Case Study - STFC



VIRTALIS designed and supplied multi million pound multiple Virtual Reality (VR) facilities for The UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories.


The advanced visualisation systems 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 Virtalis VR suite 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.

“VR can make complex information easily intelligible. Virtalis was chosen as it has both breadth and depth of experience of large installations.”

Dr. Richard Blake, director of the Computational Science and Engineering Department (CSED) at STFC


Virtalis has also installed its first ever seat of ActiveView – powerful image management software – at STFC. ActiveView simplifies the operation of rendering additional analogue and digital computer sources concurrently within advanced visualisation systems.

How it works

ActiveCurve at the Hartree Centre STFCActiveView employs ‘capture cards’ to collect the inputs from multiple sources with a single workstation accepting up to eight additional inputs. These inputs are then routed to a single visual output, effectively generating eight PiP windows. Inputs can also be frame doubled, therefore allowing multiple, simultaneous stereoscopic 3D PiP windows to be displayed in quad-buffered, sequential stereo.

“When laptop data is 3D enabled, I can display it as stereo images via ActiveView and thus have the capability to display two simultaneous Virtual Reality models. Additionally, I can zoom within the ActiveView window and it works on our both our flat screen and our curved screen. I can even integrate a whole range of external sources, including video conferencing, without disrupting the visualisation environment or installing additional software.”
Professor Wander, Head of Scientific Computing, STFC.


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Olivia Hartley Virtalis PR

on +44 (0) 161 969 1155