Sometimes, to bring you intriguing stories, or even stories of intrigue, we can’t divulge the organization of origin. Such is the case with this large government contractor in the aerospace industry. The aerospace company engaged audiovisual and virtual reality solutions integration firm Mechdyne to provide a cutting-edge 3D visualization and simulation environment for its engineers to review highly detailed images.
Immersive Display on a Massive Scale
The immersive centerpiece of the project is a curved 32-foot by nine-foot, 8K Sony Crystal LED direct-view display system. The extra-wide aspect ratio required special programming to ensure the best display of complex CAD models in the native format. The massive screen allows multiple users to collaborate while viewing 3D virtual reality designs, which is a more intuitive and user-friendly solution than head-mounted VR systems used by a group.
Mechdyne integrated and programmed the installation to accommodate various use cases. The windowing system can display 2D and stereoscopic 3D content from multiple sources anywhere on the screen. Programmed with Mechdyne’s Meeting Canvas software, the video wall can simultaneously display up to four HD inputs and four UHD 4K inputs. In addition, the system is virtual reality-enabled by 16 motion-tracking cameras. A user’s position and orientation are monitored in real-time to change imagery to present the correct image perspective as the user moves. The design also includes support for finger tracking to monitor the position and orientation of a user’s hand relative to the on-screen components.
Chad Kickbush, general manager for Mechdyne’s Integrated Systems Business Unit.
Mechdyne’s in-house team of control programmers reviewed use cases in-depth to ensure that the windowing software and user interface met the client’s unique needs. “Advance staging at Mechdyne’s Technical Center verified the integrity and operation of the system before installation,” said Chad Kickbush, general manager for Mechdyne’s Integrated Systems Business Unit. “The system was made fully functional, including integration of the display, windowing software, custom-user interface programming, and computer power to run it all.” Multiple display/windowing presets were also prepared. The client performed a factory acceptance test (FAT) to approve the interface and functionality prior to shipping. Off-site staging also enabled Mechdyne to perform the on-site integration rapidly, accurately, and with minimal disruption to the client’s day-to-day operations.
Sony and Mechdyne collaborated closely with the client to create this first-of-its-kind Crystal LED installation for 3D simulation in the aerospace arena. “The compelling visuals provided by Sony’s detailed Crystal LED display were further enhanced through collaboration with Mechdyne, who implement cutting-edge technology in a way that amplifies its inherent power in supporting premier government clients and applications,” said Sander Phipps, national account manager, Visualization and Simulation at Sony Electronics. “Our Crystal LED offers a breathtaking large-display experience, and when it’s paired with Mechdyne’s mind-blowing expertise in 3D, it makes the canvas truly come to life in ways that inspire and enable our users.”
Modular in nature, Crystal LED technology accommodates virtually any size or aspect ratio. The LED’s 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio displays the beautiful depth of colors for extraordinary image quality. The nearly 180-degree viewing angle ensures all participants have an equally incredible experience. The virtual design industry prizes the true-to-life colors, textures, and resolution enabled by Crystal LED technology, which relies on fine details and analysis for precision and accuracy.
Enhancing the impressive, immersive quality of the environment, Mechdyne engineers built the display into the main wall to appear as part of the structure. At the same time, 7.1 surround-sound floods the room from unobtrusively positioned speakers. A custom frame and base bring the panels as close to the floor as possible, creating a portal-like effect. Ancillary flat panels are installed at the entranceway and other areas within the facility. Completing the installation: a control station from which a meeting facilitator can create and manage dynamic working sessions and presentations.