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Senior Project - redeye


Software Control for Planetarium Laser Displays

Senior Project: 1993-1994
Michael Bernstein, Paul Harris, Jon Hirota and Geri-Ellen Templin

Fiske Planetarium frequently provides laser shows to the public. These laser shows combine visually interesting lissajous patterns generated on the planetarium dome by a laser projection system with music played on the planetarium's sound system. In the existing system, laser patterns were generated by an operator at a very complicated console, which allowed the operator to control the many parameters of pattern generation. Unfortunately, not all parameter settings produce interesting, or even pleasing, patterns. The console required large amounts of training to learn how to use effectively. This project consisted of three parts: a pattern editor, a script editor, and a show time script executor. The pattern editor provides an interactive user interface to design lissajous patterns by specifying their various parameters. Once an interesting pattern is designed, it may be saved to a pattern library. Patterns can be collected into sequences of patterns called scripts, which also may be saved to a script library. Each pattern in the sequence may have various durations specified. The show time executor plays the script of patterns during a laser show, allowing modification of the script and patterns on the fly if the operator desires. The system was written in C and runs in an MS-DOS environment.

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Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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