Presentation #116.02 in the session Making the Future Brighter for Astronomy.
LightSound is a low-cost device about the size of a smartphone. It uses Arduino technology and a high dynamic range light sensor to convert light to sound based on the intensity of the light allowing non-sighted learners another way to engage during an eclipse. LightSound can run off a 9V battery or connect to a computer for power. While connected to a computer, the data from the eclipse can be plotted real-time or saved for later sonification and plotting.
The project is completely open source. All documentation to build and use the device is available online (in English, Spanish, and soon-to-be French). Three prototype devices were deployed during the 2017 solar eclipse. The device was redesigned in 2019 for the South American solar eclipses to include a higher dynamic range light sensor and improved sonification. Several hundred devices were deployed during the 2019/2020 eclipses. We are currently building devices to be donated at no-cost to communities and towns hosting solar eclipse events in 2023 and 2024 to make events more accessible to the blind and low-vision individuals.