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INDI Library v1.8.3 Released (02 Jan 2020)

Minor monthly bugfix release with a new RainbowAstro mount driver and improved pier side simulation.

ASTAP astrometry integration

2 months 2 weeks ago
avarakin
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45511
It solves super fast for me too!
Agreed, great work by Jasem and Hans!

I ran into an issue with resolving a Ha image with 20 minutes exposure, which had a lot of stars - ASTAP was not able to solve.
It worked when I ran the solver from command line and added -s 30 parameter. I believe it reduces number of stars to be used for plate solving.

Hans,
Do you think we should include configuration for -s value in Kstars?

Alex

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by han.k.
han.k
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45532
Thanks for the feedback.

Alex, 20 minutes exposure is pretty long. If used for syncing the mount, a exposure of 10 seconds using H-alpha filter would be enough and maybe 5 seconds using no filter. So 20 minutes is an outlier. ASTAP doesn't like heavily saturated images. It needs to be able to separate the brightest stars from faint stars. It will work on 5, 10 or 200 or 100x200 seconds images, but less good on a single 20 minutes exposure. This is different then Astrometry.net. Astrometry.net doesn't require the star intensity. You can solve a 1 bit image with Astrometry.net. ASTAP can't.

Sometimes in long exposures of the Milky-way containing many stars of the same magnitude it helps to increase the number of star setting to 1000, but it is better to reduce the exposure time. But in general you should have a success rate of 99.9% or better.

Since Jasem provided a possibility to add additional command, i would prefer to keep it as it is. You can also set it in ASTAP and save settings. But remember any setting change in ASTAP will be remembered (saved) after a solve.

Checklist for successful solving with ASTAP:

- images should be preferable raw and unstretched.
- Severe Image saturation should be avoided.
- Stars should be pretty round. (if not is they will be skipped as double stars or galaxies)
- Minimum of about 20 to 30 stars should be visible (this could be just above noise level. Exposure time of 1 or 2 seconds can work)
- Image height should be at least 1000 pixels.
- Image height in degrees should be defined within maybe 30% accuracy or better. (so in Ekos focal length, sensor size should be set correctly)


For the last point, if you open in ASTAP viewer an unsolved FITS image saved by Ekos, the image dimensions in degrees as shown in the ASTAP status bar should be correct. After a solve in the viewer the image dimensions will be updated and should be the same. If they change a lot after a solve in the ASTAP viewer, you better update the focal length, sensor size settings in EKOS.

Han
The following user(s) said Thank You Spartacus

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2 months 2 weeks ago
avarakin
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45556
Thank you Han!
My 20 minutes image was not a sync image, it was an image from my previous session, which I used for setting the go to target.
I will try additional command and see how it goes.
Alex

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Spartacus
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45587
Wow this is brilliant! Thanks Han and Jasem. Easy to set up and very fast!
The bushfires have put paid to any testing outside but it has just solved and slewed a loaded image (10 sec) in 3 secs! Using all default settings. I will definitely be using this in preference to astrometry.net.
Does anyone know if the polar alignment assistant uses ASTAP if this is enabled in EKOS or if it defaults back to astrometry.net. I will find this out when I can get outside but thought I would ask if anyone has used the polar alignment assistant while they have ASTAP enabled?

Cheers,

Mike

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2 months 1 week ago
AstroNerd
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45622
I wanted to share my findings using the new ASTAP, when it works it is super fast. But I can only get it to work about 40% of the time, the rest of the time it will not solve and just times out...when it works it’s done in a few seconds...but the rest of the time I just get a box come up in the top left corner of the screen and it just times out...well there is a number in that box that is counting up, so I assume that’s what it is...

What I have noticed is that if you point to random parts of the sky, it seems to work, but when I slew to a specific object such as a galaxy, cluster or Nebula, it will not work, and have to switch to Astrometry.net to get the solve...
Also I have tried with the simulators in Ekos, and it’s the same story with those too....

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2 months 1 week ago
stash
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45629
I have nearly 0 problems from ASTAP when solving anywhere/type IF you have the right settings for the Sky quality, Exposure length,noise etc on any types - my initial testing was with M31 and Polar stars all done fast any problems have been mine except for the odd glitch which Ham solved. I use DSLR so ASTAP has a few more hurdles to do ASTAP. When it fails I find Astrometry fails (even online version).. When it solves I say on the whole it solve in 1-5secs - on the same images all other Astrometry based Plate solving takes 100% longer. However Blind solving is slower (i.e. no RA/Dec) but then I for one will accept that as I dont do many blind solves. PLUS the big point it saves over 1GB of space compared to Index'd based solvers. I would say well done Han.

RPI3 Ubuntu 16.04 / AMD desktop Kstars under Ubuntu 16.04 Mounts :azeq6 ,SWAZGoTo

RPI3 Fedora testing out on AMD desktop Fedpra 28 - running kstars 2.9.4 , Indilib 1.7.4 ?????

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2 months 1 week ago 2 months 1 week ago by han.k.
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45632

AstroNerd wrote: I wanted to share my findings using the new ASTAP, when it works it is super fast. But I can only get it to work about 40% of the time, the rest of the time it will not solve and just times out...when it works it’s done in a few seconds...but the rest of the time I just get a box come up in the top left corner of the screen and it just times out...well there is a number in that box that is counting up, so I assume that’s what it is...

What I have noticed is that if you point to random parts of the sky, it seems to work, but when I slew to a specific object such as a galaxy, cluster or Nebula, it will not work, and have to switch to Astrometry.net to get the solve...
Also I have tried with the simulators in Ekos, and it’s the same story with those too....


I suspect this is either the

1) image dimensions in pixels
or
2) image height in degrees (focal ratio & sensor size)

for 1) The image height in pixels provided to ASTAP should be at least 1000 pixels. Can you check that?
for 2) What re the image dimension in degrees of an unsolved image indicated in the status bar of the ASTAP viewer? Do they change a lot after the image is solved? If so, the initial EKOS settings focal ratio and sensor size are not accurate.

If this doesn't help, could you provide an image for testing?

Han



Small change after solving
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2 months 1 week ago 2 months 1 week ago by AstroNerd.
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45641
Thanks for the reply..
But you show the settings in the ASTAP software which I don’t have or use, I am using just Kstars / Ekos to platesolve, using the ASTAP solver, ...so have you got guides for that...the best way to test was to use the simulators as all info is prefilled and correct, but still no joy..

Stellarmate OS BETA on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro
Meade series 5000 80mm triplet Apo & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar Guide Camera
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Pegasus focus motors on both scopes

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2 months 1 week ago 2 months 1 week ago by G_Gagnon.
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45644
What I found running ASTAP, in a simulated environment (pointing to Alnitak), is that it would not solve with an exposure of 8 seconds with the default number of stars used for solution but did solve with an exposure of 1~2 seconds; and wickedly fast (1 second).

I have not done thorough tests but it would seem that the number of stars used to solve and the exposure used may be factors to be tuned together. I did do another simulated test with less/more stars being used when using shorter/longer exposures and there seems to be a relation. So, if ASTAP doesn't solve you may try to reduce the exposure in astrometry or, if using longer exposures, use more stars to solve.

As far as real life solving, the current weather tells me that I will have to wait :-( .

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2 months 1 week ago
stash
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45645

AstroNerd wrote: Thanks for the reply..
But you show the settings in the ASTAP software which I don’t have or use, I am using just Kstars / Ekos to platesolve, using the ASTAP solver, ...so have you got guides for that...the best way to test was to use the simulators as all info is prefilled and correct, but still no joy..


I do not understand the reply here -if you are using ASTAP from Ekos you have ASTAP installed and are just using ASTAP in command line mode!

Han can correct me if I am wrong but all settings will still be saved as per stand alone ASTAP??? - but it maybe that some need exposing to EKOS to allow users to change WITHOUT loading ASTAP. But this is a EKOS/ASTAP integration problem not an ASTAP. problem which will come from more testing.
As for "Blind" solving" that would depend on whether the "Ignore Dec/RA in FITS header" is ticked else ASTAP will use those to start searching. For those of us who use DSLR (Canon) there are no stored Dec/RA co-ords as only Fits,as far as I know, stores solved Dec/RA co-ordinates. So if you Fits image has already been solved and the above "ignore" is not checked then ASTAP will just say its solved.

So as Han says set up a link to a full blown image and your settings and lets see if there is a problem or not - there could be :-) or perhaps just us users getting used to something that's new - we all suffer from that :-)

As a point of interest using ASTAP directly without 3rd party software (Ekos,CCDciel) I am solving (non blind) Fits images in under 1 sec consistently - fastest 0.5 sec's being my record - not on a RPI :-) I find that unbelievable if you consider the maths and file lookup involved.

Hopefully your problems will be found and corrected :-)

Not forgetting the other option now available of "live stacking" - though admittedly not usable IMHO on PI's of any description - great if you do EAA!

RPI3 Ubuntu 16.04 / AMD desktop Kstars under Ubuntu 16.04 Mounts :azeq6 ,SWAZGoTo

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2 months 1 week ago
han.k
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45646

G_Gagnon wrote: What I found running ASTAP, in a simulated environment (pointing to Alnitak), is that it would not solve with an exposure of 8 seconds but did solve with an exposure of 4 seconds; and wickedly fast (1~2 seconds). I have not done thorough tests but it would seem that the number of stars used to solve, as mentionned previously, may be a factor as there will be more stars in longer exposures. I will do another simulated test with less stars being used when using longer exposures. So, if ASTAP doesn't solve you may try to reduce the exposure in astrometry.

As far as real life solving, the current weather tells me that I will have to wait :-( .


Bright or very bright stars are normally not a problem. It will work with 2, 5 or 300 seconds exposure. Default there is a star limit of 500 stara. If it sees more stars (typical much more) it will take only the 500 brightest stars (default). Try it live if the weather allow but check prior the conditions above. Especially image height should be at least 1000 pixels (check binning) at focal ratio & sensor size should be set reasonable correct in Ekos . If the search spiral is beyond 2 degrees it will show this popup notififier:


- The first line indicates the search spiral distance (8º) from the start position and the maximum search radius (90º)
- The image height in degrees (1.32º).
- Downsample setting and the input dimensions of the image to solve. (0 is auto)
- The α and δ of the start position.
- Speed normal (▶▶) or small steps (▶)[/li]

Hopefully the weather clears up soon for you.

Han
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2 months 1 week ago
han.k
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ASTAP astrometry integration #45647
The command line parameters will have preference. So they will overwrite the setting set in the GUI.

Easiest way to test the solver is to load a FITS image in the viewer. The important data will be extracted from the header like mount position and focal ratio and so on. The Solver specific settings can be set in tab alignment of the stack menu. Loading and solving RAW files like CR2 file is also possible but DCRAW should be installed and you have to set the initial RA, DEC position in the viewer and image height in tab alignment. So for RAW you better test with EKOS.

Settings will be save automatically so if you change some important parameters, reset them later to default from the viewer, File, SETTING, RETURN TO DEFAULT SETTINGS AND EXIT.

Han

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