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USNA Completes Bridge Simulator Upgrades

The simulators are designed to train midshipmen on ship’s navigation and safety on the high seas and in scores of harbors around the world.

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Md. has completed upgrades of the projection systems for its two ship’s-bridge training simulators using simulation projectors from Christie Digital Systems USA, of Cypress, Calif., the firm says in a written statement.

The bridge simulators—which duplicate conditions on the bridges of ships named the USS Doyle and USS Storm—are designed to train midshipmen on ship’s navigation and safety on the high seas, and in scores of harbors around the world. Those bridge simulators were built by Kongsberg Maritime Simulation Inc., which in turn relied on design and service support from Electric Picture Display Systems, Inc. of Melbourne, Florida and state-of-the-art simulation projectors from Christie Digital.

The USS Doyle bridge upgrade was completed in December 2009, and the USS Storm’s projectors were installed during November 2010. During December 2011, more than 180 midshipmen per day have used the simulator. Up to 4,000 naval academy students are expected to train on the simulators during 2011.

Each simulation room includes seven projectors arranged in a 1 x 7 array, to provide a field of view of about 210 degrees in one room and 205 degrees in the other. The simulator for the USS Storm projects images 12 feet high, while the USS Doyle features images nine feet high.

Reaction has been highly favorable, as the varied scenarios and vivid, real-world detail provided by the simulations and their projectors are the next best thing to being there, Christie Digital Systems says.

“The US Naval Academy needed a high-end and durable, low-maintenance solution that provides its students with realistic training scenarios all day, every day. Our solutions, anchored on Christie’s projectors, are helping them do just that,” said David Meers, account executive for Kongsberg. “We provide our customers with reliable, ready-to-use ‘workhorse’ simulators, with configurable features, providing scalable solutions based on the requirements the marketplace,” he added.

“By using 3-chip DLP technology we ensured the visual punch needed by supplying the entire color spectrum,” said RP Higgins, president, Electric Picture. “This is especially vital with the application for the USS Storm, which is projecting detailed images to 12 feet high and 16 feet wide for each channel,” he said, “What makes Christie 3-chip DLP technology so important in the maritime-simulation community is its ability to discern green, yellow and red buoys from distances of two miles or more. Projectors with color wheels can struggle with this. Christie’s service and support is among the industry’s best and they respond quickly and professionally. As well, this is important for all customers, who typically plan on working their simulators for a minimum of five years, and therefore need to know that their projectors are up to the task,” he added.