Our university bought a CCD camera a few years ago. An original software to control of the CCD was intended only for Windows or DOS not for Linux. So, we was needed a linux software for control of this camera to take a fully advantage of this very expensive instrument.

The developing of this software leaded me to a completely different view to use and control of CCD camera (or some other instrument) with a modern computer. The operation and architecture is a quite un-similar than you know from Windows versions of similar software (ccdoops etc.). I was created a operational schema to use camera in a fully network environment according to the standard Unix philosophy. This package has some advantages with respect to others programs. It implements an automatic acquiring of multi-colour image series or co-working with telescopes mount.

My first experiments with the SBIG library leaded me to sbig_exposure, sbig_filter and sbig_temperature shell routines and to a GUI front-end ccdsnaper. The ccdsnaper was a direct pre-release of the GTKnightview. The architecture of this utilities don't supports sharing of resources or any network environment. It's need set suid bit on GTK+ fronted. This (non-secure) feature is not more supported in GTK+ from 1.2 version. All of this leaded my to completely rewriting of these utilities. I was developed ccdsnaper at first quarter of 2001. The switching to a new philosophy was during summer and a new Nightview package was introduced at autumn of 2001. The developing of Nightview was coordinated with developing of xmove (The software for telescope control on Monte Boo Observatory).

The architecture of the nightview is changed since the version 0.3.x (February 2002). Now, the server is more secure and more simpler to installation (the sudo or suid are no-more required).

Brief history

  • 2000, Winter: Linux installed at MonteBoo
  • 2001, Spring: first experiments with ccdsnaper GUI
  • 2001, July: start of daemon - client framework, renamed to nightview
  • 2001, August: start of test basic functionality of nightview
  • 2001, October: testing completed, debianized
  • 2001, November 15?, nightview published on freshmeat
  • 2002, January: 0.2.x branch frozen, start on 0.3.x
  • 2002, spring: rewrote a network engine, telescope support
  • 2002, June: extensive testing
  • 2002, autumn: packaged, testing finished
  • 2004, summer: mount driver developing
  • 2004, autumnt: xmove in python, rewrited from scratch
  • 2005, winter's hollidays: implementation of a new USB camera driver
  • 2006, winter's hollidays: http client and server: own implementation
  • 2007, summer: port to 40cm telescope of HaP, xnightview, xmove in C++

Last modification: 2009-01-22 16:05:50

Copyright © 2001-8, F. Hroch, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic