ESA Teams Up With Nissan To Build An Off-Road Observatory

ESA Teams Up With Nissan To Build An Off-Road Observatory

NISSAN has unveiled a concept with a difference - a Navara pick-up that can operate as a mobile astronomy lab.

But Nissan has come up with an answer in the guise of the Navara Dark Sky, a specially modified Navara pick-up which can tow a specially developed trailer with refrigerated atmosphere containing a PlaneWave telescope, and take it to places you'd normally find rather hard to access.

The exterior of the truck has been painted with nebula motifs, while the interior is finished in orange shades with reflective orange piping on the seats.

The second puzzle piece of this concept, the Navara pickup, stands as burly and ready to go as the trailer.

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Getting to these very dark places is hard, though, due to being so far from civilization. "Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility and ProPILOT, we are creating the best solutions for the next frontiers of business, no matter how complex the commercial need".

The idea of the Dark Sky concept is to work as a capable, go-anywhere observatory that can reach remote dark sky locations - areas far away from the light pollution of cities and other population centers. This is because the special trailer it is towing houses a high-power PlaneWave telescope. The red lights provide the ideal visual accent for that paint, but they also enjoy a more critical role in the build - red light affects human vision less than other light, so the truck and trailer use it at the destination to ensure minimal disruption of the dark skies they're purpose-designed to access.

ProPILOT enhances the driver's control by combining Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies. All these systems enable the Navara to maneuver the telescope trailer into the best position, giving astronomers the best view of distant galaxies. A standard 187-hp 2.3-liter turbo diesel motor remained. It's essentially a mobile observatory.

Nissan didn't elaborate much on plans for making this concept a production version for astronomers, but said that after the Hannover event it will "donate the telescope to pass on the spirit of exploration and adventure, and to inspire and educate future generations".

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