The new Innovations Foresight SkyWave-Collimator (SKW) offers a powerful quantitative optical way to analyze and collimate a telescope using their patented AI based wavefront sensing (AIWFS) technology.
Their Innovations Foresight SkyWave-Collimator solution offers a straightforward and instinctive collimation tool that does not require a dedicated wavefront sensor. Telescope collimation with SKW requires no special collimation equipment. Simply defocus your telescope and camera then use any of the popular amateur astronomy image application that can provide a FIT file.
Innovations Foresight’s AIWFS technology will output the actual wavefront as well as any relevant figures from a single image of an real or artificial star, or several stars while retrieving field dependent (on- and off-axis) aberrations from a single image frame.
Shown in the image provided here is a screenshot of the SkyWave (SKW) Professional version software showing the 3D wavefront error of a telescope under seeing limited conditions. This telescope is a 17″ Corrected Dall-Kirkham before proper collimation. It exhibits 0.2 wave rms (200 mw) of total WF error leading to a Strehl ratio (SR) of 20% dominated by misaligned mirror (collimation errors) induced third order coma and astigmatism aberrations.
Using the Innovations Foresight SkyWave-Collimator solution requires a mathematical model for each telescope. Permanent models on the Innovations Foresight website.
The Innovations Foresight SkyWave-Collimator is also available in a Collimator version featuring a simple GUI and an user friendly collimator tool for telescope quantitative optical alignment.
While using SKW, the computing time itself (stars location, extraction, pre-processing and WF analysis) is in the order of few seconds on an average laptop. The time to load the frame from the imaging camera is variable based on the imaging software.
SKW, on request, can watch a given directory (folder) for new FIT images auto-load (this includes a filter for the file name, if any). When a new frame is available it will auto load and analysis it if it was set to do so by the user.
Alternatively the user can load a frame manually. SKW does not connect to any hardware and therefore does not need to deal with any driver, it works only with FIT files.
Therefore SKW works with any imaging/acquisition software as long as it can output monochromatic (B&W) FIT files (8 bits, 16 bits, or float format). When using a one shot color (OSC with Bayer’s filter) camera one would convert one of the color channel, usually red to minimize seeing, in a monochromatic image. In most cases a luminance (L) frame can be used too as well but the company recommends using a color filter to narrow the raw image bandwidth increasing its contrast.
Running the trained neural network (NN) is very fast, the longest time in the process after a frame has been acquired and uploaded is to locate and preprocess the defocused star(s) in the frame as discussed earlier. The NN is a feed-forward network so the computing time in an average laptop (Windows 7 one CPU) is less than 100ms.
As the Innovations Foresight team notes, “On the other hand building the training databases for a class of telescope/optics (learning, validation and test data) as well as the actual training of the NN is a different story. Those tasks are done beforehand by Innovations Foresight. It may take days to weeks to do so, depending of the size of the databases and the computing resources allocated. The NN is usually trained with at least several 100,000 to millions of samples.”
They continued, “However this is totally transparent for the user. When somebody buy from us a mathematical model for their scope to be run with SKW this one come in the form of an encrypted file which is decoded using your SKW local machine license key. The resulting process extracts the model data used by SKW for the related scope. The size of the model data file is in the order of few hundred MB only, and NN run time inside SKW is negligible.”
They also noted, “It is worth noting that the SKW can analysis, depending of the software version, multi star (actual or artificial) at once, within the same frame. This approach provides field dependent (on and off axis) aberrations, like field curvature, aberrations maps (2D and 3D), and field height related wave front aberration functions. This is a very powerful capability of our AIWFS technology, a single frame replaces several wave front sensors, or the need to scan the field when using a single one.”
You can learn more about the Innovations Foresight SkyWave-Collimator here.
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