Highways England (HE) Control Centre

New video wall system installed at UK’s longest under-land road tunnel

A new rear-projection video wall installation at a Highways England (HE) control centre is helping keep traffic flowing through the UK’s longest under-land road tunnel. 

Located on the busy A3 London to Portsmouth road, the twin-bore Hindhead Tunnel takes the route beneath the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Opened in 2011 as part of the four miles long (6.5km) Hindhead bypass dual carriageway, at 1.14 miles (1.8km) it is the longest non-estuarial road tunnel in the country. Sited at the tunnel’s northern end, the HE control centre contains a video wall display that allows operators to monitor images from 104 CCTV cameras and review data supplied by the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, which supervises the lighting, ventilation, incident detection and other support systems.

After detailed technical evaluations, UK-based audio-visual systems integrator Electrosonic opted for displays from the German manufacturer eyevis for the tunnel’s new video wall installation. Electrosonic chose the latest eyevis LED-illuminated DLP 50-inch HD Slim Cube rear projection system because the control centre required an extremely thin rear projection cube that allowed all installation and servicing from the front, as no rear access was available.

The EC-50-LHD-SLIM-LED illuminated cubes used in the project are the slimmest cubes in the world at only 17in (43.2cm deep) including the screen, and can be wall- or basement-mounted. Slimmer, faster to install and easier to service, the new Slim-rear projection cubes also have a 50in (127cm) screen and full HD resolution. Available in three sizes, 50in (127cm), 60in (152.5cm) and 70in (178cm), the new Slim-Cubes can be used in areas that were not previously suitable for rear projection cubes due to space requirements. All electrical, optical and electronic components, such as the cooling system, are completely integrated into one module within the Slim Cube unit. They have a robust, self-supporting housing as well as the eyevis ‘seamless’ screen mounting, in order to realise large video walls with the smallest bezels. Thanks to the front and rear access, the projection unit can be inserted into, and removed from, the housing as a whole. The easy-handling concept allows for quick assembly and reduces downtimes during maintenance. Projection unit and cube housing can be installed independently from each other. During maintenance, the complete single projector unit can be removed from the cubes and replaced by a substitute unit.

A high-end video wall controller type NPX-4900S from eyevis was installed in an emergency recovery backup control room at the centre. Here all data and signals from the main control room can be displayed in case of a failure of the main installation or major emergency situations. “The Hindhead Tunnel was constructed to reduce congestion and vehicle emissions, and we are delighted to have been involved in such an important project to update the technology being used,” commented eyevis UK’s Managing Director, Steve Murphy. “Reliability and being easy to service are key in such an important control centre, and the new video wall ensures that the latest technology is being used to aid traffic management.”

 

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