Vivekananda 3D planetarium to be ready by October-end

When Swami Vivekananda 3D planetarium at Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park in Pilikula in Mangaluru gets ready by October-end, it will be the first-of-its-kind in the entire country.

Briefing media persons here on Monday, MLA J R Lobo said the planetarium is being developed at a cost of Rs 35.69 crore. It will be India’s first 3D active digital hybrid planetarium. The building work on planetarium is nearing completion. NITK, Surathkal, is providing technical input on the dome. An international-level tender was invited for the purchase of technology and equipment for the planetarium. M/S Evans and Sutherland Computer Corporation, USA, has won the tender and  the work is being implemented through M/SInfovision Technologies Pvt Ld, Mumbai. Mangaluru is the first city in the country to have this facility on par with cities such as Singapore, Shanghai, Richmond in USA, Bristol in UK, Tokyo in Japan.

The planetarium will have all modern innovations with 3D technology to present students and enthusiasts the best learning experience on planet. The Pilikula Planetarium will be of unidirectional with a dome diameter of 18 metre, he added.

The optical megastar star projector at the planetarium will create the beautiful realistic star field along with the bright naked eye visible planets, sun and moon, the MLA said.

The 8K resolution digistar system will use five christie mirage projectors that will keep the imagery looking expertly aligned. This beautifully bright, ultra high resolution system will extend the scope of the creative and scientific programmes that can be presented and will offer the audience the first 3D full dome experience in India. The system will use active stereo 3D glasses for exceptional 3 dimensional images that leap off the screen, thus creating a whole new level of immersion, he added.

Explaining the unique capabilities of the system, the MLA said that planetarium will have digital cloud library, dome casting, show builder, and so on.

Once ready, it will both use 2D and 3D screening. The screening will be related to astronomy, planetary system, environment, history and geography. The screening will be in English, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam languages. It will also have 20 to 25 minutes screening of Karnataka Darshana as well.

There are plans to open space gallery in the planetarium. The work on building the dome has already started and will be reach Pilikula by September. The work on manufacture of other equipment has also begun in the US. The trial run of the planetarium is likely to be held in October, he added.

During the inauguration of the planetarium, an international planetarium conference will also be organised along with planetarium festival.

To a query on who will monitor the functioning of the planetarium, Lobo said the government will appoint a director, an engineer, a scientific officer and an operator (technical) for the planetarium. In addition, the governing council of Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park, headed by deputy commissioner, will also oversee the activities.

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