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Announcing a partnership with the world’s most powerful sound
Until now, it has never been possible to truly experience the power of an Ariane rocket taking off, unless you found yourself at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou. Together, Devialet and ArianeGroup have made this a reality, creating an immersive experience that will allow you to feel the take-off of an Ariane 5 rocket. You’ll hear the most powerful sound ever made by people, outside of Europe’s Spaceport.
All this is possible thanks to Devialet’s experience in the world of sound. Using all their expertise, the sound was recorded at the Spaceport itself. Now that thunderous noise can be played back on a Phantom speaker.
To capture the sound of the rocket, a Devialet engineer spent three days on the ground at Kourou in French Guiana. This was in August 2019, on the occasion of the 249th Ariane rocket flight. Welcomed and guided by engineers from ArianeGroup, the Devialet engineer was able to approach the launchpad. He observed the extraordinary power required for take-off, carefully recording the sound of the rocket as it blasted off into space.
To reproduce the sound of take-off as authentically as possible, the engineer used the following recording equipment:
- One 3D microphone, capturing sound from all directions with a four-channel Ambisonics format. This made it possible to recreate the movement of the rocket as it took off, as well as providing an idea of elevation with a 3D system.
- One pair of microphones in “stereo mode”, capturing sound in much the same way as our ears. This provided a “standard” quality recording compatible with a stereo sound system.
- One highly directional “shotgun” microphone trained on the rocket to record its exact sound.
To create the perfect experience, Devialet and ArianeGroup engineers then designed an immersive booth, complete with 360° visuals and eight Phantom I speakers. These will produce the unprecedented sound that will take you directly to the take-off observation point in the middle of the jungles of Kourou.
A cutting-edge partnership
Devialet and ArianeGroup work on extremely similar problems. Incredible as it might seem, rockets and speakers have a number of things in common. This is a partnership that will truly “make some noise” – cemented by the excitement, competitive spirit, and passion of our teams.
The idea of working together came naturally. In the space sector, acoustics, sound and sound propagation are also key issues. When an Ariane 5 rocket takes off, we start what’s called a ‘flood.’ Tons of water are poured at the foot of the launcher and onto the launchpad. Contrary to what people might think, the most important aim of that flood isn’t to cool things down or put out fires. It’s to ‘break’ the enormous sound wave that the Vulcain motor and solid rocket boosters of our Ariane 5 produce when they launch. If we didn’t do that, the soundwave might spread up the rocket, damaging its payload – satellites, essentially.”
Devialet engineers in every field (sound, mechanical, industrial, software, etc.) have worked to solve issues related to sound mastering, reproduction, and pressure. The company has filed over 200 patents in the world of sound, creating technologies that can deliver high-fidelity, ultra-dense sound in a compact design to allow listeners to feel the physical impact of sound like never before.
Working together with the teams at ArianeGroup is part of our long-term progression. Our companies have unique technological know-how. This benefits both of us. The inspiration comes from the incredible world of space, which sparked the first phase of our collaboration. We want to offer the general public an extraordinary sound adventure: experiencing a rocket take-off for the first time. It’ll be like you were there. It’s a childhood dream!”
The world premiere of this experience will take place at the France Pavilion of Dubai World Expo 2021, as part of “France National Day” on October 2.
It will be opened to the general public on October 3, part of the Expo’s theme of connecting minds and creating the future. Devialet and ArianeGroup offer this experience as partners of the France Pavilion. Devialet has been selected as the Sound of the Pavilion for the entirety of World Expo in Dubai.
The experience will then travel across Europe to reach the general public. Precise dates will be revealed before the end of the year.