Digital Twin for Transformative Air Vehicle with IoT sensors Towards Safer Skies

AVATAR Objectives:

The overall objective of AVATAR is to create a Digital Twin (DT) by continuously monitoring the operation of transformative air vehicles (TAV) through an innovative smart IoT sensing skin, informed by accurate physical models and advanced analytics, resulting in reduced direct operative costs, extended service life and safer skies. 

AVATAR is dedicated to developing a digital twin platform to enable continuous monitoring of the vehicle during its service life for the purpose predictive maintenance. AVATAR’s digital twin model acts in parallel to the real structure and provides, where necessary, an early warning of operational behaviour that deviates from expected (simulated). Additionally, by recording the actual load spectrum that each air vehicle experiences during every flight, it will optimize the individual service life, which contributes towards a sustainable air mobility. AVATAR’s will contribute to an increase safety of urban skies and has the potential to optimise the design and performance of air vehicles by providing real load data for each vehicle. The IoT sensing skin proposed by AVATAR is a key enabler for real-time critical operational information acquisition and connectivity between the physical aircraft and the digital counterpart through wireless communication. AVATAR DT platform will provide a seamless integration of IoT, big data and machine learning to collect, compute and predict.

AVATAR will conform to the modern approach towards developing a digital twin based on different types of data and advanced analytical methods which eliminates the need for the real air vehicle and the virtual models to be directly connected and builds this connection through ML and AI. AVATAR contributes to the acceleration of digital transformation of air mobility, particularly in urban setting. 

AVATAR’s digital twin model will act in parallel to the real structure and provides, where necessary, an early warning of operational behaviour that deviates from expected (simulated) behaviour contributing towards a predictive maintenance concept. AVATAR will validate the effectiveness of its innovative technologies first through wind tunnel testing, followed by real flight test of EVEKTOR’s ultralight Cobra airplane and Nordic Wing’s Astero electric unmanned aircraft. The consortium members consist of a good balance of industrial leads (Evektor, Nordic Wing and NTT), top-ranked universities (Imperial College London, Loughborough University, University of Luxembourg) and leading research institutes (Danish Technological Institute) with long track record in research and innovation. ICL is the technical lead for this project. (1st Feb 2023-31st Jan 2026).