iTelescope.Net members may well notice a few changes that are being deployed to all the remote telescope platforms this week. Many code changes and improvements to the iTelescope customized, observatory controlling ACP application will be made. G4 has been our testbed and so far all seems to have gone smoothly.
Most of these changes will be invisible to users but are aimed towards improving your GRAS telescopes performance with more accurate focusing, more reliable guidance, pointing routines and much shorter meridian flips.
The goal is to reduce any error in these cases. In the end this will mean better value, with even more efficient and quicker imaging for all.
An important change will be that by defaultthe telescopes will now autofocus on each filter change along with a plate solve point to center a nominated nearby star of sufficient magnitude for quicker more precise focus. There will be an option to disable this behavior and use the traditional single focus and Filter Offset method.
The current Advanced ACP interface we are so familiar with will not change too much apart from minor color schemes, graphics and the addition of a few new features that will be apparent as the upgrades roll out. It will be the brain behind the face that matters here.
New options for users will be the "Periodic focus" and "Dithering" functions along with the normal Focus and Guiding options in the ACP imaging interface.
Dithering or Drizzling is an advanced noise reduction technique using tiny movements of the telescope. When the pointing of the telescope is adjusted by small, non-integral pixel amounts between exposures, image quailty can be greatly improved.
User Session Log files will be improved in order to make them more readable.
Another upcoming ACP feature at a later date will be the ability to see exactly where your telescope is pointing by using an interactive sky map. We hope this will help users see more clearly the relationships between the telescope target, the meridian, the horizon observing limits and the moon.
You will also be receiving a text warning on Moon proximity when choosing a target in ACP.
We will also improve the user Reservation andScripted Plan Launching functions and making the creation of scripted plans much simpler by employing a web interface for writing plans online.
These upgrades will roll out this week. Please contact Support if you encounter any issues.