Digital Twin Enabled Testbed


In June 2022, Texas A&M University was awarded $1.2M for the Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program 2022 (PSIAP-2022) funding opportunity.

This project aims to build a digital-twin-enabled testbed with state-of-the-art user interface/user experience technologies and advanced simulation models to provide a photorealistic virtual reality environment for first responders and emergency managers to engage, experience, and explore the latest sensing and communication technologies.

As shown in the overview diagram below, at the center of this project is a digital twin created for the training sites in the Disaster City®, a 52-acre training facility managed by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) to deliver the full array of skills and techniques needed by today’s emergency response professionals. 

In addition to serving as a virtual testing and training facility for first responders, the testbed can also function as an open platform for researchers and entrepreneurs worldwide to collaborate with first responders and emergency managers to develop next-generation sensing and communication technologies and devices for public safety usage. We envision the testbed as an attempt towards a systematic plan to fill critical technology gaps identified by stakeholders and to build a public safety-focused R&D ecosystem with a long-lasting impact.

Figure 1. The overview diagram of a Digital-Twin enabled testbed for public safety communication technologies. The development of an online market and collaborations with research labs and device providers (shown in dashed boxes) are not in the scope of this proposed project.


Texas A&M University

  • Jian Tao, PI, PVFA/TAMIDS
  • Walt Magnussen, Co-PI, ITEC
  • Nick Duffield, Co-PI, ECEN/TAMIDS
  • Andre Thomas, Co-PI, PVFA
  • Narasimha Reddy, Co-PI, ECEN
  • Anjuli “A.J.” Renold (formerly Joan Quintana)Project Manager, ITEC
  • Michael E. Fox, SI, ITEC

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

  • Jason Moats, Director, TEEX Testing & Innovation Center
  • Ray Ivie, Technology Evaluation Manager, TEEX Testing & Innovation Center
  • Client Arnett, Training Manager, Rescue Programs, TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute
  • Mike Avolio, Project Specialist, TEEX Testing & Innovation Center