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Inaugurated in Thuwal (Saudi Arabia) in September 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level teaching and research institution situated 90 km north of Jeddah, ...

Inaugurated in Thuwal (Saudi Arabia) in September 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level teaching and research institution situated 90 km north of Jeddah, along the coast of the Red Sea, and funded by a $10 billion endowment from the Saudi monarch. The 36-square-kilometer KAUST campus is composed of state-of-the-art facilities that place it in the forefront of world institutions for scientific research. KAUST’s leading-edge resources include Shaheen, the Middle East’s most powerful supercomputer, and the Scientific Visualization Core Laboratory. As one the initial five Core Labs in the university, the Visualization Lab includes more than a dozen core systems ranging from stereoscopic 3D immersive environments and multiple tiled display walls to development rooms and lecture halls. As part of its services to the university, the Visualization Lab facilitates research into three-dimensional geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmospheric activity on planned or existing infrastructure. By forming partnerships with universities around the world, KAUST has created a global network for research across multiple academic disciplines, ranging from environmental and biological sciences to applied mathematics and chemical engineering.
Through establishment of the Scientific Visualization Laboratory Core Labs, KAUST has vaulted to the forefront of this new discipline. With multiple rooms linked by fiber optic data networks, the Visualization Center encompasses more than a dozen “sci-vis” systems of various types, ranging from precedent-setting, stereoscopic 3D environments to development rooms and lecture halls. The Visualization Center expects to facilitate research into three-dimensional geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmospheric activity on planned or existing infrastructure.

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    KAUST Vis labbrochure KAUST Vis labbrochure Document Transcript

    • KAUSTADVANCEDVISUALIZATIONFacilities
    • 2 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future King Abdullah University of Science and Technology King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Inaugurated in Thuwal (Saudi Arabia) in September 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a graduate-level teaching and research institution situated 90 km north of Jeddah, along the coast of the Red Sea, and funded by a $10 billion endowment from the Saudi monarch. The 36-square- kilometer KAUST campus is composed of state-of-the-art facilities that place it in the forefront of world institutions for scientific research. KAUST’s leading-edge resources include Shaheen, the Middle East’s most powerful supercomputer, and the Scientific Visualization Core Laboratory. As one the initial five Core Labs in the university, the Visualization Lab includes more than a dozen core systems ranging from stereoscopic 3D immersive environments and multiple tiled display walls to development rooms and lecture halls. As part of its services to the university, the Visualization Lab facilitates research into three-dimensional geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmospheric
    • 3www.kaust.edu.saactivity on planned or existing infrastructure. By forming partnerships withuniversities around the world, KAUST has created a global network for researchacross multiple academic disciplines, ranging from environmental and biologicalsciences to applied mathematics and chemical engineering.Through establishment of the Scientific Visualization Laboratory Core Labs, KAUSThas vaulted to the forefront of this new discipline. With multiple rooms linked byfiber optic data networks, the Visualization Center encompasses more than a dozen“sci-vis” systems of various types, ranging from precedent-setting, stereoscopic3D environments to development rooms and lecture halls. The VisualizationCenter expects to facilitate research into three-dimensional geological structures,oceanographic processes, and the effects of dynamic seismic and atmosphericactivity on planned or existing infrastructure.
    • 4 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future Special partnership Academic Partnership: University of California, San Diego To assure that their scientific visualization facilities would equal or supersede any available elsewhere, KAUST administrators established an ongoing collaborative relationship with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego in developing the Visualization Lab. Calit2 assists KAUST in outlining facility requirements, collaborating on visualization projects, preparing requests for proposals, and consulting on staff appointments. Design, Engineering, and Installation: Mechdyne Corporation Mechdyne Corporation was selected for the design and engineering of the primary scientific modeling and visualization facilities at KAUST: a six-sided fully immersive virtual environment, a 75-seat 3D multipurpose room, a recording/control room, as well as additional visualization systems for research labs and lecture halls. Mechdyne was also contracted to provide systems integration, software and on-
    • 5www.kaust.edu.sasite technical geological structures, oceanographic processes, and the effects ofdynamic seismic and atmospheric activity on planned or existing infrastructure.Advanced Audio Solutions: Meyer SoundTo add an unprecedented level of dynamic, fully immersive sonification to themain visualization environments, Meyer Sound Laboratories were selected as theprincipal source for digital audio systems and self-powered loudspeakers, alongwith associated design services and on-site technical support.“It is my desire that this new University become one of the world’s greatinstitutions of research; that it educate and train future generations of scientists,engineers and technologists; and that it foster, on the basis of merit andexcellence, collaboration and cooperation with other great research universitiesand the private sector.”King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud(www.kaust.edu.sa)
    • 6 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future VISUALIZATION LAB GOALS • To construct and utilize the world’s most advanced facilities for three-dimensional modeling, visualization and sonification of scientific data. • To adapt to a wide range of research disciplines. • To seamlessly integrate dynamic real-time movement of images and sounds for interpreting large, complex data sets. • To stimulate creative problem solving and enable students to grasp concepts at multiple levels. • To attract faculty and researchers from around the world. CORNEA Immersive Virtual Reality Environment A fully immersive 3D virtual reality environment, CORNEA is an advanced version of the original CAVE immersive environment developed in the early 1990’s by Prof. Tom DeFanti and others at UIC. CORNEA is now the brightest and highest-resolution CAVE environment in the world, and one of only two six-sided installations in the world to employ 24 digital 4K projectors (four per wall) to create an impressive 200 million
    • 7www.kaust.edu.sapixel stereoscopic display. CORNEA is also the first research environment of itskind to offer the integrated sound spatialization and variable virtual acoustics ofMeyer Sound Matrix3 and Constellation.Multipurpose Room (MPR)With seating for up to 75, the Multipurpose Room (MPR) serves as theVisualization Lab’s principal space for larger group meetings and intensivecollaborative research sessions. The front wall of the MPR is a 10’ x 20’ powerwallwith 8 digital 4K projectors for a 64 million pixel stereoscopic 3D display. Theroom includes several large plasma screens are mounted on side walls foradditional imaging option, while HD cameras and wireless microphones areavailable for videoconferencing sessions. Extensive, high-speed fiber optic linesinterlink the MPR with the central computer cluster, the CORNEA environment,the Recording and Control Room and the main development room. The MPRcan tap 51 potential sources, and distribute 31 of them out of the MPR to othervisualization systems.
    • 8 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future Development Systems The Visualization Laboratory also has three development systems that are scaled- down versions of the larger collaborative environments. They allow researchers to develop, refine and revise content in fully compatible “offline” systems. Some of these include reconfigurable screens that can be transported to other locations for demonstrations, classes or scientific presentations. A High-Speed Networked Audio Infrastructure The entire Visualization Lab is interconnected by 10 Gigabit Ethernet fiber optic links, along with a parallel 100 Megabit dedicated audio network. All Matrix3 and Constellation systems are equipped with CobraNet input and output cards, enabling real-time sharing of 32-channel bidirectional audio among the three main audio environments: CORNEA, MPR, and the Recording and Control Room. A 16-channel bidirectional link connects to the development systems.
    • 9www.kaust.edu.saVisualization Laboratory ShowcaseThe Visualization Laboratory Showcase is a unique facility. It is an open space fullof state-of-the-art tiled display walls and cutting-edge 3D stereoscopic displaysbut no workstations on site. This is meant as a feature since students, professors,researchers or any university collaborator can walk in, grab one of the multiplewireless tablets in the space, connect her USB drive and bring up her data in anyof its high-tech walls with the touch of a button.It comprises five separate visualization environments, all sharing one largeopen space in a glass-enclosed lobby area, visible from the outside so users canshowcase their new ideas and share them with the university.The Visualization Lab Showcase provides a platform for demonstrating thetechnological capabilities of the Visualization Lab and the new discoveriesof research across campus. It also serves as an active laboratory for variousvisualization projects initiated by faculty and students.
    • 10 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future The Visualization Laboratory Showcase concept was developed by Calit2 at the University of California, San Diego in collaboration with the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Chicago. The systems were prototyped and tested (as a whole or in part) by Calit2 in San Diego, and then installed at KAUST by the very own staff from the KAUST Visualization Lab, CalIT2 and EVL. NexCAVE is a scalable, modular 3D environment. As implemented at KAUST, it is configured as a 21-tile system using JVC X-pol LCD displays. Sound is provided by Meyer Sound MM-4XP loudspeakers and a UMS-1P subwoofer. REVE (Rapidly Expandable Visual Environment) is an 18-tile system employing the French-developed Alioscopy technology, which displays 3D visuals without requiring the viewer to wear special glasses. AESOP is a 40-tile display wall featuring 52” NEC ultra-narrow bezel panels that enable large scale, near-seamless HD images without use of projection.
    • 11www.kaust.edu.saOptiPortal is a scalable tiled display that serves as the visual interface to theOptIPuter, a global-scale computing system tied together by tens of gigabits ofnetworking. Two OptiPortals are featured in the KAUST Showcase.Institution ProfilesKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThe King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was inspired by thedecades-long vision of the Saudi Arabian monarch, The Custodian of the Two HolyMosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.A graduate-level research university, KAUST is governed by an independent Boardof Trustees. Admission to the university is merit based, and is open to men andwomen from around the world. The inaugural class of about 400 comprises onlyabout 15% Saudi Arabian nationals, with the next largest student contingents fromChina, Mexico, and the United States. All students receive fully paid scholarships.KAUST offers advanced degrees in 11 fields of study.
    • 12 KAUST Advanced Visualization Facilities Visualize the Future Academic and research programs at KAUST focus on four areas of the sciences and technology: • Resources, Energy and the Environment. • Biosciences and Bioengineering. • Materials Science and Engineering. • Applied Mathematics and Computation Science. To support these core research thrusts, KAUST has established nine multidisciplinary research centers, of which the Geometric Modeling and Scientific Visualization Research Center is one. Calit2 and the University of California, San Diego The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is an academic research institution jointly operated by the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The institute’s principal research facilities for 3D immersive visualization and sonification are located in Atkinson Hall on the UCSD campus. In addition to CAVE environments similar to those at KAUST, Atkinson Hall also houses a 200-seat Digital Cinema Auditorium with a full complement of Meyer Sound’s Cinema Experience loudspeakers. UCSD’s new Conrad Prebys Music Center also houses several Meyer Sound installations, including a Constellation system in the Experimental Theater that is similar to the one in the KAUST Visualization Lab’s MPR.
    • 13www.kaust.edu.sa
    • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology © 2009 All rights reserved.