Raytheon Australia opens customer center
Virtual, 3-D environment will help test designs faster and cheaper
A ship captain stands over his vessel's new bridge command console. The unveiling is an important milestone for any vessel, but this one is different. The captain is indoors, nowhere near the water, crowded by engineers in a futuristic, immersive design center that surrounds him with 3-D views of his future command.
Raytheon Australia has opened a new Customer Engagement Centre in Canberra. At its heart is the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, a high-tech answer to the age-old engineering challenge of perfecting complex designs without the need for costly mockups. The CAVE is a 320-degree ring of 72 big-screen TVs, allowing viewers to virtually examine, review and experience virtual designs, from electrical installations to advanced circuits to whole ships.
“This new Centre will provide our customers with a faster, smarter and cheaper approach to design, test and integrate future capabilities,” Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas Kennedy said at the facility’s Aug. 28 grand opening ceremony.
More than 50 Raytheon officials, industry representatives and government leaders – including the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, the nation’s Minister for Defence Industry – attended the official opening of the center at Raytheon Australia’s Canberra headquarters.
The CAVE uses stereoscopic projection and 3-D computer graphics to display detailed virtualizations that can be examined, turned, even enlarged. By identifying defects or opportunities for efficiencies early in the design process, before building physical prototypes, project teams can save time and money. The facility can also be linked to similar Raytheon CAVEs in the United States, allowing for real-time collaboration between engineers and designers half a world apart.
“The Customer Engagement Centre brings defence technology to life for customers and engineers in ways never before possible, through cutting-edge virtual reality”, said Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia. “As the nation’s leading integrator of mission systems, we will utilise this Centre to create opportunities for innovation and collaboration with Defence and our supplier partners.”
Raytheon has provided Australia with advanced defense technologies for more than 60 years. Established in 1999, Raytheon Australia has grown into one of the nation’s largest defense companies, employing more than 1,200 Australians with operation centers in every mainland capital.
Kennedy said the opening of the Customer Engagement Centre builds on the 10 million hours the company has worked on combat system integration projects for Australia. Raytheon has contributed to a number of complex programs, including Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyers and Collins Class of submarines.
“These achievements demonstrate why I believe that Raytheon Australia is the finest example of Raytheon’s landed-company approach,” Kennedy said. “It provides a capable mechanism to deliver the full capabilities of our global company to the Australian Defence Force.”
During the opening ceremony, Kennedy announced two additional Raytheon investments in Australia. The company will be increasing its sponsorship of Soldier On, a veterans’ organization aiding those wounded in war, to $275,000 over three years. In addition, to mark 10 years as a sponsor of the Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, Raytheon will be offering its Engineering is Elementary educational program to Australian schools to help inspire the next generation of engineers.