IT²EC 2022 - previous agenda


Digital Twin Design for Physical Security Systems

08 September 2021
Human Factors and Performance in a Digital Twin Age

A science and technology (S&T) goal for next-generation physical security facilities is to increase situational awareness with the use of new technologies such as the integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and software analytics with a virtual representation or model of the site. Professor Michael Grieves (2014, p. 1) coined the term, “Digital Twin” in 2003 to refer to “a virtual, digital equivalent to a physical product.” This term gained traction in the past decade and has been expanded to manufacturing enterprises, operations, and facilities. When combined with data from sensors, the devices, personnel, and other sources create a living, digital simulation model or digital twin of a site (GE Research, 2017).  A facility's digital twin updates and changes as their physical counterparts change, providing understanding of each unique asset, in this case a facility, over time. In addition to real-time data feeds, a digital twin can be informed by historical data from a variety of sources.  The twin is not just a generic model of a facility; it is for all intents and purposes a representation of a specific site that improves with data over time.

Mixed, augmented, and virtual reality hold promise for many security-related applications including physical security systems. When combined with models of a site, an augmented reality (AR) approach can be designed to enhance knowledge and understanding of the status of the facility.  This paper describes how AR and advanced modeling and simulation will increase situational awareness by blurring the lines among the use of tools for analysis, rehearsal, and training—especially when coupled with the notion of a digital twin.  Ultimately, the creation of a secure site's digital twin will provide new and more versatile tools for evaluating security systems that blur the lines between activities such as real-time situation awareness/command-and-control, design, analysis, training, and various modes of exercises—be they tabletops or force-on-force rehearsals. Immersive technologies underpinning a digital twin approach will accelerate the adoption of intelligent, adaptive training ecosystems. The twin and its data could support a virtual environment for cross reality (XR) training applications with multiple participants. That same digital twin could provide coordination of virtual assets, along with virtual features and cues for AR training applications. Physical security system designers can take advantage of a twin collecting data and learning over time to check proposed design changes, and a vulnerability analyst can use that same data to identify possible threats and a site's readiness to handle them.

In this paper we discuss the design of a digital twin in the context of physical security system installations. We will show videos of early “digital twin” implementations underway. We identify challenges and propose recommendations for physical security systems. We conclude with challenges that must be overcome when applying digital twins, human-centered design, advanced modelling, and augmented reality to the development of next generation physical security systems.

Elaine Raybourn, ITEC 2019 Committee Chair, and Principal Member of the Technical Staff - Sandia National Laboratories Center for Computing Research, Cognitive Science & Systems
Ray Trechter, Manager - Sandia National Laboratories