Expectations are high in Huntsville for those answers, which may well be revealed at The Boeing Co.’s new Center for Applied Simulation and Analytics (CASA) labs.
“We solve the most complicated problems in the world, and it’s a competitive environment, ” said Dr. John J. Tracy, chief technology officer of The Boeing Co. and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology. He spoke at the CASA facility’s opening on June 18. “We place a premium on innovation and processes.”
The CASA labs came as a 7, 000-square-foot addition to Boeing’s Research and Technology Center at the Redstone Gateway, which has a total 80, 000 square feet of lab and office space located just outside Redstone Arsenal.
For the opening ceremony, a virtual ribbon appeared on a one-of-a-kind, curved, near seamless rear projection screen that is 6.5 feet high and 28 feet wide. Boeing and civic leaders used virtual scissors via tablet computers to cut the ribbon, which then turned the screen, along with eight other touch screens in the room, into live feeds from Boeing facilities all over the world.
“This is not a conference room, but a collaboration room, ” said Steve Swaine, director of Support and Analytics Technology, who leads Boeing Research & Technology in Huntsville. “It’s an immersive environment, and one where we can work face-to-face with our customers.”
One example, he said, is that the screen will be beneficial for examining wire harnesses for an aircraft.
“That’s a big system, and you can completely zoom in and out of different areas, ” Swaine said. “This room is not just intended for those working here, but for Boeing’s commercial airline and defense customers to come here, share ideas and work.”
The CASA labs include Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Mobile Development, Modeling and Simulation, System Engineering Integrated Technology, Technology Integration and Immersive Visualization. Scientists from all over the world will be using the facility.
“We work on life-changing products and services, ” Tracy said. “That includes jetliners, satellites, instant communications, rockets and tools for our brave warfighters, and it’s a privilege to work on them. Our company is stronger with the capabilities and services we have here in Alabama.”
text by Wendy Reeves