As a new user to this software solution to automate our imaging I am interested in how we would fully automate the clear nights observatory running. As I understand so far we have to put together a file that covers one set of exposures and the associated number, exposure length etc, then whenever it’s clear execute the parameters contained within the file (unless the weather intervenes).
Now looking forward at this software having the ability to set various targets that are positioned at the optimum area of your sky and deciding which one to run and if the session is interrupted then upon its continuation decide if the previous target is still in the optimum position to continue or move onto a new target.
Firstly let me say I personally have no programming experience so have to rely on others who develop programs and routines.
I also appreciate time constraints that people have.
Looking on the forum I see that there is a post started by Rowland Archer working with another user (mikefulb) and they both are looking into what I was trying to explain above.
That particular thread has moved over to discussing the viewer so I thought I would create this posting in some form of establishing where things may be up to that all users are using to get towards full automation solutions.
approach of Rowland is for a sophisticated scheduler … in this case he use an external scheduler application own written. You dont need to be a programmer to use Dragscript, dragscript itself is not a scripting language. Dragscript is just a set of block ordered in sequential or logic order.
Using the “DO IF xxxxxx” blocks you can organize a scheduler in few minutes for months.
Just for info Will be a new version of Voyager called Advanced with internal scheduler, with this version you’ll have all automate inside. Just choose target and exposure for filter, Voyager will choose for you targets and timing until reached what requested. We have stopped all the coding for other request and working on this task. The automata related to this task is called RoboTarget and a dedicated manager is already written.
This is a simple way for starting a scheduler with a DragScript.
Work for Hour Angle but you can add constraints for date an time. Block must be fill with your actions (if exists) dedicated to your observatory.
1 - Start: Events At Start are DISABLE
2 - Script
3 - Block: Viking Connection and Card I/O connection with failover
4 - Remark: Fill with your needed
5 - Block: Checking of observatory temperature and fan activation id needed
6 - Remark: Fill with your needed
7 - Block: WAIT right time to start night operations
8 - Remark: Fill with your needed
9 - Block: Setup Connect with failover control
10 - Remark: Fill with your needed
11 - Block: Enable Events and check for some time with a wait if all is ok
12 - Remark: Fill with your needed
13 - Block: Pre cooling
14 - Remark: Fill with your needed
15 - Block: Initial goto ALT.AZ and Blind Solve with faiolver management
16 - Remark: Fill with your needed
17 - Block: SCHEDULER
18 - Block: Scheduler Hour Angle Mode
19 - Block: TARGET A
20 - DO IF HA BETWEEN: Between -2 and 2 [Hours] - ( RA 11 22 33 - DEC 22 33 44 )
21 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Start sequence Target A
22 - Sequence: Interval of 02:00:00 [hh:mm:ss] - TARGET A
23 - IF ERROR
24 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Error sequence Target A
25 - Block: TARGET B
26 - DO IF HA BETWEEN: Between -2 and -2 [Hours] - ( RA 11 22 33 - DEC 22 33 44 )
27 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Start sequence Target B
28 - Sequence: Interval of 02:00:00 [hh:mm:ss] - TARGET B
29 - IF ERROR
30 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Error sequence Target B
31 - Block: TARGET C
32 - DO IF HA BETWEEN: Between -2 and -2 [Hours] - ( RA 11 22 33 - DEC 22 33 44 )
33 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Start sequence Target C
34 - Sequence: Interval of 02:00:00 [hh:mm:ss] - TARGET C
35 - IF ERROR
36 - Send Email using Voyager Account: - - Error sequence Target C
37 - Wait Time: 00:01:00 [hh:mm:ss] Interval
38 - Repeat Block Until Astronomical Night End: Data from connected Setup - Offset (Before) 00:00:00 [hh:mm:ss]
39 - Block: Dawn Flat
40 - Remark: Fill with your needed
41 - Block: Shutdown all and send you a mail
42 - Remark: Fill with your needed
43 - End
44 - Events
45 - Emergency Exit
46 - Remark: All the code in this Emergency Exit block will be done before exit
47 - Block: park, close observatory, shutdown all setup send emal and so
48 - Emergency Suspend: Wait Resume until absolute time : 06:30:00 [hh:mm:ss] - On Resume Timeout Exec Emergency Exit Event
49 - Remark: All the code in this Emergency Suspend block will be done before entering in suspend mode or return to run in case of Emergency Resume
50 - Block: park, close observatory if you want,shutdown cooler if you want
51 - Block: Eventually you can take dark and flat
52 - Emergency Resume
53 - Remark: All the code in this Emergency Resumet block will be done before resume to the block you pointing
54 - Block: Rearm Observatory (reopen, unpark moun and so)
55 - Resume from Block: SCHEDULER
I can’t wait to see the implementation of RoboTarget! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
In the meantime, I’ve been writing a targeting scheduler in python that writes to sequence files the desired targets and filters/exposures needed. It’s a work in progress, but would be interesting to see how it could pair with RoboTarget. Are RoboTarget files serialized?