Understanding ASCOM Alpaca and Classic ASCOM

NEW: ASCOM Initiative YouTube Channel focusing on cross-platform Alpaca and spotlighting Daniel describing the Alpaca Omni Simulator. Peter describes his new ASCOM/COM and Alpaca conformance checker, ConformU. Bob gives his latest overall briefing. Also watch the recording of our March 2022 Live Zoom Conference.

The graphic below shows how our group, ASCOM itself, and both ASCOM Alpaca and Classic ASCOM COM relate. To see how this has been possible, and how it started, see About Alpaca and ASCOM.

If you want more info on why ASCOM was created and how ASCOM (Alpaca and COM) works, see the About Alpaca and ASCOM section. It tells the story in pictures. Otherwise proceed to the section that addresses the reason you came here, in the orange menu on the left.

ASCOM has undergone a rapid transformation from Windows-only to a universal technology. Classic ASCOM has been a fundamental cornerstone of astronomy innovation on the Windows platform. Now we have ASCOM Alpaca, a new way to accomplish the same things but via network connectivity and on any platform, even embedded controllers. Both Alpaca and Classic ASCOM seamlessly operate in the background of many of the products you are currently using. Both provide the same universal language so that any astronomy app/program can connect to any astronomy device which complies with the ASCOM standards. ASCOM has become essential through simplification and standardization. Without ASCOM we would not have seen the explosive growth and innovation we have experienced in the field over the last 20 years.

Platform 6.6SP1

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Platform 6.6SP1 Release Notes
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Download and install the driver(s) for your astronomy instruments and devices. You'll also find plug-ins for TheSky and other useful tools and components here for download.