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Remote Tracking Software for the ST-4
The CCDTRACK program allows you to use your IBM PC or compatible computer in conjunction with the ST-4 to do Autoguiding with several improvements over the ST-4's built in capabilities. With CCDTRACK you can designate the object (star, asteroid, comet, etc.) within the field of view, and are not limited to tracking the brightest object in the field of view. Additionally, the software can scan the object periodically along a line for use with spectrometers or other instruments. The software gives the user complete control over the tracking gains and hysteresis and displays tracking performance with both instantaneous and RMS tracking errors reported.
In addition to numerical information, the program offers several different graphic
displays of the tracking session in real time. A simulated cross hair eyepiece mode
lets the user guide manually by watching the guide star in relation to large cross hairs
on the monitor just as one would if looking through a guiding eyepiece with illuminated
cross-hairs. With CCDTRACK complete remote operation of the ST-4 is possible.
The four graphs shown in Figure 4 are: (a) Error vs. Time plots for X an Y, (b)
Integrated image of the guide star during the guiding session, (c) XY Scatter of the guide
star and (d) Histograms for both X and Y during the guiding session. These graphic
modes plus the tabular data displayed in real time are very helpful in tuning up your
system or trouble shooting guiding problems to get the best results possible during an
Autoguiding session. They also are very helpful in monitoring the progress and
accuracy of your Autoguiding session.