New software for ZEISS Planetariums customers

The new version of the powerdome software includes the 3D planetarium with numerous astronomical databases for comprehensive visualization of the universe.

April 2018

Reach for the stars and beyond

ZEISS presents the new software package "powerdome IV" at the meeting of the German Speaking Planetarium Association

With the enhanced "powerdome IV" software version, ZEISS offers its customers far-reaching presentations from the brilliant night sky on Earth to journeys through the solar system and the Milky Way to the limits of the observable universe. ZEISS presented the software for the first time at this year's meeting of the German Speaking Planetarium Association in Laupheim.

ZEISS has been investing in digital projection solutions for star theatres since the turn of the millennium. ZEISS is the only supplier to offer its customers complete solutions combining optical-mechanical planetarium projectors and digital fulldome systems from one hand. For these systems, known as Hybrid Planetariums, the software for synchronous control and common optical and digital representation plays a special role. While the starry sky shines in lifelike beauty by means of the planetarium projector, video projectors take over the exact superimposition of constellation figures, astronomical objects and the visualization of the universe as a whole, to name a few. Part of the new software is a 3D planetarium with numerous astronomical databases, which serves to visualize the observable universe.

With the latest HEVC video codec and the extended color depth, powerdome IV also ensures improved image quality. The software components enable the simulation of atmospheric effects such as clouds, rain, northern lights and rainbows. The software recognizes images of celestial objects with astronomical metadata and automatically places them in the correct position in the starry sky. With the telescope function, planetarium visitors can view these objects enlarged, so to speak at close range.

For particularly demanding installations, powerdome IV also enables stereo projection with a particularly high resolution of more than 50 million pixels (8k).

The Science City planetarium in Kolkata, India, will be one of the first facilities to work with powerdome IV. This year, the planetarium will commission a ZEISS fulldome system with 8k stereo projection.