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The Barossa Operation

Tilted View "The Barossa Operation" was named after the military training ground near the British Army Military Academy at Sandhurst, five miles south west of Sunninghill. This was in about 1992, when Robin was working with EASAMS, the "Systems House" within the GEC Marconi group of UK companies.

Robin had recently got his first (386) PC computer at home, and in his own "hobby time", had started to experiment with the type of mapping software in which he had been interested since the early 1970's, while working as a scientist at SHAPE Technical Centre in The Hague.

In a short time this software included real time integration of displayed mapping, text-to-speech synthesis, radio communications and GPS. DTM View

This software "did the rounds" as part of an EASAMS "roadshow" at various military exhibitions. At one of these - the Military College of Science at Schrivenham - Robin and his colleagues were approached by British Army students emarking on a GPS Project.

Several months later, a series of trials were held on the Barossa training grounds, and the final result was a promotional video called, "The Barossa Operation". The pictures above were generated by the software running on Laptop PCs using a 10 metre precision terrain model, holding altitude and "culture" data (e.g. grass, heather, gravel, pine trees, pylon). That at the very top shows a prediction of what a person standing cannot see, due to terrain screening. That below a "perspective view" from a particular position, showing the radio mast on the horizon. Pictures below are from the video.

Those on broadband may see the video itself, by clicking here. The video is about 22MB and lasts less than 9 minutes.

There was no copyright on the original video which as put together by Robin using professionals for filming, voice over and editing. It was done on a very low budget (of about 5,000 if Robin remembers correctly), and the detailed scripting before editing in the studio was done by Robin, using his VCR at home. EASAMS ceased trading many years ago, but you will see a "hard sell" near the end :-) You will also see credits to those who contributed, including equipment manufacturers and the RMCS team. Robin would also like to say thanks to his friends and work mates at EASAMS who worked with him on the field trials leading to the video.
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