Cloud coverage is determined as a function of sky infrared temperature. An Infrared sensor is used to make these measurements. Clear skies emit very low infrared radiation (i.e. low infrared temperature) and vice versa. A very sensitive rain detection pad identifies the very first drops with immediate data reporting. This allows observatory auto shut features to engage without parameter analysis or interlock levels. The unit has adjustable heating elements to clear the pad and prevent false signals Sky lightness is measured with a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR). The unit has the ability to report not only approaching darkness but pre-dawn light conditions The software is ASCOM compliant and ddls provide direct interface to Technical Innovations DDW, ACP and CCDAutoPilot. Software displays four user graphs of ongoing data collection: "Cloud Condition"; "Rain Condition"; "Daylight Condition"; and "Ambient Temperature".
Alarm system is built in with different audible alarms for each condition. Add-ons will include alarm transmissions to phones and PDAs. Cleaning is the only maintenance required. Use a clean cotton rag and alcohol to clean the sensor surfaces. The CloudWatcher software allows different PCs on the same local area network to share the information of the same CloudWatcher Device. The program runs in "Master" mode (physically connected PC) and "Remote" mode on any other PC in the network. The software is open source and add-on features are invited. There will never be a charge for software enhancements, upgrades and add-ons. OPT Product Number: TT-AAG2