Meade Autostar Software Manual

Meade autostar computer controller: software guide.
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Meade Autostar
Image Processing
For Windows
Version 3.12
9 January 2004


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   Summary of Contents for Meade Autostar

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    Meade Autostar Image Processing For Windows  Version 3.12 9 January 2004...

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    Copyright laws of the United States of America. Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of Meade Instruments Corporation. The software and/or databases described in this document are furnished under a license agreement or nondisclosure agreement. The software and/or databases may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

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    CUSTOMER REMEDIES. Meade Instruments and its suppliers' entire liability and your exclusive remedy shall be, at Meade 's option, either (a) repair or (b) replacement of the SOFTWARE or hardware that does not meet Meade 's Limited Warranty and which is returned to Meade Instruments with a copy of your receipt.

  • Page 4: Table Of Contents

    Error! Objects cannot be created from editing field codes..18 Blink ... 18 5.Tools ... 19 Coordinates... 19 Histogram ... 19 Magnifier ... 19 Information... 20 6.Process... 21 Undo... 21 Calibrate... 21 Merge ... 21 Correct Column Defect ... 21 Autostar IP Contents...

  • Page 5: Table Of Contents

    Align... 34 Combine ... 35 Filter ... 35 Normalize ... 35 Fix Column Defect... 35 Photometry... 35 9. Options ... 37 Night Vision... 37 Preferences ... 37 Grayscale Palette and Standard Palette... 38 Appendix A ... 39 Autostar IP Contents...

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    Autostar IP Contents Image Processing Basics... 39 Bibliography ... 41 Glossary ... 42...

  • Page 7: Introduction, A Note On Accuracy, System Requirements, Registering The Program

    Meade Autostar IP was designed to be extremely powerful and accurate. Many programs designed for the PC have taken shortcuts to appear faster, but at the expense of accuracy! Not Meade Autostar IP! By carefully coding each section of the program using 64 bit floating point numbers, Meade Autostar IP takes full advantage of your computer to provide fast and accurate performance.

  • Page 8: Installation

    Autostar IP 1. Installation Autostar IP is installed as part of Meade’s Autostar Suite. If you have not yet installed the Suite, consult the quickstart instructions for the complete instructions. Typcially, when the Autostar Suite CD ROM is inserted in your computer it will automatically begin the install process.

  • Page 9: Features, Tool Bar

    Preferences command under the File menu. Menu Bar The familiar Windows Menu Bar gives you access to every function of Autostar IP. To access a drop down menu file, either click with the mouse or press Alt and the letter underlined from the keyboard.

  • Page 10: File, Open

    - Santa Barbara Instrument Group (16 bit grayscale) - Santa Barbara Instrument Group (16 bit grayscale) - Santa Barbara Instrument Group (8 bit grayscale) - Raw (8 bit grayscale). Similar to ST4. In addition there is a RAW format for reading unknown image formats. -10- Autostar IP...

  • Page 11: Bit Versus 12 Or 16 Bit Or Floating Point Grayscale Images

    If you select Load As Color Image, the program will load all three color planes and display the image. As an astronomical image processing program, Autostar IP is designed primarily to work on gray scale images. Some of the more advance processing features will not be available when a color image is loaded.

  • Page 12: Close

    Autostar IP Although the display shows only 256 levels, all of the image data are retained and processed by the program. Whenever you perform a processing step, you are given an opportunity to rescale the display data. The scale command, also allows you to rescale the image any time you desire.

  • Page 13: Save As Fits Image, Export Display As, Print, Printer Setup

    Additional information pertaining to the image is also printed at the bottom of the page, below the image. Printer Setup Displays the Printer Setup dialog box which allows the selection of any of the currently installed printers. -13- Autostar IP...

  • Page 14: Page Setup, Exit

    Selecting Page Setup allows you to customize the page to include headers, footers and set margins. You can also select a border. Exit Shuts down Meade Autostar IP in an orderly fashion and returns to the Windows Manager. If there are any modified files opened, you will be prompted to save those files. -14-...

  • Page 15: View, Zoom Image Size, Scale

    Setting the Contrast to a negative value produces a negative image. You can lighten or darken an image, change its contrast, or run a number of MX B -15- Autostar IP...

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    Autostar IP Setting the Brightness control to values greater than zero brightens the image, while values less than zero will darken it. Generally, you must use both the contrast and brightness controls together to achieve the desired results. The Linear function sets a straight line transformation that resets the contrast and brightness values to 1.0 and 0.0 respectively.

  • Page 17: Palettes

    Autostar IP useful for delineating areas of similar brightness to enhance the overall shape of an object such as a comet or nebula. Before committing to the scaling function that you have selected, you can Preview the image by pressing the Preview button, you then have the option to select OK , Cancel , or try another scaling function.

  • Page 18: Contour, Blink

    Image menu. Load the image to be blinked from the Select File option and click on Start. You can then control the Offset Adjust (x/y position of the two images) and the Rate Adjust (blinking speed) in real time. Note: The images can be of different size images of different orientation. -18- Autostar IP This is...

  • Page 19: Tools, Coordinates, Histogram, Magnifier

    The magnification factor can be changed by moving the scroll bar located on the right side of the magnifier window. The magnification range is 1.0 to 32.0 in steps of 0.1. The default magnification is 4.0. The size and location of the magnifier window can be modified using the standard methods. -19- Autostar IP...

  • Page 20: Information

    Autostar IP Information Displays general data about the current image, such as, size, scale factors, date of image, location, etc.. Most of this data is a permanent part of the image and can be found in the headers of the various formats.

  • Page 21: Process, Undo, Calibrate, Merge, Correct Column Defect, Flip Image, Rotate Image

    (clockwise) using the Rotate Image command. Rotate Image must physically move the image data from one axis to the other. This changes the orientation of the image in memory, therefore, subsequent buffer functions, such as merging, may not -21- Autostar IP...

  • Page 22: Resample, Convolution Filters

    The Convolution Filter dialog box displays the kernel values of the current convolution filter and allows you to select from a list of pre-defined kernels or to enter your own values. See the Appendix for a description of image convolution. -22- Autostar IP...

  • Page 23: Unsharp Masking, Median Filter, Fix Hot Pixels, Fix Cold Pixels

    Even after calibration, images often have individual pixels that are too dark. These can be a result of read noise from your camera, cosmic rays that hit contaminated your dark frams, slight errors in your calibration images. Regardless of the cause, this filter will look for these single pixel anomalies and -23- Autostar IP...

  • Page 24: Add Noise, Stretch Image

    Autostar IP offers several different scalings: Log Scaling replaces each pixel with the log of its value. This has the effect of stretching the contrast to favor details in the image highlights and increases the dynamic range of the image that can be displayed.

  • Page 25: Rgb Merge

    Autostar IP Linear scaling performs the following transformation: Final Pixel = (Pixel – Min.Value) * Scale Factor If the Final Pixel is greater than Max. Value, the Final Pixel is assigned the Max. Value. RGB Merge The RGB Merge command produces a full color image by combining three separate grayscale images,...

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    Autostar IP When the command is complete, the number of colors that were found and the number of colors used in the resulting image are displayed. You should modify the number of Quantum Levels (in the RGB Merge dialog box) so that the two values are fairly close together. Generally, finding 300 to 400 colors results in the best image.

  • Page 27: Image Utilities

    Autostar IP 7. Image Utilities The Image Utilities dialog box can be displayed by moving the cursor over the desired area of the current image and either clicking the left mouse button or by depressing the left mouse button, drawing a rectangle, then releasing the button.

  • Page 28: Set Reference Magnitude

    Draw a selection box around the object. Then select the Set Reference Magnitude function. The following dialog will appear. All magnitude calculations in Meade Autostar IP are based on a technique called Aperture Photometry. This method comparing the total energy inside a measurement radius around a target object with that within the aperature of the reference object.

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    RefTotal is the total energy in the reference aperture. and Total is the total energy in the currently selected aperture. After a moment the following dialog will appear: Photometry Cursor Profile Line Mag/Centroid Area RefTotal ∗ Total -29- Autostar IP...

  • Page 30: Image Statistics, Draw Profile

    Click OK to dismiss the dialog. Click on Log to write these values to the log file. Draw Profile The selection box determines the values to be included in the profile dialog. When Draw Profile is selected a Profile dialog similar to the one below is displayed. -30- Autostar IP...

  • Page 31: List Pixel Values

    Autostar IP If the Line Profile button is selects, the diagonal line drawn through the Photometry Cursor indicates which pixels will be graphed by the Draw Profile command. Other choices are the summation of the rows, average of the rows, summation of the columns or average of the columns. If the Scaled Values box is checked, the screen’s display values are used, otherwise the image pixel values are used to...

  • Page 32: Edit Log File

    Autostar IP Edit Log File The Edit Log File command opens the current log file for editing with either wordpad or notepad. This allows you to add annotations to you log file as you work though and image, or to remove unwanted data that may accidentally have been written to the file.

  • Page 33: Group Operations, Group Edit

    The ability to operate on groups of images is one of the keys to making Autostar Image Processing the most convenient Windows image processing system.

  • Page 34: Copy, Examine, Delete, Calibrate, Align

    The image fragment below shows clearly how all of the star are trippled. To align them, simply draw a selection box around all the stars that should be co-aligned. -34- Autostar IP...

  • Page 35: Combine, Filter, Normalize, Fix Column Defect, Photometry

    When this command is selected the group photometry dialog will appear similar to the example shown below. Additionally, the first image in your group will be displayed behind it. Select all the objects that you wish to measure by drawing a box around them. -35- Autostar IP...

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    Autostar IP The center coordinates of the locator boxes are shown in the window at the top of the dialog. Additionally, you can change the aperture and annulus of measurement. If you check the Recenter and Track box, each object will be recentered in each succeeding image. This allows you compensate for slight shifts of the telescope between measurements,.

  • Page 37: Options, Night Vision, Preferences

    24 bit color. This will greatly increase the speed and ease of dealing with color images. If you need to output 8 bit compressed palette images for rapid internet download, or if your system has only and 8 bit color display, disable this option. -37- Autostar IP...

  • Page 38: Grayscale Palette And Standard Palette

    NOTE: The Grayscale Palette function removes all colors from the display leaving only shades of gray. Make sure you restore the regular colors by selecting the Standard Palette before you run other color intensive applications. Since these commands are not required in other display modes, they will appear -38- Autostar IP...

  • Page 39: Appendix A, Image Processing Basics

    Each pixel, including the center one, would be multiplied by 1, then the sum of each of these terms is calculated. The result is then divided by the sum of each of the kernel values, in this case 9. Finally, the -39- Autostar IP Appendix Sometimes it may be...

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    Autostar IP Appendix center pixel value is replaced with the new result. This process is then repeated for every pixel in the image. There are many different kernels that you can create that give various results. Meade Autostar IP provides several basic kernels that provide the most common functions, but feel free to experiment.

  • Page 41: Bibliography

    Autostar IP Appendix Bibliography William K. Pratt, Digital Image Processing, second edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1991 -41-...

  • Page 42: Glossary

    Index Glossary absolute magnitude - the apparent magnitude an object would have if it were moved to a distance of 10 parsecs. angular diameter - the apparent diameter of an object expressed in angular measure i.e., deg, min, sec. aperture - the diameter of the objective lens or primary mirror of a telescope. apparent magnitude - the observed brightness of an object without any correction for distance.

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