July 20, 2022
Front Pictures supplied five 10m mobile negative pressure domes to Planetarium Go!, a Spanish company specializing in the management of traveling planetariums.
The team behind Planetarium Go! started back in 2014, with the development of astronomy-inspired scientific dissemination projects and with organizing thematic trips to contemplate the Northern Lights. Eventually, their fascination with the cosmos evolved into an ambitious business idea featuring a whole fleet of traveling planetariums touring Spain and presenting the beauty of the Universe to the general public though the fulldome medium.
Since 2019, Planetarium Go! has been looking for an ideal dome design for traveling planetariums. The initial attempts brought the team into despair. The fiberglass dome they started to experiment with weighed several tons and required enormous efforts to assemble. Moreover, it had visible seams that were disrupting the immersive experience.
Planetarium Go! continued looking for their ideal solution and contacted Front Pictures to learn more about FP domes.
“The client approached us with a request for a mobile, easy to install planetarium dome with a projection surface that could provide a supreme image quality. Also, they aimed for a maximum seating capacity. Together with the Planetarium Go! team we selected the optimal solution – 10m RFO negative pressure dome,” says Eugene Brusko, the head of FP Engineering and Production department.
One of the FP mobile domes assembled in Córdoba, Spain. Photo credit: Planetarium Go!
In December 2021 the first pilot dome was delivered to Spain. The test screenings were extremely successful with positive reviews from visitors and daily attendance ranging from 180 to over 300 people. Based on this experience, Planetarium Go! decided to order the other four domes that were delivered in June 2022.
“Discovering Front Pictures was like finding the last missing piece of a puzzle. Their products allowed for the quick set-up and dismantling of our planetariums that is crucial for the success of our business model. We are absolutely delighted with the extraordinary quality of the new domes delivered by Front Pictures and with their team,“ says José Jiménez Garrido CEO of Planetarium Go!.
Inside the mobile dome theater. Photo credit: Planetarium Go!
Planetarium Go!’s long-term vision is to become a traveling cultural hub. Besides screening fulldome shows they also plan to bring under the dome events on the crossroads of art and astronomy such as art workshops, performances, dance and music events.
The RFO (Rigid Frame Open-Sided) domes feature an lightweight aluminum frame, a fire retardant 500D lightproof polyester exterior cover, and an ultrafine polyester gray lining that serves as a projection screen. The fabric dome screen is carefully crafted utilizing exacting geometries with almost imperceptible seams. A low noise air-pump creates negative air pressure between the outer and inner fabric layers that gives the dome screen its perfect semi-spherical shape.
The 10m RFO dome (together with a supporting aluminum truss) weighs only 320 kg (705 lb) and has a seating capacity of 50-100 people. It can serve both as a permanent dome installation or a mobile planetarium. When disassembled and packed, it fits inside a minivan and can be easily relocated and installed at a new location in a matter of days.
The Planetarium Go! team in their office. Photo credit: Planetarium Go!