Announcement: Rowland and Voyager Advanced

I am very excited to announce that I have re-joined the Voyager team in the role of Voyager Evangelist, focused on Voyager Advanced. This is an educational and outreach position. It lets me enjoy two of my passions - doing astrophotography and helping others do it.

I have had the pleasure of using Voyager Advanced in pre-beta, and it is just as good as Voyager users would expect. I integrated it with my all-night unattended imaging DragScript with 10 minutes of editing, loaded six targets into the RoboTarget database, and fired it up. It ran all night, choosing targets intelligently at the right time, moving on to new targets when appropriate. It was beautiful to watch!

Voyager Advanced lets you specify your desired outcome and constraints - e.g. “I want 300 minutes each of R, G and B on target XYZ - run it when the moon is down, and Hour Angle is +/- two hours of the meridian” - and it does the rest. No need for complicated planning, and once you have a DragScript set up for your equipment, you’ll never have to touch it again. Add new or modify existing targets with the RoboTarget manager - everything is saved in a database maintained by Voyager Advanced.

You tell Voyager Advanced what you want, not how to do it. It does the rest. It’s a smarter robotic telescope.

Can you feel my enthusiasm :slight_smile: ?!

Re-engaging with the Voyager team at this time was a no-brainer. Voyager Advanced is a huge step forward and the story needs to be told. In the weeks to come, as a Voyager team member, I will blog about my journey with Voyager Advanced and help Leo with documentation including some new videos. I’m looking forward to sharing the experience and excitement with this and other astrophotography communities, and I invite your ideas and help with how to spread the word.

For those who are thinking “who is this guy?,” a brief backstory is below.


My backstory with Voyager:

I discovered Voyager in December 2018 - in fact I received my Voyager license on Christmas Day that year. Despite the very brief English language documentation, I was able to get it installed and running my first night. I do all-night unattended imaging, and Voyager just worked. No hangs, no aborted runs, just lots and lots of data. Night after night. I was very impressed, and grateful for the uninterrupted sleep!

Voyager was not widely known among my imaging friends. I read comments on CN like “I’ll wait for the English language manual.” I wrote to Leo and offered to write a Wiki, documenting Voyager. He agreed, and the Wiki grew to its current comprehensive state. Eventually Leo took it over and it became the official Voyager documentation repository.

I run Voyager on three piers every clear night in my backyard roll-off roof observatory. The gear is relatively modest - a Skywatcher Esprit 80, a Celestron 9.25" EdgeHD SCT, and an ONTC 8" Newtonian. Two iOptron CEM60 mounts, one Paramount MyT. All ZWO ASI1600 cameras, two mono and one OSC. However modest, three piers is three piers, and planning the targets for every night’s run took a lot of time.

Leo mentioned the concept of Voyager Advanced and we discussed automated target scheduling. When he explained his development priorities, I realized it would be some time before it could be released. I decided to “play” with building my own scheduler in Python, using Voyager as my imaging engine, and my scheduler as the way to choose the next target to run at any time in the night.

My scheduler was amateurish - no real UI - but it worked. Every few months I would politely nag Leo about Advanced, and then one day last Fall, he released a screen shot in the Forum - Voyager Advanced was alive! I was very relieved to see an end coming to my own “hack” of a scheduler and the opportunity to migrate to a real, supported product with ongoing development.

After one night of using Voyager Advanced I knew it was time to get back involved with telling the story to the community. And here we go!


Welcome back Rowland ! I’m really excited about this … thank you so much !!
I wish you a good journey with us and with this new adventure.


Welcome, Rowland. Your contribution played a key role for me to adopt Voyager. Looking forward to read your new documentation.




I must have ESP.
I just checked to see if this was being developed !


Thanks Leo, it’s nice to be back on the team at such a pivotal time for Voyager!

That’s great to hear José. I’m glad I was able to help introduce you to Voyager. You have become such a valuable member of our community!


1 Like

Max - it’s a sign - follow it :slight_smile: !

Hope you get to try and enjoy Advanced.


I can’t wait to use Advanced!

Bring it on Rowland! Looking forward to pestering you (and Leonardo) with questions!


Welcome Chris! I think you will really enjoy Advanced.


Hi Roberto -
We look forward to your questions!

Excellent news Rowland - I’m just starting AP but I want all you have just said - full automation while I sleep - I’m a geek.

Hi RGM - I’m a geek that likes to sleep! When I was a lot younger I could stay up all night with a scope - in the cold - but now I’m very happy to let Voyager “take the wheel” and drive the setup without complaints while I get my rest. And the geek part of my personality does love to automate things, and detests performing repetitive or tedious tasks that I -know- a computer could do :slight_smile: !