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15 years virtual reality innovations for oil and gas visualization

19.12.2013
Discovering and exploring oil and gas reserves by using innovative visualization technology instead of stressing our environment – this is the mission of the VRGeo Consortium, set up 15 years ago by the Fraunhofer Institute of Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, the University of Houston and representatives of the international oil and gas industry.

The Compact Cave shown at the annual VRGeo meeting at Fraunhofer IAIS in Sankt Augustin.
© Fraunhofer IAIS

At its annual meeting in December 2013, the VRGeo Consortium again came up with new breakthrough software and hardware solutions for interactive visualization and interpretation workflows for seismic data.

As a highlight of this year’s VRGeo exhibition, Fraunhofer IAIS together with Barco, a global technology company, and Advanced Realtime Tracking (A.R.T.), a leading manufacturer of high-end optical tracking systems for Virtual and Augmented Reality, have demonstrated the innovative “Compact Cave” display system.

Barco's Compact Cave demonstrator is a breakthrough in immersive Virtual Reality technology, featuring a strongly reduced installation footprint and very high quality. This affordable technology allows customers to save 
money on real estate, power consumption, air conditioning, and on total cost of ownership. It enables users to optimize their processes and efficiency benefiting from the use of a power wall or a cave in office space environments where before, due to space limitations and shortages, the required footprint for a back-projection was not available.


With this solution, Barco addresses a variety of selected professional markets such as control rooms, defense and aerospace, media and entertainment as well as simulation and virtual reality, with the oil and gas industry in particular.

The VRGeo R&D team has installed an application, which demonstrated the inter­active visualization of three-dimensional datasets from the oil and gas industry on the Barco Compact Cave. It showed a detailed model of an oil platform and the connected technical installations below the water surface. The solution took advantage of the display’s immersive nature and incorporated 6-DOF user and input device tracking, proper stereo rendering for one user at any position within the cave and an intuitive user navigation through the data. The application was developed using the Fraunhofer IAIS in-house VR system “AVANGO”.

A.R.T. GmbH, well-known for its high-quality tracking systems was the best choice for supplying an accurate, stable and easy to install TRACKPACK4 system. It’s A.R.T’s bestseller for medium-sized tracking volumes and an ideal solution for Head- and Flysticktracking in multi-sided projection environments.

The VRGeo Consortium delegates were impressed by the Compact Cave solution:
“The picture quality with a near Ultra HD resolution is really great, as well as the seamless blending between the different modules and the eight projectors”, was the reaction of several users. Besides quality and versatility, Barco, A.R.T. and Fraunhofer IAIS engineers proved that it takes only two days to install the Compact Cave.

About VRGeo

The international oil and gas industry is collaborating in the framework of the VRGeo Consortium since 1998. It is about innovation in terms of visualization, human computer interaction, and collaboration for the oil and gas exploration. Members of the VRGeo Consortium are market-leaders such as BP, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Statoil, Landmark, NVIDIA and HP. The VRGeo Consortium held its regular winter meeting on December 10-11, 2013 at Schloss Birlinghoven, Sankt Augustin, Germany. Fraunhofer IAIS was hosting this meeting and is executing the R&D works of the VRGeo Consortium since the beginning.

Contact

Dr. Manfred Bogen
Fraunhofer IAIS
Phone 02241 14-2367
manfred.bogen(at)iais.fraunhofer.de

Katrin Berkler | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.vrgeo.org
http://www.iais.fraunhofer.de

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