When Boeing Defence UK recently relocated its ‘Boeing Portal’ — a facility dedicated to analysis, modelling, simulation and experimentation — the mandate was to equip multiple laboratories, along with a main Presentation Room and Executive Conference Room with evolutionary state-of-the-art technology.
After moving a short distance across Hampshire to Fleet, the defence company turned to its UK consultant, Graham Salvage of AvexiA, who has been delivering solutions for various Boeing facilities for the past five years. Responding to an intensive Statement of Requirement, which called for a Paradigm AV giant rear projection glass screen display, Salvage specified a series of latest technology Christie Matrix WUXGA projectors and Christie Entero RPMWU-LED01 WUXGA LED ultra-high resolution DLP rear screen tiling projectors to bring the best out of the large display systems
In order to maximise the impact, three of the Christie Matrix WU5 (1920 x 1200 native resolution) visualisation projectors have been specified, equipped with 1.16-1.49:1 zoom lenses; the result is an impressive edge blended image in a multi-frame Christie Spyder processing environment, with the projector beams folded via three Paradigm mirror rigs onto the glass screen, which measures 7.4 metres x 1.85 metres.
Adjoining the Presentation Room is a similarly profiled Executive Conference Room where AvexiA has deployed three Christie Entero RPMWU-LED01 WUXGA engines – edge matched onto three 80” edge-butted dnp Cross Prism screens.
Explaining the design, Salvage said, “Using an Image Builder system we have been able to ‘stitch’ the three 80in displays seamlessly, with very fine alignment of the projectors.”
He knew that by deploying three 1920 x 1200 Christie Entero engines, and blanking part of the chip in each projector, an edge matched display of 4800 x 1200 resolution could be produced, thus allowing either a clone of the entire Presentation Room to be displayed at exactly the same resolution, or alternatively single or multiple images.
With the use of five Christie Spyder frames (a 380, a 240, two 204s and a remote CPU), the glass screen can show up to 12 images in any configuration (selectable via Crestron or via a separate Spyder control PC) or up to nine images if the Executive Conference Room is simultaneously being used (requiring three Spyder outputs).
“By removing the mirror normally used in a Christie cube we were able to achieve maximum brightness, and increase the display size significantly,” Salvage explained. “The RPMs have ultra wide angle lens for use in cubes — and Boeing love them. These LEDs have incredible black levels so the image produced is very striking, delivering a remarkable contrast without making an assault on the eyes.”
According to Simon Burney, operations manager, advanced programmes, Boeing Defence UK, this unique implementation is already impressing high profile visitors using the Boeing Portal’s advanced capabilities.
But the installation also needed to achieve global connectivity so that the content could be shared with other centres around the world. Burney says the primary driver in achieving this was flexibility — and AvexiA has provided that aplenty.
With the generous provision of plug-in points for single and multi-channel sources, AvexiA has not only ensured that all rooms/labs can be set up in a number of different modes, but has also developed a sophisticated network distribution using the Magenta Voyager Fiber Optic Signal Distribution Platform. This provides a potential capability of switching 160 I/Os over multi-mode fibre optic cable throughout the building; all of the AV systems are controlled using Crestron Pro 2 processors via multiple touch screens and Crestron e-Control.
“One of the main reasons for using fibre,” explains Salvage, “was the benefit of sending very high resolution signals over longer distances.”
Currently a total of 59 sources are being used — taken from multiple ‘local’ computers or laptops or source feeds anywhere within the facility over the multimode cable and fibre matrix, which currently uses 48 outputs.
The primary system is linked via the fibre/matrix to another interactive visualisation suite on the ground floor of the building which can be then also be displayed in the main Presentation Room.
In addition, AvexiA has installed IPVS HD video streaming equipment that allows six real time channels to be streamed over Boeing dedicated international networks (via three Tx and three Rx). This allows the entire 4800 x 1200 pixel display to be viewed in real time in other parts of the world, or alternatively, the facility can receive a similar multi-window display in Fleet. The IPVS system also allows frame synchronous real time recording and playback.
This is the latest installation carried out for Boeing Defence UK by AvexiA following recent installs in Bristol (using three Christie DS+750 single chip DLP edge-matched projectors onto a 6m wide projector screen) and Milton Keynes.
Burney says that the success of these installations has been the result of the mutual trust that has developed over the years with the system integrator and the confidence to roll out new Christie equipment as new facilities appear.
“The glass screen, in conjunction with the Christie projectors, is certainly delivering the desired expectation here in Fleet,” he confirms. “Having used front projection previously, this time we knew that rearpro was the only solution we would accept — it was one of our initial criteria when scoping the building.
“What we have achieved as a result is very impactful, enabling us to use the capability effectively for many customers and in a variety of different ways.”
James Belso, senior sales manager, UK & Nordics, Christie EMEA, added, “We are indebted to Christie partners such as AvexiA, who are able to undertake, and deliver, bespoke high quality projects of this magnitude to fully satisfy customer expectations.”