The Bundeswehr Technical Center for Information Technology and Electronics (WTD 81) recently upgraded the complex visual setup at its target simulation dome (ZSD) with the help of a collaborative team with members from project: syntropy, who was contracted to design, install and commission the new projection system consisting of 41 Digital Projection HIGHlite Laser WUXGA 3D projectors, and domeprojection.com.
The overhaul was undertaken on behalf of e.sigma Systems GmbH – a specialised supplier of integrated training solutions for international armed forces, security agencies and industrial clients.
The dome at WTD 81, which is situated in Greding (Bavaria, Germany), is used by the Bundeswehr (the unified armed forces of Germany) to test the accuracy of weapon systems and individual components, from tanks to missiles, in realistic 3D simulations of battlefield scenarios, both in the optical and infrared spectral range.
During the project, the entire infrared projection system of the target simulation dome was renewed.
“We were originally asked to help with the dome’s colour calibration using our tools,” said domeprojection.com’s Christian Steinmann. “We tried a calibration with the existing projectors, but it proved to be an impossible task. The projectors were dated, they didn’t have enough brightness and there was no edge-blending capability, as the content was simply tiled.”
Despite results improving somewhat after domeprojection.com’s initial calibrations, the WTD 81 decided a complete refurbishment was the best course of action.
The solution was 41 Digital Projection HIGHlite Laser WUXGA 3D projectors integrated by project: syntropy. The main challenge in the design was the projector placement which needed to guarantee that each pixel to be seen from the working volume defined by a 2m radius sphere in the center of the dome is not more than 20° of the ideal reflection rays. This is due to the ultra high gain of the screen. To make it even more complicated the area to put projectors was over all very limited and the requested low noise levels required special housing of the projector not obstructing the field of view but allowing sufficient cooling for the projectors.
The domeprojection.com software was key during the installation, with a great deal of calculations having to be made before anything could be put in place.
The proprietary software used by e.sigma during the simulations was also revamped during the upgrade. By closely collaborating with domeprojection.com, e.sigma developed an interface to import the warping & blending directly into the software itself.