SENER was the winning bidder for the ‘turnkey’ project for the second Virtual Design Center (VDC) for Navantia, this time for its factory in Ferrol. This is the second time SENER has supplied Navantia with a project, after the first installation in the factory of Cartagena in 2011, which is now fully operative.

With a capacity for 30 occupants, the new VDC has a fixed screen of 5m wide and 2.6m high, with an overhead projector and a system of a first reflection mirror due to the dimensions of the room. Widely versatile, the VDC allows a virtual navigation throughout 3D ship models generated in FORAN by Navantia in Ferrol, such as the visualisation of the model of the landing helicopter dock (ALHD) for the Australian Navy, along with others.

The scope of the project performed by SENER, together with Ingevideo, included the supply of software, hardware and devices, and providing consultation, implementation, configuration, training, warranties, technical service and preventive and corrective maintenance. The solution allows Navantia to visualise and navigate in 3D using stereoscope technology for models of ships. This was previously generated with the CAD/CAM FORAN system developed by SENER and used by Navantia for the design and production of any kind of vessel. The room also has a wireless tracking system that allows the system to detect observer positions so they can have an interactive view of the image from their own vantage point.

One of the most important advantages this provides to Navantia is the ability to examine virtual models of their ships, letting them move around in real-time, to inquire about their properties and attributes, detect collisions and interferences, to make notes and measure margins and distances. It also provides dynamic analysis of modifications and changes in design, and simulates disassembly tasks and other maintenance operations. Lastly, its vast potential for commercial and marketing activities is also noteworthy.

Technical description of the solution

The software solution delivered to Navantia is a 3D navigation module called FVIEWER VR, which is part of the FORAN system. Its most significant innovation includes the ability to use it with a tracking system. FVIEWER VR can be used in 64-bit platforms, and it takes advantage of the properties of the latest generation of graphic cards, which can be used to efficiently manage enormous volumes of data. SENER is continuously improving this module to adapt it to the latest technological breakthroughs in audiovisuals.
The hardware solution delivered to Navantia incorporates high-performance devices with the latest and most advanced audiovisual technology, especially in the field of virtual reality. These include most notably the Christie Digital projector and the Intersense tracking system.

The main difference between the VDC installed in Ferrol compared with the one in Cartagena is the larger screen and the use of a mirror, due to the smaller distance between the projector and the screen. Along with this, the room is equipped with a touch panel 7in desktop, which enables the storage of different system modes through managing audio equipment, projector, lighting and other devices that could be installed in the future.

SENER and Ingevideo have supplied Navantia with a solution that exceeded their needs and expectations, all thanks to SENER’s extensive experience with ship design and virtual navigation software, and Ingevideo’s experience of more than 20 years in the audiovisual industry. Ingevideo is also the official partner of the manufacturers of all the devices supplied to Navantia, which guarantees the highest quality support and maintenance. With this new solution, Navantia can expect to optimise the design and production processes at its Ferrol factory.