge.”

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