The Astrometric Telescope Control Language (ATCL)

SkyWalker's primary interface protocol is called the Astrometric Telescope Control Language (ATCL). ATCL is typically communicated over serial link (e.g. RS232 or RS422/USB/Ethernet with suitable converters) to SkyWalker's Client interface port (labeled "Com"). ATCL provides a very rich syntax for telescope control.

Astrometric Instruments' SkyWalker client, Maestro, communicates to SkyWalker via ATCL.

Astrometric Instruments, Inc. encourages independent software developers to provide an ATCL interface to their software. ATCL is an open language. There are no proprietary syntax or commands that are hidden from this standard. In fact, Astrometric Instruments, Inc. provides an example SkyWalker Client application, Maestro-Lite, which is a stripped-down version of Maestro, to serve as a working example for independent software developers wishing to implement ATCL in their software. Maestro-Lite is written in Microsoft Visual Basic and intended for use under a Microsoft Windows OS however ATCL is certainly not restricted to interfacing to software running under Windows.

The only requirement on the part of the PC running an ATCL-compliant application is that it provides a serial connection to SkyWalker. ATCL is a full-reply protocol and as such allows for high-latency serial connections (such as provided by USB-to-RS232 converters).

ATCL documentation

Complete information on the means available to interface Client software to SkyWalker is provided in our SkyWalker Client Interface Specification and Programming Guide.

Example SkyWalker Client application: Maestro-Lite

<<More information, and source code, coming soon>>


Last revised 01-November-2004
Copyright 2004 Astrometric Instruments, Inc.