Plate Solve Setup

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Color Coding

Throughout the Setup workspace, Voyager uses color to indicate the following:

  • Black: A normal setting
  • Gold or Yellow: Use caution when changing as things may not work well or as expected
  • Red: Use extreme care when changing this setting - the wrong value can damage your equipment or the imaging session may fail

Plate & Blind Solve Setup Workspace

The Plate Solve Setup workspace contains configuration information for the various plate solving software that Voyager can use:

Plate-solve-setup-2.12b.png

Plate & Blind Solve Software Choice

The Plate Solve panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace is where you select your choice of plate solver and blind solver:

Platesolve-choice.jpg

  • PLATE Solve: Select the plate solve software that Voyager should use for plate solving when the field's RA and DEC is known (at least approximately). The choices include None, PinPoint Full, TheSkyX ImageLink, PinPoint LE, All Sky Plate Solver, PlateSolve2, and Nova.Astrometry.Web


Blind-solve.jpg

  • BLIND Solve SW: Select the software Voyager should use for blind solving when the field's RA and DEC are unknown. The choices include None, TheSkyX ImageLink All Sky, All Sky Plate Solver, and Nova.astrometry.net


PinPoint is a product of DC3 Dreams: http://pinpoint.dc3.com/

PinPoint LE is a limited edition of PinPoint, bundled with MaximDL: http://www.diffractionlimited.com

All Sky Plate Solver uses the astrometry.net engine and runs it on a local Windows system under Cygwin: http://www.astrogb.com/astrogb/All_Sky_Plate_Solver.html

TheSkyX ImageLink is a component of TheSkyX from Software Bisque: http://www.bisque.com/sc/pages/TheSkyX-Editions.aspx

PlateSolve2 is a product of Planewave Instruments: http://planewave.com/downloads/software/

Nova.Astrometry.Net is an online blind solver. It is very good at solving images but your image must be uploaded so it requires an Internet connection: http://nova.astrometry.net

Important Note! PointPoint LE does not work under some OS with certain antivirus and antimalaware programs. Also when using Voyager from TeamViewer the communication done for the remote control of Windows can compromise the ability of Voyager to talk with Maxim DL.


PinPoint Full Setup

The PinPoint Full Setup panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters needed if you use PinPoint Full version for plate solving:

Pinpoint-full.jpg

  • Catalog: Choose the star catalog you want to use with PinPoint from the drop-down list. The catalog must be installed and accessible from PinPoint.
  • Path: Click the folder icon to browse for the path where the selected star catalog is installed
  • Maximum catalog magnitude: Magnitude of the dimmest star in the selected star catalog

Here's the list of catalogs usable by PinPoint:

Pinpoint-catalogs.jpg


ASPS, PlateSolve2, PinPoint LE & Full Setup

The ASPS, PlateSolve2, PinPoint LE & Full Setup panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters used by all these plate solve products. Note: ASPS = All Sky Plate Solver.

Asps-setup.jpg

  • Max Solve Time: Maximum time in seconds beyond which Voyager will consider the plate solve operation to have failed


PinPoint LE, PlateSolve2

The PinPoint LE, PlateSolve2 panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters used by these plate solvers:

Pinpoint-le.jpg

  • Retry on Error: The number of times to retry the plate solve if it fails


Plate & Blind Solving Watchdog

The Plate Solving Watchdog panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains information used to verify information returned by the plate solver and whether to attempt failover to blind solving:

Plate-solving-watchdog.jpg

  • Check Resolution Scale Obtained vs. Profile Setting (+/-): If the checkbox is checked, then if the image resolution scale returned by the plate solver differs from the profile setting of image scale by this percentage or more, consider it an error
  • Use Blind Solving if Plate Failed on Precise Pointing: Voyager uses plate solving to achieve precise pointing. If the checkbox is set, then if a precision pointing plate solve fails, try again using the blind solver.If you have blind solver we suggest to switch on this flag


Sequence Check Sync Distance

If enabled, this adds a new Sync watchdog to sequences which limit the maximum acceptable distance for which a sync can be done after plate solving.

Sequence-check-watchdog.png

  • Enable Sync Distance Check Watchdog: If checked, the sync distance watchdog for Sequences is enabled
  • Max Distance Allowed: The maximum allowed distance between the current telescope position as reported by the mount and the position returned by plate solving for a sync to be done

In this example, if the Enable Sync Distance Check Watchdog checkbox were checked:

  • If the distance between the telescope position reported by the mount and the position reported by plate solving is under 300 arc minutes, a sync would be done, otherwise the sync would not be done


Plate & Blind Solving DEFAULT Setting

The Plate Solving DEFAULT Setting panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains default exposure settings for plate solving:

Plate-solving-defaults.jpg

  • Exposure: Length of plate solve exposures in seconds
  • Binning: Binning of plate solve exposures
  • Filter: Filter to use for plate solve exposures
  • Sub-Frame: Size of frame to use for plate solve exposures: Full Frame, Half Frame or Quarter Frame. For a wide field scope or big sensors, sometimes a smaller field will give better plate solving results


Precision Pointing

Voyager can either do a simple slew or Goto to a target using its RA and DEC coordinates, or perform Precision Pointing.

  • Goto: Voyager sends a command to the mount to slew to the specified RA and DEC coordinates. With a simple slew or goto, Voyager does not verify that the correct target was reached and is centered in the frame; it relies on the mount's pointing model to have successfully moved to the specified coordinates
  • Precision Pointing: Voyager commands the mount to slew to the specified RA and DEC coordinates, and then verifies and re-slews if necessary until the mount is pointing to the specified RA and DEC within your chosen error tolerance
    1. Command the mount to slew to the specified RA and DEC coordinates
    2. Take an exposure of the length specified in Plate Solving DEFAULT Setting
    3. Plate solve the image from (2); if the plate solve operation fails and the Use Blind Solving if Plate Failed on Precise Pointing setting is checked, try a Blind Solve operation
    4. Sync the mount if sync is allowed by the user specified setting in the Management panel of Mount Setup: Not Sync (Pointing Model Running)
    5. Calculate the error between the requested and actual RA and DEC coordinates
    6. If the error is greater than the maximum allowed specified error in Mount Setup, command the mount to move by the amount of the error and go to step (2)

If the pointing error exceeds the the maximum allowed specified error in Mount Setup, Precision Pointing is tried up to three times. If the maximum allowed error is still exceeded after three tries, the precision pointing operation will end with either an ERROR or OK status, depending on the setting of the "Use the best performance after finished pointing retries" flag in Mount Setup. If this flag is not checked, an ERROR is raised. If the flag is checked, an OK status is returned even though the mount did not achieve an error less than that specified as the maximum allowed.


Precision Pointing can be done from many places in Voyager, such as during a Sequence, in a DragScript, and from OnTheFly actions.

TheSkyX ImageLink

TheSkyX ImageLink panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters needed if you are using TheSkyX ImageLink for plate solving:

Theskyx-image-link.jpg

  • Use Unknown Resolution Scale Flag: If checked, Voyager will set the "unknown resolution scale" flag when requesting TheSkyX ImageLink to perform a plate solve action. This flag may result in TheSkyX taking longer to perform a plate solve so it is better to use the image scale if you know it


All Sky Plate Solver

The All Sky Plate Solver panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters needed if you are using All Sky Plate Solver for plate solving:

All-sky-plate-solver.jpg

  • Near Radius Solve: ASPS will look within a radius of this many degrees to find a solution to the image when used as a plate solver


PlateSolve2

The PlateSolve2 panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters needed if you are using PlateSolve2 for plate solving:

Platesolve2.jpg

  • Search Region: Number of regions PlateSolve2 will search before giving up and returning an error for the plate solve operation


Nova.Astrometry.Net Setup

The Nova.Astrometry.Net Setup panel of the Plate Solve Setup workspace contains parameters needed if you are using Astrometry.net for plate solving:

Nova-astrometry-net.jpg

  • PLATE Mode Max Solve Time: Maximum elapsed time in seconds allowed for Astrometry.net to run a plate solve operation before considering the operation to have failed
  • BLIND Mode Max Solve Time: Maximum elapsed time in seconds allowed for Astrometry.net to run a blind plate solve operation before considering the operation to have failed


Other Setup Pages