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[Sticky] Astro Pixel Processor 1.083 - preparing next release...  


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July 30, 2020 21:49  

Astro Pixel Processor 1.083 beta 2 - soon to be released...:

  • WORK-AROUND IN FITS READER, FOR APPLICATIONS THAT USE A FAULTY FITS WRITER: some users reported problems with some FITS files where APP could not read these, but other applications could. The topic is : Some of the problem FITS files come from the Voyager capture software developed by Leonardo Orazi. Together with Leonardo, we have found the root cause of the problem. It turned out that the FITS writer code that is used in Voyager is a badly ported version of the nasa java fits library that we use in Astro Pixel Processor. The ported version is not following the FITS specification for how the FITS Header bytes should be filled with byte values once all metadata has been stored. So the root cause is not in APP, the root cause of the problem is in the capture software or the ascom driver that such a capture package uses. Leonardo has fixed this issue in Voyager and in APP, I have implemented a work-around so that this particular FITS issue is detected and the files are still read properly.
  • IMPROVED, WORKFLOW in 3) ANALYSE STARS, 4) REGISTER, 5) NORMALIZE : you can now directly skip tabs 3), 4) en 5). This is usefull in the following cases:
    • Comet registration, by skipping 3) star analysis, you can directly perform comet registration using only the comet nucleus. You can also perform 1 star registration in this way, if you have data with very little stars. If you do have stars in your data, we recommend to perform star analysis, since APP will then perform comet registration after star registration, and this should and will give you better results in terms of precision.
    • Proceeding with already registered frames, skip 3) and 4) and proceed directly with normalization.
    • Proceeding with already registered and normalized frames, skip 3), 4) and 5) and proceed directly with integration.
    • Proceeding with alread normalized frames, perform star analysis and registration and then skip normalization to directly go to integration.
disable star analysis
disable registration
disable normalization
  • FIXED, CALIBRATED PROJECTIVE REGISTRATION, the calibrated projective registration mode did not work in 1.083 beta 1. This has been fixed. The bug caused a null pointer exception when registration was finished because the camera matrices were not produced which was caused by APP failing to ask the focal length and pixel size of the reference frame.
  • IMPROVED, ANALYSE STARS, the star detection algorithm has been improved once again because we received some data where it failed. This concerned data of long narrowband exposures where a lot of cosmic rays were present in high numbers... which confused APP. It thought that the cosmic rays were stars... We have made sure that the new algorithm works properly on all of our test data. In addition some optimizations were applied as well, so module 3) Analyse stars is now 10-20% faster 🙂 Please check this example were APP 1.082 failed and 1.083 works, a 30 minute H-alpha exposure with many cosmic rays.
H alpha 30 minutes Exposure Cosmic Rays
H alpha 30 minutes Exposure Cosmic Rays Star Detection
  • BATCH MODIFY TOOL HAS BEEN REPLACED BY 4 SEPARATE BATCH TOOLS, we have replaced it finally because it was a multi-function complicated user unfriendly tool. The different functionalities have now been made possible with the introduction of 4 new Batch tools: Batch Crop, Batch modify metadata/CFA, Batch add/multiply, Batch save which will be introduced below:
  • NEW BATCH MODIFY FITS METADATA/CFA TOOL, the Batch Modify FITS METADATA/CFA tool allows you to save copies of your frames with corrected metadata for
    • iso/gain
    • exposure
    • instrument (your camera name)
    • filter used
    • capture session
    • add Bayer/X-Trans CFA tag
    • remove Bayer/X-Trans CFA tag / undemosaic already demosaiced data

The following screenshots show an example where you can add the correct CFA tag for data that is missing the tag because the capture software did not include it...

Batch Modify Header add CFA
Batch Modify Header remove CFA undemosaic
Batch Modify Header removed CFA
  •  NEW BATCH CROP TOOL, the Batch Crop tool enables you to make a crop of your data. You can draw the crop/rectangle and/or use crop offsets to finetune the desired crop. The crop dimensions and aspect ratio are shown as well.
  •  NEW BATCH ADD/MULTIPLY TOOL, the Batch Add/Multiply Tool enables you to add/subtract and multiply/divide the data in your images with a certain offset or factor.
  • NEW BATCH SAVE TOOL, the batch tool enables you to save a batch of files to a different filetype and possibly change the bitdepth of the data as well.
  • IMPROVED BATCH ROTATE/RESIZE TOOL, we have updated the user interface of the tool and it now provides a quick preview when you touch the rotate, resize sliders or touch the flip selectboxes.
  • IMPROVED BATCH TOOL FILE SELECTOR, you can choose whether to show only the file name or the complete file path of the files to be loaded into the batch tools. This will also apply if you want de delete multiple frames from the file list with the right mouse-click popup menu.
  • FIXED, ADVANCED NORMALIZATION, a regression bug has been fixed that caused advanced normalization not to start in some cases.
  • FIXED, BAYER DRIZZLE WITH THE HA-OIII debayer algorithms, enabling bayer drizzle with the Ha-OIII extract Ha or extract OIII algorithms did not work correctly. It showed the exact same result which was similar to the Ha-OIII mono debayer algorithm. It now works correctly as is show in the next screenshots:

Bayer Drizzle with Ha-OIII mono (so mix of the Ha and OIII signals):

BayerDrizzle HaO3 mono

Bayer Drizzle with Ha-OIII extract Ha (only Ha):

BayerDrizzle HaO3 extractHa

Bayer Drizzle with Ha-OIII extract OIII (only OIII):

BayerDrizzle HaO3 extractO3

A HOO composite of these Ha and O3 signals made with the RGB Combine and Selective Color tools (data courtesy of Ian Barredo @tracer, asi533 Optolong L-Extreme filter):

HOO custom cbg SC St

Astro Pixel Processor 1.083 beta 1 - 30 July 2020:

ADDED COMET REGISTRATION: Astro Pixel Processor 1.083 stable will have full comet procession support, this first beta release introduces registration/alignment on the comet nucleus.

To perform comet registration, go to 4) Register, and set the registration mode to...: comet  🙂

You will need to select the comet in the first image, then on the other light frames, APP will try to auto-detect the comet nucleus. If it fails the auto-detection, due to

  • a big change of the comet brightness or
  • a big move of the comet between 2 successive image

then you will simply be asked to select the comet again in that image.

I have tested it on a wide range of datasets of different comets as well, and so far all is working nicely with very precise results. Thank you all for uploading all your comet datasets, we received many datasets which really helped in getting this working robustly on a wide variety of datasets.

Here are the download links for the 1st beta release:

 We have created a special subforum for all your questions and feedback related to comet processing in APP and in general:

This video tutorial demonstrates the new comet registration functionality introduced in Astro Pixel Processor 1.083-beta1.

Please share your results, questions and any problems that you may encounter.



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