Digital twins

Virtual representations of reality are very useful in a number of different fields. Computer programs can monitor and simulate how the state of the ocean changes over time, by combining observations from various instruments, with analysis and modelling tools. In this way, the way wind, waves, and current affect windmills, platforms, or other structures in the ocean can be simulated.

Our expertise in climate and environment, oceans and sea ice, and the development of various analysis methods and tools, helps to support knowledge-based management of natural resources.

Systems that combine observations with analysis tools and models that monitor and simulate the state of the climate and environment, and of man-made objects that operate there, are called digital twins. Together with visualization in the form of maps, animations, and graphs, users can monitor changes in the marine environment and analyze the effects of various influences on e.g., ships and floating wind turbines.

We have expertise in arranging data for integration in digital twins, both data managed by us and data from other sources. This can be done through the development of services with standard interfaces that deliver the data in the desired format. Furthermore, we have expertise in adapting tools for analysis and modelling, e.g., by building them in as components of the digital twin. We develop methods to calculate the position of e.g., gliders and drifting buoys under ice. Through the use of the TOPAZ system, we find the best possible set-up of observation systems in the sea. Thus, with our interdisciplinary knowledge, we can contribute to the development of digital twins for the sea.

For more information, contact research leader Laurent Bertino.


Products and services


Client: European Commission
Project owner: Mercator Ocean International
Project leader at the Nansen Center: Laurent Bertino