What is jINDI?

jINDI is a project of cross platform observatory control software based on INDI protocol. The aim is to build the system which will differ from other available solutions by a number of ways:
  • full featured, but easy to use and as operator fault tolerant as possible (no unnecessary control on the screen you can unwillingly press in the middle of the night),
  • cross platform GUI with transparent access to native device drivers based on local platform standards (e.g. ASCOM on MS Windows or INDI on Unix/Linux/Apple OS X),
  • support for distributed computing based on INDI protocol...
It consists of four independent sub-projects:
  • jINDI protocol - pure Java implementation of INDI protocol, channel adapters for communication with both local and remote INDI drivers,
  • jINDI GUI - JavaFX 2.2 implementation of device manager, control panel and task oriented and integrated GUI for telescope mount, guider and imager control (including advanced features as automatic star detection, plate solving, catalogue download and transformation etc.),
  • wINDI - .Net 4.0 implementation of INDI protocol, INDI server and INDI wrappers for ASCOM drivers of different classes (telescope, filter wheel, focuser and camera) for MS Windows operating systems and control panel running in icon tray.
    • iINDI - a mobile remote control for INDI servers for iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
      The top level architecture of the system is shown on the top right (3rd party modules in white, already implemented modules in green and partially implemented modules in yellow).

      INDI (Instrument Neutral Distributed Interface) is a distributed control protocol designed by by Elwood C. Downey to operate astronomical instrumentation. It is used typically by scientific grade software on unix operation systems like Linux or Apple MacOS X but with jINDI project it will be available soon for any operating system which can host JavaFX 2.2 platform including MS Windows, Apple MacOS X and Linux.

      ASCOM (Astronomy Common Object Model) is a platform and de-facto standard for vendor and programming language independent communication between astronomy software and astronomical instruments on Windows computers.

      What is the current status?

      • All INDI protocol modules and star catalog utilities (with TYCHO 2 catalog download, preprocessing and astrometric transformations with jNovas), name lookup with SIMBAD (with query response caching for field operation) are implemented and tested.
      • We have a working telescope control GUI with star map for comfortable slewing and alignment and imager control GUI with plate solver based on TYCHO 2 catalog or GSC 1.1 if local executables are available.
      • Guider control GUI is under development and will be available in the next developer preview later this year.
      • All modules of wINDI subproject are implemented and tested with jINDI prototypes and some 3rd party INDI clients. Pre-release version of wINDI is already available for download here.
      • Due to upcoming changes in INDI 0.9.7+ we are considering to move some of jINDI features to "agent" drivers on server side.

      What are the system requirements?

      • Microsoft Windows operating system (developed and tested on Windows7 but should work with XP and later) or
      • Apple MacOS X (developed and tested on 10.8 but should work with 10.7.3 and later) or
      • Any Linux distribution compatible with Oracle Java7 (look here for complete list) and
      • INDI or ASCOM/wINDI with drivers for your devices...

      How to install it?

      • jINDI is not finished yet but you can download developer preview version 0.1.3 here (remember to use a valid e-mail address to receive download instruction).
      • Download and execute installer for your particular platform using the link in e-mailed download instruction.

      How to use it?

      • Execute jINDI (you can find it in Start menu on MS Windows or Linux or in Applications folder on MacOS X)
      • When executed for the first time, license key received together with download instructions is requested. Just copy & paste from e-mail message.
      • If required star catalogues are not yet available Download Manager is started. Click download and exit when all data are downloaded and start jINDI again. In the meantime you can read README for each catalogue to learn more about it.
       
       
      • When empty Device Manager GUI is shown, click add in drivers section to add some INDI drivers (e.g. Telescope and CCD simulator on MacOS X or Linux or wINDI ASCOM Telescope or Camera wrapper on MS Windows).
      • Start drivers and select appropriate GUI (telescope or imager) from combo-box on bottom right for each device listed.


        





      • Connect devices and explore the possibilities offered by particular GUI.
       
       
      • Or click properties in Device Manager to open INDI control panel for selected device

       

      If you want to know more...

      ...do not hesitate to contact us at info@cloudmakers.eu or INDI Forum.


      Some more screenshoots of wINDI and jINDI GUI and examples of 3rd party integration are below (click to enlarge):


      jINDI Device Manager and Telescope GUI running on MS Windows7
      against ASCOM drivers



      jINDI Device Manager and Telescope GUI running on OSX
      against native INDI drivers



      jINDI client on OSX running against remote INDI server
      with telescope simulator on Raspberry Pi



      jINDI client on OSX running against remote INDI server
      with SX Lodestar and QHY5 CCD on Raspberry Pi


      jINDI Device Manager and Telescope GUI running on MS Windows8
      against INDI compiled under CYGWIN

      kStars on Linux running against wINDI



      XEphem on OSX running against wINDI and EQMOD



      jINDI Device Manager and Telescope GUI running on Linux
      against native INDI drivers



      examples of various types of device properties



      plate solver dialog in imager control GUI
        




      Click 
      here to download developer preview of jINDI 0.1.3...

      Click here to look at wINDI...

      Click here to look at iINDI...