After six months of project planning British Airways have formally opened its new-look Crisis Management Centre (CMC). The CMC is activated by the Network Operations Control Centre in the event of an incident or major disruption such as aircraft accidents, terrorist incidents or operational disruption. The CMC also offers a first class training facility where employees can hone their crisis management skills.
|The huge improvements to our IT and AV capabilities bring us right up to date with the best in the aviation world. The IT and AV upgrades have been designed to support our network control centre in times of normal operation, but they are scalable in times of disruption.|
Manager – Business Resilience – British Airways
British Airways released a request for proposal to provide a complete technology refresh of their Crisis Management Centre, associated meeting rooms and break out areas. The requirement stemmed from ageing technology and a lack of digital integration at the CMC.
The original core video matrix switching infrastructure was entirely analogue based, primarily using RGBHV signals which was appropriate technology for the time. Standalone monitors without video wall functionality were utilised for crisis situations.
Video connectivity was a key focus for British Airways. They wanted to ensure that visitors and colleagues alike could connect to the system, irrespective of the devices they were using. Therefore Cinos were required to cater for analogue and digital technologies as well as the ability to transmit video sources wirelessly.
In addition, simple and intuitive touch screen control was of paramount importance to British Airways. They required the ability to transmit all video sources to and from the three main control centres to any of the associated meeting rooms or break out areas.
Cinos have redefined the Crisis Management Centre by deploying a fully integrated matrix system designed to meet any of the ranging demands from British Airways.
The solution is made up of two of the largest digital matrix switchers that are available from AMX. With the ability to route up to 128 inputs or outputs British Airways can display a wide range of content from various sources including IPTV, document cameras, CCTV, PC’s and video conferencing. The system is run as a single network; enabling all sources to interact with each other inside the AMX code.
A range of AMX touch panels were deployed to provide users with control of the system. The AMX Modero X Panoramic touch panels have been utilised in the 3 main command and control areas. These panels boast a 20” panoramic display; the largest provided from AMX. They allow users to easily access the wide range of controls available and perform multiple functions simultaneously whilst remaining elegantly unobtrusive.
Working together, the Cinos Marketing Department and our AMX ACE Programmers coded the touch panels to ensure all customer requirements were achieved within an exceptional design. This design has been rolled out across all meeting rooms and command areas to ensure the user is familiar with the system regardless of their location within the CMC.
From the touch panels British Airways have control of the whole system. Users can adjust the lighting, audio routing and display power within each room. Each touch panel has pre-set video wall layouts; allowing users to display any configuration of sources based on their specific requirements. Video and audio conferencing can be utilised via the touch panels, allowing users to connect with recipients without needing the software installed on their laptop or mobile devices. The Cinos engineering team provided British Airways with two user levels – Basic and Admin. This allows the administrator to change source names and configure video wall pre-set levels as their requirements evolve.
A Raritan DKX3-232 32 Port Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) IP switch was installed enabling the routing and control of the rack mounted British Airways PCs. The video signals from the PCs are fed directly into central AMX Digital Matrix Switches enabling distribution to any of the video walls / repeater displays throughout the facility.
In total the Crisis Management Centre boasts four 4×2 video walls. Situated in the command and control rooms, the video walls allow users to share content from a variety of sources for further analysis and collaboration. Within the main Crisis Chamber the Cinos engineering team deployed a video wall solution into an existing curved wall, replacing a single rear projection screen and two 55” displays. In addition the ClickShare solution from Barco was deployed. This allows any of the 33 users within the Crisis Chamber to wirelessly share content from their computer onto the video wall; mitigating the need to run laptop connections to each of the 33 desk positions.
In the smaller meeting rooms Cinos have deployed the AMX Enova DVX-2155HD all in one presentation switcher. This solution allows for up to three local sources to be connected for collaboration and analysis. In addition two connections from the core switcher have been installed, enabling any of the 64 inputs to be shown on the meeting room displays or employee laptops. These connections also carry audio sources from the core switcher; allowing them to be heard through the meeting room speakers. Each meeting room is controlled by an AMX Modero S Touch Panel Solution which is either wall mounted or mounted on the meeting room table.
Full Integration and Control
A key feature of the AMX Enova product range is the ability to input multi-format video signals. This enables the latest HDMI/Display Port equipment to integrate seamlessly with legacy analogue equipment already in place at British Airways.
The CMC has full control of audio being distributed to other locations including powering on or off and adjusting volume levels.
The CMC has full integration with the Manchester Silver Command and the Network Operations Control Centre; ensuring that in the event of a crisis video and audio can be routed to and from all locations.
The new video wall solutions within the CMC have inbuilt matrices and AMX control, replacing a number of standalone systems. This enables British Airways to:
Display multiple PC & Web based applications on the CMC video walls.
Display a range of inputs sources, including multiple PC/workstation based applications, analogue CCTV video images, at any position and any size on CMC desktop displays.
Once logged into the system, saved pre-sets give users a ‘one click meeting’ experience; ideal for reoccurring meetings where the same documents and canvas layouts will be used.
The Barco ClickShare solution speeds up collaboration and analysis by allowing any operator in the Crisis Chamber to share content from their device onto the video wall at the click of a button.
Improved Audio Distribution
Cinos replaced the existing audio distribution within the CMC with a new Digital Audio Matrix Switch from Biamp. Audio inputs from within the CMC such as microphones for video conferencing and local presentations will be fed into the matrix switch that will in-turn feed into 100v line amplifiers to power ceiling speakers.
Audio distributed to the CMC breakout rooms and other designated areas is all routed and controlled via the Digital Audio Matrix ensuring excellent sound quality and seamless control.
In addition a VOIP and POTS line card are integrated into the Audio Matrix providing audio conferencing functionality.
AMX Enova® DGX 64 Enclosure
The Enova DGX 64 Enclosure includes all of the features that have made the Enova DGX Series the leader in the world of digital media switchers, and now with the addition of new DXLink Fiber boards it transmits audio, video including HDCP protected video, control and Ethernet over fibre up to 10 Km at 10 Gpbs.
This solution is far beyond a modular media switcher with built-in controller – it functions as the centrepiece of a complete integrated solution. With the ability to manage, route and transmit up to 64 pure high resolution analogue and digital video sources the Enova DGX 64 is the perfect solution for government agencies, command and control environments, hospitals or any facility that demands the highest quality video be shared site-wide.