Advanced Meteor Analysis

Pi Cameras

Sometimes the RMS software will miss a meteor, or it will be too bright / complex to analyse. The following is condensed from Denis Vida’s excellent video tutorial here.

NB : You will need at least the RMS python libraries installed on your PC, and to perform multistation analysis you will also need the WMPL libraries. Installing these is beyond the scope of this note, but is covered on the GlobalMeteorNetwork’s Girhub repos.

  • Create a new folder on your PC – lets call it c:\temp\manual
  • Copy the FF file, platepar file and .config file from your Pi to this folder. If there’s a fireball file (FR file) copy this too.
  • enable the RMS python environment.
  • In the RMS directory run the following
    python -m Utils.ManualReduction C:\temp\manual\$FFFILE –config .
    where $FFFILE is the name of the FF file
  • This will open the manual meteor analysis window.
  • We are going to identify each frame that contains the meteor, and mark the location of the “centroid”. The centroid is the middle point of the visible meteor as best we can estimate it. We will also mark the area covered by the trail so we can estimate magnitude.
  • Press Ctrl-P and load the platepar file. You will notice that when you move the mouse around the message bar at the bottom shows the RA and Dec, Alt and Az etc.
  • Find the first frame which shows the meteor.
  • Left click where you think the centroid is.
  • Hold down shift-leftclick and shade in the area covered by the trail. Shift-rightclick will rub out.
  • Go to the next frame and repeat. Do this for each frame containing the meteor.
  • When done, press Control-S. This will save a new FTPDetectInfo file containing the meteor.
  • Open this file in a text editor. You will see it has the same structure as a normal FTPDetectInfo file. The first 11 lines are the header. Then comes a line of dashes followed by the results of your analysis.
  • If you feel confident the analysis is good, copy the analysis data – including the line of dashes – then open the original FTPDetectInfo file on the pi and replace bad data or add a missed event. Remember to update the meteor count at the top of the file if you add a set of data.
  • You can now rerun the python routines to generate the UFO file and radiant map and you should get the extra event included.

Multistation Analysis

This is the manual process intended for reanalysing difficult meteors.

  • Create a folder to hold the analysis data.
  • Create a file Sitelocation.txt. This must contain the following information, in exactly this format. Note that longitude is positive west, which is the reverse of standard! The first field should be the camera IDs you are trying to match. The last three fields are unused. Height is measured in KILOmetres.

Cam# Lat (+N) Long (+W) Height(km) Camera File Name Code Station Name
—- ——– ——— ———- —————- —- —————–
UK1234 +xx.xxxxxx +xx.xxxxxx 0.00xx notused.txt XX notused

  • Copy both the FTPDetectInfo files into this folder.
  • copy one file to FTPDetect.txt and remove ALL events except the one you want to analyse from this copy.
  • Open the other file and copy the corresponding data into FTPDetect.txt, inclding the line of dashes before the data.
  • You now have one file with two sets of data which should be for the same meteor but seen from two locations.
  • Activate the WMPL python library an run the following
    • python -m wmpl.Formats.CAMS C:\temp\missing\FTPDetect.txt -d
      the -d suppresses full monte-carlo analysis which takes a long time.
  • The output of this should be a whole bunch of analysis and then a series of graphs will pop up showing you error bars, fit parameters and finally, the orbit of the meteoroid. All these will also be saved in the folder along with detailed analysis.