Data Conversion and Distribution Tools


  • MEXPST Data Distribution via FTP

    Spice kernels from Mars Express are distributed from the MEXSGS ftp server.

  • The ESOC Data Interface

The generic data files for orbit and attitude data for the Mars Express spacecraft and the original software to access the data was developed at ESOC, Darmstadt. These data can be accessed via the ESOC Data Distribution System (DDS), or via the MEXSGS ftp server.

  • SPICE Toolkit

The SPICE Toolkit is a F77 and C-library and an application programmers interface (API) maintained by the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) at JPL/NASA. The NAIF team aims to offer a common information system that allows scientists and engineers to access navigation and other ancillary spacecraft data from many spacecraft from several space science disciplines. The primary SPICE data sets are often called "kernels" or "kernel files". The name SPICE comes from the information type the toolkit offers:

Spacecraft, Planets, Instrument, C-Kernel, Events. (For a general overview about the toolkit, please see here.)

Originally, the SPICE toolkit was intended to support the Planetary Data Archiving (PDS) but is now used also for mission planning and science operations.

Owing to requests from several instrument teams, it was decided to offer the ancillary data of Mars Express in addition to the original ESOC format, also in SPICE format. The NAIF team develops the necessary software and kernels, supported by all the instrument teams and the science operations team. The SPICE kernels (SPK,C) will be generated on the fly during the mission at ESTEC with additional support offered from the NAIF team, when necessary.

A SPICE tutorial is available.

See The SPICE toolkit home pages for a download.