Pentagon Transitions Analog to Digital with KLC networks & connectCAD
A story by connectCAD client Zachary Manning from KLC networks, published in Sound & Communications magazine
Upgrading an analog video teleconference system to a modern digital fiber-based installation might seem fairly straightforward, but when the client is the US Department of Defense and the location is the Pentagon itself, and the role of the system nothing less than the backup should the Pentagon ever be disabled or go offline, things are very different indeed.
[...] “The project was further complicated by having a very short window of time in which to take the legacy system offline. Since this is an auxiliary site and there are various global events in which our DoD may have involvement or interest in, the reality is that the room may have been needed at any given time were something of interest to occur. The pressure was extensive to say the least.”
The project itself involved an analog to digital upgrade (both HdBase-T and Multi-mode Fiber) of the video infrastructure with a large-scale video distribution system. The DoD demanded a mission-critical system that could flawlessly distribute content locally (26 operators) and to 46 overflow offices.
Since this was an upgrade and expansion to an existing system, the primary objective was to upgrade the current system to a digital solution with the additional capability to push content to 46 overflow offices. Integrating a soft codec solution into the system while implementing a simple and user-friendly control interface were also essential objectives.
During the design process, Chris and I had various sessions collaborating with the client in order to survey the facility and discuss objectives and limitations. Because of funding and the nature of how that funding is released we ended up with a fairly mercurial project that kept growing in budget and in scope. Initially we were simply doing a VTC room with voice lift and a video wall, and support for a handful of PC to be displayed on said video wall.
Fast forward several months and the requirements had grown: we had soft-VTC integration with an SX80, USB pc audio, and a large amount of fiber outputs that would feed remote offices for passive viewing of DoD briefings and closed circuit cams to be integrated.”
Using Vectorworks fitted with the connectCAD plugin as our primary design tools, we proceeded to develop a system design, bill of materials and quote. In a project like this where goals and scope change as the project evolves, software flexibility played an important role. Once the design process was complete, system drawings, riser drawings, pathway drawings, pull lists and a number of other documents were passed to the customer for review and approval by their personnel. Vectorworks with connectCAD facilitated the entire design and installation process. The impact of a sound design increased the time and monetary savings exponentially as the project rolled out.
System design documentation was updated continuously throughout the building process as a contingency effort to maintain sufficient records in case the system had to be put in use and to expedite the sign off process.
Due to the condensed nature of the project it was critical that we reuse what was already in place to save time and manage cost.