ARAP provides a rich Observatory Automation Language that:


  • Controls any ASCOM-compliant telescope
  • Controls any ASCOM-compliant dome
  • Controls any ASCOM-compliant focuser
  • Controls any ASCOM-compliant switch
  • Controls any CCD camera compatible with MaxIm DL/CCD
  • Auto-focuses the CCD camera using FocusMax, MaxIM DL/CCD, or Planewave PWI3
  • Has a built-in database including bright stars (by name), Yale Bright Star Catalog, Messier and SAC deep sky database (includes NGCs, many ICs, etc.), and the PGC galaxy catalog
  • Access many features of the Earth Centered Universe planetarium and telescope control software, including its huge object database
  • Images batches of objects automatically
  • Takes calibration images (bias, dark, flat)
  • Calibrates images
  • Does kernel (hot pixel removal, filtering, etc.) and FFT image filtering
  • Flips, mirrors, rotates, crops, resizes, aligns, and stretches images
  • Flattens background and removes gradients from images
  • Measures star sizes, star shapes, and sky background level to access focus and image quality
  • Solves plates and can sync the scope to the solved position
  • Supports both Boltwood and AAG Cloud Sensors
  • Controls X10-based power control devices
  • Controls an Optec Perseus Instrument Selector
  • Controls Pololu Maestro Servo Controller (up to 24 servos for robotic control)
  • Sends internet e-mails (with or without file attachments)
  • Receives email from a POP3 server (with or without file attachments)
  • Compresses files into ZIP format and can upload them to an sftp or ftp server
  • Retrieve files, images, etc. from a web server
  • Computes a variety of astronomical calculations such as positions of the sun, moon (incl. illumination), and the planets
  • Converts from ra/dec to alt/az and vice versa
  • Calculates airmass, hour angle, sidereal time, etc
  • Does image combines (average, median, Sigma Clip, SD-Mask), but it also includes a custom noise-reducing, but photometry-friendly, standard deviation-based rejection combine method. Image combines can reject frames based on star size, star shape, and sky background level as compared to the average in the images to be combined.
  • Does RGB and LRGB colour combinations and colour balance and saturation adjustments
  • Does aperture photometry and area (box) photometry
  • Converts monochromatic or colour fits image files to jpeg files with a sophisticated "arcsinh" stretch algorithm. Both text and images can be added to jpeg images.
  • Can convert pixel position X and Y to RA and Dec and vice versa on an plate-solved image
  • Can load databases of comets and asteroids and compute their positions and magnitudes
  • Read and write Windows "ini" configuration files
  • Has extensive error handling capabilities
  • Has variables and arrays, basic math functions, logical and bitwise operations, flow control, sub-routines, etc
  • Add your own commands to extend the language
  • Comprehensive logging
  • Build complex scripts using subroutines (within the same script) and sub-scripts that act like new commands.
  • Can run external executable programs
  • Can send and receive Twitter tweets (with or without images) and direct (private) messages
  • Can send and receive Facebook Messenger page messages and images and post notices and images to Facebook pages
  • Can send and receive messages through an http web client interface (includes user and password protection).
  • Can interface with other programming languages via its Automation Interface
  • Can access, edit, and add records of tables in databases (eg. MySQL)
  • Can run more than once copy of ARAP at the same time
  • Can control an Automation-enabled version of ARAP from a non-Automation-enabled version