Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Software to automate mount calibration

  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 Exciton

Exciton

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019

Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:34 PM

I have been enjoying using a computer to control my telescope, cameras, and my Orion Atlas mount.  I recently took a stab at taking photographs of the ISS and have been using SkyTrack by Heaven Scape to stalk after satellites.  Some of my early tries at using SkyTrack have involved lurking in the middle of the ISS track and waiting for it to pass thru.  I have not been terribly successful, it appears that the my mount is often not positioned close enough to capture the ISS track within my 0.5 x 0.25 degree FOV.  I have previously worked in ASCOM to provide several mount calibration points (a very slow and tedious process), and I use SharpCap to ensure I have good polar alignment.  This is usually close enough to invoke plate solving to lock onto a target for DSO photography.  However, with SkyTrack the mount itself needs to be pointed more accurately.  What are my options for doing the tedious task of mapping out the sky and storing a calibration curve or model into the ASCOM files?  I did see a program called MaxPoint which appears to do this.  Will this work with SkyTrack, Stellatium, etc. to position my mount?  Are there any other options to taking data and storing a calibration curve in an automated fashion, especially for portable, on-the-move operation?  Appreciate your sagely advice and suggestions.

 

Exciton



#2 555aaa

555aaa

    Vendor (Xerxes Scientific)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA

Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:27 PM

The tools that do pointing models store the model externally. The Atlas mount does its internal three star alignment and that I think is what is used by the ASCOM interface when reporting mount position, so I don't see how a modeling tool like Maxpoint will help once you have accurate polar alignment.

 

Satellite tracking requires very accurate computer time, down to a fraction of a second, and accurate lat and longitude, to a few hundred feet.  The telescope has to point to a given spot on the sky at a time accurate to a few hundred milliseconds at your field of view.

 

It will be easier with either low orbiting satellites that are in the early part of their approach towards you, where they don't move much across the sky, or distant satellites.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics