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    Re: Celestial Simulator
    From: Luc Van den Borre
    Date: 2018 Mar 15, 08:55 +0100

    It looks like there are handle bars on the central ring. I figure the
    simulator would be removed from the case and placed on top of an astro
    dome. Based on the small apparent size in the picture it would probably
    have been an automated star tracker, and this would have been used for
    testing its function, not for training.
    Just a hunch of course.
    On 15/03/2018 04:15, Frank Reed wrote:
    > Hi Phil,
    > I keep going back to the photo you posted:
    > *File: *
    > [Click to enlarge.] 
    > ...and trying to imagine what it could do. The best answer I return to
    > again and again: it seems to be a portable planetarium projector. Is
    > that your working theory, too? The smaller case seems to have enough
    > knobs and dials to qualify as a small-scale console. Presumably the
    > operator would sit at some distance from the other device and a cable
    > would run from the multi-slot plug over to the other device.
    > I am guessing that the six little cans or cylinders are projectors, each
    > with an individual bulb inside. See my attached sketch below. There are
    > wires running to each of them from what appears to be a power supply.
    > They point down into what appears to be optical "piping". Each can is
    > directly above a right angle corner that probably holds a prism. I can
    > imagine a finely etched projection plate of a section of the northern
    > sky and a converging lens inside. These six projectors then aim into
    > that dome-shaped section beneath them. Now either there is a little tiny
    > planetarium theater in their for very tiny space aliens (maybe the
    > little greys from Roswell were really little!) or that section then
    > feeds to some sort of larger lens output. Is there an opening on the
    > bottom of this case to project from? Or does the whole thing turn over?
    > How does the light get out?? Does that spherical ball un-screw to reveal
    > a large projection lens??
    > And what about a projection surface... Naturally the USAF may have
    > invented a version of the inflatable planetarium dome (before you did)
    > and kept it under wraps. I have another possibility... Notice how the
    > main components seem to be mounted on a floating platform on shock-proof
    > points at each corner. They appear to be designed to protect the main
    > components from vibration. So maybe this device was used in-flight for
    > celestial navigation lessons where student-navigators could study the
    > star patterns "under the dome" and then take sights while flying. If
    > that's at all possible, then perhaps the projection surface was just the
    > cylindrical interior ceiling of a C-135? It wouldn't be quite as good as
    > a full dome, but for many purposes that might work. It's about 10 feet
    > in diameter. Or a dome partially fitting the cylindrical fuselage?
    > I'm just throwing this out there for discussion. Hope the sketch below
    > entertains. It's a purely speculative model. Phil, can you post more
    > photos? I hope someone can turn up some official records on this thing.
    > If it turns out it's actually an in-flight planetarium projector,
    > somebody owes me a beer! Ha.
    > Frank Reed
    > *File: *
    > [Click to enlarge.] 
    > [Save this file.] 
    > View and reply to this message

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