Digital Twin Prototype (2018-23113)

Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2019/01/31 14:00 Atlantic Standard Time (AST)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Nova Scotia
Notice type
Letter of Interest (LOI)/Request for Information (RFI)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Procurement entity
Department of National Defence
End user entity
Department of National Defence

Contact Information

Contact name
Beamish, Jennifer
Contact email
Contact phone
Contact address
9 Grove Street
Dartmouth  NS
B3A 3C5

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This is not a bid solicitation, and no contract will directly result from this Request for Information (RFI).

The issuance of this RFI does not create an obligation for Canada to issue a subsequent

Request For Proposal (RFP), and does not bind Canada legally or otherwise, to enter into any agreement or to accept or reject any suggestions.

No payment will be made by Canada for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of your response.

There will be no short listing or pre-qualification of firms for purposes of undertaking any future work as a result of this RFI. Similarly, participation in this RFI process is not a condition or prerequisite for participation in any future potential RFP.

Respondents are encouraged to identify, in the information they share with Canada, any information that they feel is proprietary, third party or personal information. Please note that Canada may be obligated by law (e.g. in response to a request under the Access of Information Act and the Privacy Act) to disclose proprietary or commercially-sensitive information concerning a Respondent (for more information:

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DRDC is beginning a program of work to develop and test Digital Twin technology for the management of RCN naval vessels. Digital Twin technology is in its early stages of development in several industries, including naval platforms. A Digital Twin is a virtual representation (model) of a real entity (naval platform) which, through data acquisition and analysis and computer modelling, reflects the current state of some or all of the platform’s systems.

Some of the challenges in developing a Digital Twin Prototype for a naval vessel are:

Data Acquisition: What data should be monitored and how to monitor it. Historically the data related to the materiel state of the platform has relied upon manual inspection methods which are laborious and time consuming. This program proposes to include research into improved inspection tools, and processes to facilitate the data requirements of a Digital Twin. Some data acquisition is already planned and is described further below and in Attachment 3.

Virtual Model: Commercial Ship Product Models (SPMs) are the most likely candidates for the ship database and some of these are already exploring capabilities similar to Digital Twin for Life Cycle Management (LCM). A SPM such as ShipConstructor, Smart3D, CATIA or AVEVA (and others) can include many ship systems (structure, machinery, propulsion, electrical, piping), and while initially created for ship design and construction, could be, and are being, adapted for LCM. The model will have to manage both detail (eg. specific pump state) and global (sea state, bending moment, operational history) data.

Model Population: This may be the most challenging aspect of the Digital Twin technology how to efficiently and automatically transfer the collected data to the virtual model. This step cannot rely on manual population as that would be overly time-consuming and make this approach impractical. An investigation needs to be undertaken to determine how this process is currently being done in other industries, and what is already available in RCN platforms. The issue of data security is of significant importance for naval vessels.

Data Analysis and Presentation: The amount of data that could be generated is enormous and broaches the topic of ‘Big Data’. For each system that is monitored and fed to the virtual model, the results which are important to each specific client will have to be automatically generated and presented to the user. Such results will need to include historical trend analysis, and prognostic capabilities to predict the future state of the system based on a given operational profile. Automatic alerts must be generated when system performance is changing or when they are reaching limits. Data presentation has to be available for both short-term (immediate information), and long-term (historical information) depending on the need.

The Digital Twin Prototype could provide significant improvements in the following areas:

  •  Inform operational decisions with real-time platform system capability data and advice
  •  Inform platform maintenance planning with evidence-based decision capability, improving platform availability and sustainability in a timely, cost-effective manner
  •  Inform platform employment planners with the current capabilities of their platforms to effectively and safely undertake specific missions
  •  Inform platform end-of-life decisions with actual platform system materiel states


1. This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to provide Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) with information to determine a procurement strategy to develop and test a limited Digital Twin Prototype for a Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) HALIFAX Class vessel. The prototype is intended to demonstrate both the benefits and difficulties of developing and using Digital Twin technology for the Life Cycle and Operational Management of RCN ships in the future.

2. Respondents are requested to provide the following information in their Responses:

  • Trends in Digital Twin technology pertinent to managing naval platforms, specifically for hull and machinery systems
  • 2. Available technologies and developing technologies that have or will have the capacity to meet the identified purpose and falls within the scope of the work.
  • 3. How to prepare cost estimates, timelines, properties and other aspects of the requirement to proceed with a future procurement strategy.

3. This RFI is being used to gain information to help develop a RFP for developing and testing a limited Digital Twin prototype of a RCN HALIFAX Class frigate to demonstrate the potential of Digital Twin technology for improving maintenance and operational decisions.

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Solicitation Documents

FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
2018-23113_request_for_information_rfi_digital_twin_prototype_-_english.pdf000English- 2018-10-29
2018-23113_request_for_information_rfi_digital_twin_prototype_-_french.pdf000French- 2018-10-29