Located at Fareham in Hampshire, HMS Collingwood is the Royal Navy's largest training establishment. The school provides training over a vast range of disciplines, using two identical Consort ship bridge simulators to deliver mission realism and a seamless transition from daytime to night-time operational scenarios.
After 10 years impeccable service from its Christie Matrix 3000 DLP platform, the school has now moved onto its second generation of Christie projectors to drive the bridge simulators at the Maritime Warfare School (MWS) and Surface Stream.
Saville Audio Visual was contracted to upgrade the visual systems, and duly specified twenty of the Christie DS+6K-M projectors - nine deployed on each bridge, with two spares. Saville partner Softbox (SBL) undertook project management, at the same time upgrading the cabling infrastructure to DVI fibre and the connectivity from Serial to USB for the 64 PC workstations.
The most compact in its class, the high-performance Christie M Series features embedded warping, blending and colour matching capabilities with SXGA+ resolution and 6300 lumens output. The blended images are displayed on a cylindrical wall offering a 270° (9 x 30°) horizontal field of view.
According to bridge simulator manager, David Goddard, it was entirely logical to remain with a brand they could trust and a system integrator in Saville Audio Visual that was completely familiar with the environment, having been retained under a service agreement.
“We saw this as a low-risk option,” he explains. “The support aspect was important but we knew from experience that the Christie projectors were extremely reliable, and it was reassuring to know that we were dealing with an installation team that knew the system.”
As HMS Collingwood operates to 90%-plus of its capacity from 8am -11pm five days a week, racking up 2,500 projection hours per year, they also needed to be convinced that their chosen projector could perform over these arduous duty cycles. The decision, he said, has been entirely vindicated. “We could see immediately that the projectors were brighter and much sharper. With the screens painted pale grey rather than white, it gives us improved depth of field and a better 3D effect - since it can be very difficult to judge distances accurately in a simulator.”
With Christie’s senior customer support engineer, Pal Roppa supporting the Saville AV team, overseeing the calibration as well as the blending and warping accuracy, the installation has been a complete success.
Summing up, David Goddard says he is delighted with the integration. “The switch-over has been entirely seamless, and there have been no issues with the projectors whatsoever,” he concludes.
For a video overview of the installation visit saville-av.com/simulator
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