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UNISTELLAR Enhanced Vision Telescope

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#1 Unistellar

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 03:54 PM

Dear Cloudynights’ readers,

Thank you for all the interest you have shown about our Enhanced Vision Telescope.

Forum moderators have invited us do answer questions on our product on this subforum instead of the one where the first discussions arrised after the publication of an article on the IBTimes. So here you have it, a quick description of our device and an invitation to ask questions. Please re-ask unanswered questions, as answering questions from the former subforum here without the original one will be confusing to external readers.

We have a working prototype of the first Enhanced Vision Telescope that we will exhibit at CES Las Vegas 2017 (January 5th-8th).

What it does is:

- Accumulate light and project it directly into the eyepiece from the start of the accumulation process. To the user, the experience is that the image improves with time: in a matter of seconds or tens of seconds you see the colors and shapes of the galaxies and nebulae you could never see through the eyepiece of a normal telescope.

 

- Recognize the field of view through comparison with a data base: you can activate a feature that names the objects in the field and gives you some quick info about it.

- It’s automated and you can connect it to the internet so we are working on making it a citizen science platform: enroll in observation networks with other connected telescopes and contribute to science. We are working with a former member of the UN planetary defense workgroup to adapt this to NEO and other asteroids watch.

 

For more please go on our website unistellaroptics.com or ask a question below.

Technically our current prototype is an eyepiece that is attached to a small telescope, but we like the idea of selling a whole integrated compact telescope that includes our innovation.

We think we’ll be able to deliver a consumer product in a bit less than one year.

By the way, we are looking for tips on a good spot to organize demos in las Vegas in the evenings during CES. We’d also like to invite some amateur astronomers to join us at one of our demos!


 

#2 Joe1950

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:16 PM

Congratulations! The website is excellent and explains the concept very well. My best wishes for a successful, innovative product.

joe


 

#3 Fhuyu

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:40 PM

Very interesting and useful!, Congratulations! And I hope you'll tell us more about the telescope soon.

 

By the way incredible that is in color!, I thought it would be in green as the image enhancers, really a great creation!, augmented reality another success, congratulations!  :bow:

 

Best regards!


 

#4 rdrane

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:46 PM

Dear Cloudynights’ readers,

Thank you for all the interest you have shown about our Enhanced Vision Telescope.

Forum moderators have invited us do answer questions on our product on this subforum instead of the one where the first discussions arrised after the publication of an article on the IBTimes. So here you have it, a quick description of our device and an invitation to ask questions. Please re-ask unanswered questions, as answering questions from the former subforum here without the original one will be confusing to external readers.

We have a working prototype of the first Enhanced Vision Telescope that we will exhibit at CES Las Vegas 2017 (January 5th-8th).

What it does is:

- Accumulate light and project it directly into the eyepiece from the start of the accumulation process. To the user, the experience is that the image improves with time: in a matter of seconds or tens of seconds you see the colors and shapes of the galaxies and nebulae you could never see through the eyepiece of a normal telescope.

 

For more please go on our website unistellaroptics.com or ask a question below.

 

How different will this view from the Collins I3 intensifier eyepiece?


 

#5 emontano2

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:50 PM

Is the image build up affected by the imperfect or no tracking of the mount? 


 

#6 range88

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 08:20 PM

I have hoped for someone coming up with such a device since long time. You are making my dream come true.
It seems you made it a whole package for sale, I think it's better if the intensifier can be made universally adaptable to any eyepiece and sold seperately some day in the future.
 

#7 PEterW

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 04:53 AM

The Collins (if you go to the EAA forum you will find that many commercial intensifiers can be adapted very cheaply to be used as eyepieces that work better than the original) just amplifies light, with NO acumulatikn. Yes, the image is green and a bit fuzzy (like TV static) due to the amplification process. This unit is a camera chip that is collecting and stacking short exposur S so it can accumulate for far longer, the drawback is you will need a tracking mount. Intensifiers are mono and work best in the red region, great for nebulae. This will have a wider bandwidth so potentially pick up reflection nebulae as well. The intensifier has an 18mm "sensor", I don't know what sort of area this device has, there are many CCD/CMOS options that could be used. This will set the field of view t will give with different scopes. Ideally you will want I use a fast focal ratio scope to get the brightest image of nebulae for a given exposure.
For outreach this shows promise and is less complex and more engaging than looking at a laptop screen... we can always get better pictures from the web!

I look forward to people using and reporting on their findings.

Peter
 

#8 denis0007dl

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 06:05 AM

Dear Cloudynights’ readers,

Thank you for all the interest you have shown about our Enhanced Vision Telescope.

Forum moderators have invited us do answer questions on our product on this subforum instead of the one where the first discussions arrised after the publication of an article on the IBTimes. So here you have it, a quick description of our device and an invitation to ask questions. Please re-ask unanswered questions, as answering questions from the former subforum here without the original one will be confusing to external readers.

We have a working prototype of the first Enhanced Vision Telescope that we will exhibit at CES Las Vegas 2017 (January 5th-8th).

What it does is:

- Accumulate light and project it directly into the eyepiece from the start of the accumulation process. To the user, the experience is that the image improves with time: in a matter of seconds or tens of seconds you see the colors and shapes of the galaxies and nebulae you could never see through the eyepiece of a normal telescope.

 

- Recognize the field of view through comparison with a data base: you can activate a feature that names the objects in the field and gives you some quick info about it.

- It’s automated and you can connect it to the internet so we are working on making it a citizen science platform: enroll in observation networks with other connected telescopes and contribute to science. We are working with a former member of the UN planetary defense workgroup to adapt this to NEO and other asteroids watch.

 

For more please go on our website unistellaroptics.com or ask a question below.

Technically our current prototype is an eyepiece that is attached to a small telescope, but we like the idea of selling a whole integrated compact telescope that includes our innovation.

We think we’ll be able to deliver a consumer product in a bit less than one year.

By the way, we are looking for tips on a good spot to organize demos in las Vegas in the evenings during CES. We’d also like to invite some amateur astronomers to join us at one of our demos!

Sounds very interesting!

:waytogo:  :like:


 

#9 Fhuyu

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 07:44 AM

I have hoped for someone coming up with such a device since long time. You are making my dream come true.
It seems you made it a whole package for sale, I think it's better if the intensifier can be made universally adaptable to any eyepiece and sold seperately some day in the future.

Yes, that would be perfect, the option that most would like to all (I think)  :smile: 


 

#10 Joe1950

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 10:37 AM

If there is a way for it to filter light pollution out of the view... the sky's the limit!


 

#11 PEterW

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:12 PM

Yes there is, pop a 680nm long pass filter on, strips the light pollution right out, don't expect to see colours anymore though. Remember this device will need a tracking mount. If you are looking for a special eyepiece you can use in any scope then a conventional intensifier is the answer, but it'll cost a lot more that this device.

Peter
 

#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:48 AM

So basically it is video astronomy, just configured to display on an eyepiece instead of on a screen. Some people will want the ability to save and enhance their images, but if this is connected to the internet, it seems like it should be able to do that. Personally I like the idea of having the eyepiece separate from the telescope, allowing people with telescopes to use their own scopes, and switch to real eyepieces to get a wider view or get cleaner, less pixelated views of bright targets that don't need the amplification so much. Shoot, this thing should rock with my 10" F4.8 right? But I can see how it could be difficult to incorporate a camera, display and battery into a single item that will fit in an eyepiece bolt case. Maybe the biggest advantage night vision has over video astronomy is that aspect, no wires needed to connect multiple components. Looks like an interesting product!

 

Scott


 

#13 nicknacknock

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:06 AM

I would prefer myself a separate eyepiece as opposed to a package with a telescope. We all have telescopes here that we can use - and of various types as well. 

 

Looking forward to seeing some images of the prototype and more comments on its abilities!


 

#14 emontano2

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 11:41 AM

I don't think is commercially sound to market a telescope just for the eyepiece, if the idea is to create a complete optical set why not binoculars for deep sky?


 

#15 hottr6

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:49 PM

Stellar idea! 

 

Question:  Will the eyepiece "stacker" work with a tracking alt-az, or will field rotation degrade the stacked image to the point that the resulting image will appear fuzzy and unappealing?  If so, it should be possible to offer a field de-rotator as an option.

 

IMO, the eyepiece "stacker" may be a more widely popular device than a complete telescope.  Most amateurs already have access to a telescope on a motorized GEM or other equatorial mount (or an alt-azimuth if a de-rotator is available).  The market for a complete telescope may be limited to beginners, and depending upon the cost of the complete system, may deter all but the most technically-savvy.

 

The "Augmented Reality" aspect may have very limited appeal.  Meade, Celestron and maybe other major astro-gear companies have offered similar gimmicks (Audiostar, "Astronomer on Board", etc) that may appeal to children but have failed to demonstrate that such features significantly translate into sales.

 

Personally, I would be most interested in the eyepiece "stacker", but I need another telescope like a hole in the head.


 

#16 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 07:02 PM

Typically tracking alt az mounts work fine for video astronomy. Of course I can't speak to this specific model, but apparently the maximum exposure time is about 10 seconds. It takes more like 20 seconds for field rotation to be a real problem from what I understand. 

 

I agree that for me as a stargazer with my own scopes and an eq mount, the Revolution Imager or some thing like it makes more sense. However what makes this product unique is that everything is integrated into one complete system, and the "screen" is viewed thru an eyepiece rather than on a tablet or laptop. Not sure how practical it is to sell a standalone "eyepiece" that has the camera, screen and battery all included. If they can do it it would be really cool, but I suspect the reason for selling it as a whole unit with the telescope is to integrate things like power source, etc. Regardless this remains an interesting development to keep an eye on. 

 

Scott


 

#17 SeattleScott

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 07:02 PM

I don't think is commercially sound to market a telescope just for the eyepiece, if the idea is to create a complete optical set why not binoculars for deep sky?

Because you need a tracking mount.


 

#18 OleCuss

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Posted 25 December 2016 - 09:00 AM

Typically tracking alt az mounts work fine for video astronomy. Of course I can't speak to this specific model, but apparently the maximum exposure time is about 10 seconds. It takes more like 20 seconds for field rotation to be a real problem from what I understand. 

 

I agree that for me as a stargazer with my own scopes and an eq mount, the Revolution Imager or some thing like it makes more sense. However what makes this product unique is that everything is integrated into one complete system, and the "screen" is viewed thru an eyepiece rather than on a tablet or laptop. Not sure how practical it is to sell a standalone "eyepiece" that has the camera, screen and battery all included. If they can do it it would be really cool, but I suspect the reason for selling it as a whole unit with the telescope is to integrate things like power source, etc. Regardless this remains an interesting development to keep an eye on. 

 

Scott

A good tracking Alt-Az mount is not likely to show issues with field rotation at under 20 seconds.  But in some locations on some targets field rotation will never be an issue at all.

 

But a lot of Alt-Az mounts are not designed to track well enough for astrophotography so 20 seconds can be a fairly practical sub-image choice.  In any case, if one has a fast optical system and a camera which is pretty sensitive - then in light pollution a 20 second exposure may be overwhelmed by skyglow whereas under dark skies you may be able to go much longer.

 

Net effect is that on some targets my relatively smooth LX-200 without a wedge should be able to track for over a minute on some targets.  Thus under dark skies I want the ability to integrate for rather extended times.  I also have equatorial mounts. . .

 

I really like the idea of an integrated eyepiece in many ways, but one concern would be the ability to upgrade as the technology advances.  It may not prove practical for some of us if the initial cost is high and upgrades are not reasonably possible.

 

But it is a cool concept and I hope it works out brilliantly!


 

#19 Timmo

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 05:04 AM

To the guys at Unistellar: thanks for bringing some new innovation into visual astronomy. It has stagnated tremendously. Beyond the binoviewer there has been no advances whatsoever the past few decades.

 

 

Can you perhaps clarify some technical points for me?

1. Can one use any eyepiece on this device or only the one you supply?

 

2. I presume the amplified image is fed to a small LED screen? With the EP, that allows one to view the LED screen from a short distance, does it not create a pixellation effect similar to what one sees with VR goggles? In effect you are magnifying the image AS WELL as the pixels on the LED screen with the EP.

 

3. I presume the EP does not aid in magnification of the un-enhanced image? If this is the case, does one need to use a Barlow lens between the device and the primary to get some magnification first before amplification occurs?

 

4. Can one use this for planetary viewing as well or only deep space?


 

#20 SeattleScott

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:05 AM

The unistellar system is essentially video astronomy. This is evident because of the need for a tracking mount. If it were amplified like night vision, there would be no need for a tracking mount and no delay in viewing the image.

 

Video astronomy does magnify and pixelate the image on the screen. I mean, you are viewing it on a screen so it is being displayed in pixels, so yes it will be pixellated. This is a common issue with night vision and video astronomy. Ultimately there is a trade off. Recently two images of a comet were posted in the EAA forum. Both images were taken by the same person and telescope. But one image was at F5 and one was at F2. The F5 image had much cleaner, more pinpoint background stars. But you couldn't see as much detail of the comet. You could hardly see the tail at all. The F2 image had more bloated/rounded background stars, but the comet tail was plain as day and it was easier to see detail in the coma. Ultimately the camera is using a very short exposure to gather much more light than the human eye can thru an eyepiece. This allows seeing DSO much brighter and in much more detail, often in living color. (You know, without having to use color filters.) the trade off is bloated stars and some degree of pixelation since it is being displayed on a monitor. Fortunately camera and monitor technology has advanced to the point where pixelation isn't a huge drawback, but you just aren't going to get the pinpoint diamonds on velvet stars that you see thru the eyepiece. This even happens to an extent with visual telescopes. Some people prefer 4-6" apos over 18" Dobs because the Apo delivers cleaner star images. Bottom line with less light grasp and magnification, stars will be more pinpoint. Shoot, a 6" Apo will produce cleaner looking stars than a 25" observatory class refractor. Going to a digital format just exaggerates the issue. So it is really meant for DSO. I mean, galaxies are fuzzy anyway, at least with a video camera you can maybe see some structure instead of a faint smudge thru the eyepiece. People have posted pictures of planets before but these cameras are really for DSO. 

 

The vendor info makes it sound like there is basically a single eyepiece with a single magnification. This is the way video cameras work, but you have some ability to change magnification by using reducers or maybe barlows, or just different telescopes. Not sure if there is any flexibility with this system for changing magnification.

 

Really the uniqueness of this product is making the screen an eyepiece. For years, the trade off between night vision and video astronomy has been that video astronomy is cheaper (think Revolution Imager at $300 compared to Collins i3 intensified night vision eyepiece at $3,000). But night vision is simpler, you just stick a different eyepiece in rather than messing with a camera, screen, battery, and cables. This new system is trying to imitate the simplicity of night vision astronomy with cheaper video astronomy. If it is executed well, now you have an affordable telescope capable of displaying DSO as more than just faint fuzzies, and it is simple enough for a novice to use. Night vision is simple but expensive for someone looking at buying a first telescope. Video is affordable but complicated. This system seems to correct that and offer video astronomy as a feasible option to people buying their first telescope. I am not saying there are not any other differences between night vision and video, but those are the main two distinctions to me.

 

Scott


 

#21 Timmo

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 06:24 AM

@Vanguard do you have a link to the 2 comet images on EAA?


 

#22 mogur

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:53 PM

Don't forget, if the image is pixilated then extra magnification will also make the pixels bigger. At some point the image will degrade significantly and not be satisfactory for high detail observing (read planetary).


 

#23 SeattleScott

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 11:37 PM

@Vanguard do you have a link to the 2 comet images on EAA?

Here is the thread with the comet images. They are near the beginning.

http://www.cloudynig...ern-hemisphere/

 

Scott


 

#24 vincentv

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 06:08 PM

Are there any news regarding this equipment? The website mentions a few more demos but no release date, prices, or even if it's a standalone piece of hardware.

 

I've been reading about EAA for city observing. Night vision is mighty expensive and the good ones are impossible to get outside the US. Other EAA options require laptops, tracking and/or spaghetti cabling.

I couldn't find a thing about digital night vision for astronomy. It looks somewhat promising but an expensive experiment since I'm not even sure a telescope nosepiece can be adapted. The only contender for simple to use, legal, and not overly expensive is this one.


 

#25 jgroub

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:49 PM

This product just came up in the Facebook astronomy forums, so I thought I'd ask a question here.  Okay, so it's more of a leading question than an actual question, because from reading their website and the threads here at CN, I think I get it:

 

As others have said in this thread, essentially, instead of using something like the Revolution Imager and having it collect its imaging and put it onto an LCD screen, they're putting it into an eyepiece. Exactly like how "old-timey" videocameras were about 15 years ago or so - you would put your eye up to the eyepiece to take video, and you'd actually be looking at a mini-screen inside there.

 

So, you can either wait for this for "under $1000", or you can plunk down $300 on the Revolution Imager and use it with your current scope right now.

 

Is that right?  (See, I told you it would be a leading question.)  


 


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