Astronomical Digital Video System - ADVS

by Tony Bary, Dave Gault, Hristo Pavlov

What is ADVS?

Astronomical Digital Video System is, as the name implies, a digital, progressive scan, UT-timestamped video recording system designed for observing asteroid occultation events.

ADVS features are:-

  • progressive scan technology
  • All digital
  • 12bit or 14bit data (depending on the camera).
  • Video frames time-stamped with GPS technology. Accuracy = +/- 0.001 seconds.
  • frame rates from 30 frames per second (fps) to 8 seconds per frame (spf).
  • zero dead time between exposures.
  • control of camera gain, gamma and offset.
  • settings to warn of star image saturation
  • settings for 2 ranges of screen gamma enhancement.
  • files saved in ADV file format. A format that is designed-for-purpose and is repairable in case of (for example) file damage due to a power-outage while recording.
  • .adv files analysed using Tangra3.
  • .adv files may also be exported to FITS files using ADV2FITS complete with all metadata.
  • The Components of ADVS


    ADVS is designed to utilise cameras from the stable of Point Grey Research. Currently there are three cameras supported by ADVS.
    Here is a page detailing the supported cameras.
    Here is a comprehensive sensitivity comparison of the three supported cameras and the Watec WAT-120N.

    Hardware Timer and Camera Controller (HTCC)

    HTCC is a device that coordinates the timing functions of ADVS. It is the progressive scan equivilent of IOTA-VTI.
    Here is detail page.

    ADVR (R for Recorder)

    ADVR is a sophisticated program that runs on the host computer and accepts image data from the camera via IEEE 1394b and time code data from HTCC via USB.
    Here is detail page.

    ADVS Publications

  • The_ADVS_Times-Iss1
  • ADV File Format Specification
  • ADVS - Set of Manuals
  • ADVS presentation to IOTA 2012 AGM
  • ADVS Paper - PASA - Publications Astronomical Society of Australia

    Helpful Hyperlinks

  • Web page for Tangra3
  • Web page for Point Grey Research
  • Web page for ADV2FITS
  • Web page for Ubuntu 10.04.4

    Should you wish an ADVS system of your own, please contact Dave at the email address below (remove the spaces)

    last updated 2016 June 26th Return to Kuriwa Observatory email Dave (d a v e 4 g e e @ y a h o o . c o m . a u)