Esterline Adds “Channel” Product

Esterline bought Barco’s simulation business last year as the Belgian company focused on its core display components. Esterline supplies complete display systems in a number of different ranges under the Treality brand, and using, very often, projectors from Barco. The firm also told us that it was “image generator-agnostic” At the show, the emphasis was on the portable and mobile simulators that it can supply, but there were also models of the full size projectors with up to 360 deg immersion that it has. The full size simulators are of two types. One type uses a dome with a mirror (either glass or mylar) that supports collimated light from the projector. That means that effective focus point of the image is at infinity – a mandatory requirement for civilian simulators that allow certification of pilots.

The second type of large simulators (LTSD) uses a white flat-bottomed globe that can support rear projection and is used with up to 13 projectors to create a complete 360 deg immersive experience. An aperture in the dome allows different cockpits to be introduced for different training. Depending on the resolution requirement of the application, different projectors can be used although Barco Sim 7 or Sim 10s are typical.

These kinds of simulators are often motorised to give motion simulation, and that means that weight specifications are very significant.

At the show, a highlight was a new (only two have been sold so far) single user simulator that uses a “roll up” and very thin projection screen that is fitted, using magnetic fastenings to clip the screen to the demountable frame, which can be packed into a single box, with the projector units. That means that the ((SEER – small environment enhancing reality) simulator can be taken where it is needed. Staff told us that it takes 3 hours or so to assemble a unit on-site. Again, Barco projectors are used and these can be the F22 or F50 etc. Esterline sees this as an ideal “channel” product. It can be sold without special installation or training by partners and distribution channels – an unusual approach in this market. The company has recently made a reseller deal with Immersion in France (on whom we reported in our Virtual Laval edition – Man. Ed.)

Esterline Roll up SimulatorEsterline has a Roll up Simulator that can be sold through channels

Also on show was a single person simulator developed with D-Box (who were represented on several stands at the event) to allow sophisticated motion to be simulated. We watched a simulation of a military boat being manoeuvred around and the wave motion definitely looked as though it could cause sea-sickness. As with the other single unit, the simulator is very portable allowing customers to “train where the forces are” – a big trend in the industry according to Esterline.

Esterline Motion System

The company also told us that there is increasing demand from segments, such as museums other than defence for simulators for immersive applications.