This week, Hari Sauri Prabhu and Sridhama dasa of TOVP Planetarium and Exhibits team left for a tour of the US and Europe to attend conventions and visit planetarium service providers.
Their first port is Jena, a historical town in Germany. This one thousand year old town with a lot of history houses the headquarters of Carl Zeiss. Zeiss is popular for their optical part of the business – telescopes, microscopes, and brilliant camera lenses. But little is known about their interests in planetarium technologies. They happen to be the pioneers of planetariums in the world!
Demonstrations were specially held personally by the VP, Planetarium Division, Wilfried Lang in their unique R&D theater. The Powerdome II projection system with the Velvet projectors were on display with the promise of improved and extended software backend. The latest version of the Velvet projector showcased some breathtaking images with sharp colors and clarity. Wilfried personally discussed many facets of the system like the Show manager interface, web interface, extended integration of the uniview program package, auto calibration, and remote maintenance.
This was followed by a visit to the world’s oldest planetarium housed in Jena escorted by Lutz Miller, the manager for marketing and sales. Lutz discussed full dome systems and their attributes in detail with the exhibits team, including refurbishment of dome surfaces. The synchronicity between the digital and analogue systems were experienced by the team here – digital constellations or planets enriched by by a brilliant starry background created by an opto mechanical projector.
Over the next few weeks, the team will travel to Orlando in Florida to attend the IAAPA convention with HH Jayapataka Swami, then visit Salt Lake in Utah, Hamburg, Lucerne in Switzerland, and London before winding up the tour. After their return, the team will begin serious work on setting up a modern studio for content production.