Introducing ASTRO.control - A Remote Camera Server
In this webinar, Norbert Fiebig of the company “Fiebig Astrotechnik” will present one of his products for astronomical observatories called ASTRO.control. ASTRO.control is a commercial off-the-shelf remote camera server (RCS) and is already in use with different projects involving Andor cameras for Astronomy.
In contrast to experimental setups for, e.g. lab applications (camera is located in a lab close to the desk of an operator and a computer with camera driver and/or camera control software), an astronomical instrument represents a different use case:
The camera is mounted at the instrument or at the telescope, which is exposed to challenging environmental conditions during observation. The operator's workstation is in a control room at some distance to the observatory or even at longer distances in case of remote or robotic observatories. The operator wants to run the custom control software in the control room, while the camera is at the telescope. The point is: how do we bridge the distance?
ASTRO.control was developed to offer an off-the-shelf solution for this type of "observatory setup". The camera is connected short-distance to a locally mounted IPC, a small and robust embedded computer, industrial grade for harsh environment. It runs the, e.g., Andor driver and an embedded control application to monitor & control the camera and acquire images, plus a remote communication software. The IPC does not run a user GUI application, but instead it provides Gigabit Ethernet or Fibre cable to the remote side, which connects to the internet and allows for remote camera operation over any distance.