PICTools is a software tool designed for users of the astronomical image processing IRIS in order to better exploit the signal coming from the calibrated and registered frames for further image processing by other software programs, like PixInsight LE or Photoshop.
Because IRIS works with signed integers, while normally other image processing software use unsigned integers, it is very difficult to export an image unless you use the very expensive Photoshop. So I started to write this program, which in the further release was expanded in order to provide some extra features, working in full 32-bit mode.
Converts a PIC file into a 16 bit TIFF file suitable for post processing
Average stack of a set of PIC files into a 32 bit TIFF file
Sigma-Clip stack of a set of PIC files into a 32 bit TIFF file
Stretch asinh of a 32-bit TIFF file output by PICTools in a new stretched 32bit TIFF file
DitherMaster is an utility that acts as a link between the Canon EOS Utility or DSLR Shutter, which is responsible for taking the frames, and PHD Guiding, which is the autoguiding software. Main purpose of DitherMaster is to have an automatic dithering feature while imaging an astronomical object, without human intervention.
Note: if you are upgrading from a previous version, uninstall the previous release of DitherMaster before installing the new one.
CCD correct exposure calculator
I have recently moved from DSLR to CCD and I found that I had issues regarding how to calculate the correct exposure depending on sky conditions. I then found a link describing the math behind calculating the correct exposure per frame, therefore I decided to translate it into a small program to keep with me in the field when I start my imaging session.
How does it work?
Take an exposure of, let's say, 5 minutes
Open your favourite processing program and find out the ADU value for the background
Get from your CCD specs the values for the Gain and Read Out Noise
Run the program and input the above values, where requested
CCDCalc will output the estimated correct exposure time