FITS Image Grader

The FITS Image Grader is a handy utility designed to perform a focus quality analysis and assign relative grading metrics to your sub-frames. Simply select the FITS files you want to grade, click "Grade" and the FITS Image Grader will calculate "whole-image" Half Flux Radius (HFR) in order to determine an image's relative focus (lower values are better), Number of Stars found and finally a proprietary "Score" that takes both HFR and Number of Stars into account to provide a single metric (higher is better).

What FITS Image Grader is not: The image grader tool is not an absolute measure of a your images... it grades images relative to one another. This means that if all of your images are consistently and badly out of focus then your images will all likely have around the same HFR and bad images will have good scores (which is less than helpful). You will need at least one image that is of decent quality in order for images of lesser quality to stand out.

Why use star count? HFR is a fairly resilient metric and, as a result, it is normally capable of providing accurate measurement in poor seeing and even through a thin film of clouds. Using star count gives you another point of reference in terms of image quality. While an image with thin cloud cover might have a very similar HFR to a "good" image, the star count is likely to be reduced.

How the final score is calculated: The final score is nothing complex. It is a number between 0-100 (higher is better) that reflects the average of an image's HFR and Star Count scores. The score is RELATIVE and will often give a value of "0" to PERFECTLY GOOD IMAGES. A very low score indicates that an image was of lesser quality than similar images in the set... and that's all. You should always visually inspect low scoring images.

How images are grouped: When you add images to the grader, it will automatically attempt to categorize the images by filter type and binning mode. It will first inspect the file name for certain patterns and then if that fails, it will open the FITS file and inspect the headers fo this information. Only images of similar type are scored against one another (e.g. HA images at 1x1 binning).

Renaming images: FITS Image Grader provides several options to rename images as they are graded. You can choose from several patterns and select from using score, HFR or both as part of the new file names. Additionally, you can copy the file before renaming.

Reporting and Marking: After a grading session is complete, you can choose to mark images as good or bad (renames files). Either right click on individual images or select them and use the buttons on the right. Additionally, you can create a CSV report of the grading run for later viewing.

Notes: FITS Image grader will currently operate on all known variants of the 16-bit FITS format (mono and color). It is optimized to run analysis on well integrated sub-frames from about 2 minutes to 30 minutes in length.

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