The Powerdome system is the result of a unique collaboration between Carl Zeiss Jena, Fraunhofer FIRST and the Interface Design department of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. It enables us to project real-time media and interactive visualizations in a fulldome environment. The system gives us the opportunity to develop new and innovative interactive experiences in an immersive space.
The Powerdome is located at the Urania Planetarium in Potsdam. It enriches the Planetarium’s scope of astronomical presentations while offering technical capabilities far beyond imparting astronomical contents. On the part of the FH Potdam, the emphasis is on the interactive visualization of information and data, one of the major research areas of the IDL // Interaction Design Lab and the FH Potsdam in general.
With a dome-projection system such as the Powerdome, both didactic-narrative and scientific-explorative aims can be pursued. In either case, the central concern is the visualization and impartation of complex knowledge.
To meet these special demands, the Fraunhofer FIRST and the FH Potsdam jointly upgraded the Powerdome ImageGenerator. The modified system makes it possible to access any visual format in real-time and present it on the dome. It enables engineers and designers to develop a broad scope of visualizations for a scientific context. The high resolution of the Powerdome permits minutely detailed presentations, while the spatial structure of the dome projection provides immersion into interactive data worlds.
Scientific visualization presents inherent data from each discipline – like physics, meteorology, medicine or social sciences. They may relate to very concrete visual contexts or remain at an abstract level. Geovisualizations – for example – are based on geographical data. They permit visual analyses of geo-spatial patterns, relationships and trends, and make it possible to explore geo-referential data like meteorological phenomena or complex climate models.
Setup and testing
Visualizations of abstract data serve to present and communicate highly complex data structures. There are no restrictions as to subjects – indeed, a great number of topics and data structures are feasible to be presented on the dome in high resolution.
The new Powerdome is an outstanding new asset of Potsdam as a city of sciences. Its unique technical configuration will enable the IDL // Interaction Design Lab to develop immersive and interactive visualizations , and thus be able to present complex data and facts to the public in a way that is both comprehensible and impressive.
– Photography: Yvonne Dickopf
Projects in the Powerdome