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Find, Access, and Analyze Using the PDS Search API

Presentation #412.10 in the session Asteroids: Near-Earth Objects (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Find, Access, and Analyze Using the PDS Search API

The NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) archives and distributes data from robotic exploration of the solar system. We wanted the PDS Search API to be the highway to comfortably drive the users to all PDS archives from NASA and beyond. In response to this need, the PDS has formed a PDS API Working Group that provides technical expertise and guidance to the PDS Management Council and international community on the design, development, and implementation of the PDS API [1]. The service is now operational and a single entry-point can be used to search for most PDS4 data sets across any PDS data archive.

Functions: The API is designed in an intuitive RESTful style and online documentation is available to explore and test the end-points from the API base URL [2]. The API end-points enable to:

1. Resolve an identifier and retrieve the product label and data where ever it is in the Planetary Data System.

2. Crawl the archive hierarchically downward (e.g. collection’s products) or upward (e.g. bundles containing products).

3. Search for bundles, collections and any PDS products with advanced search queries supporting standard boolean operators (eq, gt, lt, and, or…) on any PDS4 information model property.

Multiple response formats are available ranging from PDS4 full descriptions in XML or JSON to simple CSV. A performant pagination request syntax enables to pull millions of products within minutes.

Try It Out: To reach out to the science community, extensive documentation is published [3]. A python client has also been developed to simplify the access to the API from scripts or Jupyter notebooks [4]. Example notebooks are available, showing some real-world examples of how one can do science analysis from the API and interconnect it with libraries from the community, for data visualization and analysis [5]. Two example notebooks are:

- Search and display spectrometer observations of Bennu asteroid (also using Astropy library [6])

- Display Galileo magnetometer data in a 3D solar system view (also using pyWWT library [7]).

Acknowledgements: This research is being performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Special thanks to the members of the PDS API Working Group for assisting in the design of this service.


[1] Padams, J. H., et. al. (2019) Planetary Data Workshop 2019, Abstract #7105.



[4] 10.5281/zenodo.6628668




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