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INDI Library v1.8.3 Released (02 Jan 2020)

Minor monthly bugfix release with a new RainbowAstro mount driver and improved pier side simulation.

indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on INDI!

2 weeks 2 days ago
dencoded
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49038
Hi everyone,

So just wanted to introduce something I've been working on for last a couple of weeks (while waiting for clear skies). It is a mix of INDI-client and INDI-proxy so I thought I can post it here.

indihub.space - this is a tool/service to simplify remote connection and equipment sharing for setups controlled by INDI-stack.

I was seating without clear skies 6+ weeks this winter and started experimenting with remote access. I decided to build something light weight which would allow me to open remote access easily, without any reverse-SSH tunnels, NAT modifications or VNC.
The idea is just to point KStars/Ekos to publicly available remote-endpoints and do regular imaging session. I have a friend who lives in another location - we did some testing and it actually worked pretty well!

So to open access to your INDI-server (and PHD2!) you would need to run INDIHUB-agent like this:
indihub-agent -indi-profile=my-remote -indi-server-manager=raspberrypi.local:8624 -phd2-server=localhost:4400

where:
- my-remote - your predefined profile created earlier via KStars/Ekos and you want to share it for remote imaging session
- raspberrypi.local:8624 - is my RPI with INDI-server and manager connected to home network
- localhost:4400 - is PHD2 running on my Mac (connected to camera and mount over INDI in my case) - this is optional but recommended as we need to keep guiding closer to mount

Then my agent outputs public endpoints which I need to send to my guest:
​INDI-Server: us-east-1-node-1.indihub.io:55984
PHD2-Server: us-east-1-node-1.indihub.io:54869


So my guest will set remote connection in KStars/Ekos using these endpoints. All data goes via cloud so guest might notice some network lag time to time but that's Ok, it works pretty well.
Public endpoints are ephemeral, when you stop agent with CTRL+C - they are gone.

You might ask why do I need to share my equipment? I don't know tbh :) I can say for myself, having a couple of clear sky nights remotely - motivated me and helped me a lot to move forward.

Also, you don't have to share your equipment - there is a solo-mode:
indihub-agent -indi-profile=my-remote -indi-server-manager=raspberrypi.local:8624 -solo

In this case agent won't open any public endpoints, it will act as a INDI-server reverse-proxy listening on localhost:7624 so you can point your KStars/Ekos to localhost:7624 and do imaging session as you usually do.

You might ask again - why do I need this?
I think we all can contribute to different science projects and still have great times while doing astro-photography.
For instance - I see INDIHUB as a resource of data for space sustainability projects. By 2030 the number of LEO satellites will reach 40,000. These “mega-constellations” will be up to 25 fold increase of what we are having at the moment. We can help to track them and prevent collisions.
Another example - processing huge amount images with applying synthetic tracking can reveal unknown NEO.

I believe that value of images we take are underestimated, they can can be a powerful scientific tool!
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1 week 5 days ago
knro
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49216
This is awesome!! Thank you for the initiative, I have to settle sometime to try this out with my observatory and join it to the network!

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

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1 week 5 days ago
dencoded
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49222
Thank you!

I would love to hear you feedback and ready to help with any questions.

The INDIHUB-agent doesn't have any manual at the moment, I am working on this. But it has usage help command, when you run "indihub-agent -help"

To summorize my previous long post - there are two modes in current implementation:
1. Equipment sharing mode (default one) - when you give access to your equipment to someone else via publicly accessible endpoints. You can actually test it by yourself by running indihub-agent in this mode and pointing your KStars/Ekos to public endpoints.
indihub-agent -indi-profile=my-remote -indi-server-manager=raspberrypi.local:8624 -phd2-server=localhost:4400
or
2. Solo-mode, "-solo" option -you don't share access to equipment, it is all yours. This is for contributing imaging material to INDIHUB without having to share access to equipment. In this case indihub-agent pretends to be INDI-server so you need to point KStars/Ekos to it.
indihub-agent -indi-profile=my-remote -indi-server-manager=raspberrypi.local:8624 -solo

Upcoming features:

- "broadcast" mode! It is like solo-mode but you will have public endpoints to share with others and hundreds of people can watch your imaging session in their KStars/Ekos running on computers around the world. They will also receive all taken images right away in FITS Viewer! Equipment is controlled only by you in this case.

- All imaging sessions will have a URL where you can see all images taken, report how they were processed and used in different Space sustainability projects

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5 days 20 hours ago
Gonzothegreat
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49530
This is a great idea. I do have some feedback for you.

The agent is not open-source, it would be great if it could be so that more people contribute to this project.

root@heidenrod-obs:/Astro/misc/1.0.0-indihub-agent-raspberrypi# file indihub-agent
indihub-agent: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, EABI5 version 1 (SYSV), statically linked, not stripped
root@heidenrod-obs:/Astro/misc/1.0.0-indihub-agent-raspberrypi#


If I was to share my equipment, how is the client going to really manage collisions (ie: send the scope into an unsafe position)?
Who is going to be responsible for equipment damage (ie: my roof does not open and the mount is being deployed)?
Can the server side settings be changed (ie: can the client change the park position data?)

Thanks

Kstars Mac osx
Odroid C1 running indiserver (kept up-to-date with apt-get update/upgrade)
HEQ5 pro / QHY5L-II-M (OAG) / Atik 314L+ / Gerd Neumann drawer

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5 days 19 hours ago
dencoded
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49534
Thank you for your feedback. Glad you liked the idea!

Btw, INDIHUB is receiving some strong interests from serious projects like TruSat.org from consensys.space https://twitter.com/Consensys_Space/status/1225869832257724417 !

Good point about open-sourcing indihub-agent! This is something I am working on right now, hopefully I will move it to public next week. I will let you know when this happens if you don't mind.

Also, I am working on PR to INDI-server web manager to control indihub-agent.

Good ideas about constraints for shared equipment. It is not implemented yet but I see it implemented via setting on indihub-agent side, i.e.:

- constrain ranges for RA/DEC - this is safety for equipment/cables and also in interest of guests, i.e. half of my South side is blocked by trees - there is no point for guests to point there as they will see just dark
- un-park amount only if A, B, C conditions are met (i.e. roof open)
- park position can't be changed by guest
- automatically park mount if equipment sharing session finished
- other constraints

There so many things which can be done on indihub-agent side to make sharing experience smoother and safer for both parties, so one more strong reason to open-source it as you suggested.

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5 days 16 hours ago
Gonzothegreat
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49543
Thank for the detailed answer, appreciated.
What you are doing is something I believe is missing from Ekos/Kstars/Indi and I'm glad someone has gone ahead with this idea. It should be merged into it.
My observatory is ultra compact and has some critical points I need to pay attention to. Thins like: if the roof fails to open and you deploy the mount, it's going to be a very expensive mistake that you'll do once only.

I still want to repeat my main concern, in case of a hardware issue/failure due to improper use from a client, who is responsible?
This should be well described in the terms and conditions of indihub.space and in the application.

Maybe the owner of the observatory should also "sign" / "tick" a box saying that the equipment and the observatory is in full working condition and all physical constraints have been taken care off.
You might want to mention that no-one should share their equipment if they use nightly Indi/Ekos builds, for obvious reasons ;)

Kstars Mac osx
Odroid C1 running indiserver (kept up-to-date with apt-get update/upgrade)
HEQ5 pro / QHY5L-II-M (OAG) / Atik 314L+ / Gerd Neumann drawer
The following user(s) said Thank You dencoded

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5 days 14 hours ago
dencoded
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indihub.space - equipment sharing & space sustainability project based on IN #49552
No problem! Hopefully we will see indihub-agent as one of useful (but optional!) components of INDI-stack.

Wow, you observatory looks pretty cool. Now I understand your concerns!

I totally agree - terms and conditions should be covered and described on indihub.space as part of signup application. Also, every observatory should have manual/guide for guests - describing what can be done and what not, so guest can put check mark that manual "was read and agreed". In case of any accidents - we have a full log what was done and guest should be responsible if log shows this. Also, in the future - INDIHUB as a platform might be covering expenses for hosts in these cases (if we ever get any funds for this).

I think it is a good idea about owner of the observatory having this "sign"/"tick" to acknowledge that equipment is ready. In fact indihub-agent must prevent sharing-mode completely if this option is not set by owner as "ON". At the same time I believe we have a great capabilities to protect equipment - in ideal case owner should easily configure how observatory can be used.

Good point about nightly INDI/Ekos builds - sharing equipment must be available only on latest stable release!

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