Aries Productions

Aries Productions was founded in April 2017 by Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp).

It’s main goal is to build a company for Astro Pixel Processor as it’s main product. And to provide the astrophotography community worldwide, with a new and innovative application for processing Deep Sky images.

Astro Pixel Processor logo designed by Stefanie Haverkamp
Astro Pixel Processor logo designed by Stefanie Haverkamp

Since the launch of Astro Pixel Processor, on the 2nd of June 2017, the company has been growing consistently.

Now (Oktober 2018),  after it’s first year of public existence, Astro Pixel Processor is being used by 100s of astrophotographers on a daily basis worldwide.

To be able to support all of it’s users and to be able to keep improving APP, the time has now  come that we will start expanding the company to

  • speed-up the development of Astro Pixel Processor and
  • to provide better and faster customer support

We are happy to announce that as a first step in expanding Aries Productions,  Vincent Groenewold has joined the company in October 2018 as a moderator on the forum.

Our goal is to further expand the company with  1 or 2 addtional moderators on the forum and 1 or 2 programmers to speed-up development of APP as an application.

Astro Pixel Processor (APP)

Astro Pixel Processor (APP) is being developed by Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp) who has a doctorandus and Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Utrecht, 2004.

BBC Sky at Night First Light Review by Sara Wager
BBC Sky at Night Magazine First Light Software Review by Sara Wager. Click on the badge to visit Sky at Night Magazine. Click on this text to download Sara’s review in PDF format.

Mabula uses current scientific insights to develop APP besides developing and creating new innovative feautures and algorithms like it’s unique debayer algorithm Adaptive Airy Disc, Local Normalization Correction and fully automatic N-View mosaics.

APP couldn’t have been possible without extensive help and feedback from the astrophotography community worldwide and it’s future development path will be largely dependent on input and support from the community.

One of the main goals in the development of APP, is to make a complete Deep Sky Image Processing application that maintains ease of use while automatically using the most advanced algorithms to provide excellent results without the need to tweak dozens of parameters.  APP will give very good results with default parameters on a wide range of datasets.

Astro Pixel Processor 1.068 showing a luminance light frame of the Helix Nebula.
Astro Pixel Processor 1.068 showing a luminance light frame of 300 seconds of the Helix Nebula. The data was shot with the T32 telescope of iTelescope.Net at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

The diversity of datasets from all users in the Deep Sky imaging sphere is huge and this is the main reason that explains, why it is very difficult to make an application that simply works on all datasets. And, at the same time, gives excellent results straight out of the box. 

By focussing in development on this particular goal, APP is now being used from absolute beginners in Deep Sky astrophotography to professional astronomical institutes around the world. APP is easy to work with and it’s results are very competitive as a lot of APP users will testify.

Mabula Haverkamp

Mabula Haverkamp (drs. M.Sc. E.M.W.P. Haverkamp), is the main developer of Astro Pixel Processor and founder of Aries Productions.

He has a doctorandus and Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the University of Utrecht (2004).

His master research was done under the supervision of prof. dr. R.J. Rutten, dr. P. Sütterlin, dr. K. Tziotziou & dr. A.G. de Wijn at the Solar Physics department of the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The research was a data analysis of cospatial and cotemporal Dutch Open Telescope observations and was entitled:

Solar magnetic fluxtubes diagnosed from isolated internetwork bright points – An analysis of Dutch Open Telescope observations – E.M.W.P. Haverkamp 2004-08-30

and it was part of a bigger research project that led to a well-cited scientific publication: DOT tomography of the solar atmosphere. IV. Magnetic patches in internetwork areas

Left: Dutch Open Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma (Canary Islands). Right: cospatial and cotemporal Dutch Open Telescope observations analysed in Mabula’s Masters research project. Field of view is 73×58 square arcseconds and shows a quiet area of the solar surface without active regions. The sequence consists of 154 speckle-restored images taken synchronously at 16 s cadence and therefore has a time-span of 41 minutes. From top to bottom, left to right: Ca II H, G band, blue continuum and red continuum.

Mabula was born as a son of 2 dutch parents who worked in Ndala, Tanzania for several years in a local hospital to help with development of health care in the country. His name was given to him by the local people in the village where he lived and it means “born during the rain”.

Mabula in front of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Vincent Groenewold

Vincent Groenewold has joined Aries Productions in October 2018 as a moderator on the forum. This is his own introduction:

“Hello dear AstroPixelProcessor users,

Vincent Groenewold
Vincent Groenewold

My name is Vincent Groenewold. I’m a 40 year old lover of all things related to science and astrophysics in particular, which resulted in me starting the astrophotography hobby back in 2015.

Since then I advanced quickly from starting with the wrong gear and desktop computer in the cold garden, to a fully remote controlled system controlled from inside my house at the end of that same year. I did love those cold nights though, it’s a unique experience.

I also started to learn all of the software needed to both take the pictures and post-process them, so there may have been some big headache at the end of that year. But I loved every minute of the entire learning process and haven’t stopped trying to advance it further. With the release of AstroPixelProcessor I was suddenly doing mosaics like it was nothing and learned even more about correct ways of calibration and such.

Since I knew Mabula a bit already, it became a natural fit to get to work for him as a moderator right here during my time abroad. Yes, moderating straight from New-Zealand!

I hope I can assist Mabula in giving all of you the right kind of advice and help you in any way I can.

Clear nights!