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EQAlign 3 development has started, EQAlign Team is formed by Antonio Fraga, Daniel Trueba, Germán Bresciano and me, now Christophe Gerbier and Stephan Gouttebroze, we will get the world's most advanced open-source astronomical suite!

Now we are in a new stage. EQAlign 3 can integrate a lot of new process. The target of EQAlign 2 was to align and autoguide. With EQAlign 3 we can also control the main camara, wich is important if we want to dither, for example. This also gives us the posibility to plan a night, a set of targets with info of number of frames, exposition time, filters etc.

But for do this we need a good pointing accuracy. EQAMatch currently does that job. It takes a foto from main telescope/camera, detects the stars and search in a local catalog (UCAC2/UCAC3) in a spiral path, around the suppoused coordintes, until it matchs the exact coordinates of the center. Just were the telescope is exactly pointing to. With a set of 10, 15 or 20 of this data (suppoused corrdinates, exact coordinates and time) it can build a very precise Telescope Pointing Model, taking into account mount errors, flexures and misalignments.

And it can do it in about 30-40 secconds for each point, including displacement (slewing) We can obtain a set of 20 points in about 15 minutes. By now EQAMatch is not automatized (you have to select target, slew, obtain the foto and push “calc” button) we can automate it into EQAlign 3.

With this functionalities (aligning, pointing model, guiding, planning and main camera control) EQAlign would do proccesses that we could do with many other programs but into a unique tool and open source.

For those of us that has a permanent site, it would be also useful to control it via http commands. A little and light app for Android (and others) could control and monitorize procceses.

We have all we need to do such a tool, this is the “target” i'd like to reach and we can plan this work in a successive subversions of EQAlign 3 although we can offer most of them in first 3.0 release already.

Polar alignment poccess is well tested an proved already. Telescope Pointing Model also is well tested and proved, but the Autoguiding process was simplely “enough”.

Stephane has apported the idea of a resonant controller for autoguiding.

This will give to EQAlign a new dimension in autoguiding terms. In the same level of the other proccess we want in this project.
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