Barco Focuses on Projection at I/ITSEC 2015

Barco blendedOver the last year, Barco has separated its defense, medical, training and simulation business, selling these businesses to Esterline. That means that Barco returns to its roots as a supplier of display solutions, leaving others to the integration task. As a result, Barco and Esterline were at I/ITSEC 2015 with separate booths.

There were no new projector announcements from Barco, but they did show two F50 lamp-based projectors with short throw lenses mounted below a screen and blended together to create a rather unique display (photo).

Mostly, Barco focused at the show on some recent wins. At I/ITSEC, Barco announced a pretty big deal with CAE that calls for the delivery of a minimum of 200 FL35 projectors per year for the next two years. This is designed to support CAE’s series 7000 Level D commercial aviation simulator line and allows them to standardize on the visual solution. The FL35 is an LED based projector with WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) resolution, but does not include IR for NVG use. LED brightness is specified at 1000 ANSI lumens with a 100K hour lifetime offering an extremely attractive cost of ownership option.

Barco also reported its F-32 projectors will be used in three-projector simulation system developed by Brazilian-based Tecnobit. Two of Tecnobit’s Fire Support Simulators (SIMAF) have been ordered by the Brazilian Army for joint and modular training in areas such as terrain survey, target acquisition, tracking, mission planning and preparation, integrating all artillery subsystems in double-action exercises.

The SIMAF facility includes three observation rooms with a seamless image covering 150 degrees x 45 degrees on a cylindrical screen using the F-32 projectors. An additional auditorium features three high-performance F-32 projectors presenting on a nine meter x three meter screen.

The F-32 is also LED-based and offers the same 100K hour lifetime.

Finally, Barco was also talking about the use of FS35 IR projectors in the Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AAJTS) being deployed by the Air National Guard. The integrator is Immersive Display Solutions.

JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) are field-based personnel that help coordinate air strikes on ground-based targets (Close Air Support). JTACs are used extensively by the U.S. military and there is a big need for training them. Such training includes immersive partial domes where images of the battlefield are projected along with ground and air-based friendly assets and enemy positions and vehicles. 12 domes like this are operated by the Air Force and each features 14 Barco FS35 IR LED projectors. Plans for another 10 are in the works. Virtual training of JTACs represents savings of tens of millions of dollars compared to field training.