Customer Story

Christie Matrix StIMs Increase Simulator Realism at RNAS Culdrose

RNAS Culdrose had been operating with outdated CRT technology at its facility near Helston in Cornwall, when Training & Simulation specialists, Thales UK, were called in. Thales identified a number of reasons for recommending Christie’s new Matrix StIM™ — an advanced LED-based DLP projection system that provides the unique capabilities to support normal visual operations and stimulation of aircrew Night Vision Goggles (NVG) simultaneously. This advanced capability offered a solution to a critical gap in the night-vision training syllabus for the RN Sea King aircrews.

The contractors recognised that given the ability to simulate low-level night flying to a higher level of fidelity than that previously provided with CRT projectors, trainee and Front Line pilots could experience these challenges from the cockpit before getting airborne for real.

An array of three dual-input Matrix StIMs — a 1-chip WUXGA DLP® 600 lumen LED projector — has now been installed, along with upgraded versions of the ThalesView software and more powerful Image Generators (IG) to promote a new realism of the different terrains and conditions likely to be encountered. This is enhanced by Christie’s IR-compatible MotoBlend™, designed to maximize life-like images of both day and night, which has been cut to the warp profile generated by a Christie Twist™ Pro processor; as a result, the image blends seamlessly across the array of projectors to provide a lifelike 200° field of view (FOV) from the simulator cockpit.

The Matrix StIM is the first projector to provide independent control over both the visible and infrared spectrum and enable real-time balancing of both colour and brightness levels. It is also the first simulation system designed with solid state illumination — making it virtually maintenance-free. These capabilities were important in regard to Thales achieving the high-fidelity NVG simulation demanded by the end-user.

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