I’m the developer of ASTAP. I’m a retired electrical engineer living in the Netherlands.
Compared with PS2, ASTAP has two advantages:
- Telescope pointing offsets of 30 degrees or more are no problem for ASTAP.
- Focal length and pixel size setting are less critical then PS2.
The current SGP implementation is using the PlateSolve2 command-line. In the long run I would prefer that SGP would implement the ASTAP native command-line. That allows some additional setting like defining the search area in degrees. But that has no hurry. Let’s demonstrate first if the current implementation works for the SGP users.
ASTAP will behave differently then PS2 or Astrometry.net based solvers. It should work straight out of the box and most users will not require and setting change. Just in case of solve problems, go to the following checklist:
Checklist for successful solving with ASTAP:
- images should be preferable raw and unstretched.
- Severe Image saturation should be avoided. Exposure time of 1, 2 5, 200 or 100x200 seconds stacked are no problem but a single 20 min exposure of the Milky Way could be a problem.
- Stars should be pretty round. (if not is they will be skipped as double stars or galaxies)
- Minimum of about 20 to 30 stars should be visible (this could be just above noise level. Exposure time of 1 or 2 seconds can work)
- Image height should be at least 1000 pixels.
- Image height in degrees should be defined within maybe 30% accuracy or better. (so in SGP the focal length, sensor size should be set correctly)
For the last point, if you open in ASTAP viewer an unsolved FITS image saved by SGP, the image dimensions in degrees as shown in the ASTAP status bar should be correct. After a solve in the viewer the image dimensions will be updated and should be the same. If they change a lot after a solve in the ASTAP viewer, you better update the focal length, sensor size settings in SGP.
A more extended checklist is available at:
p.s. the donation button has fixed.