What we do
Discover how we support the defence and security of the UK.Discover more
Our virtual reality team is leading the way in visualisation techniques which are crucial to AWE's core programme. This unique approach enables us to carry out sensitive work, such as weapon assembly and disassembly, through to supporting facilities and business functions.
By producing visual prototypes, animations and photo-realistic images - a virtual view that looks just like the real thing - we are able to let people see or experience a design proposal before it becomes a reality. Wearing state-of-the-art headset, the user is instantly transported to a 3D virtual environment that they can walk around or trial. They can see the design for themselves and make any changes without incurring the costs.
The projects carried out by the VR team directly support the UK requirement for nuclear warheads, major facility design and national nuclear security. The technology has helped in the planning of replacement facilities, such as the Orion laser facility, as well as creating savings in our national nuclear security work by producing scenarios for use in training.
State-of-the art additive manufacturing (or rapid prototyping as it is also sometimes known) is used to produce comprehensive models of component designs prior to manufacture, helping achieve right-first-time solutions.
Now scientists have harnessed this innovative technology to aid the complex construction of our replacement high explosives fabrication facility, Circinus. This novel model-making process transforms computer-aided designs into physical models and solid objects.
Data capturing, scanning and processing real-world objects in the digital virtual environment requires non-contact measurement techniques. Using laser scanners and white-light fringe projection systems, 3D data of artefact geometry can be captured. This can then be used for CAD model based inspection or for rapid prototyping of artefacts of special interest. Large volume or ‘scene scanning’ is used to configuration control facilities and provide engineering analysis models of containers and large support equipment.