How can state-of-the-art visualization technology help improve efficiency and decision-taking in the naval defense environment? To find answers to that question, the French Government Defense procurement agency (DGA) and DCNS, a world leader in naval defense, invited technology leaders Barco and Thales to demonstrate their solutions in Toulon (France) on 7 and 8 November last. Barco proudly presented its concept of ‘network-centric visualization’ systems.
Barco and Thales have been working closely together with DCNS and DGA for quite some years now. DCNS’s Solaris Battlelab naval simulator, for example, integrates Barco and Thales technologies. During the recent ‘experiment’ in Toulon, the technology experts demonstrated how they can help enhance decision-taking in the naval defense environment, in spite of the rapidly growing number of information sources and platforms.
Trials in real conditions
“The main goal was to evaluate, with the end-users and in real-life conditions, the benefits of new technologies to efficiently manage critical video sources – a development that is crucial to better counter asymmetric threats in naval applications,” explained Patrick Sauvaget, Product Manager at Barco. Barco’s presentation focused on the winning combination of three things: video-over-IP distribution on critical or non-critical networks, Barco's control room management (CMS) suite and a Barco video wall. High-quality electro-optical sensors from Thales, as well as a 120° panoramic view based on GiGE cameras from Barco were used as critical video sources. Barco’s Nexxis Rugged Network Adapters (RNA) enabled the lossless, ultra-low latency streaming of these sources to the Combat Management System network. The CMS-200 suite helped distribute the multiple different sources to a non-critical network for information sharing on a 2x2 NSL-5521 video wall.
Video-over-IP and CMS
Barco’s CMS provides operators and decision-makers with an easy way to create a common operational picture by providing ready access to individual sources or complete sets of information. This information, which can be any video or data source, can be shared and viewed at the same time over multiple locations. This creates a new collaboration experience which has a huge positive impact on the speed and quality of the decision-making process.
Nexxis Network Adapters
Barco’s Nexxis RNAs, for their part, play a key role in the aforementioned network-centric architecture as they enable the distribution of high-quality multimedia sources over IP. Configured as a decoder, encoder or both, the Nexxis RNAs support uncompressed streaming over standard IP networks with pixel-perfect fidelity and near-zero latency, thus enabling real-time interaction between users and remote sources. In addition, they allow the distribution of data to lower bandwidth networks to facilitate recording and remote consultations.
"Barco was pleased to participate in the DCNS event to present its visualization solutions for better and faster decision-making. The current integration of C4I-SR technology, resulting from battle space digitization, has enabled us to offer new, powerful decision-support and scenario management tools based on its network-centric visualization subsystems. The demonstration at Toulon perfectly illustrated many of these aspects which lead, ultimately, to information dominance,” Patrick Sauvaget concluded.