Virtalis Wins £2.2 Million Contract From STFC
THE Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has awarded Virtalis a £2.2 million contract to provide multiple Virtual Reality (VR) facilities for its Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories.
The advanced visualisation systems that Virtalis has designed, and will install this summer, include, a quad channel, blended ActiveWall, two dual channel ActiveWalls, and a mammoth, eight channel ActiveWall featuring a 10.25 m curved screen with both blending and warping. All the systems will feature tracking to give users a greater sense of immersion, as well as powerful 3D interaction capabilities.
The contract awarded to Virtalis forms part of a £37.5 million investment in STFC’s e-infrastructure facilities that are designed to establish Daresbury Laboratory as an International Centre of Excellence for Computational Science and Engineering. As well as 3D visualisation, STFC is investing in one of the the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, other high performance computing developments, network improvements, machine room improvements and a substantial training and education capability.
Dr. Richard Blake, director of the Computational Science and Engineering Department (CSED) at STFC, explained: “This advanced visualisation capability will allow us to view incredibly complex data and analyse results visually. We will use our ActiveWalls for a range of science and engineering applications, including computational fluid dynamics, materials visualisation, plasma, environmental simulations and molecular modelling. We’ll be helping small and large businesses to harness the business benefits of high performance computing; guiding them as they test and develop their applications. VR can make complex information easily intelligible, so we also expect to use our new facilities to present information to researchers, the general public and policy makers. Virtalis was chosen as it has both breadth and depth of experience of large installations.”