Cosmographia - SPICE
SPICE-ENHANCED COSMOGRAPHIA VISUALIZATION TOOL
NAIF offers for public use a SPICE-enhanced version of the visualization tool Cosmographia. This is an interactive tool used to produce 3D visualizations of planet ephemerides, sizes and shapes; spacecraft trajectories and orientations; and instrument field-of-views and footprints. Cosmographia has many user controls, allowing one to manage what is displayed, what vantage point is used, and how fast the animation progresses. The ESA SPICE Service provides the setup and instructions to load the SPICE supporteed ESA Missions in Cosmographia.
Cosmographia originated as primarily a general interest solar system simulator, and it still works wonderfully in that role. However, with permission from the tool's author, NAIF is extending the open source Cosmographia tool to make use of SPICE kernels to accurately model the observation geometry of planetary missions for which substantial or complete sets of SPICE data are available. With these extensions SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia should also be of interest to professional scientists and engineers.
Cosmographia is a stand-alone application for which executable binaries have been prepared on relatively recent versions of OSX, Windows and Linux. They likely work on more modern versions of the named operating systems and perhaps on some older versions as well. The latest version (4.2) of SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia for the different flavour of OS is available in the following links:
- SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia for Mac OSX (64-bit) (528 MB) Compatibility: OS X 10.15 or later
- SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia for Windows (64-bit) (560 MB) Compatibility: Windows 10 or later
- SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia for Linux (64-bit) (636 MB) Compatibility: Built on a machine running Ubuntu 16, but should run under most modern versions of the Linux operating system such as CentOS, RHEL and SUSE.
You can also obtain older versions of Cosmographia here.
The ESA SPICE Service provides the catalog files for the following ESA Planetary Missions:
You can also retrieve the 3D Models (available on the configuration files) from the ESA SCIFLEET website:
SETUP and USAGE
We recommend you to get the zipped package for all missions and then focus on the catalog files of the mission of your interest. This package contains a README text file that should be enough to setup Cosmographia for ESA Planetary missions. This file is also available here. May this file not be enough you can find more detailed information on how to setup SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia in the following presentation.
The Cosmographia on-line guide is available here. This guide is provided by NAIF and it contains all the informatio you might need to use Cosmographia.
NAIF has prepared a User's Guide for constructing these catalog files, and also provides some templates to use as starting points as well as catalog files for some missions. The NAIF SPICE Cosmographia package can be downloaded from here:
SPICE-enhanced Cosmographia_User's_Package consisting of:
- The Cosmographia-SPICE User's Guide
- The catalog template files mentioned in the User's Guide
- A collection of example catalog files and corresponding SPICE meta-kernels, providing sample visualizations for several real missions
- A "README" text file describing the contents of this package, and what additionally is needed.
The SPICE-enhanced version of Cosmographia is free to all persons, including commercial entities, subject to the license and disclaimer provisions linked below. There are no ITAR restrictions on this tool.
Important details about using this SPICE-enhanced version of Cosmographia with SPICE data should be read by any prospective user.
More information on Cosmographia is available here.