The Brussels Planetarium is one of the most important planetariums in Europe and a leading attraction in Belgium with a high-quality immersive experience. The planetarium is part of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, acclaimed worldwide for quality research in the Sciences of the Earth and the Universe. The planetarium has an international scientific reputation, and with its dome of 23 meters in diameter, it is one of the largest in Europe.
The brightest stars on the darkest sky
The planetarium wanted to upgrade its immersive experience to today’s technology standards. A previous collaboration with Barco and RSA Cosmos, a Konica Minolta Group company and worldwide specialist in digital planetariums, had already been a success. Both European based companies provided the projection technology for the first digital planetarium in 2009, which made it possible to create attractive and lively shows by immersing spectators in an impressive 360° environment. Based on this experience, the Brussels Planetarium relied on this partnership again.
For the new digital planetarium, RSA Cosmos delivered the latest version of its powerful astronomical software, SkyExplorer 2021, and Barco provided 8 of its F70-4K8 projectors. The laser phosphor projectors deliver a brightness level of 7,500 lumen, stunning images in 3840 x 2400 (4K UHD) resolution, as well as an unrivaled black level quality and contrast, enabling the planetarium to show the brightest stars onto a deep black sky. By combining these leading technologies, the Brussels planetarium can boast the best performing system in Belgium with a powerful 8K UHD system.
Stunningly realistic immersion into the Universe
“Above all, the new technology will offer an unmatched immersive experience, giving visitors the enchantment of an impressive starry sky and the possibility to virtually travel into our solar system and even to galaxies far away in real time,” says Rodrigo Alvarez (Manager of the Planetarium of Brussels). “The visitor will literally be immersed in a color-rich image with a surface of 840 square meters.”
RSA Cosmos and Barco were the ideal partners to make this digital planetarium a success. Thanks to its cutting-edge turnkey solutions, RSA Cosmos can present high-quality renderings through the Universe along with a wide range of educational and entertaining shows. Barco was not only the best option in terms of image performance, but also in terms of durability. The company’s F70 projectors offer a light source lifetime of up to 60,000 hours.
“This lifetime is a huge advancement in comparison to the previous projection system where lamps needed to be replaced every 700 hours,” says Rodrigo Alvarez. “This will increase both the reliability and sustainability of our solution.” On top of that, Barco will also provide priority support and preventive maintenance for 10 years, according to its EssentialCare service program.