OVERVIEW

CCDNavigator is a powerful visual tool that helps you select interesting targets and creates an optimal single or multi-target imaging session plan for DSLR or CCD imagers. Version 2 is completely rewritten with powerful new features and a graphical approach to session planning.

WHAT'S NEW

  • Purely visual selection process and simplified work flow

  • Sophisticated graphs that speed target and session decisions

  • Fully automatic guide star identification for any guiding configuration

  • Image composition preview (DSS) while choosing guide stars

  • Improved scheduling algorithm (no more "Ineligible")

  • 10 new catalogs, 5000 new targets with thumbnails

  • Export Dark Cycle information to popular calendar programs

  • Imports site information directly from TheSky6 or TheSkyX Pro

  • Automatic update to keep your software current

See the introduction tutorial below for more detail.

Introduction

Image Something New Every Night!

Choose targets from "The Advanced Imager Catalog" consisting of objects imaged by some of the world's best imagers or use a second catalog, "The Deep Sky Explorer Catalog", that combines 28 astronomical catalogs. Because a thumbnail is included for all 28,000 objects, you can quickly determine if a target merits inclusion in an imaging session and you can easily hunt down and image little known objects.

Target Criteria controls let you manage the types and numbers of objects presented. You can filter objects by availability, classification (galaxy, nebula, etc.), constellation, size, brightness and the amount of time the target is available. This allows you to concentrate on objects that "fit" your system and to plan automated all-night imaging runs. Details about the session are displayed and graphed including Sunrise and Sunset, start and end of darkness, plus information about the Moon’s dark cycle and possible interference.

Advanced Planning Tools Optimize Every Minute of Darkness

CCDNavigator’s advanced target scheduling algorithm automatically optimizes the order for imaging targets and provides initial frame counts for each target’s available time that the user can easily customize. The scheduler takes all the guesswork out of planning an imaging session and eliminates wasted time.

For CCD imagers RGB, LRGB or NB (Narrow Band) sequences are automatically generated that acquire frames at optimal elevations to avoid the effects of seeing and color extinction. This ensures that you will image the target at its highest possible elevation to get the best technical results. As an alternative, the user can have the scheduler generate the usual “round robin” sequence of LRGB frames.

The "EZ-Guide" feature automatically selects guide stars and positions targets for auto-guiding with a guide scope, internal guide chip or off-axis guider. Using CCDNavigator's link to TheSky6, it positions the auto-guider on guide stars and calculates guide star exposures based on two guide star reference exposures. Guide-scopes with offsets are modeled and off-axis guiders can be at any position. All these methods are supported both with and without camera rotators.

With “Interactive Preview”, the user can easily “fine tune” the position to get their preferred composition and tell how the image is going to look as the camera’s position is adjusted. CCDNavigator retrieves images from NASA’s SkyView facility that are the precise field-of-view of your telescope/camera system at the exact position and rotation established by “EZ-Guide”.

Key Features:

  • Visually select targets from 28,000 objects in 28 catalogs.
  • Create single or multi-target imaging plans for export into popular automation programs such as CCDAP.
  • Advanced scheduler optimizes technical results. • Fully automatic guide star selection and exposure calculations
  • Interactive Preview positioning for perfect compositions.
  • Graphs show rise, transit and set times of targets and interference by the moon.
  • The next “Dark Cycle” of the moon is shown and 12 months of dark cycles can be viewed and exported to a calendar program.
  • A session graph shows the real-time allocation of each target selected for imaging and allows the user to adjust the allocations.
  • View DSS plates and SIMBAD data for any target based on your cameras field of view auto-guider positioning.
  • Local horizon lets you know when obstructions will interfere with a target.

 

 

AT A GLANCE:

Visually plan imaging sessions with thumbnails and availability graphs.

Over 28,000 objects in 28 celestial catalogs each with its own thumbnail.

Export imaging plans into popular automation programs like CCDAutoPilot4 and ACP.

Advanced features allow for maximum imaging time.