US Naval Academy Uses Advanced Ship Bridge Simulation Solutions To Train Naval and Marine Officers
March 15, 2011

US Naval Academy Uses Advanced Ship Bridge Simulation Solutions To Train Naval and Marine Officers

Cypress, Calif. - US Naval Academy (USNA) officials in Annapolis, Maryland, upgraded ship-borne bridge training simulators commissioned to teach underclassmen navigation and safety on the high seas and in harbors worldwide. The upgraded USNA bridge simulators, built by Kongsberg Maritime Simulation Inc., incorporate design and service support from Electric Picture Display Systems Inc. of Melbourne, Florida, and state-of-the-art simulation projectors from Christie Digital Systems USA of Cypress, California.
The USS Storm’s projector was installed in late November 2010 and used by more than 180 underclassmen per day in December 2010. Up to 4000 students are expected to use the simulators for training this year alone. The USS Doyle bridge upgrade was completed in December 2009.

The upgraded training and simulation systems deliver varied real-world scenarios in vivid, realistic detail. “The US Naval Academy needed a high-end, 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,” says 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.”

Each simulation room includes seven projectors arranged in a 1 x 7 array, to provide a field of view of roughly 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 of nine feet in height.

“By using 3-chip DLP technology, we ensured the visual punch needed by supplying the entire color spectrum. 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,” says RP Higgins, president, Electric Picture. “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,” adds Higgins.

The bridge simulators use Christie DS+6K-M, 3-chip DLP systems with dual lamps. Both simulators incorporate Christie Twist and Christie AutoCal. The lamps in the projectors use Christie’s LiteLOC, a light output control technology that, with Christie Twist, provides optimum optics while ensuring that the projector stays within registration convergence with AutoCal.

“The second bridge was a greater technical challenge, since it involved a larger display area with increased height, shorter throw lenses and required a large overlap of each projector’s throw, but Christie has a number of features to meet the challenge,” Meers says.

For example, Christie Twist has an easy-to-use GUI that runs on an external PC and enables users to configure many of the features of the hardware board. And Christie AutoCal provides automatic display system calibration, giving the end-user expert image display adjustment via a simple checkbox interface.