Engineering Singapore’s Birthday Bash
07 Aug 2017

For a National Day Parade (NDP) held at the Floating Platform, year 2017 marks the first time that flying lines are installed onto stage towers to elevate performers and props 20 metres above ground, boosting the dynamism of aerial performances.

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DSTA engineers and procurement specialists have been working behind the scenes to prepare a spectacular show at the Floating Platform.

Co-Chairing the Infrastructure and Decoration Committee for NDP 2017, Senior Engineer (Building and Infrastructure) Edwin Foo played a critical role in delivering key infrastructure for the nation’s birthday bash.

Edwin lent his engineering expertise to conduct detailed assessments for the stage elements to be integrated seamlessly. For instance, he devised a means to bring together movable LED screens and the 22-metre-high rotating stage safely without compromising the quality of multimedia performances.

“Witnessing the joy on spectators’ faces makes me feel a tremendous sense of achievement,” shared Edwin.

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A robust power network is the backbone of the show to meet the needs of more than 300 requirements ranging from lighting, sound, multimedia equipment, computers, fireworks to container offices.

“It is important to be familiar with the entire power set-up on site as we have to react quickly to any issues,” explained Senior Engineer (Building and Infrastructure) Kenrick Hor.

To enable swift response to faults as well as enhance work efficiency, the team added an automated alert function to improve the centralised cable monitoring system introduced at NDP 2016 by DSTA.

Summing up his experience co-chairing the Power Support Committee, Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Daniel Tan said: “I'm proud of the supportive team members with me on this journey, and we were all extremely happy to be able to contribute our expertise for Singapore's birthday bash!"

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NDP will not be complete without its audio and visual effects – from a dazzling fireworks display to an immersive stereo sound.

Working closely with the Fireworks Committee, Project Manager (Systems Management) Calvin See provided safety consultancy for the fireworks display and the use of pyrotechnics to create special effects such as bullet wounds and explosions, as part of a simulated counter-terrorism routine.

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Unlike previous parades at the Floating Platform, the stage layout for this year’s parade does not feature any erected speaker towers typically used to deliver clear sound to each audience. To maximise limited space, the team lined up stacks of speakers in front of the seating gallery, focusing the sound output directly to spectators.

These speakers are dressed up with special acoustic material to look like icebergs, so that they blend in aesthetically with the parade’s decorations. For added stereo coverage, various types of speakers are placed around the venue.

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System Manager (Systems Management) James Lee, Chairman of the Public Address and Sound Committee, shared: “Our team put in a lot of effort to engineer the sound systems so that they will complement the multimedia effects of the show segments well.”

Apart from contributing our engineering expertise, DSTA also procured key parade essentials and services. These included the fireworks, multimedia systems, lighting equipment, stage, props, costumes for over 3,000 performers and 210,000 funpacks.

Procurement Manager Rachel Chan, who is among a team of procurement specialists supporting NDP, said: “Ensuring the timely contracting and delivery of the articles to stage a nation-wide celebration was no easy feat, but the close collaboration the team had with multiple internal and external stakeholders made it possible!”

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