Consulting can offer
state-of-the-art expertise in telescope pointing and
tracking algorithms and in many other areas of positional-astronomy
Any scale of problem can be addressed, from a
few hundred lines of code implementing a pointing kernel up to
complete telescope control systems.
Studies of the pointing characteristics of individual telescopes
can also be undertaken.
License fees for the above software packages are available on application to
Software Bisque. In general, executables
are relatively inexpensive. Source code, of
interest to major projects which need to guarantee long-term in-house
support, is more expensive and is licensed on strict non-disclosure terms.
Separate licensing arrangements exist for, respectively,
astronomy institutes and individuals, and
(ii) telescope manufacturing
companies and other commercial users.
- TPOINT: Also
known as proTPOINT, this is the analysis tool that takes
telescope pointing observations and determines a mathematical
model to describe the various systematic errors in the telescope
and mount. The application
is supplied as an executable (for MS-Windows,
Mac OS-X or Linux), together with a 160-page user
manual. Each copy is licensed to an individual user and
entitles him or her to analyze data from a specified telescope or
all the telescopes at an observing site.
The license fee depends on the size, type and number of
telescopes or antennas.
It should be understood that TPOINT itself does not control a telescope.
It is the responsibility of the user's telescope control system (a) to
carry out pointing tests and to log the results in one of the
forms that TPOINT accepts, and (b) to implement pointing corrections
according to the model that TPOINT finds. The products TCSpk, TPC and CPK
(see below) support these aspects.
In the rare cases where the expense can be justified, TPOINT is
also available as ANSI C source code and 235-page manual.
The resulting library (TPTLIB) can
be used to add TPOINT functionality to the user's applications.
SLALIB (see below) is a prerequisite.
- TCSpk: This is a
comprehensive and rigorous telescope pointing kernel,
aimed at developers of telescope or antenna
control systems for professional astronomy and space applications. It
provides extremely accurate and sophisticated algorithms for
controlling pointing and tracking, including provision for autoguiders,
tip-tilt optics and instrument rotators.
TCSpk is licensed in ANSI C source code form (just under 100
functions) together with a 300-page programmer's manual. SLALIB is a
- TPC: The
telescope pointing corrector
library is aimed at those with existing telescope or antenna
control systems and wish to add TPOINT pointing and tracking
corrections. It is licensed in ANSI C source code form,
and comes with an 80-page manual. SLALIB is a prerequisite.
- CPK: The
concise pointing kernel
library caters for telescope or antenna projects that need a
lightweight solution of modest accuracy. It performs the
whole transformation from a star's catalog position to the
mount pointing demand, and achieves an overall computational
accuracy 2 arcseconds while being fast enough to run
at servo rates.
CPK is licensed in ANSI C source code form, together with a 61-page
manual. An introduction to the algorithms used is
- SLALIB: This
library, which comprises 216 functions,
software developer with a wide range of accurate and
reliable positional-astronomy functions.
SLALIB is used by professional astronomers worldwide, and is at the
heart of almost all the control systems for telescopes over 3 meter
aperture developed during the past 25 years.
It is licensed in ANSI C source code form; the programmer's manual
is 385 pages.
- IPHASE: IPHASE
is a TPOINT-like package for analyzing
optical path-length in 2-telescope interferometers. Given delay-line readings
for different stars, the IPHASE package determines the geometry of the
interferometer, including the relative locations of the two telescopes
or antennae and various runout effects in their mountings. The
interferometer control system can use this information to
improve the accuracy with which it can set the delay lines,
speeding up fringe acquisition, especially for faint objects.
IPHASE is a highly specialized tool, of interest to professional
observatories which operate, or are developing, interferometer
Like TPOINT, a range of versions is available, including
executables (for MS-Windows,
Mac OS-X and Linux) and source licenses. SLALIB is a prerequisite.
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