ZEISS Planetarium © ZEISS/Planetariums
The Fulldome System

For larger domes, fulldome projection consists of several channels, i.e., several video projectors placed at the edge of the space directly under the projection dome and projecting onto the opposing area of the dome. If possible, they should be mounted on or at the surrounding building structure. We recommend that the details be discussed with us, as the installation can also affect the image quality. The number of projectors depends on several factors such as the desired resolution and brightness.

The Audio System

A planetarium requires a professional, multi-channel audio system for a clean and spatial sound experience. The sound environment can range from a simple stereo solution to 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound to a system providing spatial sound. The system should also include microphones, headphones, sound mixing and, if necessary, a recording studio.

The ZEISS Star Projector

The star projector is the central element for the most important visual presentation in the planetarium. This precision mechanical instrument is specialized in creating the lifelike and impressive simulation of the night sky. The starball must be precisely located in the center of the dome.

The Dome Lighting

One or more LED light rings (colored / white) are installed in the cove at the dome horizon. They provide twilight and similar effects and for atmospheric lighting as well as for brightening the room for the entrance and exit of the audience.

The Control Console

The planetarium presentation is controlled from the control console. Ideally, the control console should be located opposite the main projection direction at the periphery of the dome. ZEISS will offer a console suitable for all facilities. In many projects, this is done in coordination with the interior designer. There should be sufficient space for monitors, keyboards and the control panel for the planetarium projector, but also for storage, mixing desk if necessary, microphones and lighting control.

The Stage

The stage is the area for live presentations. Special thought should be given to the placement of sound system components (microphones, monitor speakers) and for area lighting (spots, effect lighting) when planning.

The Projection Dome

The dome is an integral part of the overall projection system. It needs to meet static, optical and acoustical requirements. The more homogeneous the projection surface, the better the resulting dome image. The degree of reflection influences brightness and contrast.

The Auditorium

The auditorium normally offers fixed seating. The seating arrangement for auditoriums without inclination can be concentric (oriented towards the center) or unidirectional (oriented in the main projection direction). The traditional concentric orientation is preferred mainly for astronomical presentations. Planning should take into account entrance and exit visitor flow, wheelchair access and safety concerns.

ZEISS Planetariums

Every Planetarium Project is Unique

Good Planning is Based on Experience

We present here the most important components of a planetarium as well as varying design possibilities. The exact planning is usually done by a planning agency. ZEISS provides support by offering advice, recommendations and a review of the project planning documents to ensure that the correct installation can be carried out. ZEISS will be happy to take over the entire technical configuration.

The Star Projector

ZEISS star projectors are optical-mechanical instruments consisting of a number of individual projectors and multiple motion axes. These star projectors display the simulated starry sky, including the Milky Way and objects of the solar system, onto the projection dome and simulate astronomical motions. The star projector is always located in the center of the dome room.


The Fulldome System

In addition to the star projector, digital projection systems make it possible to present visualizations over the entire dome. With its high-quality VELVET projectors, ZEISS offers perfect dome projection in every respect. It is also possible to meet special requirements with standard video projectors and offer budget-optimized solutions.

The Auditorium

The auditorium is also called the theater room. As a rule, it is a cylindrical space spanned by a hemispherical surface, the planetarium dome. The auditorium can be either horizontal or inclined. The number of seats for visitors depends on the size of the dome and the type of seating arrangement. A distinction is made between unidirectional and concentric seating arrangements.

The auditorium
The planetarium dome

The Planetarium Dome

The planetarium dome is an independent, self-supporting structure (exception: fabric domes). Typically, a rod network supports the projection surface. The dome is also an optical element of the projection and must therefore meet special requirements. LED domes, to which the imaging panels are attached, are a special feature.

Typical Variations of ZEISS Planetariums

ZEISS Planetarium © ZEISS/Planetariums
The classic planetarium is based on a star projector with equipment for numerous didactic presentations, e.g. a ZEISS SKYMASTER ZKP 4.
The Classic Small Planetarium

Emphasis on astronomical presentations

Education is the most important function of almost all small planetariums. The personal approach, the interaction with the audience, the immediate reaction to questions, all of these are the characteristics of such planetariums. Here the star projector (e.g., ZEISS SKYMASTER ZKP 4) plays the central role. The technology is a means to an end: a brilliant starry sky guarantees that astronomical knowledge is transferred in an emotional and inspirational way. Fulldome technology also plays an increasingly important role in classic planetariums.

ZEISS Planetarium mit ASTERION VELVET © ZEISS/Planetariums
Typical small planetarium up to 12 meters in diameter with an ASTERION VELVET hybrid system. Concentric seating arrangement for astronomical presentations.
The Hybrid Planetarium

Classic starry sky and fulldome visualization

For the combination of astronomical content with fulldome presentations, we recommend a hybrid system consisting of a ZEISS star projector and VELVET LED video projectors (True Black Hybrid Planetarium).

ZEISS Planetarium © ZEISS/Planetariums
Typical large planetarium with high-resolution fulldome projection. Concentric or unidirectional seating arrangements.
The Multimedia Theater

A wide range of programs

Large planetariums aim for great flexibility with respect to their programming possibilities. Events go beyond astronomical related topics only. A high quality fulldome system is the most important component. Science, culture and entertainment enrich the program spectrum. ZEISS also offers professional solutions for stereo projection.


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