ISS-TRACKING with Emmanuel Rietsch tracking system (Hardware + Software)

2015

2014 2013 2012 INFOS & SETUPS

2016 : Sorted by descending date

 

 

Mount in AltAZ mode on leaned tripod - Wed December 14, 2016
Clear sky and cold weather !
A7s Sony camera for a Mag of -2.6 (value by H.Above) ...
ISS entering Earth shadow !

Weather conditions : sky clear, seeing poor.

ISS aiming :
ISS northern - AD checkbox OFF.
Initial centering and focus on western star
Used the paddle. Catch Ok.

ISS Tracking :

DMK31, Exp 0.0092s Gain 800, 30fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was fine
.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition in color :
A7s Sony camera in APS-C movie slow motion mode 50fps 1920x1080
Exposure ONLY 1/250s, ISO starting at 3200 then reduced 1250.
The Edge C8 was working at main focus FL = 2 m).
ISS focus NOT adjusted with JMI motor during pass ...

Processing :
1.6 GB MP4 movie was converted to SER with PiPP 2.5.8 400x400 AVI (lags) resized 1000x1000 and crop 200x200


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Mount in AltAZ mode on leaned tripod - Thursday December 08, 2016
Clear sky and cold weather !
A7s Sony camera for a Mag of -3.3 (value by H.Above) ... Quality improving :)

< ---Clic for full size !

Weather conditions : sky clear, seeing poor.

ISS aiming :
ISS northern - AD checkbox OFF.
Initial centering and focus on easy & bright target Venus :)
Focus with motor on a star 15 min before pass.
Used the paddle. Catch Ok.

ISS Tracking :

DMK31, Exp 0.0092s Gain 800, 30fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was fine on 3/4 of the pass until behind
roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition in color :
A7s Sony camera in APS-C movie slow motion mode 100fps 1280x720.
Exposure ONLY 1/400s, ISO starting at 100 000 then reduced to 32000 as ISS brightened going UP.
The Edge C8 was equipped with a TWO 4x 2" Powermate in line giving a resulting FL = 32 m).
ISS focus NOT adjusted with JMI motor during pass ...

Processing :
High résolution 1208x720, 2 GB MP4 movie (more than 16 000 frames !) was converted to SER with PiPP 2.5.8


SER was played and edited in SER Player and selected pieces were saved in SER.
Segments of 15- 60 frames were given to AS!2 (Autostakkert!2, V 2.6.1.4). AS!2 output in PNGs, RGB aligned and sharpen with convolution ...




Video of the pass in 135 (x100 unselected registered frames) done with PiPP 2.5.8 , AS!2, RegiStax6 & VirtualDub
Note the video shows the problems to be resolved later at this magnification ... if doable right clic and download > Xvid9MBVideo

Below : Important jello effect on many many frames (Left) but not all (Right) caused by rolling shutter depending of tracking instant quality !

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Mount in AltAZ mode - Tuesday December 06, 2016
Clear sky and cold weather !
A7s Sony camera for a Mag of -3.2 (value by H.Above) ... Quality improving :)

< ---Clic for full size !

Weather conditions : seeing rather nice

ISS aiming :
ISS southern - AD checkbox OFF.
Focus with motor on a star last night.
Used the paddle. Catch Ok.

ISS Tracking :

DMK31, Exp 0.0092s Gain 800, 30fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was fine on half of the pass until behind
roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition in color :
A7s Sony camera in APS-C movie slow motion mode 100fps 1280x720.
Exposure ONLY 1/250s, ISO starting at 100 000 then slowly reduced to 20000 as ISS brightened going UP.
The Edge C8 was equipped with a 4x 2" Powermate + a 1.6x barlow (resulting in FL = 12 m).
ISS focus adjusted with JMI motor during pass ...

Processing :
High résolution 1208x720, 1GB MP4 movie was converted to SER with PiPP 2.5.8


SER was played and edited in SER Player and selected pieces were saved in SER.
Segments of 50 to 300 frames were given to AS!2 (Autostakkert!2, V 2.6.1.4). AS!2 output in PNGs, RGB aligned and sharpen with convolution ...

Five moments of the pass ... The color are more vivid when the ISS is small and low in the sky (and ISOs high) !


Video of best parts of the pass on YouTube https://youtu.be/gNvAZSGlM8I
Selection and cropping done with PiPP 2.5.8

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 Mount in AltAZ mode - Tuesday October 11, 2016
Clear sky !
A7s Sony camera for a Mag of -3.1 (value by H.Above)
Video on YouTube : https://youtu.be/5nbwYodIDcg

Weather conditions : seeing rather poor

ISS aiming :
ISS northern pass - AD checkbox OFF.
Focus with motor on a star of the Great Bear.
Used the paddle. Catch Ok.

ISS Tracking :

DMK31, Exp 0.0092s Gain 800, 30fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was Ok on half of the pass until behind
roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition in color :
A7s Sony camera in APS-C movie mode 50fps 1080p.
Exp 1/800s, ISO starting at 100 000 then slowly reduced to 64000 as ISS brightened.
The Edge C8 was equipped with a 5x Powermate (resulting in FL = 10 m).
ISS focus not re-adjusted during pass ...

Processing :
High résolution 1920x1080, 2.5GB MP4 movie was converted to AVI with NCH softwares PRISM using lossless LAGS codec.
AVI was saved in 100 frm segmented small AVI (still in LAGS)
About 80 of those segments AVIs were given to AS!2 (Autostakkert!2, V 2.6.8 Beta). AS!2 output were 80 PNGs, RGB aligned and sharpen with convolution ...



The PNGs were given to VirtualDub. After croping 600x400, output was a LAGS movie
The LAGS movie was converted to .SER with PiPP to be able to use SerPlayer to output a .GIF file shown below at 10 FPS (wait until fully charged 9 MB) ...
(Simulated backwards)

3D Crossed eyes :



3D // eyes :



Note : 3D simulated by a time difference of 2 frames
       
Here as comparison, AVI (Xvid) link for the low & far pass of the 20161017 at F= 8m A7s in FF mode.

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Mount in AltAZ mode - Tuesday July 26, 2016
Bit of clouds but clear otherwise at 23h !
ASI224MC camera for a Mag of -3.5 (H.Above)
Use of ALARMClock !

Heavens-Above (click for full size) :


Image is 200% from original

Video on YouTube : https://youtu.be/5nbwYodIDcg

Weather conditions : rather clear sky, seeing good !

ISS aiming :
ISS northern pass (EQU mode) - AD checkbox OFF.
Used the paddle. Catch Ok but difficult due to some clouds.

ISS Tracking :

DMK31, Exp 0.0095s Gain 700, 30fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was Ok on half of the pass due to roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition :
ASI 174MM on powerfull desktop PC (I7 950 @ 4gHz, Win7x64, 18GB RAM) with USB3 disk and USB3 active cable (5m)
The Edge C8 was equipped with a 1.6 x AC555 barlow (resulting FL = 3.20 m).
No IRCut filter.
FireCapture SER no debayer 1936x12016, 92 fps Average, 8 bits, Gain 300, 1 ms.
ISS focus not adjusted during pass ...

Processing :
Frame range selection in SER Player, saving in SER, aligning RegiStax5 CG
Zoom 200% in Virtualdub

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Mount in EQU mode - Wed Mar 13, 2016
Clear and cold this morning at 65 AM !
In color with ASI224MC camera for a Mag of -2.9 (H.Above)

Heavens-Above (click for full size) :

Gif animation and right click to download same in AVI or SER file !
Click HERE for original video (13MB download)

 

Weather conditions : Cold, clear sky, seeing average but awful above chimneys !
Preparation (centering all the optics and focus on a high star) done in the previous evening then again at 05:40AM.

ISS aiming :
ISS northern pass (EQU mode) - AD checkbox OFF.
Normally the ISS should have appeared very near and above Jupiter but it was not the case, I saw it already high ...
Used the paddle. Catch Ok at first trial.

ISS Tracking :

The Sun was almost rising ...
DMK41GigE, Exp 0.07s Gain 450, 15fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was Ok but time was rather short because of my roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition :
ASI 224MC color capture on powerfull desktop PC (I7 950 @ 4gHz, Win7x64, 18GB RAM) with USB3 disk and USB3 active cable (5m)
The Edge C8 was equipped with a 1.6 x AC555 barlow (resulting FL = 3.20 m).
IRCut Baader filter.
FireCapture SER no debayer 1304x976, 62 fps Average, 8 bits, Gain 600 at start then rapidly to 423, 1 ms, recording video 1304x976 on disk :
ISS focus not adjusted during pass ...

Processing :
Frame range selection in SER Player, saving in SER, aligning AS!23

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20160207, trial with Telrad visual tracking
Today very nice path (70° high) but sky very cloudy for more than half of path, rain coming very soon after ...
It would have been all but impossible to catch the ISS at zenith when it goes very fast then time to do some experiments again ... better than nothing !


 

 

In color with usal C8 Edge & Canon 500D .. Note High Mag !

Goto this page to see what to do to reduce exposure time in movie mode with Magic Lantern.

 

Weather conditions : Cloudy before rain.

ISS aiming :
ISS North pass .

ISS Tracking :
Visual through the aligned TELRAD

ISS acquisition :
The APS-C sensor makes it easy to get some frames with ISS. FL = 2000 mm. FD 10.
Impossible to check focus (quickly done on a star prior to pass with live view X 10).
Use of MagicLantern for video. ISO auto. Exp 1/1000s.

Processing :
RegiStax5, VirtualDub

Conclusions :
One more time, the ISS is way overexposed (except solar panels)
Exposure could be reduced towards 1/4000s at this high magnitude ... and maybe then a 2x barlow could be used.

Results :

Full Canon EOS 500D frame to see FOV (Click on it for full size)

Other images from movie at rare no movement frame (generally seen just at time of changing direction)...

and finaly the aspect when to much movements of scope which is the rule

and a barlow 2x size simulation in case of assisted tracking ...

NOTES :

I repeated this on Feb 8th with same poor results ...
Magic Lantern was still doing to long exposures ... Even with leap tracking the ISS was move blurred but notice nice colors ...

Then I went again in Magic Lantern docs and found why.

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20160203, trial with visual finder tracking
Today's at the same time short pass (ISS disappears at culmination) and cloudy, showers ...

In color with ASI224MC camera .. Note Mag only -2.4 !.

Weather conditions : showers.

ISS aiming :
ISS South pass on tripod with long handle.

ISS Tracking :
Manual through the viewfinder (click on for full size)...


Example of typical tracking, left not centered, right after PIPP centering and decimating by 10



ISS acquisition :
ASI 224MC color capture on powerfull desktop PC (I7 950 @ 4gHz, Win7x64, 18GB RAM) with USB3 disk and USB3 active cable (5m)
Impossible to check focus (quickly done on a star).

IRCut Baader filter.
FireCapture v2.5 SER no debayer, 140 fps Average HighSpeed=on, USBTraffic=100, 8 bits, Gain 450, 3 ms, recording video 1304x976 on disk
.

Processing :
Frame range selection in SER Player, saving in SER ...

Conclusions :
4432 frm with ISS ohn 'half' a pass ---> A barlow 2x could be used with statistically 4x less frames including the ISS but that still means more than 1000 ISS frames !!

ISS is way overexposed then no light problem with 2x barlow ! Also exposure could be reduced towards 1 ms, gain also could be reduced especially with -3 or more magnitude ...
Would be much easier to succeed if 2 persons working together : 1 tracking, 1 at the PC making corrections !

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Difficult pass but first nice one in color with ASI224MC camera
(just a few second window for me as ISS appeared high - 33° - at NO)
Mount in EQU mode - Wed Jan 13, 2016

Heavens-Above :

 

Calsky :

 

 

 

                             

Weather conditions : clear sky, seeing poor, centering all the optics and focus done in the previous evening.

ISS aiming :
ISS northern pass (EQU mode)
To catch the ISS I was waiting while knowing about where it would appear already bright (high at NW). Used the paddle. Catch Ok at first trial.

ISS Tracking :
DMK41GigE, Exp 0.005s Gain 800, 15fps N&B. Foc: 180mm (FS60, 355 x 0.5) with reducer.
Tracking was Ok but time was very short because of my roof.
Portable PC Vista 2 Cores x64

ISS acquisition :
ASI 224MC color capture on powerfull desktop PC (I7 950 @ 4gHz, Win7x64, 18GB RAM) with USB3 disk and USB3 active cable (5m)
The Edge C8 was equipped with a 1.6 x AC555 barlow (resulting FL = 3.20 m).
IRCut Baader filter.
FireCapture SER no debayer, 63 fps Average, 8 bits, Gain 480 then much less, 0.8 ms, recording video 1304x976 on disk :
ISS focus bit adjusted during pass with motofocus ...

Processing :
Frame range selection in SER Player, saving in SER, aligning AS!23
Astra Image 3.0 : Gamma 1.3 Lucy Richardson Deconvolution 1.8 iter 12

Note : Jupiter with same telescope, focal length and camera configuration ...

 

 

 


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