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SIPS version 3.1 is released
 Version 3.1 of the Scientific Image Processing System brought only a few new features, but it fixed an occasional stability problem in the implementation of multi-threaded background processing of large amount of images at once. Although the problem could affect both 32 and 64bit versions, it occurred more frequently in 64bit version, probably because the 64bit version is more often used to process many large images at once. So the SIPS version 3.1 is highly recommended update for all SIPS users.

The problem mentioned above did not affect SIPS functionality in observing control, image acquisition, automatic guiding etc. It only very occasionally occurred when a large amount of images (typically more than 4GB) were processed at once by a bunch of background working threads running in parallel on each CPU core available. Such operation could be e.g. calibration of large set of images, mutual aligning of many images during image stacking or when processing the time-series photometry etc. Very sporadic occurrence of this problem was the main reason why it was not already fixed in version 3.0.

Among new enhancements is the ability to save Photometry report with time converted from Geocentric to Heliocentric JD. This feature is especially useful when phasing light curves from multiple nights. Heliocentric correction is a must in such case else the error introduced by light travel time significantly harms the precision. And converting the time in SIPS is the best place to do it as SIPS typically knows all necessary information geocentric time of observation, equatorial coordinates of the object and geographic location of the observatory.

Another enhancement involves Astrometry, specifically reordering of several steps withing the image matching. Now the final pairing of stars detected within the image and stars from the catalog is performed only after the final image center coordinates are determined. This means the updated algorithm always pairs as much catalog stars with image stars as possible independently on the original image center precision.

A small performance hack was introduced into the image set calibration. Rather time-consuming forward allocation of all resulting images prior to distribution of the calibration itself into background threads was moved into the threads themselves, which saves certain time. Together with the optimization of calibration algorithm itself (omitting of an unnecessary move of image data), the already very fast calibration in SIPS become even faster.

SIPS is a freeware and can be downloaded from the Download section of this web site.

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