Four Developers Win DOE Prize for Subsurface Visualization
The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management awarded a total of $600,000 to four software developers who won a contest to support FECM’s Science-Informed Machine Learning to Accelerate Real-Time Decisions in the Subsurface Initiative.
The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) awarded a total of $600,000 to four software developers who won a contest to support FECM’s Science-Informed Machine Learning to Accelerate Real-Time Decisions in the Subsurface (SMART) Initiative.
The SMART Initiative involves seven national laboratories as well as industry partners, universities, field laboratories, and carbon storage regional initiatives with the goal of advancing the understanding of the subsurface environment through machine learning.
The four winners in Phase 1 of the SMART Visualization Platform Prize Challenge designed prototype platforms or mockups that demonstrate a user-friendly visualization platform. The platform concept is intended to transform how scientists, engineers, regulators and the public interact with subsurface data. The winners will develop the prototypes provided by the SMART Initiative technical team.
Phase 1 scoring criteria considered each prototype’s innovativeness, functionality, user friendliness, and visual appeal, as well as the contestant’s credentials.
Petrolern, an Atlanta-based green energy technology company, was one of the four winners. It will receive $150,000, with an opportunity to advance to the next phase in the competition for another $900,000.
Petrolern’s GeoDeck Platform is a web-based application that uses virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to facilitate the interaction between scientific variables and their spatial and temporal dimensions.
“Experts and nonexperts should be able to make timely decisions without data overload and with a 360-degree vantage point,” said Hamed Soroush, Petrolern’s chief executive officer.
GeoDeck is designed to eliminate or minimize rigorous high-performance computing setups, time, cost, and complexities when visualizing big subsurface data, Petrolern said in a press release. The company says its platform has applications to environmentally secure monitoring of subsurface operations, including CO2 or hydrogen underground storage, geothermal energy development, and safer oil and gas production.
“GeoDeck uses state-of-the-art data-handling technologies in combination with ever-increasing VR and AR technologies,” said Salah Faroughi, Petrolern’s lead scientist. “GeoDeck offers this integration to load seamlessly on the web with no need for installation or download.”
“We are excited to see our Phase 1 SMART Visualization Platform Prize Challenge winners move forward and advance their projects while working with the SMART technical team,” said Grant Bromhal, senior fellow at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. “This challenge will be a first-of-its-kind tool that will use science-based machine learning and data analytics to visualize key subsurface features to quickly and accurately reveal how the subsurface behaves.”
Other winners of the challenge were:
Red Volta Visualization Platform. The developers report that the design and architecture of their platform enables a scalable, multiuser and cross-platform solution. Red Volta’s design allows it to be deployed in standalone mode on a dedicated workstation or as a web application that can be used remotely by operators in the field.
Subsurface XR. The developer of Subsurface XR says it will apply a state-of-the-art game engine and mixed-reality technology to provide users with an app they can run on any device to visualize and intuitively interact with geoscientific data sets and models in 3D.
RocVision. The RocVision subsurface visualization system is an advanced 3D platform for exploring subsurface data. RocVision allows a user to explore 3D spatial and temporal data with methods used by geoscientists. The final RocVision product will support geoscience work flows in subsurface science while providing advanced 3D, 2D, and data-processing features using VR and AR.