Aerospace Supplier Installs Advanced Computer Visualization System to Support Collaborative Design Program

Alliant Techsystems Inc. is using center for virtual engineering of manufacturing and production systems for defense technology.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), an advanced weapon and space systems company, recently installed a multi-room computer simulation and visualization center created by Mechdyne Corp. Mechdyne ( develops, networked and collaborative visualization systems.

The Simulation Center, installed at ATK's Mission Systems headquarters in Baltimore, Md., features a 40-seat immersive visualization theater with an 8 megapixel (MP) projection system, two team collaboration rooms with stereoscopic display capability and a conference room with high definition (HD)-quality viewing.

ATK is using the simulation center for a range of projects, including real-time review of mission simulations and virtual engineering of manufacturing and production systems for defense technology. The center is linked via secure network connections to other ATK facilities, with efforts underway to also connect to U.S. Government sites, providing the capability for engineering teams from across the country to collaborate on design and engineering programs, and to participate in reviews of actual and simulated missions via shared presentation and videoconferencing.

"Computer simulation combined with large-scale visualization display enables us to view a wide range of data from multiple sources on a single screen, rendered either as a set of images, or integrated into a full-screen single image," said Ron Holshey, ATK Project Director, Virtual Engineering for Manufacturing, Production and Repair (VEMPR). "In initial work at the Simulation Center, we were able to demonstrate collaboration with engineering resources at one of our California sites in a real-time test of a missile guidance package for a defense client."

This demonstration was conducted in support of the on-going Navy ACT 1 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Program. This test validated the collaborative, real-time product design, analysis, simulation and assessment features available to system design and production transition teams through the VEMPR capability. ATK plans to expand this capability through creation of a VEMPR hub at its Manufacturing Center of Excellence located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP) in Rocket Center, W.Va.

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