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UniData Access : How to Download Your RAW Data?

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Our R&D team has released a secure platform where Unistellar users can download their raw data (in FITS, TIFF, or PNG format) on their own. Let us explain the concept and answer your potential questions.

Where and how exactly can I start requesting my raw data?

Please read through this entire article before getting started.

Via our secure platform UniData Access

Please follow the embedded instructions accordingly.

Why create this platform?

Sometimes, advanced users are interested in processing their raw files. The files stored in the memory of your telescope use a specific format that needs to be processed on our servers to generate RAW data in FITS, TIFF, or PNG format. Therefore, we came up with a server/link system. Today, our users can download their data 24/7 via a fully automated secure platform meeting the compliance requirements under GDPR. Your privacy is fundamental to us.

What do you mean by “secure”?

Before accessing your raw data, you will have to “associate” your telescope with our servers. By performing a Sensor Calibration (Dark Frame) within 10 minutes of your first connection, your telescope’s serial number will be associated with your email. This way, no one else will be able to get your data without your permission (unless you wish to do so by sharing your email and serial number). Once the association is completed, you will be able to receive a link with your data to the email you provided for this matter, automatically.

What are the prerequisites to get my raw data?

Your data must be uploaded to our servers before requesting it via the platform (Data storage & memory: About upload). Your telescope should be associated with your email prior. If your telescope hasn’t recorded any images or data from your observations, you will not be able to receive any data.

You may find some useful information in this article: The importance of uploading your data. Why there is no direct access to RAW data?

Warning: For a user whose eVscope memory is 100% full, the association procedure could well take up to several days depending on their Internet connection.

NB: For safety reasons, this process is available from the date on which the telescope was associated. Please carry out the association procedure with the memory emptied beforehand. Please contact us to get the final export manually to be sure you are ready to go.

Is this available for all of your models?

All the Unistellar telescopes are supported: eVscope 1, eVscope 2, eQuinox 1, eQuinox 2.

Should I associate my telescope every time I want to receive a link with my raw files?

No, it’s a one-time procedure, it is required at your first raw data request only, to meet the compliance/security requirements under GDPR. If your association is successful, you’ll receive a confirmation email within 30 min.

Should I use a PC, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone?

Any of those devices should work. You’ll need an active email account to confirm the association and to receive the link with your raw data. Also, please check that your device is connected to the Internet.

What is the time or data volume limit while requesting my raw data?

The download link is generated with your data backed on our servers for up to 30 days. If you observed on March 30 at 2 AM UTC, you can claim the data from your observation till April 29 at 1.59 AM UTC. If a stack can't fit within this threshold, it will not be included. There is no volume limit. However, when the platform creates a link, your data is erased automatically to create space for your future downloads. Please note if you make several download requests within 30 days, your last link will contain only newly uploaded data.

In a nutshell:

  • Your data is available for 30 days
  • If you are at 100%, new data is not saved
  • If you then request your raw data, and those just downloaded are more than 30 days old, they will no longer be available.

How fast will this link arrive in my associated mailbox?

Our raw data platform is available 24/7. Depending on the uploaded data volume before your request and on the number of parallel requests from other users, your link will arrive within 2 to 72 hours. Please check your spam folder in case it lands there.

I didn’t receive any raw data or email notifications. What's wrong?

Please check your spam folder before contacting us. Also, ensure you did upload your observations by checking the data storage in the App. If you don’t receive any data 72 hours after your request despite the successful upload and association, please contact the support to help you out.

Note: your observations beyond the 30d window won’t be accessible; so you won’t receive any data notification.

Is it possible to request data for a special object or a specific date/hour? 

A global link will arrive, it’s an all-in-one pack.

What type of raw data can you provide? 

Enhanced Vision or Citizen Science, or both if you have observed in these modes in the past 30 days. Live View is not available to download. 

Currently, we can provide:

  1. .fits (golden standard in astronomy, compatible with all the processing routines) 
  2. .tiff (ideal for software processing)
  3. .png CAUTION! It's not the same thing as your phone PNG., they are still the same color-wise, that is, gray (see below).

Please note that you can choose only one format per download.

Can you explain the link composition?

a) Enhanced Vision:

  1. Dark frame
  2. All the observations that you’ve recorded in the past 30 days
  3. In each sub-folder, there will be :
    1. a header with metadata
    2. a StackSum: the final image/composite of all the selected shots with removed background noise
    3. a folder with all the images (good or bad) recorded every 4 seconds of the observation

b) Science Modes:

  1. All the observations that you’ve recorded in the past 30 days
  2. In each sub-folder, there will be:
    1. a header with metadata
    2. a folder with all the recorded science shots (good or bad)
    3. if you performed a Dark Frame/Sensor Calibration, it would appear in a separate folder as well

Why my raw images are gray?

The raw frames are in reality Bayer matrices, the color information is interlaced by groups of 4 pixels (2x2), with 2 "green" pixels, 1 "red" pixel, and 1 "blue" pixel. The value of each is the intensity of that color component. You need to combine all of these with a “demosaicing” (or debayering) algorithm to calculate RGB pixels from the Bayer matrix. Our Bayer pattern is RGGB. Raw processing is for advanced users who are already familiar with the subject.

How do I process my raw data?

  1. With your own code
  2. By using professional routines fits
  3. By using third-party software

There are many options, free or not (PixInsight, SIRIL, Affinity, etc.), it’s up to you. 

Please note that our Support Team does not provide any specific processing techniques or training. 

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