Avalon 2017: A show of firsts on the international stage

Coalescence at Avalon 2017

Exhibit visitor experiences Coalescence™, a mixed-reality training system that made its international debut at Avalon 2017 in Geelong, Australia. Click to enlarge

The biennial Australian International Aerospace and Defense Exposition (Avalon) came to a close on March 5 after bringing together thousands of civil aviation, air transport, aerospace, military and government key decision makers from around the world. Rockwell Collins made an impact by introducing its new mixed reality training system to the international market, as well as demonstrating wideband high frequency technology on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft for the first time.

Mixed Reality Training Becomes a Reality


Rockwell Collins showcased a new product called Coalescence™, a mixed reality training system. Without any special suits or gloves, the system is able to put the user in a virtual world while still allowing the user to see their hands and interact with live objects.

The introduction of Coalescence at Avalon 2017 was strategic as the Australian Defence Force is investing in live, virtual, and constructive architectures under various programs. Increasingly, training solutions must be able to interface with other assets, be rapidly deployable, and offer high levels of fidelity and realism.

“There is an increased reliance on training systems to achieve the necessary results,” said Nick Gibbs, managing director of Australia for Rockwell Collins. “Coalescence meets those needs by immersing the user in the training simulation and creating a more realistic experience.”

The Coalescence demo featured a flight over mountainous terrain in a F/A-18 cockpit, generating a lot of interest on the show floor. Some of the “flyers” included a variety of visitors from the U.S. government, RAAF, Army, Navy, politicians and enthralled members of the general public.

Notably, the Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne visited the Rockwell Collins booth and viewed the demo as did many RAAF senior officers.

“Coalescence was greeted with great interest and amazement,” commented Andrew Pryor, director of Government Systems Business Development in the Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins.

Wideband High Frequency Communications Demonstration


Avalon 2017 marked two years since the launch of the RAAF’s 5th generation transformation program, Plan Jericho, and a number of companies partnered with the RAAF to demonstrate the important progress that has been made. To witness the new technologies, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined the Defence Minister. Ms. Payne was interested to learn about technologies that protect the warfighter and about how we were supporting Australian industrial participation in global supply chains.

For the first time, Rockwell Collins and the RAAF demonstrated the successful transmission of wideband high frequency (WBHF) communications from a ground station to a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. The test included the transmission of streaming video, real-time chat, file transfers and digital voice audio. According to Jim Walker, vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins, WBHF technology is the only modernized HF solution that delivers net-centric, high-speed communications at a cost in line with today’s military budgets.

Two Years for Innovation

When the Avalon Expo returns in 2019, there will no doubt be another collection of innovative products demonstrated by companies from around the world, including Rockwell Collins.

“With technology developing so quickly, it’s exciting to think of what’s to come,” commented Pryor.

Story posted: March 22, 2017

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