DESIGNERS at Nissan have reached for the stars and boldly gone where no designers have gone before to produce a concept which is truly out-of-this-world.
Developed in the UK, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Navara Dark Sky Concept functions as a mobile astronomy lab, featuring a world-leading, observatory-class telescope on a bespoke off-road trailer.
ESA is mapping the stars with unprecedented precision using the Gaia satellite, which has already observed more than a billion stars. The Dark Sky Concept supports this project by helping astronomers conduct follow-up observations of the universe from hard-to-reach, so-called "dark sky" locations - away from the night time glow of urban areas, which decreases visibility.
"The Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is a brilliant example of Nissan serving as an authentic partner, empowering our customers to go anywhere," said Ashwani Gupta, senior vice president of Nissan's light commercial vehicle business. "â¦we are creating the best solutions for the next frontiers of business, no matter how complex the commercial need."
At the heart of the trailer is the ultra-high-power PlaneWave telescope. The Navara itself has upgraded intelligent mobility technologies to allow the telescope to be transported to wild, remote dark-sky locations.
Once at the desired, often hard-to-reach destination, the trailer module's mechanized roof can be opened to focus the telescope on the night sky. Using a 40-centimeter primary mirror, it has the ability to give detailed views beyond the rings of Saturn, to distant galaxies, nebulae and supernovas.
The Navara and trailer both feature portable EV battery packs, putting to use Nissan's tried and tested electric-vehicle battery technology. When docked in place, the battery packs are constantly in charging mode and ready for use when required.
The concept is being unveiled at the Hannover commercial motor show, after which Nissan will donate the telescope to the ESA "to pass on the spirit of exploration and adventure, and to inspire and educate future generations," says the company.