CloudWatcher is an astronomy utility which enables Mac-based astronomers to use a hardware device to monitor relevant weather conditions, such as cloudiness and rainfall. The device is able, in combination with the CloudWatcher software, to activate a hardware switch in response to adverse conditions which can trigger safety measures such as closing an observatory roof.
The hardware device concerned is the economical AAG CloudWatcher, available from Lunatico Astronomia, Spain. CloudWatcher reproduces the look-and-feel of the Windows software which ships with the device, and can interoperate with that software. But it also offers many features in addition.
• reproduces most features of the AAG_CloudWatcher Windows software;
• automatically detects the optional wind sensor;
• provides wind gust speed as well as configurable averaging;
• provides a measure of sky-temperature standard deviation;
• plots are labelled with natural round values.
CloudWatcher is compatible with AAG CloudWatcher firmware version 3.x (before the introduction of the anemometer option) and version 5.x (with the anemometer option). Firmware versions 1.x, 2.x and 4.x were not distributed.
Version 2.0 fixes many bugs, including a bug which could prevent launch if a previously-used network volume became inaccessible.
In addition it has some major new features, including
• it can read a sky quality meter (Unihedron SQM-LE) if available on the local network, and includes the readings in the Brightness plot;
• it can fire a script to TheSky X in case of unsafe conditions, which will cause any mount controlled by TheSkyX to park;
• it can send scripts to SX IO to control an Oculus all-sky camera as a function of cloud and brightness [SX IO is a product of CoreAstro.org];
• now the warning sounds can be selected by the user.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.