Nissan is using its experience in the pick-up segment to develop new special editions for the current range. The most recent special edition was developed on the Nissan Navara. It is called Nissan Navara Dark Sky and is developed in the UK, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).
The concept vehicle functions as a mobile astronomy lab, featuring a world-leading, observatory-class telescope on a bespoke off-road trailer. As the latest embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the vehicle comes with ProPILOT driver assistance technology, which has been upgraded to make it the most capable pickup for safe and convenient towing.
ESA is mapping the stars with unprecedented precision using the Gaia satellite, which has already observed more than a billion stars. The Nissan Navara 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 nighttime glow of urban areas, which decreases visibility.
At the heart of the trailer is the ultrahigh-power PlaneWave telescope. The upgraded Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies allow the telescope to be transported to wild, remote dark-sky locations.
The design of the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept takes its inspiration from the cosmos. The dark exterior color scheme features nebula motifs using parametric patterning, and the interior brings together the deep hues of the night sky with the orange shades of a setting sun. Reflective orange piping on the seats also provides visibility inside the vehicle, negating the need for white lights that would disrupt the astronomer’s night vision.
Since red light affects human night vision least, both the vehicle and trailer exclusively use red lighting to avoid visual disruption during observations.
Working closely with ESA, the trailer module also incorporates a special refrigerated atmosphere, allowing the telescope to remain stable and calibrated at the optimum temperature in transit to any location.
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.