Every New Years Eve, amazing fireworks are put on show around the country. The new technology that goes into these shows has radically changed how firework shows are designed, created and run.
Fortunato Foti, Creative Director for Foti Fireworks shed some light (pun intended) into the technology that will be used to power the 2017/18 New Years Eve fireworks in Sydney.
“Well just to give an idea New Years Eve has 19,000 individual fireworks used”
He explains that the cool technology used to drive the fireworks shows are safer for the operators, and allow for precisely timed explosions that are calculated from their database of around 3000 fireworks and effects. “It’s changed a bit over the past 20-25 years”
“There is a lot of technology involved, not only in the design part of it, or software, but in the hardware”. The technology that is now involved can work wirelessly via a computer to fire an electric initiator.
“Each firework is linked to an electric initiator which is linked to a computer”
But just how are these pyrotechnics created? Advanced software allows choreography with other stage events such as musicians.
“You put your manual cues where you want things to go off” “The computer will then reassign the cues because fireworks have a delay from the time they launch from the time they burst in the air”
Using technology has increased the price of running firework shows, but makes more advanced pyrotechnics possible.
“You can’t do what we do on New Years Eve without doing it the way we do it now”
“Each of the locations is linked by a radio” Foti says, explaining that the various locations fireworks are launched from are triggered remotely. “A timecode actually triggers the fireworks”.
New Years Eve fireworks are generally on a 3-5 year contract and can take up to 12 months to prepare for.