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Re: [fedora-astronomy] Long term goals and multiple opportunities



Kstars will nicely control a motorized focuser on an LX-200

-Joe D

Jeff Spaleta wrote:
Good Morning Campers!

I haven't participated directly in the Astronomy SIG even though I'm
listed in its membership.
But I have been thinking about long term opportunities for the SIG to
be break out star of the Fedora Project.

So let me catch you all up to speed on a couple of long term ideas
that I've been leveraging my Board title to have conversations about.

1) open source amateur telescope network

Given the right telescope and ccd camera hardware arrangements, we
could provide a completely self-contained Fedora based software setup
for remote instrument control, with turn-key instructions on how to
get an instrument up and in the network.  To that end, I have a local
high school teacher who has a small grant to put a remotely controlled
scope together for his classes to use.  It looks like we'll be using a
apogee usb camera and an 8 inch meade telescope. Hardware I'm sure we
won't have a problem providing support for in Fedora.  A filter wheel
hasn't been selected yet.

Given that hardware what is the best control and image capture
software we have in Fedora right now that could be used for instrument
control, tracking and image collection?  I'm thinking Kstars makes for
the best interface for an educational target, but what do i know.  Can
we do guidestar tracking out of the box with this camera and scope, or
would we need a secondary imager?  I'm not sure kstars actually does
image based guidestar tracking.

I haven't even thought about focus control yet. I would imagine we'll
need to homebrew something.  Whatever we end up doing, I want it to be
an easy to follow blueprint so I can get another school to do it next
year so we can link multiple instruments together for student use.

And if all possible I want to be able to produce a Fedora branded live
image with the necessary software to run the instrument.

2) Radio Lunar/Solar Bounce HF Groundstations
What would it take to run a network of volunteer groundstations to
participate in a coordinated lunar/solar bounce HF experiment?
I've run across an experimental opportunity for long baseline
interferometry that could make use of a dispersed network of
groundstations, and I'd like to see if we can build that network
through the Fedora project.  Obviously it's going to require hardware
that most people don't have...but licensed HAM operators might have.
I'm talking with potential researchers now to organize the science
proposal.  But we also need to stat having a conversation inside
Fedora about whether there is enough interest in participating in a
network of volunteer stations.   I've talked to a couple of people in
the HAM SIG, but if the Astronomy SIG wants to help make it happen
that would be keen as well.

Now that gnuradio is in in the repo, what else would be needed in
Fedora to do something coordinated?  I'm sure we have the necessary
software to make use of gps time syncing when groundstations have
access to a local gps time source.  One of the  goals here is a
turn-key live image that can be used as the automated groundstation
control. I'm not sure if it will end-up being brandable Fedora without
special permission from the Board.  it might have to ship some
configuration information for data collection specifics that won't be
a part of the Fedora repository.

-jef

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