Depending on the size of the planetarium, a project often takes 2 to 3 years from conception to completion. For planning a large dome theater, the initial research alone may take a year or more.
First, a committee should be organized to investigate and set the goals and priorities for the overall project. This avoids the pitfall of being unduly attracted to one or another flashy equipment demonstration, and instead directs future decisions to ensure that they are working effectively toward the set goals. Once set, then a search of the available options can be made by visiting various planetarium theaters and by collecting and examining data such as product catalogs. If at any time in the process the initial goals seem too restrictive, it is always possible to amend them. But to avoid “goals drift,” any change in the goals should be done only through a conscious effort, and with approvals all around.
Then, the committee can shift their focus to obtaining a site, staffing, selecting equipment and working out programming and operational issues. GOTO provides valuable information during these preliminary stages and gladly arranges visits to the newest facilities.
ome vendors around the world. This helps to ensure that the highest standards of dome screens are provided in your planetarium.
The design crystallizes the concept. Staff from the selected architectural firm will inspect facilities similar to the committee’s conceptual plan, consult with the equipment manufacturers, and then draw up a basic design accordingly.
The planetarium, with its spherical projection screen and specialized
projection systems and unique acoustics is different from other buildings and requires special considerations during the design stage.
Your architect has likely never designed a planetarium. GOTO INC has been involved in the design of literally hundreds of them. So why not use an experienced expert to assist your design?
While some design details can be left generic, to allow for several different equipment vendors to later be accommodated, the sooner you choose equipment vendors, the more money you can save by not over-designing and then changing designs at a later date.
GOTO cooperates closely with the architectural firm by supplying reference drawings for the basic theater design which are based on our long history of successful planetarium theaters. We also are happy to review and exchange electronica CAD files regarding special details. So while your architect will probably be local, GOTO’s engineers and design consultants will be available via the internet whenever needed.
a) Planetarium Building and Dome Screen
It is no exaggeration to say that the atmosphere of the space theater is determined by the quality of the screen. The dome installation requires very specialized techniques. GOTO and its international subcontractors, having built over 200 domes to date, has perfected the technique of erecting a superior dome screen.
Installation of Planetarium Equipment
Installation of the planetarium projector, fulldome video, audio, lighting control systems begins after the completion of the construction of the dome screen and theater interior. Seat installation work starts as soon as GOTO’s technical experts finish the final adjustment and alignment of the projectors.
The operator begins learning about the equipment during the installation work. Once the technicians finish the projector alignment and adjustment, intensive training on maintenance, basic repairs, and operational procedures is given.
All GOTO products carry a one year guanrantee after delivery. From the second year, regular maintenance may be contracted with GOTO or one of our highly trained and authorized international agents.
b) Show Production
GOTO creates, supplies, and installs planetarium programs for school and public audiences. Commission us to produce an original show for your planetarium. Or choose from among fulldome shows already created by GOTO or select international producers and distributed by GOTO. We supply shows to more than 200 planetariums annually, and welcome any kind of request for new programs.
Or if you wish to create your own shows, select from our large library of inexpensive still images, movies, and fulldome video clips. Responding to the growing demand from our customers, the GOTO show library has grown year by year to its present size of over 1,000 scenarios. You will most certainly find full programs, panorama scenes, still images, movie and fulldome video clips among our huge selection which will excite your planetarium audiences.
What sort of planetarium are made by GOTO?
Goto makes products from small models for use in 8-meter school domes to some of the largest domes in existence, up to and beyond 30 meters. Knowing that small sized environments work better for educational purposes, and that large, high-volume museums require larger theaters that can seat hundreds of people, GOTO has created a range of machines that can be chosen to match needs, spaces, and budgets.
Since 2004, when GOTO revolutionized the entire planetarium field with the world’s first GOTO HYBRID Planetarium®, GOTO has devoted enormous R&D effort to creating a line of projectors optimized for HYBRID use. The CHIRON, CHRONOS, and PANDIA model lines have evolved into projectors which continue GOTO’s quest for the perfect sky, while simplifying and reducing the size of projectors because many functions previously on opto-mechanical projectors are now delivered via the HYBRID’s synchronized fulldome video system.
All GOTO opto-mechanical planetarium projectors now share many of the same features.
The Planetarium World’s Best Skies
Stars are smaller, brighter, and more accurately colorful than ever before – even up to an option for the CHIRON sky to have ALL stars showing their correct color temperature. GOTO owners can choose from a number of Milky Way options which can include individual dimming, star fields made up of tens of millions of micro-stars, and even hundreds of dark nebulae. The planetarium’s night sky has never looked more realistic.
An Astronaut’s View of Space
GOTO’s modern projectors all carry the heritage of GSS, or GOTO Space System projectors which were an industry first back in the 1990’s. This means that the user can choose any location in the solar system for their observations. If set to stand on the surface of Mars, or float above the clouds of Jupiter, you will see the stars, sun, and other planets moving exactly as you should during that planet’s days, months, or many years. Take a ride on a comet, or view a sunset from Uranus.
Intelligent Functions to Simplify Presentations
Parameterization is another function of modern GOTO HYBRID Planetariums® which originated years ago. GOTO realized that the work of a live planetarium presenter would be much easier and sunsets much more beautiful if functions such as sunset and twilight glows, the slow appearance of planets, smooth change of the sky from blue to black, gradual brightening of stars, and many other functions were all controlled by a single parameter – the altitude of the sun. So one of the continuing features of all GOTO HYBRIDS is an almost infinitely customizable Parameterization control of the HYBRID system.
The precision gravity shutters on the CHRONOS line act much like a doll’s eyelids to keep the horizon the exact cutoff line between the sky and the room below it. But since the CHIRON and PANDIA projectors are built to also accommodate tilted domes, they have a very different type of computer-controlled, motorized shutters. These digital shutters offer not only an accurate cutoff of the stars in a tilted dome, but also allow the operator to open all lenses totally, to bathe the audience in stars. Or stars can be blacked out in the lower front of a tilted dome to show beautiful and realistic panorama scenes in that section of the dome. Or make a dramatic, dark cloud sweep across the starry night sky.
The HYBRID Experience
Perhaps the most stunning of all features and functions of GOTO’s line of opto-mechanical projectors is that they are all built specifically to be hybridized and synchronized with selected, modern, fulldome video systems. A single touch of a control moves both the intense, sharply focused stars from the opto-mechanical projector and the colorful animations of the fulldome system in tight synchronization. Planetarium operators’ dreams of creating exactly the effects they desired are now a reality.