Voyager Advanced Blog Posts - A Sneak Peek

As announced elsewhere, I have joined the Voyager team in the role of Voyager Evangelist, a fancy term for doing outreach and education about our favorite imaging software.

As a part of the Voyager team, Leo has graciously agreed to let me start blogging about my journey with Voyager Advanced. I published these posts on my own blog at tourstar.net. There are three posts so far:

This one is background - how I got involved with Voyager and my own scheduler experiments
My Journey with Voyager - and Voyager Advanced

Next is a short overview of Voyager Advanced that introduces the concept of automated scheduling:
Voyager Advanced Overview

And the real meat of the topic begins here - a more in-depth look at the RoboTarget Manager, the user interface to the database of targets you create. These are the targets from which RoboTarget chooses when it comes time to pick the next one to shoot.
Voyager’s RoboTarget Manager

These are all based on pre-beta software so expect changes, but the focus during beta will be on finding and fixing issues rather than adding a lot of features.

Note - as anyone familiar with Leo’s software would expect, it has worked great for me so far!

The next blog post will focus on the run-time aspect of using RoboTarget, then integration with DragScript. Based on questions and feedback I will plan more posts if appropriate.

Cheers,
Rowland

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NIiiiiice
Plenty of reading while we wait…

I have been contemplating that kind of features in other software for years and now it’s around the corner.

Thank Rowland for these posts

Martin

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Great write up!
Thanks for this sneak peak.

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Hi Martin and Dan - thanks and glad to help, Voyager Advanced is very solid already. Once our winter storm weather passes I will run it on all three piers, I’ve just been using it on one so far.

Cheers,
Rowland

Great write up! I’m interested to see how viable targets are presented.

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Thanks Chris.

By “viable” I assume you mean eligible - i.e., ones where all the constraints are met.

I’ll cover more on this in the next blog post, which covers RoboTarget at “runtime” - when it is taking images, but the short version is that RoboTarget lists each target it examines in the monitor window (where the log appears when you do a Voyager Basic run) and gives a brief message explaining if the target’s constraints were met or not.

The running target’s status changes to “Running” in the RoboTarget main window which lists all your targets.

Does that answer your question?

Cheers,
Rowland

Thanks for the sneak peek, looking forward to Voyager Advanced!

Quick question, will RoboTarget support importing mosaic targets from RoboClip?

Hi Rowland

Yes that’s exactly what I meant. I look forward to the next part to see it running. Too often I find the weather forecast has got it wrong and there are unexpected clear skies. “Find a target” panic sets in leading to poorly considered selections.

Chris

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Hi Chris -

Exactly! Before I started using automated scheduling I would find myself scrambling in late afternoon to choose the targets for the night. That problem disappears with a scheduler - you just keep the database loaded with appropriate targets and it does the rest.

Cheers,
Rowland

JMN - no, RoboTarget won’t load mosaics in one action yet, not during beta. You can, of course, just set up the individual mosaic frames as separate targets and that will work.

Cheers,
Rowland

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A few questions :

  • I wonder how profiles work if you use also dragscript where you can define a profile.

  • Are Base sequences similar to current sequences, except you don’t input a target but all the current other options (cooling, pointing, platesolving, etc…) are as current sequences ?

  • Still with base sequences : do you already define filters such as LRGB HSO ? in which casse would you then need to image with all these filter. Alternative s that filters are only entered at target level ?

  • What would be really useful is that you can just enter the filter name and have the rest auto-filled (gain, duration, may be number). Obviously, you could always override that.

  • Constraints. I’m sure lots of feedback on this but in some cases you will want these to be filter specific - for example distance to moon (less needed with Ha). I don’t know how you deal with that except via using narrowband and broadband sets.

  • Darks : if you choose darks, will voyager automatically close flat device you have (I currently do it via dragscript).

  • HFD submax constraint : it may make more sense to consider two consecutive frames as you can always have one affected by specific events (guiding, seeing, etc…). Relying on one result seems very random.

In any case, sounds great and good luck with the beta. Frederic

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Hi Fredd,

Some of these are “Leo questions” but here are some answers:

  • I wonder how profiles work if you use also dragscript where you can define a profile.
    RoboTarget works with DragScript - you call RoboTarget from the DragScript and it will run using the active profile. Targets are associated with a Profile, so the eligible targets will be selected from the ones associated with the active profile at the time you invoke RoboTarget.

*** Are Base sequences similar to current sequences, except you don’t input a target but all the current other options (cooling, pointing, platesolving, etc…) are as current sequences ?**
Not just similar - exactly the same! You can use any of your existing sequences as a base sequence and all the options are used when the sequence is run, except the things specified and activated in the RoboTarget target definition override those in the base sequence.

*** Still with base sequences : do you already define filters such as LRGB HSO ? in which casse would you then need to image with all these filter. Alternative s that filters are only entered at target level ?**
Any entries for shots (filter, exposure length, etc.) in the base sequence are ignored. The shot definitions are set by you for each target in the RoboTarget database. With copy and paste it is very fast to create a new target with the same shots as an existing one.

*** What would be really useful is that you can just enter the filter name and have the rest auto-filled (gain, duration, may be number). Obviously, you could always override that.**
Define a dummy target in RoboTarget and include your normal shots. Copy and paste those shots (you can do them all in one copy and paste) and the new target is done.

*** Constraints. I’m sure lots of feedback on this but in some cases you will want these to be filter specific - for example distance to moon (less needed with Ha). I don’t know how you deal with that except via using narrowband and broadband sets.**
Constraints are associated with the target, not the filter. You don’t have to duplicate the set, but you can just duplicate the target with copy and paste and modify the shots and constraints as needed

*** Darks : if you choose darks, will voyager automatically close flat device you have (I currently do it via dragscript).**
I don’t know. You can continue to do this with your DragScript before or after the RoboTarget run is complete.

*** HFD submax constraint : it may make more sense to consider two consecutive frames as you can always have one affected by specific events (guiding, seeing, etc…). Relying on one result seems very random.**
A “Leo question.”

Cheers,
Rowland

Thank you - very clear.

Just AMAZING !!! I don’t know how I missed this information (in fact I know, I’ve been very busy to setup another remote observatory…).

I am very much looking forward to it.

Thank you, Rowland and of course Leo.

Regards,
Aygen

This is great – looking forward to advancing myself to keep up!

Will Voyager Advanced support a local horizon and be smart enough to choose targets that aren’t behind a tree, then switch targets when they set behind a local obstacle?

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