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Optoma projectors create immersive firefighting simulations

Castle Grange Technologies has installed nine Optoma ProScene EH505 projectors with short throw lenses in the new fire training centre of the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS).

The projectors are used to create interactive and immersive training simulations so members of the service can participate in firefighting training exercises.

Bowburn Fire Training Facility is a dedicated training centre incorporating BA training, fire behaviour facilities as well as a dedicated motorway/highway impact training area. It has classrooms, lecture theatres, an incident command simulation suite and three fire engine bays.

In the new centre, a large image was needed in each of the classrooms with audio that would show simulations of various scenarios. It was vital that the image was high quality with no shadows cast by participants for the experience to be as fully immersive and as real as possible.

Castle Grange installed two Optoma ProScene EH505 projectors in each of the four training rooms. These were edge blended using the Chameleon GB200 image blending and warping processor to create a 5.4m wide image. The remaining EH505 was fitted with a standard throw lens in the main lecture theatre to show video and presentation following the training sessions.

In the training rooms, the imagery is projected straight onto the wall, which was painted with high gain projection paint. The eight projectors were installed at only 1.8m from the wall to eliminate any shadows from firefighters as they undertake the exercises. They were linked to external speakers via the audio output to recreate the sounds of real-life scenarios that firefighters may face.

The 5,000-lumen EH505 projector has WUXGA resolution, multiple lens options, and zoom and focus adjustment to get the exact image size needed.

The new £5.5m training facilities will also be used by the Durham Constabulary to train and test their senior police officers in a range of incidents simulated via a control room on site.

Simon Le Monnier, electrical engineer at Castle Grange Technologies, said: “The simulations are incredibly realistic and impressive. The imagery is brilliant, bright – and big! As the firefighters are so close to the wall whilst they run through the incident, it is vital that the image quality is perfect.

“The training simulations provide a realistic and immersive experience that prepares the firefighters with the kind of incident that they may face on a call-out.”

Stuart Errington, the chief fire officer, added: “This new training centre will provide our firefighters and incident commanders with the facilities, conditions and challenges that they need to ensure they are equipped to respond to and manage an ever-expanding range of incidents.

“The centre will also be available to organisations and businesses keen to use the facilities for their own training and courses.”

Optoma projectors