Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center receives first virtual reality video studio

Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center receives first virtual reality video studio

  • Modernization
  • Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support
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The use of mass media to reach approved target audiences is a sub-capability of Bundeswehr Operational Communication. But how do you reach the target audience these days? TV reports and videos, which are increasingly being streamed via the Internet, are of key significance here. In the future, these products will be produced by the media specialists at the Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center (Zentrum Operative Kommunikation der Bundeswehr - ZOpKomBw) in a new virtual reality (VR) video studio.

A soldier stands between television cameras in front of numerous monitors
Dirk Arenz, Sergeant Major Bundeswehr/Maximilian Maiwald
The new studio can compete with civilian video and TV production facilities in every respect. The wide range of new possibilities offer us completely new opportunities in front of and behind the camera.

The handover of the VR studio to ZOpKomBw by BAAINBw opens up completely new possibilities in moving image production. “In the virtual studio we are able to control three cameras via a robotics system. The virtual system enables extreme photorealism and an outstanding production performance,” Sergeant Major Dirk Arenz states happily. “We are now able to achieve maximum interaction between the presenter and the virtuality in the video production.” In the future, the soldier will work with the system, which is state of the art.

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Into a new world with a few clicks: The VR studio at the Center lets the presenters explore new worlds.

For example, the camera robots can be programmed to follow the presenters at specific distances and angles. Images or videos, so-called “back walls” are displayed on the six by six meters green area as required by the respective situation. The whole set-up is comparable to the features known from news broadcasts. The four main operational functional areas are set up in the “control room area”, which is connected to the studio: graphics, sound, image engineering/mixing and automation with the appropriate operator, measuring and monitoring technology. This is where the most advanced real-time VR system technology currently available on the market comes into play.

Handover ceremony at ZOpKomBw

The handover at the Oberst Hauschild Barracks marks the beginning of an important new chapter for media technology in the Bundeswehr. Colonel (GS) Dr. Stefan Gruhl, commander of ZOpKomBw, acknowledged the excellent cooperation between all participants in his speech.

Two soldiers and a man in a suit stand outside the studio, jointly holding a red ribbon in their hands

Lieutenant Colonel Kai Marquardt (left), responsible branch chief at BAAINBw, and Matthias Wobbermin (right) hand over the studio to the Commander of the Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center, Colonel Dr. Stefan Gruhl, in a symbolic gesture.

Bundeswehr/Maximilian Maiwald
A woman with dark hair, a dark blazer and a blouse stands smiling in front of a wall with monitors

Brigitte Eisenbürger ensured that everything ran smoothly behind the scenes. The administrative assistant works in the responsible contract team at BAAINBw and commissioned the necessary work.

Bundeswehr/Maximilian Maiwald

The project management at the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) faced various challenges during the realization of the project. Among other things, so-called partial regenerations of the old studio and conversion measures were planned and implemented. Shortly before the handover it became particularly tricky: “The entire studio had to be moved to another building and put into operation there within only three months due to short-term changes in planning,” explains Matthias Wobbermin. The experienced desk officer from BAAINBw also managed this task in part during ongoing operation. Simultaneously, the staff was familiarized with the new system.

With the new video studio technology at ZOpKomBw, the age of virtual and augmented reality has arrived in the field of Bundeswehr media technology. In the coming years, this technology will certainly be implemented in additional central production facilities of the Bundeswehr.

by Dennis König

The new VR studio at the Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center

The media forces of the Bundeswehr Operational Communication Center receive new TV and video technology.