Government Case StudY
U.S. ARMY SENIOR LEADERSHIP HEADQUARTERS (PENTAGON - ARLINGTON, VA)
The Army Senior Leadeship's new facility consists of complex audio, video and control systems in conference rooms and offices for the top 5 Army leaders and their support staff. The entire facility, which spans two floors, consists of five executive grade offices; 12 middle management offices; and six meeting rooms; three large key conference / briefing rooms (the Gardner, Garand and Pershing Rooms); and 36 smaller audio and video displays systems located in other offices and at various locations throughout the space.
Each of the main conference rooms is a unique system design that meets a specific set of operational needs. While each of these rooms is unique, they share a high level of operational similarity with each other allowing for a common staff of facilitators. The Gardner Room is a more traditional conference room where people at the table can interact and be briefed from the front display. The Garand room creates an experience that is more immersive in its nature where the participants are more engaged with the information being presented rather than with others in the room. The Pershing Room is more of a traditional “war room” where everyone is able to see all the necessary information and meeting participants allowing for maximum informative and collaborative impact. Each of the display systems allow for multi-image processing so multiple sources of information such as VTC and briefings can be viewed simultaneously, thus creating an interactive experience. Each of the rooms incorporates supplemental seating so that supporting personnel such as some of the Senior Leaders’ aides can participate and be heard just as if they were seated at the table through the use of targeted ceiling microphones.
The three rooms each have a unique layout and different briefing and display systems. So, AVS designed three systems to meet the needs of the end user and fit into the allotted space. Each room contains custom-built furniture with integrated electronics (network connections, phone, power, microphones and control panel interface). Special VTC lighting, acoustical sound treatment on ceiling and walls, and custom wood wainscoting were incorporated into each room. There is a lectern connection at the front of each room, with two lectern connections in the Pershing Room. Selection for all displays and control of sources is available via two touchpanels at the Operator’s Console and one installed in the Lectern. Millwork walls were constructed to house each of the display systems in the rooms.
Each room’s system has the ability to view and transmit audio and video content from various sources (including VGA, DVD, Blu-Ray, VCR, CATV and VTC) to multiple displays and remote locations. The Gardner Conference Room system is comprised of three rear projection 1-DLP, 1080p, 4100 lumen displays, edge-blended and grouped horizontally at the front of the room, and three 46” LCDs (1368 x 768) located on the side walls of the room, for display of computer and video sources. The Garand Conference Room system consists of a 2X6 video wall comprised of 12 stacked 50” DLP cube displays on the front wall for display of computer and composite video sources. The Pershing Conference Room system consists of a 103” plasma video display mounted on the front wall and two 46” LCDs (1368 x 768) located on the side walls for display of computer and composite video sources. The IT and AV systems were integrated in each room. Each system incorporated a video processor to create multi-image layouts that can be selected easily through the touchpanel interface.
All three rooms have hanging ceiling microphones, a lectern microphone and a microphone in the control room to support audio and voice reinforcement for use with VTC systems. The Pershing and Garand rooms also have table microphones. Ceiling speakers were used primarily for voice reinforcement, in rear zones playback was added to supplement the front playback speakers. Microphones in each room may be muted/unmuted via touchpanels at the lectern, or via a separate remote control. Source audio is played via the front playback speakers, and for the operator via speakers at the Control Room. All three of the rooms can send audio and video directly to one another. Additionally the rooms can send and receive signals via fiber optics from a network of rooms in the Army’s specialized AV distribution system.
Each room has three separate networks of various clasifications for video teleconferencing to remote sites on each respective network. An automatic secure switch (AVS-IM530 dial isolation module) enables a dialup codec to switch between classified and unclassified dialup video calls. A security level setting is provided to ensure all system operation involving secure information is not compromised. Message signs (inside and outside each room) are provided to prevent outside interruption of briefings/calls and to reinforce the selected security setting to room participants. Blackout drapes were installed and connected to control system for using during secure meetings.
The system is configured to present briefings at multiple classification levels. Other custom software was provided to allow for touch panel control of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations at all classification levels.
Office and Meeting Spaces
The executive grade offices have full video conferencing (VTC) capabilities with multiple levels of secure classification similar to the systems in the main conference rooms.
The display systems in each office can display sources of multiple types including PC’s, VTC and Cable TV. Displays were matched to the space and required function, to choose the appropriate quantity and size for each space. The overall design of the cadenzas that housed the AV systems and provided the support for the displays was heavily influenced by the customers’ executive furnishings. The dcore of some offices dictated variations in this approach resulting in some displays being mounted directly to the office walls.
AVS worked with furniture manufacturers to match color, stain patterns, size and shape. Credenzas in each office gave an executive look but also allowed for all displays and components to be housed in one unit and have simple for power and network connectivity. The mid-sized offices have 52” displays on the office walls and equipment in custom cabinets or credenzas to meet the rooms design. Each office is slightly different based on the needs of the person in that space. Some spaces such as the executive dining room required even more customization to meet aesthetic requirements such as speakers completely hidden within the walls and invisible to occupants of the room.