Contents


Session Phases: Calibration Frames

Dusk Flats and Dawn Flats

Sky as Flat Light Source (twilight or sky flats)



The left box will have suggestions for taking flats.  The hints for Sky flats are shown.  The right box shows the active targets and their corresponding position angle. If you are using a rotator, this is a handy reference for what Rotation Angle to enter in the Series section.. The optimal Target ADU can be measured for your camera using the Linearity Measurement Wizard. When acquiring dawn flats, be aware that CCDAutoPilot's automatic exposure routine is reactive, not predictive. The exposure for a flat is determined by measuring the previous one and adjusting the exposure time. Since the sky is brightening and depending on the camera download time, the next flat's ADU will be a bit higher. So it is best to choose a somewhat lower Target ADU than the Linearity Measurement Wizard recommends. This will prevent running dawn flats into the non-linear region. You will need to experimentally determine that brightness level. The opposite effect occurs for dusk flats. The first exposure will be close to the Target ADU and subsequent ones will have a slightly lower ADU.

  • Update: updates the database with the current Series settings and updates the times in the Session Window at the left.
  • Flat Frames Now: will immediately begin taking the flat frames as specified in the Series section.


    FlipFlat/FlatMan as Light Source



    In addition to the above controls, this adds a Target ADU for flats.  This is target ADU level CCDAutoPilot will try to achieve by adjusting the exposure between minimum and maximum exposure settings from the Preference page, Flat Settings tab. The optimal Target ADU can be measured for your camera using the Linearity Measurement Wizard.


    Custom Light Source



    If you have an unsupported artificial light source, you can still take flats automatically.  You will need to turn the artificial source on and off by running programs at the appropriate points on the Options page and you will have to insure your min. and max. flat exposure times are sufficient to meet the target ADU for all filters.  Target ADU  should be set as needed. This is target ADU level CCDAutoPilot will try to achieve by adjusting the exposure between minimum and maximum exposure settings from the Preference page, Flat Settings tab. The optimal Target ADU can be measured for your camera using the Linearity Measurement Wizard.



    Dark and Bias Frames


  • Flush Imager: when checked, the series of exposures as defined to the right will be taken.  For some sensors, this can reduce the residual bulk image (RBI) from light frames.  The frames will be taken and read out but not saved.
  • Number: Number of flush exposures
  • Filter: Filter to use for flush exposures
  • Binning: Binning to use for flush exposures
  • Exp. Time: Exposure time in seconds to use for flush exposures
  • Update: updates the database with the current Series settings and updates the times in the Session Window at the left.
  • Loop Series: The number of times the active series will be repeated.
  • Dark Frames Now:  immediately begins taking the dark and/or bias frames specified in the Series section.