New NINA plugin for APCC now in beta: Astro-Physics Tools
Some of you who have been using NINA, perhaps with my Utilities For Astro-Physics Mounts plugin, might be interested in a new plugin that will eventually supersede and replace that plugin. The new plugin is called Astro-Physics Tools, which is now available in NINA's plugin manager.
I've worked with Ray to develop some expanded capabilities for APPM that permits external applications (such as NINA, or others) to have tighter integration with the model creation process. This is especially handy when it comes to declination arc ("dec arc") models, as those are done within the context of imaging a specific target. So, first, let me extend my gratitude to Ray who has implemented an API for APPM in the current beta series of APCC Pro 1.9.2.x. His work is what has enabled this integration to be possible.
Now, about Astro-Phyics Tools itself:
I originally intended to drop the new APPM API code into the existing Utilities For Astro-Physics Mounts plugin but, as I continued to work on things and the API became quite capable, the plugin turned into a kind of Ship Of Theseus. Eventually, I came to think that this warranted it becoming its own, new plugin. Once APCC Pro 1.9.2 exits beta and becomes the current release version, Astro-Physics Tools will as well and my original U4APM plugin will be removed from the NINA plugin manager and no longer supported.
Astro-Physics Tools implements two model creation instructions: one for creating the classic all-sky models, and one for creating dec arc model. The dec arc model instruction will take the RA and declination of the target and, based on parameters that you configure in the plugin's settings, creates a dec arc model in APPM that is appropriate for it and launches APPM. APPM then creates the model and programs it into APCC, then the NINA sequence advances to the next instructions.
Full documentation on these instructions and the Astro-Physics Tools plugin are here:
As both this plugin and APCC Pro 1.9.2.x are both in beta release mode at this moment, using this plugin will require you to be conformable with that aspect, at least until both are promoted to a general release. The standard disclaimers apply, but any feedback and suggestions about Astro-Physics Tools - or its documentation - are always appreciated.