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«BASS Project User Guide Basic Astronomical Spectroscopy Software Document Version: 1.4 Application Version: 1.4 Rev 0 Date: 26th April.2014 Author: ...»

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BASS Project User Guide

Basic Astronomical Spectroscopy Software

Document Version: 1.4

Application Version: 1.4 Rev 0

Date: 26th April.2014

Author: John Paraskeva

BASS Project page 1 of 126


1 BASS Project User Guide

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Installation

2 Main Screen

2.1 Menu and toolbar function

2.1.1 Project Functions

2.1.2 Search function

2.1.3 Profile functions

2.1.4 Advanced Tools functions

2.2 Chart Settings

2.2.1 Chart Tab

2.2.2 Colours tab

2.2.1 X Axis tab

2.2.2 Y Axis tab

2.2.3 Advanced tab

2.2.4 Ranges Tab

2.2.5 Notes tab

2.3 Context Sensitive Chart Menu

2.4 Profile Properties

2.4.1 General tab

2.4.2 Line tab

2.4.3 Y-Axis tab

2.4.4 Calibration tab

2.4.5 Correction tab

2.5 Image Strips

2.5.1 Image Strip View type selection

2.5.2 Context Sensitive Image Strip Menu

2.5.3 Manual Alignment of profiles

2.5.4 Identification of image strips

2.6 Selection menu

2.6.1 Selection regions

2.6.2 Region Selection Tool

2.7 Image processing menu

2.7.1 Image Profile number & caption

2.7.2 FITS Header

2.7.1 BeSS Settings

2.7.2 Save Image As

2.7.1 Save As 1D

2.7.2 Hot Pixel removal

2.7.3 Black and white levels

2.7.1 Horizontal Flip

2.7.2 Rotate/Tilt image

2.7.3 Smile & Slant Correction

2.7.1 Resize Image screen

2.7.2 Normalise Flux Scale

2.7.3 Bulk Image Manipulation screen

2.8 Stack Images

2.8.1 File Menu

2.8.2 Image Menu

2.8.3 Zoom Menu

2.8.4 Light Images

2.8.5 Image Alignment

2.8.6 Dark/Bias/Flat

2.8.7 Stacking Process

2.9 Stack and Align Profiles

2.10 Crop X-Axis Range

2.10.1 Zoom in

2.10.2 Zoom out

2.11 Wavelength Calibration

2.11.1 New Calibration

BASS Project 1.4 page 2 of 126 2.11.2 Edit Calibration

2.11.1 Remove Calibration

2.11.2 Show Calibration Points

2.11.3 Using Reference lamps

2.12 Measurements & Elements screen

2.12.1 Element Lines tab

2.12.2 Manually adding element lines.

2.12.3 Measurements Options

2.12.1 Measurements Results

2.13 Reference Spectrum

2.13.1 Selecting a reference spectrum

2.13.2 Adding reference spectra to the project

2.14 Continuum & Response Shaper

2.14.1 Instrument Response creation process

2.14.2 Continuum Removal process

2.14.3 Save Curve options

2.15 Planck Temperature Curve

2.15.1 Relationship of temperature and peak wavelength

2.15.2 Fitting the Planck curve

2.15.3 Managing Planck curves

2.16 Resample Profile

2.16.1 Interval tab

2.16.2 Filter tab

2.16.3 Common settings

2.16.4 Producing a linear wavelength profile

2.16.5 Increasing the sampling interval for interpolation

2.16.1 Using the Low Pass Gaussian option to smooth out noise

2.16.2 Using the Low Pass option to create a continuum

2.17 Animation

2.17.1 Create animation using open profiles

2.17.2 Create animation from saved pictures

2.17.3 Animation settings panel

2.17.4 Remaining screen controls

2.18 Labels Screen

2.18.1 Adding a label

2.18.2 Editing a label

2.18.3 Removing a label

2.19 Export Project Data

2.20 BeSS Settings

2.20.1 Acquisition Reference Data

2.20.2 Object tab

2.20.3 Acquisition Details tab

2.20.4 Processing tab

2.20.5 Errors tab

Appendix A – Calibration Export data file

4 Appendix B - Known issues

Appendix C – Rotate/Tilt/Smile/Slant correction

Appendix D – Amendment History

–  –  –

1.1 Introduction BASS Project is a free Windows based application for amateur astronomical spectroscopy. The application was designed with new users in mind and is able to perform many of the standard spectroscopic processing tasks (e.g. calibration, instrument correction, continuum removal and background subtraction) with relatively few steps and without the need to save intermediate files.

BASS Project provides a rich set of tools for spectral profile processing and presentation of single or multiple spectra. It also provides image processing functions to crop and correct for rotation, tilt, smile and slant distortions for FITS and RGB (e.g. bitmap,jpeg & png) image formats. RGB files are automatically imported into a FITS format which makes it easy for new users to get started using a DSLR or web cam.

With image stacking and BeSS functionality added since version, BASS Project can be considered a ‘one stop shop’ for many users.

A BASS ‘project’ consists of one or more spectral images and their associated profiles, to which reference spectra, Planck temperature curves, element lines, labels can be presented.

For details of historical changes made to BASS Project see Appendix D – Amendment History There is a Yahoo group at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/astrobodger for users to access downloads, post their work and ask for help.

1.2 Installation BASS Project is a.NET application that should run on Windows XP and Windows 7 or above PCs.

Download the MSI setup & installation package from the following link:


1.3/Rev%203/BASSPSetup.msi Save this to a temporary location and then run accepting the default options.

Microsoft.NET 4 is the only perquisite required; this is normally already provided on most PCs. If not, the installer will prompt for it to be downloaded.

To minimise issues to do with Windows 7 access permissions, the default installation path is C:\Astrobodger\BASS Project. If this is changed to be under “C:\ Program Files\” then it may be necessary to provide administrative access and or set compatibility to XP.

–  –  –

Most of the icons and buttons incorporate a short ‘tool tip’ description when hovered over.

The main screen loaded with an example project is shown below.

The screen is divided up into sections shown in the diagram below. Each is described in subsequent sections.

BASS Project 1.4 page 6 of 126 One or more spectral images (in FITS, RGB or DAT formats) can be loaded at any time. When an image is loaded, it is presented (as either a raw image or binned view) in an image strip under the toolbar. The spectral profile associated with the image is then plotted in the chart area. Clicking on one of the image strips will make it active.

The display of an image as a raw image or binned view is determined by the Image Strip view dropdown list selection (in the centre of the toolbar) and is detailed in its own section later.

The ‘active’ image strip is shown highlighted with a yellow border that also shows the sequence number starting from 1. The first profile (sequence =1) has special significance since it determines the x-axis and calibration status of the chart. Where displayed, the y-axis values are based on the first profile.

The LH status bar shows pixel, wavelength (if calibrated) and profile intensity information for the active image corresponding to the position of the mouse.

The RH status bar shows the image size and dispersion (if calibrated) of the active image.

The chart area shows profiles associated with loaded images. The derivation of the profile from an image is detailed later.

2.1 Menu and toolbar function The menu and toolbar functions are grouped info functional areas

–  –  –

 Chart settings (e.g. wavelength unit, title, colours, fonts, x and y axis settings)  Links to one or more spectral profiles  Spectral profile settings (calibration options, instrument correction options, scaling, displayed caption, active & background regions, colour & style)  Links to one or more reference spectra and settings (caption, colour & style)  Planck temperature curves and settings  Element labels and chart settings.

The project function icons allow projects to be opened, and saved.

The new, open & save functions are also available via the File menu.

Edit Project settings are under the Chart menu. Project settings are described in their own section.

The file menu items provide an alternative means to access toolbar functions. There is one exception, ‘Add/Open Colour Image into RGB channels’, does not have a toolbar icon.

The Chart menu provides access to functions below

–  –  –

 Copy Chart to clipboard - copies the chart to the Windows clipboard for pasting into another application.

 Save Chart to file – Saves the chart to an RGB picture file.

 Copy Image Strips to clipboard – Copies all the image strips as a single picture. This avoids having the yellow border visible (if you took a screenshot) and allows a picture larger than the screen size to be captured.

 Save Image Strips to file - Saves all the image strips as a single RGB picture.

(See Copy Image Strips to clipboard above)  Crop X-Axis range – Opens screen to selects all or a subset of the x-axis.

Detailed in the Crop X-Axis Range section later on.

 Edit Project Chart Settings – Opens the Chart settings screen. Detailed in its own section later on.

File extensions used A project file uses a four letter extension (*.bass). This should not be confused with image information “.info.bas” files that hold calibration and other data per image.

When sending/sharing BASS images to other BASS users, be sure to include the BASS image information files (*.info.bas) located in the same folder as your actual image files.

–  –  –

The binocular icon opens the modal Search screen. (Also available under the File menu) This will search for images (in DAT, RGB & FITS formats) or complete projects (*.BASS) files depending on the “Filter” dropdown list.

BASS Project 1.4 page 10 of 126 The “Folder” textbox contains the folder to search under (including sub folders).

The Search button will look under the specified “Folder” to match text entered in the filter textbox, (including * wildcard). A blank filter textbox returns all files. The results are shown in the grid underneath.

One or more profiles can be selected. Clicking Open will add the selected images to the project (& display them in the chart). The same images can be added more than once (in order to simultaneously display corrected and uncorrected views of a profile).

For projects, only one project can be selected. Clicking Open will close any existing images and load the selected project. (Only one project can be open at a time).

Press the Close button to access the main screen.

–  –  –

An image having height=1 is technically a 1 dimensional profile, (or intensity series), where values from each column have been processed to single values (“binning”).

The term “image” is used loosely here. It can refer to a 2 dimensional image (where conversion to a single dimension is calculated at run time) or a 1 dimensional image.

The toolbar image and profile functions are shown below Add Images – the icon allows more images to be added to the chart.

Stack Images – the icon opens up the Stack Images screen which allows a single image to be created from a set of raw images.

Save Image – the icon allows the selected image to be saved If no image strip is selected the following message will appear.

BASS Project 1.4 page 11 of 126 To select an image, just click on the image strip. A yellow border will indicate which image strip is selected (active). The sequence number and dimensions of the selected image strip are displayed on the RH status bar. If the profile is calibrated, the dispersion in wavelength unit per pixel is also displayed.

Remove Image – the icon prompts to save unsaved changes before removing the current selected image.

The 3 options are:

 Yes – Press Yes to confirm the filename and save the image. Once saved the image strip is removed  No – Press No to remove the profile without saving changes  Cancel – aborts the profile removal Note – If the Shift key is held down when a profile is being removed then a prompt to delete the file will appear. If the file is local then it will be moved to the Windows Recycle bin if possible.

Edit profile settings – the icon opens the Profile Properties screen (described in its own section) Crop X-axis – this opens the modal Crop X-Axis Range screen to enable you to zoom in on a region of the chart. This is a core feature that is critical to getting the most out of the application.

Refresh Chart – Redraws the chart. The F5 key will also refresh the chart.

Image Strip View – this dropdown list allows a choice of how the image list is to be displayed. See the Image Strips section 2.1.4 Advanced Tools functions

–  –  –

The main Calibration menu is more useful than the toolbar icon since it allows a choice of options, including displaying calibration points on the chart.

See the Wavelength Calibration section 2.11 for details.

–  –  –

The main Operation file menu includes sub menus for operations plus an option to stack image profiles (of the same width) together to create a new 1-dimensional image.

The result of the operation is displayed in a new image profile (added to the end of the list). The new image can be saved by right clicking on the new image strip and selecting “Save Image As” to invoke the standard File Save dialog.

–  –  –

– an icon is provided to access the Measurement Measurement & Element lines & Element lines screen. This allows measurements from the chart to be taken and also allows element lines to be plotted and/or displayed. See Measurements & Elements screen section.

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