Case Study - University of Genoa

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University of Genoa

Specialist research using real time Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) data was the springboard for the commissioning of the Virtalis VR system on the University of Genoa’s Savona Campus.

A partnership between local industry, regional government and the EU provided the funding for the new facility. Two of the principal supporters are Ansaldo Energia and Piaggio Aerospace.

“We have established links with the University of Cambridge, who also use a Virtalis ActiveWall to understand flow.  We hope to take our research one step further and develop an interactive system using haptic devices to alter the CFD data in real time.  We call this “flow sculpting” and it allows us to modify the geometry, thus facilitating real design improvements.”
Prof. Carlo Cravero, University of Genoa

The Virtalis Solution

With industrial partners like Ansaldo Energia and Piaggio Aerospace, the ActiveWall at Genoa has been designed to operate in two modes. In lecture mode, a number of people can enjoy the benefits of 3D projection, while in immersive mode, a single user’s movements are tracked and they experience 3D via a Virtalis ActiveSpace (a Head Mounted Display solution).

“Active clustering visualisation is unusual in Italy and unheard of in our region.  We are on a steep learning curve, but we hope to become a hub of expertise within the region.”
Prof. Carlo Cravero, University of Genoa

The ActiveWall configuration at The University of Genoa consists of an enormous screen of 4mx3m onto which stereoscopic images are rear projected by a Christie Mirage S+4K projector, which is capable of extremely high resolution and brightness.

All of the room’s functions have been integrated into a control system operated by a wireless touch panel, so that light, sound and other inputs can be controlled by a single button press. To facilitate the haptics element of the research wirelessly, a Polhemus Liberty tracker has been fitted.

Genoa Becomes Regional Hub for VR

Genoa’s new VR capability is heavily utilised. The massive screen enables large simulations to be projected at a 1:1 scale.  As an illustration, gas turbines from Ansaldo Energia can be simulated while under assembly.

The resulting life-like virtual model can then be used for training. Similarly, Piaggio Aerospace is benefiting from a VR model that offers all the variants of its jets, giving people a real appreciation of the scale of the end product.

The University of Genoa

The University of Genoa is one of the oldest in Italy (founded in 1471 AD).
It has about 40,000 students, with the engineering department comprising about 12% of the total.  Engineering is based at the new campus in Savona.

This campus is located about 2 km from Savona’s centre, in an old complex of barracks recently converted into new university buildings. The New Simulation Research Centre is based at Savona and it is here that the Virtalis ActiveWall is installed.

The campus is equipped with an advanced teleconferencing system, allowing the University to manage common courses between its Genoa and Savona facilities. Furthermore, the system is also used in joint educational activities between Genoa, Parma and Milan Universities, whilst companies rent it for meetings and workshops with overseas partners.

 

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Olivia Hartley Virtalis PR

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o.hartley@virtalis.com