Monday, March 1, 2021

KStars v3.5.2 is released

KStars v3.5.2 is is released on March 1st, 2021 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This release incorporates significant improvements to Ekos Polar Alignment Tool in addition to supporting manual rotations in the Alignment Module.

Brodrick Bassham added a manual rotation dialog to the Alignment module in Ekos for Load & Slew. Now users without motorized rotators can adjust their camera manually in order to achieve the desired frame orientation. Check the video below for a demonstration of this feature.

Hy Murveit contributed major improvements to Ekos Polar Alignment Assistant. There are two major changes to Ekos' semi-automated polar alignment scheme:

  1. Polar Alignment may now be performed while pointing anywhere in the sky. Thus, for example, if a tree is blocking your view of the pole, you can still polar align.
  2. The user interface has been adjusted. As before, you select a star to help you adjust your mount's altitude and azimuth settings. Ekos now displays a triangle, and you move your selected star (which is circled) over the yellow line to adjust your altitude, and then over the purple line to adjust your azimuth. While you're doing so, if you have "Update PA Error" checked, the system estimates the remaining polar-alignment error.

Eric Dejouhanet fixed a few issues in Focus module including restart and detection of disconnected focusers. Furthermore, a number of issues detected by Coverity scans (MR 214 & 216)  were addressed in this release.

To reduce memory footprint on device with low resources, an Adaptive Sampling option was introduced to conserve memory when displaying images in the FITS Viewer. It checks the available memory and performs on-the-fly downsampling of images to reduce memory consumption. This only affect the display and not the actual data.

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