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GeoVisionary to help increase warning time of natural disasters

21 May 2018

Drawing on the advantages of GeoVisionary software and Virtual Reality (VR) technology, 30 UNITEN researchers from different fields have developed a system called ViGMAS (Virtual Geo-Hazards Monitoring and Asset Management System).

Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN)

ViGMAS is a research collaboration between TNB Grid Maintenance and UNITEN to enhance the asset maintenance process using VR. Seven different fields covering asset maintenance, asset development, flood, satellite technology, Virtual Reality, information system and society engagement were combined to create and integrated system.

According to Dr Rohayu, “ViGMAS utilises GeoVisionary software and VR to help to plan landscape and vegetation control to minimise encroachment to TNB’s transmission towers. GeoVisionary’s sophistication allows UNITEN to record information such as the height of vegetation, enabling TNB Grid Maintenance to analyse this data as part of its land and vegetation management.”

Multiple sets of data from different sources can be assimilated and combined together in GeoVisionary to create a 3D model of a landscape in which “what if” scenarios can be played out. ViGMAS allows stakeholders to try out situations and responses, especially in asset maintenance and geo-hazards management that cannot be rehearsed in the real world. Thus, the development of ViGMAS is considered to be one of the first examples of the replication of near real-time conditions in real world sites virtually.

GeoVisionary software helping to plan landscape and vegetation control to minimise encroachment to TNB’s transmission towers

TNB Grid Maintenance stakeholders will be able to use these VR models to foster intuitive decisions within asset management by deploying Virtual Reality (VR) technology. “These techniques are especially valuable in limited access areas, such as jungles”, explained Dr Rohayu. “Extra details were added to the virtual GeoVisionary models using laser scanning techniques prior to model simulation analyses. UNITEN and TNB Grid Maintenance then will be able to monitor the site conditions virtually, over time.”

“By so doing, we are able to detect changes on the site and predict future changes – both things that would have been virtually impossible without VR technology. Armed with this knowledge, the frequency of site visits is effectively optimised.”

VIGMAS also acts as a long-term repository of asset management processes. Dr Rohayu commented: “Although ViGMAS is still a research programme, TNB Grid Maintenance has worked with us to provide insight on the VR model we showed them on our Virtalis ActiveMove display system. They have found that ViGMAS allows them to understand better and expedite the decision-making process. Currently, based on our extensive research analyses, ViGMAS is able to forecast any flood event five days ahead and predict landslide events five or six hours ahead. This extra time will be incredibly valuable for TNB Grid Maintenance in terms of their future planning for emergency response in assuring public safety.”


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