Question: Does AstroImageJ allow you to do live stacking?
Meaning, "take an image every 10 s, do automatic calibration, and stack for a continuously updated and lower noise image".
There is software to do this; I think SharpCap might be the only one I am familiar with that does it out of the box. But, that requires camera drivers (which in my case don't work, and really shouldn't be needed for an imaging solution like this), and a yearly licence.
I suspect the answer is "no, AIJ doesn't do that". So, I'm thinking what would it take for this functionality to be worked out.
Maybe start with a macro that automatically does calibration and stacking. And let's say we stack with apertures (since WCS from astrometry.net fails quite a lot, for me at least). How hard would it be to create a macro which allowed you to
* Take a single image. (not AIJ, camera software)
* Define a set of apertures on that image, saved somewhere. (in AIJ)
* Start taking images and darks (this would be camera software, not AIJ)
* After some images are taken, run the macro which would automatically calibrate the images it found and stack them.
* Display the stacked image.
Then you could probably use scripting tools to just run the macro every 30 s or something.
I guess what you'd really want is each new image added to the current stack, rather than redoing the process every time. Easy with a median combine routine, I would guess.
I dunno, anyone have any thoughts about doing this? Better then my thoughts?
The Data Processor model of AIJ does not have a live stacking capability, as you suspected. If you're doing photometry
from the images, you can use the "binning" function on the Multi-Plot Y-data panel that will give the same result as
stacking 'n' images and then running photometry. If your eventual goal is not photometry, then this would of course not
help solve your issue.
I think this would be a fairly major effort to get working as am AIJ macro. I think this could be done in python more
easily since each of the building blocks you need are probably publicly available. I think a python solution is still a
good bit of work though.