Demonstration at UCSD Summer Research Conference

Today the cosmOcosm Sound Planetarium had its first demonstration at the UCSD Summer Research Conference. Jake, Yuka & Melisa set up our demonstration rig in the oversized meeting room we were assigned in the afternoon, which piqued quite a bit of interest among the audience members. They’d have to wait; we were last on the docket:

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Fortunately the set up is pretty compact and fits in ye olde beach trolley:


Here’s the system set up off to the side of the room: 3 speakers on chairs close to the ground, 3 up high on stools; the area is about a 10′ diameter circle.


This being a conference, Jake, Yuka & Melisa first gave a 15 minute talk about the motivation, design and testing of the test rig…


… which included a nice audio demonstration of audio timbre…

… and a healthy dose of stellar astrophysics


Here’s the presentation slides:

Then we were ready for the demonstration. With Jake & Yuka at the steering wheel, we brought the audience over to experience the sounds of stars by playing the 10 brightest stars in the Bright Star Catalog, with speeded-up nightly transits as they would be heard from San Diego in August.

Here’s the perspective from the audience, where you can hear the stars passing by:

In addition to our 10 star transit demo, we also ran the 100-star fixed demo (actually just 90 to remove the rather seriously loud Sirius), bringing stars in 10 at a time. Here’s a video showing Jake manipulating the interface while Melisa describe a little more detail about how we mapped data to moving sound:

All-in-all, and amazing success!  To be able to set up the hardware and run a demonstration in an arbitrary space, we clearly have proven that this is a portal, accessible system.  Now we just need more time to play….

Here’s the happy team after a job well done (we’re missing you Tara!!)


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