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SIPS v4 is released
 The version 4 improves virtually every feature of the previous SIPS version. New hardware devices are supported. Astronomical data processing is more robust and reliable, especially in the edge situations. And the most important new functions include implementation of the REST API, allowing to control SIPS through arbitrary web browser, and build-in, easy to use programming language SPL, intended for programmatic control of observing sessions.

More robust algorithms include better alignment of poor quality (blurred, poorly tracked, …) image data, more reliable astrometry directly on celestial poles etc. The Photometry tool, thank to which the SIPS abbreviation exists (SIPS means Scientific Image Processing System), underwent numerous improvements, like ability to filter stars listed in the star sheet etc.

Newly supported device classes include for instance weather stations.

Standalone filter wheels (filter wheels not controlled by the camera) are newly supported. Lates Moravian camera models and versions are supported natively, including models with built-in GPS receivers.

Reworked GUI is highly configurable (refer to the Appendix A of the SIPS User’s Guide for details, please).

Also, the GUI was simplified and streamlined – functionality previously implemented in standalone tool windows moved directly to ribbons to be readily available (for instance Image transform) or modal dialog boxes (for instance New FITS Header definitions). The new GUI allows to “minimize” tool windows while they are still active (like automatic guiding or handling of the main imaging camera), not to occupy desktop space.

Existing functions like software binning of image list transformations were extended with new options and parameters.

The Remote Access Web Server publishes a SIPS REST API (sometimes denoted as RESTful API), which can be used to control SIPS from various clients (for instance from a JavaScript program running in the web browser or from a Python script).

Also, the SIPS installation contains a client JavaScript application, which connects to the SIPS REST API and allows remote control of SIPS observing sessions from any web browser, regardless if it runs on a full-fledged desktop PC, laptop, tablet or on a mobile phone.

In fact, this client is another version of SIPS, implemented in JavaScript language and thus able to run in web browsers.

The Program Editor tool is designed to create and run scripts, written in the SIPS internal scripting language SPL (SIPS Programming Language), to control observation sequences. The SPL is designed to provide all necessary features to express any algorithm, but to be understandable even by beginners without previous programming knowledge.

Still, to be useable and productive, SPL needs to implement many concepts like typed variables, procedures and functions with parameter passing, program module imports etc. These concepts need to be understood for any programmer using SPL to create scripted observing sessions.

There are many more new features in SIPS v4. Download it for free from Download section of this web site.

Do you want to stay informed about new SIPS versions and features? Follow @sipssw on X.

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