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Solar Scintillation Seeing Monitor

This page provides some software for a DIY Solar Scintillation Seeing Monitor. This monitoring device measures the solar seeing and a plugin for FireCapture evaluates the measured seeing for capture control.

The plugin provides the following functionality inside FireCapture:
  • SSSMon measures the current seeing
  • Recording is started if seeing reaches configured minimum quality
  • Frames are rejected as long as long as seeing is worse than configured value
  • Recording is stopped after configured time
  • After recording is stopped and after a configured pause time, a new recording run can be started automatically
  • The maximum number of recording runs is configurable
  • Display and save plot of seeing measurements

The project is based on the document This document describes how to build the hardware necessary for this project.

I have made only some small modifications to the hardware and software described in this document. The photodiode VTP4085H was replaced by a BPW34 and the 220 ohm feedback resistor by a 2K variable resistor. Meanwhile I have also added an LCD shield to allow standalone operation (without a PC).

The Arduino sketch described in the original document was also slightly modified: The number of samples for each calculated measurement was reduced to 2000. With this setting about 2 seeing values per second are calculated. Some code is added to display the output on the LCD shield and the output strings were modified. The firmware provided by this sketch (or any compatible firmware) is necessary to use the software provided on this page.

The SSM of AiryLab can be used instead of the DIY device.

I have implemented a plugin for the imaging software FireCapture to provide automated capturing based on the current seeing and also a standalone PC software (Windows) to display and log the results .

The FireCapture Plugin requires FC version 2.5 (Release) or above.

Feel free to download the software and report your comments.

If you want more information about the development steps and my evaluation of the results look at this thread in the SolarChat forum.