Collimate your telescope in-focus with your
Unlike collimation procedures of the past, CCD Inspector
provides a revolutionary new way to collimate a compound-optics
Collimation makes a huge difference in the quality of image
and resolution that can be achieved. With CCDInspector, a
collimation error of 10 arc-seconds can produce as much as 1
arc-seconds increase in FWHM of a star. This means that a good
3.0 arc-second FWHM image can become a 2.0 arc-second image with
By measuring the exact displacement of the optical center
from the physical center of the imaging configuration,
CCDInspector is capable of detecting the smallest collimation
errors with your CCD still attached to the telescope, and with
telescope well focused! This is the best possible way to
- The optical train is not disturbed by removing an
eyepiece and replacing the camera after collimation
- Focus position will need only minor adjustments to get
to best focus after collimation is completed
- What's more, the collimation can occur right on, or very
near-by to the field you will be imaging. This may be the
best way to collimate a telescopes with significant mirror
- Since collimation is done on hundreds of stars, there's
no need to re-center anything after adjusting collimation:
just take the next image, and keep adjusting.
Real-time analysis of focus, seeing and
CCDInspector can performs the following functions:
1. Real-time focusing using Full-Width-at-Half-Maximum
(FWHM), Peak Value, Half-Flux Diameter (HFD), and other display
2. Seeing conditions estimation by measuring FWHM or HFD of a
3. Focus quality monitoring during a long exposure by measuring
the quality of the star image on the autoguider chip
4. Fast and easy way to evaluate the quality of a long exposure
containing multiple stars and extended objects
5. Measure FWHM or a number of other statistics of a specific
star in the image by selecting it.
Analyze your exposures for image quality
CCD Inspector employs a proprietary algorithm for star
filtering and extraction. For each image, it will extract up to
a few thousand stars from the entire image, ignoring hot pixels
and other non-stellar structures. As part of the analysis, CCD
Inspector will throw out stars that are bloomed or saturated,
and any stars with too low a signal-to-noise ratio that may
yield an inaccurate measurement. It will then pick the median
FWHM value, and the median Aspect Ratio value of all the stars
remaining in the list. These will be the values displayed next
to the image name.
By its nature, the FWHM and Aspect Ratio displayed represent
an "average" value for the image. There will be some stars with
higher and some with lower FWHM in the image. The same applies
to aspect ratio value. The values chosen are meant to quantify
the image for a meaningful comparison between similar images,
such as multiple sub-frames of the same field of view.
CCDInspector will measure and display the following
attributes of each exposure:
CCDInspector's Charts feature is a powerful analytical tool that
allows direct comparison of various measured values from
multiple images. Any of the numeric values can be used in a
chart, whether computed or derived from the image.
Some example uses of the charting feature include:
- Aspect Ratio plotted against Altitude can give an
indication of how the mount tracks depending on position in
Collimation plotted against
altitude or time can give an indication of mirror flop in
X or Y tilt over time can be an
indicator of focuser sag, flexure, or mirror flop
Background brightness over time
can indicate the time of the night when the sky is darkest
Changing curvature over time
also implies changing collimation due to flexure or mirror
Camera Extrapolation Tool
Easily find out if a field flattener is needed with that larger sensor, or whether a larger secondary will be needed due to severe vignetting. Predict just how well that new camera will work with the current optics. Select from a large list of possible DSLR and CCD cameras and chips.
Aspect Ratio Map Tool
Aspect ratio map shows how stars shapes vary across the field of view, for example due to coma or to optical tilt. Easily see and diagnose tilt or coma problems.
Flat Frame Analysis
Flat Frame Analysis tool helps measure the degree of vignetting from a star field image or a flat frame. See the shape of vignetting in clearly marked contour lines, with % light fall-off shown.
CCDIS Registration Plug-in for CCDStack
This plug-in works in conjunction with CCDStack to provide a fast and extremely precise image registration using CCDInspector advanced star detection algorithm. CCDIS works seamlessly with CCDStack 1.3.2 and later, and registers images completely automatically. CCDIS handles rotation, differences in scale, image flip, and large linear shift with ease. CCDIS is fast on a single CPU, but will take full advantage of the modern multi-core CPUs for even faster performance. Here is a video demonstrating its performance on a single core machine.
Set limits on image parameters, such as FWHM, aspect ratio, background, etc. All images exceeding the limits will be flagged on the display for easy identification.