Tyndall using drones to create “digital twin”

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tyndall Air Force Base has long been a cornerstone of the Panhandle, and now the Air Force is looking to immortalize the base - digitally.

The base is using drones equipped with advanced mapping tools to create a digital twin, a highly detailed virtual model of the base. It can be used to improve base security, determine response times, and even simulate hurricane damage. The idea of the virtual twin began after damage sustained from Hurricane Michael.

“When we initially sat down after the hurricane and figured out what was going to happen here at Tyndall,” said Lowell Usrey, Integration Branch Chief for Tyndall’s Natural Disaster Recovery Program Management Office. “One of the things that our senior Air Force leaders decided was that we would build Tyndall back as the installation of the future. In order to do that, a digital twin was a vital component.”

The drone is capable of detailed mapping of buildings and other aspects of the installation, and Tyndall is set to become the first Air Force installation with a full digital twin in the country.

The digital twin can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

“The digital twin, amongst many other things will help us prepare for future storms and future potential security incidents,” Usrey said.

While the digital twin is yet another factor launching Tyndall into the forefront of innovation, the base is continuing to push forward technologically in other areas as well.

“In addition to the digital twin that we are developing here,” Usrey said. “We’re developing lots of technologies that will help reimagine Tyndall as the installation of the future and help pioneer different opportunities, different prototypes for the Air Force.”

Work on the digital twin will continue over the coming months.

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