PHDLab

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Tool for analyzing the log files produced by Stark Labs PHD astrophotography auto-guiding software will display guiding graphs and perform various analyses on the data in the logs.

The current beta version offers the following:

  • lists all the guiding events in a log so you can select a specific event to be analyzed
  • plots zoomable graphs of the RA & DEC tracking errors, accruing RMS and guiding drive-output
  • graphs can have time or frame horizontal axes and, if you enter guiding rig and imaging rig specs, it can plot vertical-axis values in guider-pixels, arcseconds or equivalent imager pixels, using either RA & DEC or guiding camera CCD X & Y axes
  • displays all the guiding parameter settings for the selected guiding event
  • lists Peak and RMS errors for DEC & RA or guider X & Y plus combined axes for the selected guiding event in guider-pixels, imager-pixels and arcsecs
  • estimates DEC drift over a guiding event by fitting drift-lines to the guide-star DEC motion during frames in which the DEC motor correction is 0 and, from this, compute expected field-rotation given approximate guide-star declination
  • allows a guiding event to be interpreted as a drift-check, using techniques such as those described in Trevor Gerdes Drift alignment using PHD graphs with the PHD guide-output disabled, in which PHDLab continually draws a line-fit and reports DEC drift in arcsecs per minute
  • has a realtime mode in which it can monitor the growing log-file of an active guiding session, reporting all the above analyses in realtime
  • includes a Drift Calculator that lets you do what-if calculations on exposure-time, drift, polar-alignment error, guidestar declination, field-rotation and so on
  • includes a guide-box graph that plots recent guide-points relative to a user-specified maximum-error box, highlighting which points caused guiding corrections and which did not. This lets you tune guiding controls such as aggressiveness and minimum-movement so that most correction-inducing points are outside the max-error box and those with no correction are inside.
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Requires Python to be installed.
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