Download for the SkySurveyor Suite (SKSS)
All versions (ASCOM & Maxim-DL, 32 bits)
SKSS features several innovative tools for astro-imaging which can be downloaded, installed and activated with different levels of license.
This is a BETA release, a temporary 60 days free trail license key must be requested (at email@example.com) after the initial installation of any SKSS tool (SkyGuide or SkyGuard), please follow the software direction.
You will need to send to us your license request which contains your hardware ID. This can be done directly with your local email client, if any in your local machine, or saved in a text file to be attached to an email later (P.S: the license request is automatically saved in the clipboard too).
Should you experience any issue with your local email client, if any, for sending the license request just cancel the email option, a new popup window will then appear asking whether you want to save it on a file to be attached to your license request email.
Send your email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This BETA release of SKSS includes SkyGuide for full frame guiding and SkyGuard for full frame guiding AND focusing
During the free 60 day initial trail period SKSS may be upgraded with new features and updates therefore we do encourage you to contact us with your feedback by sending email at (please add information on the SKSS version, imaging software, hardware/set-up and OS):
Click to the link below for a SkyGuide introduction video:
This release of SKSS supports both Maxim DL in native (version 5 and 6, please select the relevant SKSS installer for downloading according to your Maxim DL version) and any ASCOM compliant devices (32 bits drivers) allowing the use of most imaging software in the market.
Although SKSS provides a direct native connection to Maxim DL it IS NOT required, nor to be installed in your machine, for using SKSS.
Instead you can elect to work through ASCOM connections only with the cameras, FW, mount, focuser, …
Also ASCOM drivers and related hardware can be shared between applications (such as a imaging software and SKSS) using the OPTEC ASCOM server if necessary:
If you are only interested on guiding we recommend that you install and request a license for SkyGuide only. SkyGuard needs an ONAG for live auto-focus.
SKSS requires the ASCOM platform version 6.4 or higher (an ASCOM paltform 6.4 installer is part of the SKSS installation package) and a Windows OS version 7 or higher. This release is a Windows 32 bits application for compatibility with Maxim-DL
An ASCOM only SKSS 64 bits version will be available later, fell free to visit our website for any update information on this coming release.
SKSS and full frame processing (guiding and focusing) is a patent pending technology from Innovations Foresight (please consult our intellectual property page for further information about our patents). The live auto-focus capability (SkyGuard) requires an ONAG®.
SKSS uses the (all) full frame of the camera, usually the guider, however SKSS works with any camera including the imager in the context of a single camera solution (no guider).
The all image (the full frame) is used to correct tracking error and to assess focus (when used with an ONAG®) as well as providing information for moving the focuser in real time (live), keeping the scope at its best focus, frame after frame.
The software can be download for a 60 days free trail period without any limitation.
As mentioned above an activation key must be requested.
Please consult the SKSS user manual for further instruction:
P.S: The current manual is related to SkySurveyor (not available for download at this time) for mosaic management however it includes the SkyGuide and SkyGuard functionalities. The manual is not up to date for this SKSS BETA version, a new SkyGuide/SkyGuard only version user manual will be relased shortly.
We recommend saving your activation key (received from you request) in a file such you could reuse it when installing later on any qualified SKSS update, or upgrade
Also you should run SKSS at the same Windows level, user or administrator, of any third party software interacting with it, if any, such as Maxim-DL
Here is some supplemental information:
SkyGuide/SkyGuard 32 bits version supports Maxim-DL but as a consequence is limited to guider images/frames up to 1 Mpixel.
This is a direct result and legacy of Maxim-DL which is a 32 bits application, this limitation applies even when used without Maxim-DL on ASCOM only configuration.
We’ll release an ASCOM only 64 bits application shortly which will not have such limitation anymore.
Should you face the 1 Mpixel limit you have 3 solutions:
Bin the guider, like 2×2 or 4×4.
Beside this is usually a good idea when guiding (at least with focal lengths > 500mm, most guider featuring small pixel size), its improves SNR without any significant reduction on the auto-guiding resolution.
Our full frame technology has a 1/10 of a pixel calculation accuracy.
You can crop the guider frame (see guider exposure setting).
You can use the Block Compression option in the advanced tab of guider.
Block compression splits the guider full frame in sub-frames of same size, for instance if you set the block compression factor at 2 (the default value being 1) you will have 4 sub-frames, and then they are added (summed) together to create one single smaller frame (1/4 of the full frame in my example).
This concatenated sub-frame is used for guiding and focusing.
Our full frame technology and related algorithms process the all guider image/frame, here the concatenated sub-frame, it does not make any assumption about the nature nor shape of the pattern inside the guider frame.
As a result the block compression allows you do decrease the size of the frame to be processed down to 1 M-pixel, without removing any information, unlike cropping may.
For instance if you have a 16 M-pixel image from your guider and you do not want to bin more than 2×2, you could then use the block compression with a factor 2 to reach the 1 M-pixel limit.
However we encourage to bin 4×4 when doable. The software supports binning above and beyond most guider driver capabilities, if you elect to do so (say bin 6×6, as an example), it will automatically split the binning process between a hardware binning and a software binning.
Binning and/or copping leads to a higher guider image transfer rate than block compression does, since the image from the guider is physically smaller to begin with.
The software download and installation assume the full acceptance of any Innovations Foresight related software license agreements.