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An Update on SPICE for ESA Missions

Presentation #109.08 in the session Open Science and Data Tools (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
An Update on SPICE for ESA Missions

Introduction: The ESA SPICE Service (ESS) leads the SPICE [1] operations for ESA missions. The group generates the SPICE Kernel Datasets (SKDs) for missions in development (Hera, Comet-Interceptor, EnVision and ExoMars Rover), missions in operations (Mars Express, ExoMars 2016, BepiColombo, Solar Orbiter and JUICE) and legacy missions (Venus Express, Rosetta and SMART-1). ESS is also responsible for the generation of SPICE Kernels for INTEGRAL. Moreover, ESS provides SPICE support Kernels for XMM, Gaia, James Webb Space Telescope and even GNSS constellations. The generation of SKDs includes the development and operation of software to convert ancillary data into the corresponding SPICE format. ESS also provides consultancy and support to the Science Ground Segments of the planetary missions, the Instrument Teams and the science community. The access point for the ESS activities, data and latest news can be found at the following site https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/spice. ESS works in partnership with NAIF.

Status of the Kernel Datasets: The current status and latest developments of the SKDs for the before mentioned missions will be described in this contribution. In general, the ESS is reviewing the legacy and operational datasets and developing the ones for future missions. It is worth mentioning the launch of JUICE in April 2023 and the forthcoming launch of Hera in 2024.

SPICE Kernels Archived in the PSA. ESS is also responsible for the generation of PDS3 and PDS4 formatted SPICE Archives that are published by the PSA. ESS in close collaboration with NAIF, peer-reviews the operational kernels for the PSA [2] in order to publish being compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards and uses them in the processes that require geometry computations. The first release of the BepiColombo SPICE archive has now been made available in the PSA and PDS.

Extended Services: ESS offers other services beyond the generation and maintenance of SPICE Kernel Datasets, such as instances and configuration for WebGeocalc and Cosmographia for the ESA missions. Moreover, the complete SPICE Data Volume is now accessible at ESA Datalabs [3], allowing the implementation of SPICE applications without requiring a local copy of the SPICE Kernel Datasets. SPICE devoted Datalabs developed by the ESS, including Cosmographia integration, will be presented in this work.

References: [1] Acton C. (1996) Planet. And Space Sci., 44, 65-70. [2] Bessel, S. et al., (2017) Planet. And Space Sci. [3] Navarro, V. et al., (2019) ADASS 2019.

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