What is ALFI?
Freeware is supplied to help amateur and professional astronomers working on lunar impact flash detection. The ALFI software (Windows only at present) can be applied to AVI format monochrome video of the lunar earthshine. The ALFI (Cook, 2017) development project has been made possible by the Horizon 2020, Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (EPN2020-RI, http://www.europlanet-2020-ri.eu ). To make the software sustainable (in a citizen science sense) we encourage enthusiastic/skilled C/C++ programmers to contact Anthony Cook to participate in the programme. Also for active lunar astronomers, if you detect any candidate impact flashes, please forward your .BMP files to me at the email address below for verification and cataloguing.
Observing Equipment Needed:
Minimum requirement would be a scope of aperture 4.5, though typically 8-12 would be ideal. For a camera it is best to use monochrome, and something like a Watec 902H with analog composite video output. These cameras are ideal as they have extended near-IR sensitivity, which is the region of the spectrum that impact flashes are at their brightest. Composite video from such analogue cameras can then be fed through a video capture card e.g. an Osprey 100 PCI card, or you can try a USB capture device so long as it does not drop frames and it should output uncompressed AVI video (Not MPEG) e.g. Video-2-PC transfer kit. A laptop or PC with a hard drive of at least 1TB; as PAL or NTSC composite video, in monochrome, seems to record at about 13GBytes per hour. Some observers use a 2nd hand digital-8 camcorder with a tape cassette, so long as the camera has a socket to take composite video input. These can then be played back into the PV via a Firewire cable. Alternatively many astronomers are now using USB 3.0 cameras to capture video of earthshine direct e.g. the DMK or ASI1600 cameras whatever you use make sure that it can video stars down to 10-11th magnitude at speeds of faster than 15 frames per second you can bin pixels to achieve faster time resolution if you ,like. Please make sure that the camera does not average video frames over time, else you will reduce the sensitivity of detecting impact flashes and make the study of any light curves very problematic.
Published: Dr Anthony Cook
Department of Physics
University of Aberystwyth
EmaiL: atc @ aber.ac.uk
Home Page: http://users.aber.ac.uk/atc