Epson projectors bring the bridge to life at Gdynia Maritime University

A set of seven EB-G7800 projectors helps cadets learn navigation

Epson projectors bring the bridge to life at Gdynia Maritime University

Entering Hamburg harbour by tanker in stormy weather? Passing a cargo ship at night through the Kiel Canal? Handling a short wave on the Vistula Lagoon? Only one realistic navigation system in Poland can train future captains to handle these scenarios, and at its core is a set of seven EB-G7800 projectors.

Challenges in navigation education

The Gdynia Maritime University is the leading European educational centre for maritime officers. Over many years of training, cadets acquire a vast amount of knowledge in the fields of physics, oceanography, maritime law and logistics. Most vital however, is the ability to steer a vessel, which – putting aside the theoretical background – is best acquired practically by trial and error through continued repetition, which helps cadets develop the right reflexes and habits. 

In the real world, such training would be fraught with a risk of damaging cargo, the dock, or even destroying the ship. 

For the past decade, simulators have assisted in providing effective education and training to future navigators. The benefit is significantly lower operating costs compared to that of a real vessel; however the realism of the virtual world until now has left much to be desired.

In deciding on a radical modernisation of its existing setup, the Board of Gdynia Maritime University wanted to select, within the budget available, the best equipment to guarantee the most realistic visual representation of waterways and ports.

Full speed ahead – 3LCD has proven itself on the bridge

Built from the ground up at Gdynia University and dedicated to students' training needs, the simulator is located in separate part of the building.

Its centrepiece is a built-to-scale navigational bridge, equipped with a complete set of instruments and control panels. The image is displayed on a specially designed, semi-circular, 21-meter-long wall, covered with special screen paint. The core of the system comprises seven EB-G7800 projectors, which – using a specialist piece of software from the Norwegian company, Kongsberg – display one a single, massive, synchronised image on the wall.

This creates an amazing effect of depth, giving the simulator training participant the impression of being on the bridge of a real ship. These effects, which used for entertainment purposes in a 3D cinema, help the simulator provide a wide range of weather conditions and approaches to different ports around the world, with the choice of different weather-responsive and command-driven marine vessels. In terms of practical experience of time on the bridge, the simulated world is extremely realistic for the cadets, especially in tests with turbulent weather conditions. 

Behind the mesmerising realism created by the simulator is a spherical screen surrounding the bridge, which is brought to life by the 3LCD technology in the Epson G7000 projector. Thanks to the equal intensity of white and colour light provided by these projectors, the image is realistic, devoid of colour distortion and suitable for natural perception by the human eye.

Keys to success – cooperation and wise choices

This ground-breaking project has become a phenomenon sweeping the whole simulation systems market. It has outshone today’s solutions both in terms of cost, which has dropped substantially compared to similarly advanced systems, and full realism, which cannot be achieved with just monitors.

"This navigation simulator is not the first project we have implemented with our technology partner Eurotrend using Epson projectors, so it was easy for us to trust this partnership," says Zbigniew Byczyński of the Maritime University. "The key factor that led to the selection of Epson EB-G7800 projectors as a technology support system was the 3LCD imaging technology. Its main advantage is colour brightness and saturation of the projected image, which directly translates into a more realistic image for the people who use the system. Also, the excellent price-to-quality ratio allowed us to buy seven units within our agreed budget."

A trusted partnership

"This would not have been be possible without the involvement of Eurotrend," Byczyński continues. "Throughout our partnership, they have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to long-term success and the success of the venture. Eurotrend specialists were involved in choosing the equipment, assisting in installing the projectors and special optics, choosing the most optimal solution and delivering the projectors themselves."