Platesolve 3

I see on the Sidereal Technology site that the newest version of StTech.exe comes with PlateSolve 3. Playing with it a bit seems to produce much faster solves.

Are there any plans to add PlateSolve3?


Not right now… I have never even heard of it. If we ever see it, we will take a look. If it exists right now, it is not available to the public:

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Hi Ken

for me, platesolve2 has turned out to be an excellent tool; of all the platesolvers I’ve used, it is by far the fastest and most reliable. Platesolve 3 is an evolution of it and I am about to install and try it. Anyone using Dan Gray’s Sitech II controller has this as a tool integrated with Sitech, so from my perspective, continued support in SGPro would be very welcome.

Unfortunately now with climate change, there’s an added risk to trying new things, in that there are so few clear nights (at least where I live) that experimentation time competes very much with imaging/ viewing. We’ve just had 3 months with no imaging nights…


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We’re not opposed to it… we just haven’t seen it.

Just a quick update on this. I was able to get a hold of PS3 for evaluation purposes. I inspected the interop assemblies that comprise PS3 and was able to reverse engineer enough of it to get it working inside of SGPro (only took an hour or so…). My thoughts:

  • PlateSolve 3 is very well done (just as fast as PS2… maybe even faster in some cases)
  • It is likely a better solver than PS2 (because of the catalogs it uses and the built “all sky” solving)
  • It is much better than PS2 in terms of presenting itself as a tool to be consumed by applications like SGPro. The PS2 integration into SGPro is pretty hacky. It essentially calls PS2 via the command line and then attempts to read the generated output file for solve data. Processes like these are always inherently prone to issues and less stable than using other means. PS3 uses solid .NET interoperability communications standards and, as a result, the probability of inter-application failure due to communication issues is almost 0.

Current Problems:

  • There is no such thing as a free lunch. We do not have permission to use or distribute parts of PlateSolve3 with SGPro.
  • We can (and will) reach out to PlaneWave to get permission, but there is a problem here as well…
  • The integration with PlateSolve2 pops up the actual PlateSolve2 window and shows the PlaneWave logo. As such, SGPro’s usage of the PS2 solver is “mutually beneficial”.
  • SGPro’s integration with PlateSolve3 is so smooth and solid that there is no indication anything is going on. There is no PlateSolve3 window popup… nothing. Just a good, clean, fast solve. So… in order to strike the same mutually beneficial relationship we need to find a way to promote (well deserved, btw… not complaining here) PlaneWave during the solve. I am not sure how to do this except maybe pop up a dialog window with a logo? Need to think about this before I propose anything to PlaneWave.

Thanks for bringing this solver to our attention…

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thanks for the analysis Ken. It sounds very promising and I hope you can work it through with the Planewave guys to get to a mutually beneficial position that works.

There are so many things that make SGPro a top class software tool and we all appreciate that it’s fast moving for you guys all the time.


We have reached out to PlaneWave with a proof of concept build and some ideas on how we might proceed. They indicated that they will think about it and get back to us after they give it some thought.


PlaneWave got back to us today and informed us, regretfully, that they will not be able to let us include PlateSolve3 in SGPro (for legal reasons and contracts that they have with other companies).

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That’s a shame. PS2 works great for non internet plate solves. Thanks for the efforts.


Time for someone to build a “ansrv” equivalent …


I always thought Platesolve was a ‘open’ program written for the Si-tech guys. I suppose there is some licensing issues with a commercial product though.

Understandable, everyone wants to get their slice. I thought PS3 offered blind solving too, so it would get rid of astrometry…

Pity! I really like Platesolve 2. Any other license model available for PS3? I mean, if PS3 has a built in blind solver along the regular solver I be willing to pay for it!



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I wonder if they’d let MSS do something similar to a ‘add on’ where you could buy it? I’m sure it’d be appealing based on how simple it is to install.


Hi Ken,

I see that Nina now includes PS3, would this be something that Planewave would be open to possibly now that Nina has support for it? I see many years ago they said no due to contracts with other companies.

Cheers, Mike

The ASTAP plate solving software is fast and accurate. Doesn’t seem like there is a need to use anything else.


I think people just like options :wink:

We had initially implemented PS3 support years ago but when we talked to Plane Wave we were asked to stop due to some IP concerns. I think enabling it should pretty simple. We can likely look at adding it into the Beta.


Except for the fact that I (and I have read others) have problems with ASTAP centering targets. If I right click on a star that is say1/2 way between the center and the edge of the image and select center here, the star will end up on the edge of the image and ASTAP says it is centered.

For this reason, I use Plate Solve 2.

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We’ll go ahead and enable the already implemented PlateSolve3 in SGPro, but we feel obligated to at least run it through a series of light-weight testing before we send it out into the wild. We typically use Pinpoint so this particular solver has almost 0 mileage atm.

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For the longerst time I have used PS2 and had no issues.
I shoot mainly mosaics ranging from 2,4,6 & 8 panels and always had great overlaps between the panels using the 10% overlap setting. The mount is an iOptron GEM45.
Recently I tried ASTAP and installed the D50 catalog and for a simple 4 panel mosaic, the session ran and reported successful centering (20 px limit & < 1 degree rotation error) but when I processed and assembled the panels, there was a large alignment discrepancy between the overlapping panels and in one recent image it had an empty void in the center of the assembled mosaic image. I tried the session twice and it did the same thing, so I switched back to PS2 and the panels aligned normally. I could never figure out why ASTAP didn’t give the proper plate solves though it reported successes.


I have installed PlateSolve3 on the Obs computer and can solve an image through the App’s own interface. When I try using it in SGP (Ver: I get the following error messages:
Within SGP - PS3 settings point to the correct directory - any ideas on the reason for the errors?
I am using the exact same image in SGP as within PS3 stand-alone APP.