INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.5.0 on August 20th, 2017. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers.

The following is the change log for the release:

  • New Detector Interface for photon and radio detectors.
  • New Software-Defined-Radio driver (RTLSDR).
  • New Connections plugin system to facilitate driver development.
  • New standardized tracking properties system for all mounts.
  • New Digital Settings Circiles (DSC) driver.
  • New Lacerta MGen driver.
  • New NightCrawler Focusing Rotator driver.
  • New Optec Gemini Focusing Rotater driver.
  • New iNovaPLX CCD driver.
  • QHY SDK update to 1.10.0. Support for QHY PoleMaster.
  • QSI SDK update to 7.6.0
  • Support for INDI client under Windows.
  • Support for Pier Side in many mount drivers.
  • Support for SkySafari.
  • Fix FLIUSB for 4.6 and 4.9 kernels.
  • Fixed wrong time format in generated SER files.
  • ZWO ASI drivers for MacOS.
  • Various GPSD fixes.
  • Proper handing of ISO8601 timestamps in the generated filenames.
  • Improved Gemini mount driver with more functionality and bug fixes.
  • Many V4L2 fixes and improvements. Support for V4L2 integer menus.
  • Ability to define multiple primary/guide scope configurations.
  • ZEQ25 Improvements and fixes.
  • NStep driver improvements and fixes.
  • Added Ccache support.
  • Support for Gotonova driver.
  • Added Unity Build support.
  • Improved Astrophysics driver.
  • Added USB connectivity to SQM device driver.
  • More robust handling of reading pier side from mount.
  • Warn client that no devices are detected in case of Multiple-Devices-Per-Driver drivers.
  • Added PEC control to INDI::Telescope. Each driver must handle the low level protocol to actually enable or disable PEC.
  • Added security (hardening) flags.
  • SoftPEC implementation for Virtuoso mounts in skywatcherAPIMount.
  • Added TELESCOP, OBSERVER, and OBJECT keywords to the FITS header.

What is Radio Astronomy?

Radio astronomy is a relatively new scientific discipline that employs radio waves to probe astrophysical phenomena from interstellar gas to extragalactic quasars. Since the dawn of radio astronomy in the 1930s, it has played a crucial role in developing our modern understanding of astrophysics. Most famously, the 2.725K cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation was discovered by Penzias and Wilson at Bell Labs in 1965, using radio telecommunications equipment. Penzias and Wilson soon realized that the pervasive signal they were detecting in their antenna was the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, the very fires of creation. Radio telescopes are also responsible for the discovery of quasars (accreting black holes at the centers of distant galaxies) and pulsars (magnetized neutron stars, the remnants of exploded stars).

Perhaps even more significant than these famous discoveries of rare and exotic celestial objects, radio astronomy allows us to map out the distribution of cold hydrogen gas, the material from which all stars form. 

INDI Detectors

INDI is evolving fast, and gives every day a new chance for astronomers and amateurs to give their contribute in knowledge and passion.Amateur Radio Telescopes

Now INDI permits the exploration of the Universe in a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from visible, to infra-red, into the lower radio spectrum.

Some kind of devices, unlike CCDs, permit to observe in the elementary size of resolution: the single pixel. These devices are called by INDI Detectors.

The Detectors are of these kinds:

  • Radio Receivers
  • Photon Counters
  • Spectrometers
  • Light Detectors

With the Detectors many field of studies are available for exploration, ranging from:

  • Radio observation in both continuum and spectrum
  • Tracing light curves in variables and double-stars
  • High-speed and Classical photometry
  • Exoplanet hunting by spectral drift or occultation methods
  • Interferometry
  • Sun radio observations
  • 3K Cosmic radiation studies
  • Pulsars, Quarks, AGNs
  • Other kind of studies

The RTL-SDR Receiver

The first Detector being implemented is a software-defined radio based on the Realtek RTL2838 DVB-T dongle. These devices can range from 24MHz up to 2GHz raw reception. When connecting such dongles to satellite dishes Low-Noise-Amplifiers, you can detect many extraterrestrial signals including pulsars. An interferometer can be built using radio astronomy components to achieve this.

SpectraCyber Receiver

The most abundant element in the universe is hydrogen. Hydrogen makes up 75% of the mass of baryonic matter in the universe, followed by helium at 23% , and all other elements at 2%. Due to its abundance, hydrogen has been studied thoroughly at its natural harmonic frequency of 1420 Mhz. By studying the kinematics and distributions of hydrogen clouds in the universe, we can gain a better understanding of the history and evolution of our galaxy and the universe overall.

INDI supports Radio Astronomy Supplies' SpectraCyber hydrogen line spectrometer @ 1420Mhz. The 1.42Ghz frequency or the 21cm line is being emitted by hydrogen clouds in the disk of the Milkyway. It supports all the functionality provided by the spectrometer including scanning continuum and spectral channels.

By gathering data from SpectraCyber, not only it is possible to construct contour maps of power densties of the galactic hydrogen distributions, but it is also possible to plot rotational velocities as a function of distance from the galactic center.

What's Next?

As we continue to develop the necessary software drivers to support radio astronomy detectors, we also plan to develop front-end clients in applications such as KStars to make radio astronomy accessible to more users across the globe. If you'd like to contribute to this ongoing project, please let us know in the INDI Forums!

Ekos VM

The INDI team is happy to announce the release of Ekos VM 1.6 on April. 16th, 2017.
 
Ekos VM is a virtual machine based upon Kubuntu 17.04. It Includes KStars, Ekos, and INDI Library including all 3rd party drivers. The VM includes the latest bleeding edge releases of Ekos & INDI, and can easily be updated whenever new builds of the software are available. This virtual machine is intended for new INDI users who want take a look to this software without the work of installing it in his own system or for users of other operating systems not supported by INDI. The virtual machine was created with VirtualBox but it is stored in the Open Virtualitzation Alliance (OVA) format so it can be used with different virtualization software.
 
The file size is large (~ 1.8 GB). Please use a dedicated download manager for your browser such as DownThemAll for Firefox and ensure the downloaded file MD5sum matches the MD5 on the download page.

To get MD5sum, open a terminal and type:

md5sum ekos.ova

INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.4.1 on Feburary 27th, 2017. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers. Several improvements and enhancements are included in this release including native support for Cygwin and MacOS platforms in addition to Linux, BSD, and Windows (Client only).

The following is the change log for the release:

  • Support for HitecAstro DC Focuser.
  • Support for SQL-LE Sky Quality Meter unit.
  • Support for USB Focus V3.
  • Support for Quantum Filter Wheel.
  • Support for 10micron mounts.
  • ZWO ASI filter wheel support. Driver updated to latest SDK. Fix infinite loop exposure.
  • QHY driver updated to latest SDK.
  • Added preliminary support to TCP server connection for all mounts.
  • Updated and improved Nexstar Evo driver.
  • Fixed reset of filter wheel names to default values under some circumstances
  • Fixed feedback loop issue in chained INDI server.
  • Handle correctly broken frames in FLI driver; convert time left from ms to seconds as it should be.
  • V4L2 CCD driver updated to properly work with DMK cameras.
  • Several bugfixes for Moravian CCD driver.
  • CCD Simulator allows for up to 4096x4096 resolution.
  • Raw color video streaming now uses RGB24 instead of RGBA to conserve bandwidth.
  • New Dome and Mount safety interlocks mechanism.
  • Fix the Virtuoso mount detection in SkyWatcherMountAPI driver.
  • Support relative driver paths to INDI server.
  • Fix property cache collision conflict in case of multiple devices per driver.
  • Moonlite driver can now sync to any value instead of reset to zero.
  • Store OBJECTRA and OBJECTDEC as sexigesimal strings.
  • New Axis Lock feature to limit joystick to specific motion axis.
  • INDI server now reaps zombie processes as they appear.
  • EQMod support for AUX encoder values. ST4 Guide Rates settings. PPEC Switches.
  • Fix for TELESCOPE_PIER_SIDE implementation in EQMod driver.
  • Several fixes for Pulsar2 driver.
  • Fix SER file generation for color frames. Added timestamps for each recorded frame. Support subframed video streams.
  • Debug and Logging options can be saved in the config file.
  • New CCD_TRANSFER_FORMAT property.
  • libindi can now be compiled under MacOS and Cygwin. Non-Linux specific 3rd party drivers are also supported under MacOS and Cygwin.
  • When a request for snooped is sent, it is echoed to drivers so that they send the snopped value immediately if it exists.
  • libindi shared library (libindi.so) is dropped. libindi now offsers indidriver (shared), indiclient (static), and indiclientqt5 (static) libraries.
  • Legacy drivers removed: SkyCommander, Intelliscope, MagellanI, TruTech, SBIG STV

INDI Development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.3.0 on Oct. 30th, 2016. Following are the highlights of this release:

From 1.2.0 to 1.3.0

  • Support for Shelyak eShel spectrograph.
  • Support for NStep focuser.
  • Support for ASI Filter Wheel.
  • Support for OneStep Telescope Controller.
  • Support for Moravian CCD driver.
  • Support for GigE machine vision cameras.
  • Experimental SSAG CCD driver.
  • Adding support for fast BLOB with ENCLEN. With Fast blob mode enabled, blob performance is now significantly faster.
  • FITS Min/Max calculations are disabled by default to save processing time unless explicitly enabled by the user at compile time.
  • Qt5 based client class is added to enable multiplatform client development.
  • New significantly faster base64 encoding/decoding routines.
  • Selectable alignment modes for INDI EQMod that includes built-in EQMod alignment and INDI Alignment Subsystem.
  • CCD sequence queue number is no longer limited to 999.
  • More Starlight Xpress CCDs cameras supported.
  • Updated Starlight Xpress Adaptive Optics driver.
  • Updated Temma Takahashi mount driver.
  • Updated Apogee CCD driver.
  • Updated QHY CCD driver with numerous fixes.
  • Updated FLI CCD driver.
  • Updated Pulasr2 driver.
  • Updated ASI CCD with support for arm64 architecture, 1600 model and a lot more.
  • Significant improvements to GPhoto driver including better support for Nikon DSLRs.
  • Improved GPSd driver.
  • New CCD_FILE_PATH property to indicate remote file path.
  • New TELESCOPE_PIER_SIDE property.
  • Dome & Telescope Scripting Gateway added.
  • Added support for servos in Indiduino
  • Fix BuiltinMathPlugin crash for Southern Hemisphere
  • Add scope park aware feature to the rolloff roof simulator
  • INDI Logs are now stored under ~/.indi/logs and arranged by date and time per driver.

Source and Ubuntu packages are available for download.

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