Developing an Information Management Framework for Environmental Digital Twins (IMFe).
Environmental science is primarily concerned with assessing the impacts of changing environmental conditions on the state of the natural world. The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has recently published its digital strategy , the first of its kind for NERC, which sets out a vision for digitally enabled environmental science for the next decade. This is echoed in the UK Met Office’s Research and Innovation Strategy that includes the vision of transforming the weather and climate research and services through deploying transformative technologies such as Digital Twins . This strategy places data and digital technologies at the heart of UK environmental science. One such set of technologies are digital twins. Environmental digital twins have the potential to significantly improve our understanding of the natural environment. The emergence of increasingly large, diverse, observed data sources and the development of digital twin technologies combined provides an opportunity for the environmental science community to make a step-change in our understanding of the environment. But to realise the value of environmental digital twins they need to be developed following agreed standards where interoperability is required to make sure the information can be trusted by the user, and so that data from twins can be shared. To enable this, an information management framework (IMF) is needed that establishes the components for effective information management within and across the digital twin ecosystem. It must enable secure, resilient interoperability of data, and is a reference point to facilitate data use in line with security, legal, commercial, privacy and other relevant concerns. We present recommendations for the development of an IMF for Environmental digital twins (IMFe) including the application of concepts such as an asset commons and balanced approach to standards to facilitate minimum interoperability requirements between twins while iteratively implementing an IMFe.
Authors: Buck, J.H., Siddorn, J. ORCID record for J. Siddorn, Blair, G., Boot, D., Byrne, J., Kingdon, A. ORCID record for A. Kingdon, Kloker, A., Kokkinaki, A., Moncoiffe, G., Blyth, E., Fry, M., Heaven, R., Lewis, E., Marchant, B., Napier, B. ORCID record for B. Napier, Passmore, J., Pepler, S., Townsend, P., Watkins, J., Winfield, K.