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Complex Scope Prompts the Launch of Digital Twin Technology

Applus+ in Australia recently debuted a new capability in the 3D sector with the development of its first digital twin.

Applus+ was requested to perform photogrammetry modelling on the emergency flare tower at the Karratha Gas Plant (KGP) in order to determine critical measurements connecting the riser stub to the main structure of the tower. Measurements were required at incremental elevations to determine the position of support beams running vertically down the tower.

Common alternatives were proposed including the use of ground based LiDAR or employment of a rope access team, however, neither method was suitable to cater to the complex details of the scope. The LiDAR would encounter difficulty retrieving data from such a far distance and physical collection of the measurements would require the flare tower to be shut down.

To allow the safe and efficient collection of data, Applus+ utilised a Microdrone Md4-1000 UAV equipped with a Sony 42mp full frame camera and 55mm lens to capture 3600 high resolution photographs of the tower. The data gathering process was completed within four days with the site remaining online. Following collection, the data processing quickly commenced at the Applus+ office in Perth. With a dedicated 3D team, the model reconstruction was completed over the span of 120 computing hours successfully developing a digital twin of the flare tower. The high level of detail incorporated into the model guaranteed the collection of accurate measurements.

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