xRez Studio was given a unique opportunity to spherically shoot and document the largest engineering project in the US, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore Labs in Northern California. One of the least publicly known efforts in the search for future energy sources, but most monumental in terms of ramifications, NIF has entered a crucial testing phase after 20 years of design and construction, hoping to achieve a historic benchmark this year. Enormous in its implications for relatively clean, safe, and controllable inertial fusion energy, it is the world’s largest optical device, consisting of 192 of the world’s most powerful lasers, all concentrated on a central target chamber, which in effect create a microcosm of the surface of the sun.
The spherical panoramas were captured at a high 35k resolution and then formatted in Autodesk Maya for an immersive fulldome presentation at the impressive Morrison Planetarium in the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where NIF chief Ed Moses presented the images to a TEDxSF event audience. Special thanks go out to John Densberger at LLNL.
Dbl-click to view panoramas fullscreen.
BBC/Brian Cox Tours NIF:
Ed Moses TEDx Talk: