BP Center for Visualization

The BP Center for Visualization at the University of Colorado boasts state of the art hardware and software tools from Paradigm, Magic Earth and T-Surf. Ex-Arco researcher Geoff Dorn heads the research program.

The BP Center for Visualization at the University of Colorado opened its doors last month to reveal a high-end, immersive visualization environment built around hardware from Silicon Graphics and Mechdyne. An initial donation of hardware, software, intellectual property and $10.6 million seed funding from BP, along with a donation of funds from Landmark Graphics kicked the project off last year. This year, further contributions were received from Silicon Graphics, Paradigm Geophysical, Lockheed Martin and Magic Earth.


The Center’s technology derives largely from work done in Arco’s Visualization Technology group, whose leader Geoff Dorn is now the Center’s director. Dorn is a specialist in 3D seismic horizon and volume attribute analysis and 3D visualization.


The Center’s Immersive Visualization Environment (IVE), located in the College of Engineering and Applied Science in Boulder, consists of a 12 x 12 x 10-foot Mechdyne re-configurable cave with BarcoReality 909 projectors (providing up to 1600 x 1280 stereo resolution) and CrystalEyes active stereo glasses. The compute engine is a Reality Center powered by an Onyx 3800 visualization system (20 processors, 4 InfiniteReality3TM graphics pipes), 3.5 terabytes of Fibre Channel storage and a variety of other SGI workstations.


Tony Meggs, BP VP technology said, “The Center will expand the use of immersive visualization technology beyond the energy industry to new areas such as weather forecasting, human health, aerospace and agriculture. CU and the State of Colorado are uniquely positioned with a blend of academic skills and institutions, high technology and aerospace companies, and telecommunications to make the most of the BP Center for Visualization.”

Immersive Drilling Planner

One project brought to the center from Arco’s researches is an immersive visualization tool for planning and updating well paths and platforms in relation to 3D geophysical and geological data.


Speaking at the GoCad user meeting, Kim Touysinhthiphonexay described how the Immersive Drilling Planner leverages T-Surf’s GoCad to enable multi-disciplinary teams to use 3D visualization technology, state-of-the-art planning algorithms, and integrated subsurface data for field exploration and development planning. More from www.colorado.edu/Research/bpVisCenter.

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