project:syntropy presents immersive Elbe Dome project

project:syntropy, creator of technology and display solutions for dome cinemas and immersive attractions, is celebrating the success of its Elbe Dome project.

project:syntropy is proud to reflect on the success of its Elbe Dome project in Germany and the teamwork which made this possible. The Elbe Dome is a virtual environment providing a fully immersive experience. It features a 4-metre high screen with a diameter of 13 metres, with full floor projection. The system includes 16 Barco projectors alongside three Zeiss Velvet projectors for overlay projection.

The Elbe Dome features two different tracking systems and a full surround system. This enables it to realistically simulate and track real size work environments and big scale surroundings for evaluation, adaption and research processes.

Mixed reality

project:syntropy Tobias Kubacki

Tobias Kubacki

The immersive Elbe Dome has the potential to interact on different virtual reality (VR) levels and can be used to simulate artificial and mixed realities. Visitors can interact inside an artificial or mixed reality without the limits of 3D glasses.

“Interactions between users and real equipment is possible while being inside the artificial worlds displayed,” explains Tobias Kubacki, Mechanical Engineer. “In such an environment it is, for example, possible to simulate multiple work stations as real setups within an artificial factory setting.

“Such systems can also be implemented in complex research and development pipelines. The size of the system also allows for the integration of real components (i.e. robots, workbenches, vehicles)  into the setup.”

The Elbe Dome is currently used to simulate factory processes and evaluation of architectural and industrial plant building projects.

Teamwork

Speaking of the challenges involved in this project, Kubacki says:

“As it has been a refit using an existing screen and a big list of requests from the customer, we had to work hard to find a solution to meet all requirements when designing the projection system.

“By extensive research and development, using our in-house projection design simulation and validation software, we were able to provide a projection design that fulfilled all expectations of the customer within the given mechanical limitations.  During this process, the mechanical and optical department had to work closely together to ensure the best possible solution taking all limiting factors into account.

Balancing the trade-offs between projector positioning based on optical requirements and unwanted visibility against the required weight distribution of the mounting structure has been crucial.”

project:syntropy Elbe Dome

“Only through the cooperative effort of the optical design and the mechanical construction team and the help of dedicated simulation tools and software (optical design evaluation software, mechanical 3D modelling including accompanying FEM analysis) was it possible to find the perfect solution.

“One of the biggest challenges was to integrate the new visual system into the existing security system implemented into the control system of the whole facility. A process for the evacuation of crowds in case of an emergency had to be adapted and trigger and control hardware needed to be integrated and certified to fulfil all safety and health requirements of the facility.”

Overcoming challenges

Interdisciplinary collaboration was key to overcoming the challenges presented by this project, says Kubacki.

“At project:syntropy, my colleagues from other teams helped me day and night to find solutions. Thanks to their expertise and entire nights of teamwork we were able to upgrade the Elbe Dome’s visual system. Another crucial aspect for success was our close co-operation with the customer and an effective management of all trades throughout the whole project.”

Lars Steffens, Integration Engineer & PM Director agrees: “During the integration of the system, team and trade management has been the most crucial part for me.

“In order to reach these goals most effectively a collaborative effort was needed. Thanks to short communication channels and good initial planning and preparation, the integration of the system did not cause any trouble.”

Earlier this year, project:syntropy announced its latest creation, the Interactive Race Tunnel, an interactive and educational attraction that can be enjoyed by the whole family, as they pit themselves against their favourite animals in a race.