BepiColombo SPICE Repository

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BepiColombo SPICE kernels set

ESA, in collaboration with NAIF and the BepiColombo Instrument Teams, produce a whole set of SPICE kernels for BepiColombo (event kernels are not produced for ESA missions).

The BepiColombo SPICE data set consists of several SPICE kernels, organised as follows:

  • CK kernels: These kernels contain information about orientation of the space vehicle or any articulating structure on it.
  • FK kernels: Reference frame specifications. Definitions of, and specifications of, relationships between reference frames (coordinate systems). Among the frames kernels included, there are kernels that specify reference frames related to the earth and the spacecraft.
  • IK kernels: Kernels that hold intrument information, such as field of view or internal timing.
  • LSK kernels: These kernels hold a table with the leapseconds used to convert between ET and UTC.
  • PCK kernels: These kernels provide information about Solar System bodies orientation and shape, and possibly parameters for gravitational, atmospheric or rings models.
  • SCLK kernel: This kernel (spacecraft clock coefficients) allows for conversion between ET and spacecraft clock. If there are multiple LSK kernels in this dataset, the latest kernel supersedes he previous ones. More information on the SCLK kernel(s) in this dataset is provided in SCLKINFO.TXT.
  • SPK kernels: Kernels with information about ephemeris (position and velocity) of the spacecraft and solar system bodies. The dataset provides such information for the planets, the Sun, the Moon, the New Norcia tracking station, several DSN tracking stations, and the spacecraft. More information on the SPK kernels in this dataset is provided in SPKINFO.TXT.

Please be aware that, since the mission is in development, CK, SCLK and SPK kernels for the spacecraft are not being produced at the moment.

Origin of the kernels

Generic kernels provided by NAIF

NAIF generates kernels that are mission independent. Some of them are used by ESA missions:

  • Binary and text PCK and LSK kernels.
  • Some SPK kernels with ephemeris of the solar system bodies.
  • SPK kernels for ground stations.
  • Frames kernels for ground stations.

Kernels generated with ESOC Ancillary Data

Orbit, clock and attitude kernels are created from ESOC data:

  • ESOC ancillary data are the main source of information required to create SPICE kernels for attitude (CK), orbit (SPK) and time (SCLK) information for the Spacecraft.

These kernels will be produced after the spacecraft is launched.

Kernels created by the BepiColombo SGS (Science Ground Segment), alone or in collaboration with the intruments teams

These include:

  • Instrument kernels (IK), developed by the SGS and the instrument teams.
  • Frame kernels (FK), developed by the SGS.
  • RSSD frames kernel.

Access kernels

Operational kernels

The SPICE repository contains all the operational kernels for BepiColombo, organised by kernel type.

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