Projecting the universe

Published: ASIA

Projecting the universe

THAILAND: A new attraction has opened at Bangkok Planetarium offering visitors an immersive cosmological, deep space experience. The experience is built from Evans & Sutherland’s (E&S) Digistar 5 planetarium system and makes use of two Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors. The project was completed by E&S’ local partner, Siam TC Technology Company, and also included the installation of 280 customised leather seats and a themed wall and lighting system.

The pair of Boxer 4K30s have been set to project seamless images onto the 20m dome, fed from both the Digistar 5 solution and an existing Zeiss system.

‘You can rotate around and see the individual stars at different times of year with the Zeiss optical projector but you can’t “lift-off” from the Earth with it,’ explained Scott Niskach, director of international sales at E&S. ‘So we integrated the Digistar 5 into the existing system. Digistar contains the entire known universe modelled in three-dimensions allowing audiences to fly through the stars and experience front-row views of the most amazing places astronomers have discovered.’

The Christie projectors were installed in a centre, front and back configuration with customised fisheye lenses directing images around the optical projector to avoid shadows being cast on the dome. E&S also integrated its auto alignment and auto blending systems for seamless calibration in what is reportedly ‘the first installation of two Boxers in the centre of the theatre’.

‘The Christie Boxers were able to fit into the position where we needed them because of their omnidirectional capability,’ explained Michael Daut, creative and marketing director for E&S. ‘It’s a very steep angle – probably an 80° angle – almost vertical, where the Boxers are. It was a great fit for the Boxer and I doubt we could have done it with another projector.

‘When the Digistar 5 is used as a purely digital planetarium, this is where the Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors really shine,’ he added. ‘If we had gone in with dimmer projectors, then the digital experience would not have been as bright and colourful as it is.’

christie, projection, evans sutherland, planetarium, siam tc