Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Managing High-Speed Graphics

From capture to processing, display and storage, it takes a special system
A defense simulation briefing
© Images courtesy Electrosonic Inc.
A defense simulation briefing, using Electrosonic network.
system flowchart
© Images courtesy Electrosonic Inc.
The entire system is networked, making it highly flexible and scalable. A master unit manages the state of all units and an external training or control system can be used to manage the entire system.
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By Barry Hochfelder

In February a U.S. Navy AEGIS warship, the USS Lake Erie, fired a tactical missile that destroyed a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite that was in its final orbit before entering the earth's atmosphere. The objective was the rupture the fuel tank to dissipate approximately 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel.

The interception and the monitoring of debris as it entered the earth's atmosphere, most of which, if not all, would burn up upon reentry, was followed from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Much of the work was done in the NORAD command center deep in the Cheyenne Mountain. A vector image processing system chosen by main contractor Lockheed Martin was installed by Electronsonic (Minneapolis, Minn.) and included displays, image processing, image switching and display control equipment.

"The system manages over 100 video and graphic inputs used to maintain situation awareness for command center operations at NORAD," explains Karl Johnson, Electrosonic's United Kingdom-based General Manager Products Business. "VN-MATRIX is a video/graphic encoder/decoder that provides the means to capture and store high-detail computer graphic visualizations, synchronized to audio and telemetry data."

VN-MATRIX acquires a video or graphics source formatted as analog RGB or digital DVI at resolutions up to 1600x1200 and encodes the frame in a single 60Hz frame period, then streams the result onto an IP network. A second unit, configured as a decoder, receives an IP stream and decodes it to analog or DVI output, and then the source input is looped through to allow local monitoring.

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