Mosaic Engine
is a program that automates the acquisition of astronomical mosaics, automates multi-target imaging and provides image based telescope control. It is designed to control the telescope mount and guider and to sync up with your image capture software to fully automate capturing of multi-frame mosaics. The software uses ASCOM for telescope control so it works with a wide variety of telescope mounts and interfaces directly with PHD to automate the process of guide star selection. Along with mosaics Mosaic Engine allows creating an image list of targets to automate the capture of a variety of targets in an evening. This feature is great for those with a backyard observatory. Just set up an image plan, click a button and go to bed. Mosaic Engine will do all the telescope and guider control to automatically capture the objects in your image plan while you get your beauty sleep. A recent addition is image based telescope control for object framing. With a single click in a short test image you can center your target or click and drag it to any spot in the image frame.

Capture wide field shots like the North American nebula shown below even with a longer focal length telescope for stunning resolution in larger prints.

3 by 3 frame mosaic of the North American and Pelican Nebulae taken with a 840 mm f/7 telescope and a Canon 60Da DSLR
A plate solver like Astro Tortilla is not needed as MosaicEngine can measure your camera rotation directly from an image. Simply  take a short exposure, click on two stars in the image and tell the software the position of each star. MosaicEngine will calculate the optical parameters of your imaging system as well as the camera rotation. From then on, until you move the camera MosaicEngine will allow you to read the RA and declination of the mouse position in the image. 

Mosaic Engine main window
Once calibrated, the unique image based telescope control allows you to sync your scope's position to the center of the image, center anything in the image  or click and drag any part of the image to any spot in the frame. All functions are accessed using a simple right click context menu.

There are several mosaic planning tools included, one that lets you set the position of the center of the mosaic and see a printout of the frame centers and another to display the mosaic frames on either a wide field image or a screen grab from a planetarium program. Both give you the option of saving the mosaic for later use.
There are several databases included as image lists including the Messier, NGC and IC catalogs as well as a Named Stars list. Each of the lists is completely editable using a built in image list editor. MosaicEngine also includes the entire SAO stellar database to provide targets for centering your mosaic.
You can add comments to any object in any list and create your own lists of targets. You can edit any number of objects in the list then click save to store the list on your computer.

Along with image lists you can create multi-object imaging plans to completely automate an entire nights imaging. Make the list, set up your camera control software, press start and go to bed. MosaicEngine will automatically move from target to target controlling PHD to acquire guide stars for each image.

To download the installer zip file for the most recent beta release click here. To download the pdf documentation click here.