New year new projects in my mind

New year new projects in my mind

In the last few days I've been working in the last details of the programs currently available in the JPARSEC Manager tool. In SEDFit program I have implemented a SkyView simple interface to retrieve images in several wavelengths, something that can be useful to explore a given source and its neighbourhood. In DataCube I have added the same feature, but also I have improved the geometries available and added the possibility of drawing them to ensure that they are correctly treated. I have found that rigorous implementation of geometries for every inclination angle is quite difficult since geometry cannot always be easily implemented in computers due to their non-exact nature. Java brings some advantages in this aspect compared to other languages, specially in trigonometric functions, but there are limitations and also I don't want to spend so much time only to have every geometry and angle available. I have also added the position angle of the source as an input parameter. In DiagRot I have added JPL and COLOGNE catalog search capabilities and a interpolation tool that can be useful to prepare 30m observations. Also a default status file is now read at startup to ensure that some interpolation files are always available. The three programs are basically finished and now its time to plan next steps.

My first intenction is to spend a few days working in some little things that should have been done long time ago in JPARSEC but I never had time to do. I will also work on documentation in DataCube to clearify certain cases that could give wrong geometries. Then the main priority will be to write my thesis with no interruption if possible. I expect to finish it after Summer, being realistic. Anyway, to me it is hard to be concentrated in only one thing so I've also planned two main software projects for 2010:

ClearSKY: a planetarium program focused on accuracy, performance, power, simplicity, and graphic quality (everything!). The program is based on the sky drawing engine implemented in JPARSEC library, still in development phase, but already used to create some charts for the Astronomical Almanac published by the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (OAN, or Spanish National Astronomical Observatory) every year. I have just released the 0.1 version in the JPARSEC Manager. The first milestone is focused on accuracy and performance with a reasonably good graphic quality. I expect to improve both performance and graphic quality in next releases. There's no option available, it simply shows the sky at 12 P.M. on January 1, 2000, from Madrid, Spain. The sky can be dragged and zoomed with the mouse, which is a pleasure. The performance can be compared to KStars: it is close to it, but the accuracy is much better and I also show much more stars and objects, specially in low fields of view. The design planning of the program is finished, but details about GUI changes in future releases will be given at that time. For now my intenction, to say, is to close a big circle I started a long time ago with sky simulation and ephemeris calculations. I would like to include everything that my old project Practices on Observational Astronomy (see other projects) provide, and also to add a lot of new things, with a new and simple GUI design I've never seen in an astronomy app. I will develope this project at the same time I write my thesis, using it as a scape window. Below I show the first snapshot centered in the Scorpius-Sagittarius region, clic on it two times to show it at full resolution.


Presentation tool: a new section in JPARSEC library is focused on showing advanced charts and media in the screen to produce presentations. My expectatives on this are fantastic. I will use this new project to create the presentation for my thesis. The problem here is that other tools I have tested to produce presentations, like PowerPoint, LATEX, or the javascript S5 library, are completely inadequate to show science to others, specially in astrophysics. So I have decided to solve this by creating a structure in JPARSEC to show advanced media elements that can be manipulated dinamically on the screen, something like the widgets that now are popular in KDE4 desktop. The functionality of these widgets are partially implemented and partially in design phase. Also mouse events will be recorded to automatically play the presentation without touching the computer. Here I also have a lot of funny work, but I'm sure it will worth it.

blog/mail_name_date_mail_name_date_new_year_new_projects_in_my_mind.txt · created: 2010/01/06 14:44 (Last modified 2011/10/15 10:48) by Tomás Alonso Albi
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