USNS Mercy

Advanced AV Systems Enhance Ship-to-Shore Communications

The Mercy hospital ship is a vital resource for the United States Navy with 12 operating rooms and a total patient capacity of 1,000 beds. Her primary mission is to provide rapid mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps, Army and Air Force units. Her secondary mission is to provide mobile surgical hospital service for the U.S. government in disaster or humanitarian relief. To support these missions, advanced AV systems were needed for the ship’s closed-circuit TV, secure and non-secure video conferencing capabilities across four mess halls, which serve as central points for ship-to-shore communication, and in the Admiral’s conference room.

The four mess halls; Main, Junior Officers, Senior Officers and Chief, each received multiple large format displays to relay video content and AV rack systems to house the control equipment. The Main and Junior Officers’ systems utilize a Crestron control processor and Extron switchers for all video and switching, ClearOne for audio switching and mixing, and wireless microphone components. Tannoy ceiling loudspeakers installed in the space provide reinforced audio and are powered by TOA amplifiers. The system rack includes a custom-programmed touch panel that provides advanced routing control. Three additional wall-mounted keypads placed around the rooms support basic AV functions. When video conferencing is necessary, a codec is brought in by the ship’s IT personnel and connects to the rack system.

The Senior Officers’ mess area is equipped with an interactive display for on-screen annotation and programmed for two AV zones with secure and non-secure video conferencing capability. The Chief’s mess area has a single display and wireless touch panel so presenters can sit anywhere in the room and control basic AV functions.

The Admiral’s conference room is the smallest of the shipboard venues but the most advanced and secure in capabilities. To assist the ship’s IT department in monitoring all AV systems and displays throughout the 894-foot ship, Diversified integrated Crestron’s e-control system.

Due to the high demand for this vessel, Diversified engineered and installed the advanced AV systems quickly within a tight timeline. Working with the on-site IT team, they expedited the project running cables through bulkheads, welding mounts to the ship’s support structure and reinforcing ceiling speaker tiles to prevent movement while the ship is out to sea. The USNS Mercy now has the advanced AV system capabilities needed to more effectively meet and relay ship-to-shore communications in support of each mission.