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Prolight + Sound 2019: Sinus Award for the GEO Mission Control Centre of EUMETSAT and the Merck Innovation Centre

22 Feb 2019

Both of this year’s ‘Sinus – Systems Integration Awards’ go to companies from the south of the State of Hesse. In the ‘Control Room’ category, the renowned award for special achievements in the field of audio-visual media technology and systems integration honours the new IP-based media technology in the GEO Mission Control Centre of EUMETSAT in Darmstadt. The winning project in the ‘Corporate’ category is the ‘Inspiration Wall’ at the Merck Innovation Centre, also in Darmstadt.

An honorary award, the ‘Sinus – systems integration Award’ is given annually on the occasion of Prolight + Sound, International Fair of Technologies and Services for Entertainment, Integrated Systems and the Creative Industries, in Frankfurt. The jury and board of trustees of the award are made up of representatives of the The German Entertainment Technology Association (VPLT) and the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC), as well as experts, representatives of the trade press and Messe Frankfurt. Representatives of the customer and the contractors will receive the award at the fair on 4 April. 

Winner of the ‘Control Room’ category

Project: Media technology at the GEO Mission Control Centre
Customer: EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), Darmstadt
Contractors: SWiCA Conference Technology, Hirschberg a.d. Bergstrasse
Welco AG, Arlesheim (Switzerland)

Renewed media technology with IP-based signal distribution has been ensuring optimum operational processes at the GEO Mission Control Centre (GEO MCC) of EUMETSAT since last year. EUMETSAT, an international organisation based in Darmstadt, operates weather satellites that provide images for weather observations and forecasting and helps gather information about climate change and global warming. According to EUMETSAT, the GEO MCC is Europe’s most modern nerve centre for controlling satellites.

Besides three big video walls, the pivotal point of the renewed media technology is the IP-based signal distribution whereby all video and audio signals and the KVM control system are distributed via a central network. The controller is an AMX-NX system with command input via AMX touch panels.

Special importance has been given to audio transmission. Signals such as speech and alarms are not only transmitted via the operator’s monitor loudspeakers but also via high-quality 2-way loudspeakers installed behind acoustically transparent panelling to the left and right of the display walls. Routing is via a DSP matrix with 96 channels currently in use.

A great challenge facing the contractors was that no external software may be used on the EUMETSAT computer systems. Accordingly, all applications used had to be written specially to control the satellites. The jury also made special mention of the fact that the GEO MCC is open to the public within the framework of guided tours.

Winner of the ‘Corporate’ category

Project: Inspiration Wall at the Merck Innovation Centre
Customer: Merck KGaA, Darmstadt
Contractors: eyevis GmbH, Reutlingen
ART+COM Studios, Berlin
medienprojekt P2, Stuttgart
MKT-AG, Olching
schnellebuntebilder, Berlin

The Inspiration Wall is an expansive kinetic installation that gives the foyer of the Merck Innovation Centre its unmistakable identity. The choreography of the installation emerges from the dynamic interaction of the physical movement of the monitors and the virtual movement of the images.

The installation covers a slightly convex wall, almost 18 metres long, and consists of 24 rows, each with three monitors that can be moved individually on a vertical axis. The moving images of the installation are created procedurally and in real-time within a predefined spectrum: the numerous individual scenes are developed from ten distinct visual worlds and repeatedly reformed anew by different generative elements, ensuring they never repeat.

The installation also reacts to the movement of visitors and changes its appearance and behaviour over the course of the day. As activity in the foyer increases, the choreography becomes more dynamic. In the evening, the very bright monitors become even brighter while the pace of the choreography slows. The flow of images is also mixed with typographic content: short announcements by the Innovation Centre up to a maximum of 140 characters as well as current hashtags from selected Merck Twitter accounts.

Further information about Prolight + Sound can be found at

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

Further information is available at:

* provisional figures 2018