[AstroPy] Re: Astro-Py list

Paul Barrett Barrett at stsci.edu
Thu Feb 24 08:55:36 CST 2000

Stephen writes:
 > On Thu, 24 Feb 2000, Andrew Williams wrote:
 > >
 > >This list has been quiet since I joined - is there actually anyone out
 > >there?
 > I've been wondering the same thing, i wasn't really sure if the list was
 > just for announcements or whether i could ask questions or post about
 > stuff myself.

This list is for any discussion associated with Python in astronomy,
e.g. FITS modules, Numeric enhancements, statistics packages,
telescope control software, etc.

 > I would actually be very interested in python code for telescope control. 
 > I am involved in an undergraduate lab in Durham University, we have three
 > Meade telescopes with various sbig (st6/st7) cameras attached. We are
 > currently running everything from Windows but are looking to convert to
 > Linux.  Currently the idea is to use xephem for telescope control, but we
 > have various other equipment for which software doesn't exist. I am
 > currently writing control software for an electronic focusser. I will then
 > be looking into CCD control stuff, including grabbing the frames,
 > temperature control, etc.. Any pointers to python code or information on
 > how to write such software would be very welcome. 

In my earlier days I wrote a data acquisition program for the Univ of
Cape Town photo-polarimeter.  It ran on 286-class computers under DOS.
Since discovering Python, I thought it would be an interesting project
to rewrite it using Python with C-extensions for controlling the
hardware.  Python would give the developer a capability similar to
Forth, in that you could control the hardware (eg, a stepping motor)
interactively at the command line for testing purposes.  I think it
shouldn't be too difficult and would be a valuable asset to create a
library of C-extension modules for hardware control: everything else
such as data reduction and graphics can be done in Python.

Let me know if I can be of any help.


Dr. Paul Barrett       Space Telescope Science Institute
Phone: 410-516-6714    DESD/DPT
FAX:   410-516-8615    Baltimore, MD 21218
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