Zeiss Star Projector
Barco’s I-DOME combines different projection technologies for unique astronomical experience at Hamburg planetarium

Barco’s I-DOME combines different projection technologies for unique astronomical experience at Hamburg planetarium

Most planetarium directors dream of it, but in Hamburg it’s a reality: the quintessence of planetarium core technologies projecting the universe as it has never been done before. Watch the configuration of planets and stars as they existed when Christ was born, and how they will remain in millenniums to come. Enter into a starry fairy-tale, totally surrounding you with multi-channel video and sound.

“We are proud to have been able to contribute to this worldwide first,” says Eric Braux, Barco Edutainment Product Group Manager. “At the Hamburg planetarium, the extended portfolio of Barco core display technologies, backed by an extensive know-how and worldwide experience in complex, reliable installations, resulted in a unique configuration. Thanks to a proactive team spirit of all partners involved, a remarkable high quality was achieved in a very short time.”

Hamburg planetarium Director Thomas W. Kraupe – counselor for the re-equipment of the in 2000 re-opened famous Hayden planetarium in New York - transformed the Hamburg water tower, built in 1912, into a phenomenal astronomical experience. After the most important renovation since its opening as a planetarium in 1930, the Hamburg planetarium now can boast to be the most advanced science center in Germany.

“I am really amazed that this combined complex setup of CRT and DLP projectors is working out so nicely,” states Thomas W. Kraupe, Director of the Hamburg Planetarium. “Despite all the difficulties on site, the Barco team managed to set up the projectors in the proper positions. The first programs are running today and indeed many colleagues are interested and stated they had never seen such good geometry alignments in any other dome system. A really impressive result. This will be dynamite!”

Top innovating companies committed to the planetarium community were contracted for the realization: Carl Zeiss delivered the digital-controlled star projector and a laser projector. Sky-Scan dealt with the automation, sound, and lighting. Evans & Sutherland , as a contractor for the dome visualization, realized the real-time 3D computer graphics and high-definition video image generation. E&S chose Barco’s I-DOME for the full-dome video and data projection on the 21-meter diameter Spitz hemispherical screen. A unique relationship of partners sharing the same vision was established, building upon the spirit of the "Barco Innovation Partner Program". This program fosters innovation and invites Science Centers and Planetariums to study possible avenues of collaboration, aiming to set new trends with a new range of use of the latest state-of-the-art technologies.

The Barco I-DOME DUO configuration is a ”worldwide first” for the planetarium community as it combines the benefits of CRT projection with the unique capabilities of DLP technology. Seven BarcoReality 909 high-resolution CRT projectors and seven Barco SIM 4 DLP projectors are spread over seven zones in the perimeter of the 21-meter diameter planetarium dome. To achieve the true black levels needed to project a starry sky, the BarcoReality 909 projectors deliver the absolute highest standard. While for bright video show scenes, the SIM 4’s provide the brightest images with breathtaking visual fidelity.

254 comfortable seats give visitors a common flying direction, immersing them in their discovery of the universe. The combination of CRT and DLP Barco projectors splashes stunning space visualizations across the entire planetarium and creates a sensation of movement for the audience.

Author Notes:

Shayda Fraser contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.projectors-projectors.com.  An online look at projectors, home theatre and accessories; such as digital, video, screens and slides.

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