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Controlling DSS Image Downloads

Starting with release 1.0.110, DSPME offers users the ability to control which server, survey and default image size is used when downloading and displaying DSS images in observing plans. This enhancement is useful when one of the DSS servers is offline, or you want an image acquired through a survey plate sensitive to a different color (for example, blue versus red).

The combination of server + survey + default image size is referred to below as a DSS download definition, or a DSS link.

When an observing plan is created with Deep-Sky Planner Windows Edition a DSS link is added for each object in the document. These DSS links are transferred with the plan document when the file is transferred to DSPME via cloud storage or the online Community.

Users may choose to use the DSS link as defined in the plan document by setting Override Plan = No as shown in DSPME. Starting with v 1.0.110, users may override the DSS link defined in the plan document and use the DSS Download Options from the Settings screen to compute new DSS Links.


  1. DSS servers are taken offline for maintenance from time to time. Both servers contain the same sets of images. Users may find that the SkyView server is more reliable.

  2. DSS images were acquired originally through the use of various photographic plates. DSPME supports the use of the POSS-2 red survey and the POSS-2 blue survey. You may choose to use either of these options (labeled DSS-2 Red and DSS-2 Blue), or you may choose DSS-2 Best. The DSS-2 Best selection computes a survey selection based on the type of object. The red survey contains the most complete coverage of the sky.

  3. Images size describes the the field of view depicted by an image. Image sizes in DSPME fall into bins of 5', 10', 15', 30' or 60'. The smallest field of view that accommodates an object's size is selected automatically for download. A default value (Default Size) is used when an object's size is not available. This is the case for all stars and some deep-sky objects. Since larger images require more storage, a default of 5' is recommended.