To protect and serve the public, government agencies need to share, analyze, and pass judgment on large amounts of intelligence to determine if justice and regulations are being complied with by all. ExhibitOne provides reliable systems and tools for the organizations that you depend on so that they can make informed decisions that affect the country and its citizens.
Whether it is Homeland Security or your community’s local Federal offices, ExhibitOne designs and integrates presentation and telepresence systems to enable efficiencies in data management and media display. The average American may only see its government agencies through television programs such as JAG, C-SPAN, or their public broadcasting station. In the day-to-day function of the United States government, hundreds and thousands of pieces of information are processed and required for review upon request.
Critical documents and evidence presented in hearings, secured proceedings, and court rulings must be seen and understood clearly to be adequately weighed before policy makers can define laws and preserve rights. ExhibitOne supports these complex communications that must take place by connecting remote locations via video teleconference systems. Regardless of physical distance, the necessary people can view the same image and discuss its relevance. ExhibitOne brings what American government agencies see, hear and say together.
To meet these demands ExhibitOne integrates solutions for digital recording and playback – as well as optimized audio reinforcement and video display – the One Source for unsurpassed digital audio and video performance.
[fusion_accordion divider_line=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_toggle title=”ExhibitOne Partners with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission” open=”no”]
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is an independent agency established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 to regulate civilian use of nuclear materials. In 2003, ExhibitOne partnered with Nortel Government Solutions to participate in the development of a Digital Data Management System (DDMS) at its Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.
After successfully completing that implementation in 2004, ExhibitOne was tasked with designing and integrating a state-of-the-art evidence presentation system for the Yucca Mountain hearings. Still in the midst of installation, the system will be used to facilitate hearings regarding the Department of Energy’s expected application for construction authorization for a High Level Radioactive Waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
The system boasts the ability to display documents/exhibits from a database projected to contain over 50,000 documents, including previously recorded digital audio and video evidence presentation. This represents potentially the largest evidentiary record ever compiled in an NRC hearing. Not only is the sheer size of the hearing room’s technology requirements massive – with closed captioning over both composite and VGA outputs, 30 attorney locations, 12 individually controlled camera views, and 5 judge and 5 witness locations at the bench – but the flexibility and remote control of all telepresence aspects within the hearing room using a wireless touch panel is bleeding edge.
[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Article: AV Joins the Nuclear Waste Debate – ProAV” open=”no”]
AV Joins The Nuclear Waste Debate
by Daniel Frankel
Install adds AV capabilities to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s 8,000-square-foot Nevada hearing room.
Challenge: Design and install a robust AV system capable of presenting the VGA-resolution content of an expansive digital evidence database, while simultaneously presenting the composite video of live testimony and allowing ample individual control for lawyers and judges.
Solution: Expand an existing system already designed and installed for the same client, while accounting for unique challenges, such as state laws banning the use of unprotected wiring.
Budgeted at about $1 million, the AV system in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Las Vegas hearing room features 15 attorney tables spread about the vast room, which also includes separate locations for three judges and five witnesses. The system also had to be designed to simultaneously display the VGA-resolution digital files stored in the evidence database and the composite video of live testimony.
As rooms designed for legal proceedings go, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s new public hearing facility in Las Vegas is probably as big and well equipped as they come.
The facility, which features an 8,000-square-foot room with 35-foot ceilings, was built last year for the sole purpose of hosting what promises to be one of the bigger public hearings in United States history. It’s here that Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials will observe a vast array of evidence and testimony, as the Department of Energy seeks to gain authorization to build a massive repository for nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, and myriad local public and private agencies seek to stop it.
“The NRC needed something that was bullet-proof,” explains Kevin Sandler, CEO and president of Phoenix-based systems integrator ExhibitOne Corp., which designed and installed the hearing room’s robust AV system “The last thing they need while overseeing one of the largest cases in U.S. history is for a piece of technology to let them down.”
Already under contract with the federal government to outfit the nation’s bankruptcy and district courts, ExhibitOne began working with the NRC in 2003, when it was brought in by Fairfax, VA-based Nortel Government Solutions (then known as PEC Solutions), the contractor that was installing a digital evidence database at the NRC’s Rockville, MD, headquarters.
“PEC Solutions heard about us through our federal contract with the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts,” explains Michael J. Lofaro, vice president of engineering for ExhibitOne. “We’ve done more than 450 courtrooms around the U.S.”
With the Rockville project deemed successful, the NRC awarded Nortel a new contract valued at $2.3 million to design and build a second evidence database system for its Las Vegas facility in 2004. And Nortel once again brought along ExhibitOne to design the AV system.
“The Rockville hearing room has a system that’s basically identical to the one we have in Las Vegas, yet much smaller in scale,” notes Andy Welkie, digital data management systems project manager for the NRC. “The AV system is designed to be a subsystem to the digital evidence database. It allows us to bring in every document and testimony that’s presented, process it electronically, and then display it in the hearing room.”
Budgeted at about $1 million, the AV system in the NRC’s Las Vegas hearing room is designed to match the enormity of both the room and the proceedings. Fifteen attorney tables — each with two locations — are spread about the vast room, which also includes separate locations for three judges and five witnesses. The system also had to be designed to simultaneously display the VGA-resolution digital files stored in the evidence database and the composite video of live testimony.
“I’ve never done a courtroom before with this much equipment in it,” says Lofaro of an AV system that consumes four full Middle Atlantic ERK-4425 equipment racks in a control area tucked into the corner of the hearing room. “This is by far the most technologically advanced courtroom in the country.”
For Lofaro, just wiring everything together was tough enough. “In Nevada, the building code states that everything has to be in conduit, even low-voltage stuff,” he explains. “So we had to enclose everything.”
Lofaro’s team dealt with that issue by putting on its electrical contractor hats and running flexible conduit to all the attorney, judge, witness, and court-reporter work stations scattered about the massive room, and then connecting everything by running conduit beneath the room’s depressed slab.
Meanwhile, dealing with a security-sensitive government project involving nuclear waste presented other challenges. “Challenges exist in any government project we do,” Sandler notes. “Obviously, the NRC is very stringent when it comes to security issues, so they wanted to be aware of every aspect of the system we were putting in to make sure there weren’t potential points of security breach. There are good reasons for this, of course, but approvals took more time because they had to go through more layers. When you deal with the government, you need to come in with patience. And if you’re an integrator who’s more used to dealing with the commercial sector, you need to be aware of certain differences — it’s a bureaucratic machine, it’s just the way it works, and you need to be prepared for it to be slower and more cumbersome.”
Not only did ExhibitOne have to deal with the lag time it took to get approvals, it had to account for a building design for which it had no input. “They did a lot of things backward,” Lofaro explains. “For example, they got an acoustical consultant after the room was built.”
In virtually all cases, however, Lofaro and his team successfully designed around these challenges. For instance, original building specs called for 19 42-inch plasma displays to be hung from the room’s three-story-high, windowed ceiling. “But the room is actually near the airport, and whenever a plane flies over, everything in the building rattles and moves,” Lofaro says. “And it wouldn’t have looked right with all those plasmas there — it would have taken away from the grandness of the room.”
So instead of ceiling-suspended displays, ExhibitOne ultimately settled on a design built around four wall-mounted 61-inch NEC PlasmaSync 61XM2 monitors, which flank the room, two to a side. But the system — controlled for the most part via AMX interface in the master control room — is also designed to also emphasize individual control and viewing at each attorney and judge station.
Each of the 15 attorney tables, for example, features two NEC 15-inch LCD1560-V-BK monitors and three video feeds. At each of the 30 attorney workstations, lawyers can individually access more than 50,000 documents in the digital evidence database, switch to the closed-captioned video presentation of the person speaking at any given point in time, or view whatever’s being presented on the room’s Samsung SVP-6500 document camera. For each of the 15 attorney tables, there’s a small meeting room adjacent to the main area where lawyers can keep in touch with court proceedings via a 21-inch NEC LCD2180UX-BK monitor.
Each of the three judges, meanwhile, can mute evidence with a touch of an AMX MVP-7500 monitor, which is routed straight into the AV system’s control software.
“Each one of those tables allows the participants to access all parts of the system,” Sandler explains. “That was very important to the NRC.”
The video display system — which feeds into the plasmas, the individual attorney and judge stations, and a series of small conference rooms that surround the main hearing room — supports not only composite video, but the VGA display that originates from the collection of Dell servers that make up Nortel’s IT-based evidence data management system.
Digital files from the evidence database — as well as other IT devices, such as a PowerPoint presentation stored on lawyer’s laptop computer — can be routed through an Extron Crosspoint Plus 3232HVA matrix switcher, and then viewed onscreen in VGA resolution with composite video components, such as closed captioning, added in (see sidebar).
All testimony occurring in the hearing room, meanwhile, is captured by a collection of 12 Sony EVI-D100 cameras, which are controlled via an AMX Accent3 module. Video testimony is not only stored digitally in the evidence system, it’s output in real time as a closed captioned composite video feed and routed through an Extron MAV2424 switcher. (A notable control feature to this system lets attorneys or judges pause and rewind live testimony, as a TV viewer would with a digital video recording device like TiVo.)
Audio, meanwhile, is handled by a custom-ordered, 48-channel Biamp AudiaFlex digital audio platform, and includes 50 Atlas Soundolier SM82 wall-mounted loudspeakers. Given the expansiveness of the room, some of these speakers are mounted in boxes on the attorney tables, each with their own volume control. Each attorney, judge, witness, and court-reporter location is equipped with a Shure 18-inch gooseneck MX418D/C microphone — the system employs 44 mics in all. Each microphone has mix-minus functionality, which is processed through the Biamp system.
For his part, Lofaro — who says the system design took him about eight times longer than it would for a typical courtroom — claims the installation went pretty much according to schedule and came in on budget, despite the lag time in approvals. And according to the NRC’s Welkie, the AV system has been tested and has worked flawlessly, although no one is sure when it will be used for hearings regarding Yucca Mountain. The hearings are subject to a complex permutation of NRC and Department of Energy filings, several of which have yet to occur.
Still, Welkie states confidence in ExhibitOne’s work. “We see no reason why this system won’t function as it’s delivered,” he says.
Closed Captioning Provided By ExhibitOne
With the Americans with Disabilities Act mandating — albeit in somewhat vague language — that public hearing rooms include closed captioning services for the hearing impaired, Phoenix-based systems integrator ExhibitOne designed such functionality into the presentation system of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Nevada hearing room.
The NRC’s hearing room employs an “on-line” captioning system, meaning it’s designed to add text captioning in real time to the live testimony occurring in the hearing room. All transcripts taken by the court stenographer are — in the form of RS232 serial data — fed into the digital evidence system, which stores this data and processes it into actual English using a custom programmed computer-aided-transcription (CAT) software.
The computer then outputs ASCII-formatted data — also via RS232 signal — to a Link Electronics PCE-845D closed captioning encoder, which embeds the captioning into the video signal. The captions are hidden on Line 21 of the vertical blanking interval (VBI) within this NTSC signal. In television terms, the VBI is the non-viewable portion of the video signal — occupying 45 of the total 525 lines per frame. This portion of NTSC was created so that traditional CRT monitors could reset their guns to the upper left corner of the monitor screen to begin painting the next frame.
The NRC’s closed captioning system uses a Link IEC-785 module to decode this captioning data so that it can be displayed. Because the captions are being input live, they scroll left to right at a rate of about two characters per frame.
According to ExhibitOne engineer Michael Lofaro, the system allows presentations of VGA-resolution evidence to include closed captioning — a trick that involves the melding of VGA and composite video images into the same picture.
“I hadn’t seen closed captioning put on a VGA image anywhere else before,” Lofaro says. “But I didn’t want to have to take digital evidence down to a composite video resolution in order to closed caption it.”
To make it work, ExhibitOne employed an RGB Spectrum DualView XL display processor ($6,495 MSRP), which allows computer and video sources to be simultaneously viewed on the same screen, with the images stretched, shaped, and moved around per operator discretion. “We were able to give the NRC what they were really asking for,” Lofaro adds.
Daniel Frankel is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: ProAV Magazine
[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”News Release: NRC Hearing Room Deploys Multi-Image Display” open=”no”]
Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Hearing Room Deploys Multi-Image Display
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency uses RGB Spectrum’s innovative DualView multi-image display processor to integrate a wide range of computer and video sources for display in its Las Vegas, Nevada hearing room.
June 23, 2006, Alameda, CA – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for reviewing the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) application for a license to build a radioactive waste disposal repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The NRC will determine if the facility will adequately protect public health, safety, and the environment. The NRC’s review will entail public hearings likely to be one of the largest and most complex in U.S. history.
The presentation of the high volume of evidentiary material posed a significant technological challenge. The hearing room had to be equipped with an audiovisual system capable of integrating and displaying a vast array of evidence and live video testimony. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act’s mandate to provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired, both archived and live video was required to include text captioning displayed in real time.
To solve this challenge, a team of A/V integration experts from ExhibitOne upgraded the hearing room with RGB Spectrum’s DualView™ multi-image display processor. The processor’s ability to combine and display disparate computer-generated and video signals in real time made it an ideal solution for this unique project.
The hearing room’s new DualView processor is fed an assortment of electronic evidence, including previously recorded video transcripts and documents, exhibits from a digital database projected to contain more than 50,000 documents, archived video testimony, computer models and simulations, PowerPoint presentations, witness video teleconferences, and twelve live video cameras interspersed throughout the hearing room. The DualView melds the various computer-generated graphics sources with the closed captioned composite video signals so they can be displayed on a single screen, two images at a time, side-by-side, picture-in-picture, or overlayed anywhere on screen.
The DualView processor outputs to four wall-mounted 61-inch NEC PlasmaSync 61XM2 monitors placed around the hearing room. The processor offers limitless display configurations to provide flexibility. Operators can select sources, display arrangements, and manipulate each source independently. Image sizing, positioning, moving, zooming, panning, are controlled with the ease of an AMX touch panel controller in the master control room.
The DualView processor provides the presentation capability needed for one of the most complex public hearing events in recent history.
“References and statements attributed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should not be viewed as an endorsement by the NRC of the products and services discussed herein.”Excerpted from an article originally published in the May 2006 issue of Pro AV magazine (www.proavmagazine.com)
Authored by Daniel Frankel, a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Exhibit One has provided presentation and telepresence technology solutions for 12 years, with contract work in 44 states and three countries. The company’s solutions have been utilized in governments agencies, medical facilities, universities, courtrooms, and corporate enterprise markets. For more information, visit www.ExhibitOne.com.
RGB Spectrum® is a leading designer and manufacturer of videographic and multimedia hardware subsystems. Products include the View™ family of video windowing systems, the RGB/Videolink® line of scan converters, the DGy™ digital recording system, Quadra® universal scaler and synchronizer, SynchroMaster® keyers and overlayers and SuperWall™, ComputerWall® and MediaWall® multi-screen display controllers. RGB Spectrum is based in Alameda, California, and can be reached at 510-814-7000 and on the internet at http://www.rgb.com.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Judge Advocate General (JAG)” open=”no”]
United States Navy Judge Advocate General Corp. (JAG)
The Judge Advocate General (JAG) provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations in all legal matters concerning military justice, administrative law, environmental law, ethics, claims, admiralty, operational and international law, national security litigation and intelligence law, general litigation, and legal assistance. The JAG (www.jag.navy.mil) directs a worldwide organization of 770 officers, 608 enlisted members, and 355 civilian personnel.
Navy JAG representatives first saw ExhibitOne’s courtroom technology in late 2002 at the San Diego Superior Court, and in early 2003 at the Washington D.C. District Court. Its initial three courtrooms – in San Diego, CA; Bremerton, WA; and Norfolk, VA – were outfitted by ExhibitOne in 2004 with comprehensive, advanced presentation systems designed specifically to meet the unique needs of the Naval court system.
Creating technological continuity in military courtrooms, ExhibitOne continues to standardize JAG capabilities by designing and providing integrated presentation and telepresence systems for bases in Camp Pendleton, CA; Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CA; Jacksonville, FL; Pensacola, FL; Pearl Harbor, HI; and Yokasuka, Japan.
[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”News: Audiovisual Integration for an Emergency Operations Center in Nevada” open=”no”]
Audiovisual Integration for an Emergency Operations Center in Nevada
During a major emergency, there may be nothing more precious than timely information. And the state of Nevada’s emergency response teams want all of the information they can possibly get when they’re called in to take command of unthinkable situations –everything from earthquakes to floods to terrorist attacks.
A key to their success will be the state’s $8 million Emergency Operations Center (EOC). It is designed to put the state’s top emergency response decision makers – from the Department of Public Safety to Public Health to Transportation to Welfare – all in one place. They will be able to ensure the right resources are going to the right place at the right time because they have the processes, training and technology that enables everyone to collaborate and coordinate efforts.
The technology comes in the form of two large video walls with a projection screen in the center. The video walls consist of nine LCD screens each – ready to shoot out information to the nearly 70 subject matter experts who could be on hand directing a multiplicity of response efforts.
Helping to implement the technology was ExhibitOne. The system is one of the company’s latest EOC display and audio solutions that are specially created to easily accommodate future enhancement and expansion needs.
Says Kevin Sandler, CEO and President of ExhibitOne, “Based on their budget, we ensured they were up and running with the most important components of their audio and display systems. As a result, in subsequent budget years they can be very targeted and cost effective as they add on incremental capability.”
Right off the bat the Nevada EOC system is displaying 16 simultaneous video images (including cable feeds). It can also display five VGA (computer-based) images – a number that will soon increase to 32.
Sound is also very important. Even under quiet conditions, with ceilings over two stories high and floor space of nearly 3,000 square feet, a sophisticated audio system is needed for people to hear and be heard. Currently, that solution includes wireless microphones and a network of strategically placed speakers mounted in the ceiling and along the walls. In a later phase, each of the Center’s 17 command desks will have their own microphone and speaker system that will enable everyone to communicate without ever knowing that an audio system is in place.
In addition to what is seen within the Center, the display and audio technology links to glassed-off support rooms that, like stadium sky-boxes, look down into the facility from their upper levels. And all of it – the displays, computer and video feeds, sound and more – feeds through a 15 inch state-of-the-art touch screen for quick and easy, centralized control.
Processes, training and technology. In Nevada, they all come together in the Emergency Operations Center. There, in the states’ new Center, disaster response teams are ready to take command of unthinkable situations. They can do it because they now have instant access to one of the most precious resources during a major emergency – information.