TACTIS has been developed for the RNLA by the specialist simulation contractor Thales Services SAS. The projectors are being delivered to the company's headquarters in Cergy, France, where they will be integrated with the project's other technologies before the finished simulator is handed over to the RNLA's Manoeuvre Training Command at the Prins Berhard barracks in Amersfoort, Holland, next year.
Among the key elements of TACTIS is a tank simulation based around the Dutch-built Leopard 2A6 combat vehicle. Each button and control of the tank is reproduced with all real-world functions, with eight projectors being used to create a 360-degree landscape around the soldiers, of whom there can be as many as four at a time. Different visual effects such as a periscope and open-arch views are possible and, when the commander leaves the confines of the tank, a complete immersive terrain is visible using either glasses or naked vision.
In total, 15 of these Leopard simulators will be built into TACTIS when construction of its new building in Amersfoort is complete. Of these, seven will be fixed installations, while a further two sets of four simulators will be packaged as mobile facilities for up to 20 persons each, and will include two staff training workstations.
Elsewhere within TACTIS, there will be 14 simulators for the RNLA's infantry fighting vehicles, two for command vehicles, 16 of dismounted positions and eight generic simulators for fire support, engineers, logistics, anti-tank and other operations. All will deploy 360-degree projection.
Projectiondesign's F1+ series uses Texas Instruments' DLP technology, and Christian Bideaux of the Visual Department at Thales is full of praise for the image quality, accuracy and contrast of the projectors supplied to date. "The F1+ was clearly the best product during the evaluation stage," says Bideaux. "The refresh rate of DLP technology is impressive, and using projectiondesign's tuning, we have been able to adjust the optical distance of each lens to ensure that all images within a particular simulator are linear."
J_rn Eriksen, President and CEO of projectiondesign, sees TACTIS as further vindication of his company's approach to visual technology. "When these simulators are installed, they will be used 24/7 for some of the most demanding applications, where accuracy and consistency are paramount," says Eriksen. "This project is the most powerful proof yet that our designs can take anything that the simulation industry can throw at them."