Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

The Home of the Famous Lovell Radio Telescope
Manchester, UK

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Jodrell Bank, home of the famous Lovell radio telescope, opened its new exhibition in April 2011 after upgrading its visitor facilities with the addition of two pavilions: the Planet Pavilion and the Space Pavilion. The pavilions house exhibitions on astronomy and the work of Jodrell Bank. The audio-visual and interactive elements of the exhibits were installed by Electrosonic under subcontract to the Moule Partnership.

Jodrell Bank

The Lovell Telescope dominates the Jodrell Bank site. Housed in the Planet Pavilion is the introductory exhibit the “Live Science Wall”, a 42-inch LCD panel which carries “live” images from the telescope, and a 22-inch LCD panel showing a looping video sequence helping to explain the current work of the telescope to visitors.

The main interactive exhibition is in the separate Space Pavilion. The exhibition features a line of exhibits supported by a “Film Pod” that shows short films about the history of Jodrell Bank on a continuous basis, and interactive exhibits cover topics such as the Big Bang, Pulsars and Black Holes.

People of Jodrell

The “People of Jodrell Bank” exhibit allows visitors to use a 21-inch touch screen to choose a person, and then select questions to ask them about the work they are doing. The person concerned appears on a 42-inch LCD panel, with audio delivered by overhead directional loudspeakers. Another exhibit, based on an infrared camera, demonstrates the importance of non-visible radiation.

The Infinity Corridor, which leads to an exhibition space devoted to the solar system, is a mysterious black space animated by fibre optics that presents a space related “soundscape” consisting of sounds from space and recordings from the moon landing era. At the end of the corridor is the Solar System exhibition which includes two 21-inch touch screens at the “Solar System Table” where visitors can learn all about the sun and its planets.

The team behind the new visitor facilities consisted of Jodrell Bank Discovery as end client; Thomas Matthews Ltd and Norton Allison Ltd as joint exhibition designers, Horseshoeshape as media producers and The Moule Partnership as fit-out contractors. Electrosonic provided the AV systems under subcontract to the Moule Partnership.

The AV technology installed by Electrosonic included Panphonic electrostatic directional loudspeakers, Roku Brightsign digital video players and IDEAL MP3 solid state audio players.