Bibliography & Resources
29-11-2001

The Cloudcamera aquisition software

The cloudcamera software is made up of various parts: The main program written in C language used the FLI Software Developers Kit, ephemeris code for scheduling the exposure runs, sidereal time keeping, and fits file manipulation code.

FLI's software developers kit for Linux This contains an example code from the manufacturer of the camera, the FLI library (which was modified). The new Tololo library has been modified to avoid unnecesary delays when the exposure is taken, since one of the functions in the FLI library which takes the exposure also sets all the parameters for the exposure again and again, which is not very efficient since it causes a 2 second delay, and this is unacceptable since we take an exposure on a precise sidereal second and don't want any extra delays. FLI camera driver and documentation. This page also has the Windows SDK and a preogram called FLIgrab for taking images in the Windows OS.

The ephemeris program is an adaptation of John Thorstensen's (Dartmouth College) skycalc program, the code was largely modified to extract the parts that formated the output to screen, so as to solely have an ephemeris calculator. The original software can be located following the link above.

Fits file manipulation code was created using the CFITSIO libary. This libary and other interesting tools can be found at the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC).

The sidereal time keeping and other research done for the project used the following books

Software for Photometric Astronomy, Silvano Ghedini, published by Willmann-Bell,Inc.
Observer's Handbook 2000,editor Roy Bishop by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, published by University of Toronto Press Inc.

IRAF scripts

To make the scripts that would convert and animate the images and send them to differant directories, I installed IRAF ,this webpage has documentation, tutorials, and the IRAF releases. There is also a beginners guide to IRAF and a guide to writing IRAF scripts.

Display Tools

Imagemagick is a software package under Linux for displaying,animating,converting and manipulating image files, this software is to be used for displaying animations at each one of the domes in full screen resolution 1024x1024 or 512x512, the one unfortunate problem with imagemagick is that it is a memory hog and at present I am doing experiments to see if throwing more memory at it will help.

Future projects

One of the future projects is making the acquisition software take flatfields during twilight and dawn, this would require a change in the exposure times since these vary during sunrise and sunset. To implement this: information in the Astromical journel Volume 105, March 1993 No.1646 Number 3 page 1206 it has a study that is relevant to this problem.