Jul 10, 2018

Whispering projectors to explain the big bang

Museum 2 min read

You can see it for miles. The gleaming Lucerium National Science Museum stands out from its neighboring buildings in Gwangiu. The South Korean institute has a futuristic silvery shell that was designed to impress. Its vocation is to popularize science – in particular around sound and light – and foster interest among young people. 

One of its most spectacular attractions, Space 360, opened in September 2017. The 360-degree spherical projection theater—the first of its kind in South Korea—is 12 meters in diameter with 12 Barco projectors providing an immersive Virtual Reality experience. The goal is to plunge visitors in a genuine 360° environment. They enter the dome through a transparent bridge that crosses the sphere’s interior and the show begins all around, above and below them.

The visitors then travel from the Big Bang to the depths of space.

Barco projectors beat the competition

The projector system for Space 360 was designed by Ukraine’s Front Pictures, incorporating a host of clever engineering ideas. “We had to devise a layout that would avoid shadows being cast by the observation bridge, minimize openings for the projectors, while, at the same time, maximizing the resolution and brightness of the projection,” said Front Pictures CTO Vitaly Slyusarenko.

They devised a dozen different possible projection layouts to calculate each projector position and tilt capability. When their calculations were complete, Barco PGWU-62L projectors were, hands down, the best candidates for the job over three other suppliers.

Unique image quality on a unique screen

Thanks to the laser phosphor technology, Barco PGWU-62L projectors were the only ones able to support the required 360-degree rotation. The lamp-free design ensures a light-source that reduces maintenance costs considerably. Their compact design made it a piece of cake to install them behind the spherical screen and with a noise level of only 35 dB, they were the quietest option—an important consideration in creating an immersive experience. With the high-quality images produced in 1920x1200 resolution multiplied by 12 projectors, the designers of Space 360 had enough pixel density to cover 450 m² of the spherical screen without significant geometrical distortion.

“To infinity and beyond”

Thanks to Barco technology, Gwangju National Science Museum has taken a great leap forward in education and entertainment. The possibilities for future exhibitions using the spherical theater and technology are endless. Barco looks forward to providing solutions for every technological ambition they can dream up.

For more detailed information, check the full Space 360 Customer Story

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