At the end of 2019, the Tamilnadu Science and Technology Centre in Chennai, India, opened with a new hybrid planetarium from ZEISS. The SKYMASTER ZKP 4 star projector and the digital fulldome projection from ZEISS replaced a 30-year-old projector of Japanese manufacture. The hybrid planetarium in the 15 m diameter dome belongs to a new generation of planetarium systems that combines the brilliant starry sky of the optical-mechanical projector with digital fulldome video projections. The synchronized system can directly display the night sky anywhere in the world at any time in the past or future. The control of the planetarium projector and the 360-degree video projections are synchronized, thus ensuring the best possible overlay of digital representations such as constellation figures, lines, names and celestial objects with the starry sky. Five high-resolution video projectors of the type GTZ270 from Sony, which ZEISS has integrated into the planetarium control system, ensure dynamic, colourful images in the dome. The digital video projection allows breathtaking immersive videos and images to be projected.
The B. M. Birla Planetarium was established in the year 1988 by the Department of Higher Education, Government of Tamilnadu. Using the facility, over 5.5 million visitors witnessed the Planetarium shows so far. The planetarium serves primarily to communicate science and technology. The science and technology centre has various exhibition areas, a science park, a 3D theatre and the planetarium. The Centre organises numerous activities to disseminate scientific concepts and attract visitors interested in the sciences.
The technical retrofitting of the old planetarium equipment and the design of the new theatre were carried out by the Indian ZEISS representative, Orbit Animate Pvt Ltd. based in Kolkata. The scope of supply also includes the 15 m projection dome, the UNIVIEW planetarium suite for interactive flights through the universe, the sound system, dome lighting and various fulldome shows.