My current interest is studying variable stars, using a Canon DSLR + a tele lens on DIY mount (Open Astro Tracker).
My current workflow is something like the following:
- take several sets of 10x60 seconds exposures (i don't want to saturate my target variable star) using N.I.N.A. Images are saved as raw camera format .cr2. Now I have a few hundred of .cr2 images
- convert the raw .cr2 images to .fits, using ASTAP tools --> batch processing --> batch convert to FITS. Now I have a bunch of .cr2.fits images
- extract the green channel from fits, using ASTAP tools --> batch processing --> raw color reparation --> extract raw GREEN pixels and combine. Now I have a bunch of _TG.fit images
- load 10 images in the "light" tab and stack them, using ASTAP "Avarage" mode and plate solving for the alignment. This step calibrates each image using darks and flats. Now I have reduced 10 images to a single .staked.fit image
- repeat step 4 for 10 more images and so on, until I stacked all the _TG.fit images. Now I have a bunch of .stacked.fit images, with a total of 600 seconds exposure each.
- load all the .stacked.fit in "photometry" tab of ASTAP and finally run the photometry to get the light curve of the variable star.
As you can see, there are a lot of manual steps involved, that make this process tedious and errors prone.
As a software developer my self, I can't not try to make some kind "script" or "API interfacing" to automate all the process.
In my mind, I would start script that converts the raw images to fits, extract the green channel and stack them 10 at the time, maybe even crop the ROI to reduce the storage required, so that everything is ready to run the final photometric analysis manually.