in March 2008
Tasting Space at Kennedy Space Center
By Judith Rubin
One-Dof = Zero Gravity at Shtle Launch Experience.
Guests experience "liftoff" in the standup pre-show theater, which features hi-def video monitors.
Buzz Aldrin was among the three dozen astronauts who showed up at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to ride the new Shuttle Launch Experience (SLE) on opening day. The $60 million, 44,000-square-foot visitor attraction at Cape Canaveral FL blends showmanship with simulation to give visitors an authentic taste of what it is like to ride a NASA space shuttle. Over a period of about 25 minutes, they become passengers on the shuttle, passing through a sequence of experiential theaters that provide the sensations, sounds and sights of liftoff, acceleration and weightlessness, capped by a breathtaking view of planet Earth looking much as she does to genuine shuttle astronauts when they’re really up there.
After exiting the simulator modules, visitors wind down at their own pace among a series of educational displays about space travel and the NASA shuttle program. This attraction recently received a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement from TEA (Themed Entertainment Association).
Shuttle Launch Experience was conceived, designed and creative-directed by BRC Imagination Arts, in association with NASA-KSC and Delaware North Companies, Parks and Resorts. BRC produced the media, special effects and graphics for the attraction. The extensive BRC team included Paul Redding (project manager), Chuck Roberts (creative director/production designer) and Josh Cottrell (show systems manager). BRC founder, CEO and chief creative officer Bob Rogers, a recipient of the NASA public service medal, originated the concept and story, and was closely involved with the project from start to finish.
Worked With NASA
From the early planning stages, BRC worked closely with NASA, consulting with eight technical advisers and some 30 flown astronauts to help them understand the physical nature of the experience they had set out to evoke. The designers’ research also included firsthand exploration and examination of actual shuttle modules at KSC.
BRC made the most of astronauts’ intimate knowledge of training simulation. “Astronauts ride a lot of simulators,” said Bob Rogers. “They are connoisseurs.” BRC’s design benefited as much from what astronauts had to say about how a real shuttle launch feels, as from their reviews of the best training simulators and the differences between the two. “They know what zero G really feels like,” Rogers offered. “Shuttle Launch Experience can’t fool them. But they have told us again and again that, although SLE is not exactly like outer space—because you can’t fully simulate zero G or the true, hard vacuum of outer space here on Earth—in terms of fidelity, it may be the most realistic simulator ever.”
Having succeeded with its toughest possible audience—the astronauts themselves—it probably is not surprising that SLE is succeeding brilliantly with KSC visitors, as well. What is surprising is that this convincing simulation of a shuttle launch was achieved on a motion base that provides exactly one degree of freedom (dof).
How Many Dofs Does It Take...
Not so many years ago, when simulation attractions were spiking as a latest-and-greatest high-tech theater option for theme parks and museums, motion bases that provided three to six axes of motion were considered optimal, more capable of realism. There were plenty of outer space simulation voyages created, and they would have been ashamed to employ fewer than three dof. Without a doubt, most everyone on the creative team for SLE knew this very well; for example, Frank Weigand of The Wheel Thing, who, with colleagues Aiden Bradley and Brad Borgman, collaborated with BRC to realize the simulator concept engineering and design, is a former Imagineer who worked on the original Star Tours attraction. How could one axis possibly be enough? How could a one-axis space adventure achieve such a high ranking from actual astronauts?
It turns out that, although there are multiple forces converging from various directions, only the strongest one really counts. “A shuttle launch, when successful, delivers one primary sensation to astronauts and that is acceleration,” said Rogers. (Other forces are present but, apparently, they don’t hold a foot-candle to three Gs of acceleration.)
“Three Gs overpowers one G,” Rogers stated. “A shuttle rocket goes in one direction for 8.5 minutes with only minor changes in navigation, and the force of acceleration is so great and constant, you’re not going to feel the other forces. If other forces start to dominate to the point where they can be felt, something has gone very wrong with the launch.”
Which leads us to another big difference between SLE and prior space-travel simulation experiences: The latter tend to be complex fantasy voyages, hopping from planet to planet and galaxy to galaxy, twisting and turning along storylines in which something does go terribly, terribly wrong (kidnapped by aliens, sucked into a black hole, etc.). SLE’s non-fiction journey traces a simpler, less perilous trajectory.
Confident that one axis was enough to do the job, Bob Rogers eventually won the point, with a little help. “Early on, some NASA engineers compared the launch experience to sitting in an uncomfortable chair laid on its back on the floor while hearing a lot of loud noises and being shaken,” said Rogers. “This was supposed to discourage us from the one-dof approach, but it convinced me we could get away with it. It made sense to others once they actually rode it.”
The team constructed a full-scale mockup with two seats to prove the concept because even Frank Weigand was skeptical at first. “I was not sure one degree would deliver the experience,” he said. “I convinced Delaware North and NASA to build a mockup that we could ride to test the experience from the front row and the back row. It was built by Rando Productions. We put astronauts in it (Rick Searfoss and others) and they helped us tune it. It turned out to be the best sales tool; it pushed the job over the top. NASA brought in all the KSC top brass, as well as the astronauts to ride it. At one point, we ran about 100 people through it and did exit interviews.
A 25-foot diameter image of the Earth projected onto a painted screen as viewers exit the show.
“There was no video on board yet,” Weigand added. “It was just a hydraulically operated platform with seats, and rumble stuff in the seats, and some pretty serious audio.” The base tilts back and forth along its single axis through 110 degrees, and the climax of the in-orbit experience is when it tips all the way back and then very quickly all the way forward, producing a simulated zero G moment.
Building the mockup also nailed down several other important issues. “It told us what the loads and duty cycles were, so we knew what the show was going to be,” said Weigand. “With a fixed show like this one, once you know what the technical limits are, you can design the simulation experience right up to those limits. Another good thing was that the mockup validated that, when we flip it at the end, tilting the passengers so they’re a bit forward of center, it does make them feel weightless. That was one thing that I was really sweating.”
The mockup also provided the opportunity to have the simulation evaluated by a biomechanical engineer in terms of the effect of the ride’s G load on the human body. “Having them sign off on what we were doing at the mockup stage meant we wouldn’t have to worry about passing the bio tests later, at the final inspection stage,” said Weigand.
G Forces Kick Butt
Having clearly established by way of the mockup what the high point of SLE would be, literally and experientially (“We do a whole lot with that one dof,” stated Rogers), the design team could confidently proceed to set the pace for the portions leading up to and away from that climax.
SLE doesn’t forget to be entertaining at the same time it conveys realism. Visitors enter the attraction on a themed gantry that helps them prepare for the journey ahead as it leads into the 180-person, standup pre-show theater. The gantry is lined with hi-def video monitors, from which a variety of astronauts describe their personal launch experiences.
Inside the elliptical, 3000-square-foot pre-show theater, host/narrator Charles Bolden, Jr., charismatic veteran of four shuttle excursions, greets the passengers from the hi-def video monitors and provides an educational briefing that is followed immediately by the launch simulation: a symphony of sound effects, vibrations, CGI, lighting and smoke effects. Video is projected onto three microperforated custom 14'x17' screens from Stewart Filmscreen, with three Christie DS+65 projectors. In between each of the Stewart screens is a Panasonic 65-inch plasma display that’s mounted on the end of a working replica of the Canadian Robotic arm.
During guest load-in, these screens display the continuing loop of astronaut interviews that was started outside in the gantry queuing area. Once the show starts, Bolden appears on each of the screens to introduce the upcoming experience. As the show progresses, the monitor arms move the displays to various positions, allowing key images to be stretched across all five displays.
BRC’s Josh Cottrell worked with BRPH Architects, the facility architect, to specify the acoustic treatment that covers some 90% of the wall surfaces and the full expanse of the ceiling in the pre-show. This was necessary to combat the acoustical hot spots that naturally occur in the elliptical room’s curved surfaces. On the ceiling, three inches of fiberglass lapendary wrapped in black plastic was applied; on the walls, three inches of custom-colored acoustic paneling.
Within this carefully balanced acoustic environment, subfrequency audio steals the show. Four EAW SB80z subwoofers are flown overhead. There are three EAW KF695 main speakers behind the video screens. Two more EAW KF695s and two EAW KF300s support four surround sound channels, and an overhead channel employs two EAW MK2194 speakers. Amplifiers are from Crown, with digital signal processing and routing provided by MediaMatrix by Peavey. The control system is made up of both Anitech Systems and Allen Bradley components. The video playback uses five Nugget video servers from Doremi. Smoke equipment is from LeMeitre. Dramatic lighting effects are mostly in blues and ambers. Lighting design was by Yeager Design LLC.
‘You Don’t See All That Much’
“We learned from the astronauts that you don’t see all that much during the launch unless you’re up front; it’s mostly all your other senses kicking in,” said Mike Carroll of Techno-media Solutions LLC, which provided technical AV systems integration. “The sound, the creaking, the vibes, everything—so many components come into play. Audio is a major component.” (There are 40 ButtKicker transducers embedded in the floor.) “We’re using transducers to create vibrations in the floor, which the guest doesn’t experience as ‘audio,’ but which technically is audio. Combined with the large subwoofers, you really feel that acoustic pressure wave like you would if you really were out near the pad during a shuttle launch. It’s a tremendous addition to the visuals,” Carroll added.
Technomedia conducted an amp shootout to get the optimal combination. “We did several mockups,” said Carroll. “It was critical to couple the transducer with the appropriate amplifier because BRC was looking for reproduction of sound down in the 15 to 40Hz range. They did an analysis of launch sound and found that these low sounds were a major component. In order to get the transducers to produce signals that low, we had to go through tests to find amplifiers that matched.
“We tested mockups of four or five amp types and finally decided on Crown CTS 3000s for the simulator cabins and Crown I-Tech 6000s for the pre-show floor,” he added. “In addition to analyzing the frequencies, we measured the heat load. We were concerned that, at that low frequency, the transducers could heat up and shorten their lifespan. We found that, with the proper amp, heat dissipation was good.” The pre-show lasts about six minutes.
63 Degrees And No FODD
Exiting the pre-show, passengers next find themselves in the Safety Briefing Area fitted out with two dozen JBL Control 24AV speakers and eight 42-inch plasma screens. After receiving their safety instructions, passengers split into groups to enter the four shuttle simulator modules, where they will go into orbit. Each module holds 44 and is enclosed in a 2000-square-foot, 70-foot-high bay. Passengers buckle on their lap restraints after making sure they don’t have anything loose that could cause FODD (Foreign Object Debris Damage, an aerospace acronym).
Not all the motion that helps cue passengers to feel as if they were truly riding the shuttle is due to the motion base. Animated seats, custom-built by Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (which also did the final engineering/build and installation of the simulator) play a significant role. Ironically, those seats into which passengers have just securely strapped themselves, the grab bars of which they will soon clutch to steady themselves...those very seats they cling to are the source of many of the physical sensations they are about to experience.
As in the preshow, low-frequency audio again is a major contributor to the illusion of space flight. There are more transducers: one in each of the 44 seats, one between each pair of seats, 20 more in the floor and JBL GTO 15T two-inch diameter, high-frequency speakers mounted to the seat frames. “The low frequency sound system is tuned to the bottom limit of human hearing,” said Rogers. “It’s loud enough and at the right pitch to vibrate your chest like a drum. The guest perceives it as part of the G force.”
The transducers in the floor operate at a higher frequency than those in the seats. “We discovered that having the two different frequencies confuses your body, makes you a little insecure and adds to the effect,” said Rogers. “It produces the illusion that you are experiencing a more violent event than you really are.”
When Technomedia was testing transducers for the pre-show, it also conducted what Mike Carroll referred to as the “seat of the pants test” for the orbit sequence. Guinea pig Chuck Roberts was “the golden butt.” Carroll explained: “Because we’re using these acoustic transducers, we don’t have to shake the vehicle so much. It was a great design direction that worked very, very well.”
The seats are both effective and practical. “The more you move the whole simulator cabin, the more the power usage goes up and the more beat up the AV equipment gets,” said Frank Weigand. With the exception of the projection array for the Earth Reveal, most of the AV equipment had to be installed on board the cabin. “My philosophy is, don’t move anything you don’t have to,” said Weigand.
The carefully chosen seat effects, and the tuning of those effects, called for the team to custom-design and engineer the seats themselves, rather than turn to a prefabricated model. Air bladders within the seatbacks bolster the illusions of acceleration and antigravity. “During the launch, the air actuators deflate,” said Weigand. “The collapse makes your body sink into the seat more and gives the illusion of forward acceleration.”
“It’s like when your car accelerates,” said Rogers. “It was frankly inspired by Voyage to the Moon from Disneyland in 1955, which was not as convincing as our effect; but, for 1955, it was quite something, ahead of its time.”
Later, when the seats tilt forward for the antigravity effect, the seatback re-inflates and passengers feel their restraints tighten. “It’s like getting up a little too fast from lying down; you’re a little lightheaded,” said Rogers. Passengers are lightheaded because they’ve just spent several minutes being tipped forward and back, with the most extreme backward angle a full 63 degrees.
If NASA ran a passenger shuttle, it could look and feel just like this.
One of the things the mockup helped establish was the maximum tiltback angle. “It feels like 90 degrees,” said Weigand. “Bob Rogers really wanted to go to 90, but doing so would have required over-the-shoulder restraints.” (Ninety degrees also would have increased the risk of FODD.)
Special seat shakers shake entire rows forward and backward to provide an additional rate of oscillation. Each seat rocks back and forth on a central pivot point. “We put the odd-numbered rows out of phase with the even-numbered rows,” said Rogers, “which creates an emotional effect, a sensory illusion that the seats are shaking about twice as fast as they really are.”
Three hi-def video screens at the front of each cabin supply the scenic imagery during the simulated ascent. A Christie DS+65 projector displays on the center, 5'x7' screen. The two side screens are Panasonic 45-inch plasma TVs. There are 13 discreet channels of audio, and two EAW SP850z subwoofers.
To minimize the load on the motion base, the rectangular cabins had to remain as lightweight as possible. Rather than give the individual cabins acoustic treatment, the team opted to apply fiberglass lapendary to the bay that, along with architectural detailing, effectively isolates each space from the next. BRC based its designs for the simulator schematic, the video projection, the guest ergonomics and the audience sightlines on real NASA gear. The simulator module design was based on a real space station module.
The sounds, sensations and effects of acceleration continue for about four minutes, culminating with the 63-degree tiltback and abruptly ceasing as the passengers are tilted slightly forward.
Behold The Planet
Now thoroughly shaken and stirred and lightheaded, passengers are ready for the big visual effect: the Earth Reveal, a glorious view of our planet as the astronauts see it, as if they were suspended upside down and weightless in the orbiting shuttle. The cargo bay doors open and the projection appears, accompanied by ethereal music—the first music cue of the entire experience—as guests gasp and tears of wonder form in their eyes.
“You’re looking at the Earth upside down,” said Carroll. “In real life, the shuttle is upside down looking at Earth, but this makes it feel that way.” Earth shows herself on a 20'x40' Harkness Hall rear-projection screen, displayed by a Christie 2k large format projector connected to a QuVIS Ovation video server. Projection quality had to be the best possible to make the illusion convincing, particularly because of how close the screen is to the guests at that point (about 15 feet).
“The screen is very large and the rear-projected image actually gets bounced off a suspended Mylar mirror before it goes to the screen,” said Carroll. “The mirror is in place because, in order to get the size image that was required, we had to have more projection throw distance than was in the physical building, so the mirror increases the throw.” He added, “The mirror hangs directly above the screen, which hangs directly above the guests. For safety reasons, we did not want to use a glass mirror.” The Mylar mirror is mounted on a foam support structure and placed into a framing system.
The position of the screen presented its own set of complications. “The geometries involved are challenging because the screen is tilted at an angle relative to the ground, about 20 degrees up from horizontal,” said Carroll. “When the cargo bay doors open, the cabin position is tilted forward to promote the feeling of weightlessness, and the screen had to be parallel to the cabin. This created some interesting concerns initially because the screen material is vinyl and it stretches.” Carroll added, “We were concerned that the tilt would cause it to stretch more in one particular area in the front, and create a football shape that would distort the image. We did a mockup and found that, although it did produce some distortion, it was not as pronounced as we had feared.”
The Christie projectors, with Christie Twist software installed, were employed to amend the distortion. “Christie has some electronics that can be integrated into the projection package that allow you to do geometry correction,” offered Carroll. The screen distortion is not expected to change significantly in the future. “The temperature is kept very constant in the simulator bays and, because of that, the vinyl material stretched to about 90% of its final shape in the first two weeks,” said Carroll.
For those who can’t manage the simulator, there’s a motion-free alternative experience. But just about anyone taller than 45 inches can ride SLE.
Two consultants who advised on making the ride accessible were Bill Bunting (formerly an operations person at Epcot, now with his own company, PRJX) and Pete Axelson of Beneficial Design. Axelson designs equipment and wheelchairs to help paraplegics be active and participate in various sports. “We have a transfer seat in there,” explained Weigand, “so, if you’re wheelchair-bound but healthy, you can transfer yourself in, and the seat has all kinds of special features. There is a cross-brace to put over your chest, which takes care of you if you can’t hold yourself upright. There are ankle cuffs that will keep your legs in place when the seat tilts, and you can choose to turn the effects on or off.”
A sample seat in a small, private room is available to try out in advance. There is one handicapped seat per cabin, and it is also completely usable by able-bodied people. Those who elect not to ride the simulator following the pre-show will be guided to the Launch Observation Room. “It looks like a little NASA control center with all these monitors on it,” said Weigand. “You get to watch everyone else on the ride and you also see all the media that they see on other screens.”
With the heavenly music still around them, visitors exit the simulator cabins and make their way back to solid ground at their own pace, exploring the displays and exhibits along the spiral ramp. Many spend considerable time here, gazing at the 25-foot-diameter image of Earth projected onto a painted screen on the floor by a Christie DS+8k, and reading the plaques commemorating past shuttle voyages. When they land in the gift shop, they know they’ve returned safely to Earth.
BRC Imagination Arts
Founded in 1982 by CEO Bob Rogers, BRC has gained a reputation as one of the most creative and innovative experience design companies in the world, combining terrific storytelling and impeccable scholarship and research with a variety of technologically advanced communication tools. BRC is a re-inventor of the way educational and entertainment destinations can be presented, and the role of media.
BRC’s projects have been honored with more than 250 international awards for creative excellence, including two Oscar nominations and 13 Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Honors for Bob Rogers include the NASA Public Service Award and the Thea Award for Lifetime Achievement. The company has offices in California, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Projects include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Mystery Lodge at Knott’s Berry Farm, the Apollo Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center, Images of Singapore at Sentosa Island, The Texas Spirit Theater at the State Museum of Texas, The Bird and the Robot for the World of Motion Pavilion at Epcot, Volkswagen GläserneManufaktur corporate visitors center in Dresden, as well as multiple world’s fair pavilion exhibits, starting with Spirit Lodge for the GM Pavilion at Vancouver Expo ’86 and continuing through 2005 with the US Pavilion for the Aichi World Expo.
For more information, go to www.brcweb.com.
Technomedia Solutions LLC
Established in 2001 by president and chief creative officer John Miceli, Technomedia Solutions has earned a strong reputation for creating and delivering innovative audiovisual entertainment and corporate experiences, emphasizing the integration of reliable designs within an environment of compelling storytelling.
The company’s services include turnkey integration, programming and turnover services relating to audiovisual systems and media, always keeping in mind the direction and desires of the client, and respecting budgetary concerns, standards of quality and ease of use.
The company has offices in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas and the Bahamas, and a staff of more than 50 full-time employees. Projects include numerous attractions for Universal Studios parks, Experience Music Project in Seattle, Top of the Rock in New York City, Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Live. Technomedia is also the audiovisual design integrator for New York’s Time Warner Center.
For more information, go to www.gotechnomedia.com.
Oceaneering Entertainment Systems
With offices in Florida and Maryland, Oceaneering Entertainment Systems (OES) provides standalone and turnkeyservices for the entertainment industry: concept development, engineering, production and installation. Fieldservices include system repair, maintenance, refurbishment and diagnostics. OES specializes in underwater and land systems, medium/large dynamic mechanical systems, show action equipment and specialized ride systems.
For more info, go to www.oceaneering.com/contactinfo.asp?id=1035.
3 Doremi Labs Nuggett Pro HD video players
8 Peerless EE470R ceiling mounts, accessories
9 Samsung 214T data displays
9 SP Controls Cat Linc S-Vid S-video to Cat5 transmit-receiver pairs
2 Black Box KV108A-R3 8-port switches w/rack mount kit
1 Cisco 2950 24-port Ethernet switch
1 Data Display custom modified “rear window” display system
1 Dell custom rackmount computer
5 Doremi Labs Nuggett Pro HD video players
4 Gefen EXT-DVI-CAT5 DVI Cat5 extender transmit-receiver pairs
1 Middle Atlantic RM-KB-LCD17 17" rack LCD screen
2 Panasonic TH-65PHD9UK 65" HD plasmas w/DVI input card
8 Chief PWR-2051B arm wall mounts
1 Doremi Labs Nuggett Pro HD video player
8 Panasonic 42 TH-PHD8UK 42” HD plasma displays
8 SP Controls Cat Linc S-Vid S-video to Ca 5 transmit-receiver pairs
2 SP Controls DA-8 1 video Cat5 in to 8 Cat5 out
2 Black Box KV108A-R3 8-port switches w/rackmount kits
2 Dell custom rackmount computers
8 Doremi Labs Nuggett Pro HD video players
2 Gefen 1x4 DVI Splitter 1 DVI input to 4 DVI outputs
2 Middle Atlantic RM-KB-LCD17 17" rack LCD screen
8 Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK 50" HD plasmas w/DVI input card
8 Panasonic TY-42TM6D monitor terminal expansion boards
LOR 1 (representative of LOR 2, LOR 3 and LOR 4)
4 APW Frontier rack frames, accessories
1 Doremi Labs Nuggett Pro HD video player
3 Gefen EXT-DVI-CAT5 DVI Cat5 extender transmit-receiver pairs
1 Panasonic TH-42PWD8UK 42" ED plasma w/DVI input card
3 Panasonic WV-CK2020A 20" CRT monitors (composite feed from
4 Lowell L188LG AC distribution strips
4 Middle Atlantic DRK19-44-31 equipment racks w/accessories
3 Christie DS+65 6000 lumen SXGA projectors
3 Gefen EXT-DVI-CAT5 DVI Cat5 extender transmit-receiver pairs
3 Stewart Gray Hawk 17' 9"x 13' 4" Micro Perf front
3 Christie Digital Roadie 25K DLP projectors
3 Christie Digital Roadie image geometry warping cards, software
4 Christie DS+65 6000 lumen SXGA projectors
4 Gefen EXT-DVI-CAT5 DVI Cat 5 extender transmit-receiver pairs
3 Harkness custom 20’x38' rear-projection screens, w/truss frame
3 Mirrorlite custom 70"x144" PFS optical mirror assemblies
2 QuVIS Ovation 2K video servers
1 Christie DS+8K 1400x1050 video projector
1 Gefen EXT-DVI-CAT5 DVI Cat5 extender transmit-receiver pair
4 Hoffman custom 4x4x2 audio junction boxes
16 JBL Control 25AV 2-way speakers
40 ButtKicker Concert low-frequency audio transducers
2 EAW KF300zP 2-way speakers
5 EAW KF695zP 2-way speakers
2 EAW MK2194e 2-way speakers
4 EAW SB850zR 2-way speakers
20 Extron DA-6A audio distribution amps
2 Hoffman custom 4x4x2 Audio Junction Box
8 Peavey CAB-16D CobraNet digital audio bridges
10 Peavey CAB-16o CobraNet analog output modules
3 Peavey MediaMatrix NION N6
2 Peavey NIO-8ml NION 8-mic/line input cards
2 Peavey NIO-8o NION 8-Line output cards
4 Hoffman custom 4x4x2 audio junction boxes
44 JBL Control 24CT 2-way speakers
8 EAW JF80 2-way speakers
24 EAW UB52 2-way speakers
8 EAW SB850zR 2-way speakers
4 EAW KF360z 2-way speakers
LOR 1 (representative of LOR 2, LOR 3 and LOR 4)
1 Hoffman custom 12x12x4 audio junction box
4 JBL Control 25AV 2-way speakers
2 JBL Control 29AV 2-way speakers
1 JBL SB 210 2-way speaker
Exit Hall, Ramp, Gallery
1 Hoffman custom 4x4x2 audio junction box
18 JBL Control 26CT 2-way speakers
21 JBL Control 126W 2-way speakers w/transformer
4 JBL Control 24CT 2-way speakers
3 Anitech DSM-4020 digital sound modules w/ PCMCIA socket
4 Cisco 2950 24-port Ethernet switches
4 Crown CTS4200IQ amps, 70V, 4-channel @ 200W per w/IQ
5 Crown CTS8200IQ amps, 70V, 4-channel @ 200W per w/IQ
5 Crown I-Tech 6000 amps, 70V, 2-channel 3000W @ 4 ohms
20 Crown CTS1200LITE amps, 2-channel w/PIP Lite module
41 Crown CTS3000LITE amps, 70V, 4-channel @ 200W per
16 Lowell L188LG AC distribution strip
16 Middle Atlantic DRK19-44-31 equipment rack w/accessories
1 Peavey Station 48 48-button PA circuit board
1 Peavey Command Center PageMatrix controller
8 Peavey Station 4W 4-button PA station assemblies
11 TOA MP-1216 active audio monitors
Allen Bradley control system
Anitech control system
List is edited from information supplied by Technomedia Solutions.
The Wheel Thing, Inc.
Designer and developer of specialty entertainment systems, The Wheel Thing was established in Orlando in 1996. The Wheel Thing’s four principals have among them some 65 years’ combined experience working for major theme park operators. They are Frank Weigand (president), Kevin Parent (vice president), Aiden Bradley (chief technical officer) and Brad Borgman (director of project engineering). The company provides conceptual design, technical management, design audits, installation supervision, control systems and field upgrades of complex shows, rides and animation.
Clients include major theme park designers, NASA, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, several major ride manufacturers, alternative energy companies, commercial space ventures and homebuilders.
For more information, go to www.the-wheel-thing-inc.com.
Judith Rubin is a freelance writer and publicist for the attractions industry.