Re: [fedora-astronomy] What is out there for CCD control?

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Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> Good Morning Campers!

Hi Jeff,

> I've been looking into small-scale optical observatory automation
> using linux.  Is there anything out there in terms of
> astronomical CCD control that we could actually put into fedora?  If
> it requires a kernel driver, or a proprietary library then we can't
> include it.
> I'd like to be able to get to a point where we could specific a
> specific off-the-shelf hardware setup for an automated observatory
> that we could have a Fedora based system work with out of the box. A
> telescope, and CCD camera being the primary things we need to support.
> Telescopes I know we can support already out of the box, I've done it
> with Stellarium with a low-end Meade.. but all the off-the-shelf
> astronomical CCDs I've looked at seem to need something we can't
> easily ship as part of Fedora, either out of tree kernel modules or
> proprietary libraries.   Is anyone out have a working CCD control
> setup through Kstars or other program that is not making use of bits
> we can't ship?  Reading over the Kstars documentation its unclear if
> the usb Apogee CCDs require additional drivers or not.

Right, automatism of a telescope itself isn't a big problem as you just
pointed because it's accepting standard commands thought serial console.
CCD cameras are the tricky part, I know that PhotoMetrics [1] CCD
cameras has the driver directly in kernel, however I'm not aware of any
application for its management and unfortunately I can't try 'cause I
don't have any. What typo of CCD camera do you have? I'm wondering how
hard is to pass the review process for kernel patches :)

What I've seen in practice with linux was an USB webcam on a scope with
GOTO rotation using serial port. In other words you will adjust your
location using the scope itself and after you shot your picture using
USB control or even video4linux.

Any other experiences from the list?


> -jef

Marek Mahut     
Fedora Project                         

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