Research & Science Home ESA Public Web Site Sci-Tech Portal ESA Intranet     
Astrophysics Missions Planetary Exploration Missions Solar Terrestrial Science Missions Fundamental Physics Missions Science Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page. We have put a compilation of answers to the most common problems that have been reported to us by you. If you require further information or your problem isn't listed in the FAQ, please contact us.

Accessing the Data

Although PSA is known to work well with most browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Chrome), we recommend the use of Firefox.
However note that Chrome browser currently does not support direct access to FTP servers. Therefore, none of the FTP links in the PSA website will work. Instead we recommend you use any other standard FTP client applications or a different browser.

Various issues could prevent a page from displaying correctly. This is usually due to the browser accessing a cached version of your page. Reloading the page and forcing the browser not to use the cache would generally solve these issues. Use the following keyboard shortcuts to force a page to reload in this way: "Ctrl+F5" or "Ctrl+Shift+R" in Windows/Linux, "Cmd+F5" or "Cmd+Shift+R" in Mac OS X.

There are some requirements in order for the Advanced Search and the Map-based interfaces to run correctly:

  • The interface requires that the Java environment is installed locally on your computer.
  • In order to download data using the delivery basket, you must register as a PSA user so as we have a valid e-mail address to inform you that your delivery is ready. This is not a requirement for completing searches.
  • N.B. Your personal details are never passed on to any third party and the PSA will not use this information to contact you for commercial reasons.
  • The web browser being used must have both JavaScript and Java enabled.
There are no special requirements for the FTP Access.

In the case of Macintosh, try updating the Runtime for Java that you have installed. It can be downloaded from the Apple Java Runtime pages. The PSA browser should work without any problems with MRJ version 2.0.1 or higher. Apple MRJ download

You have probably entered a combination of search parameters that are impossible to search against (e.g. searching for HRSC data on Rosetta). Please go back to the query page and make sure you have no un-necessary parameters or search panels open. Remember that all panels that are open when you execute your query are included in your search. Please see the User Interface Guide for details of how the Advanced Search Interface should be used.

If you find that all search parameters are correct and you still get a red screen, try closing, clearing your cache, and re-starting the Advanced Search Interface. Advanced Search

There are no data available on the PSA that match the search criteria you have entered. Please go back to the query page and make sure you have no un-necessary parameters or search panels open. Remember that all panels that are open when you execute your query are included in your search. Please see the User Interface Guide for details of how the Advanced Search Interface should be used.

If you find that all search parameters are correct and you still get a yellow screen, try closing the PSA Browser, clearing your cache, and re-starting the Advanced Search Interface. Advanced Search

This is because the connection to the archive database has broken. To restart it, exit the PSA browser and in the start PSA browser page do a CTRL-R, then start the PSA software again. It may help to clear your cache if you were in the middle of a search.

The data you are interested in are probably still proprietary, and are only accessible to privileged users authorised by the instrument team. These data are not available on the FTP interface, as they require a login to download. If you are a privileged user, you will need to log in to the PSA in the Advanced Search interface and download the products from there.

No! All data on the PSA are free to download and use!

The 'Delivery Basket' is a way for you to collect together a large number of files you would like to download. It also allows you to store any products you are interested in after completing a search, while you continue browsing for other files. You can shape your download in any way you wish using this functionality.

Currently, the Map-based interface only supports the HRSC and OMEGA instruments on Mars Express. Work is ongoing for the inclusion of the other Mars Express instruments, and versions are foreseen with support for Venus Express and SMART-1 as well.

There are known issues with the display of footprints at high latitudes on the Map-based interface, and work is underway to provide options for polar projection.

For OMEGA, there is an additional issue that products were obtained while the instrument was heating, during a spacecraft slew. These products all have a name ending in 0 (i.e. *_0.*), and often include data from the sky as well as the Mars surface. These products will not have useful footprints in the Map-based interface.

Yes. When you enter a set of parameters on the Query Specification page you will see a button called 'View/Edit SQL'. This is only recommended for advanced users.

Downloading the Data

Yes you can, but please contact us before you do this, as we will need to ensure that the servers are running and that your activities will not interfere with other users should you be completing heavy downloads. Contact us.

Some data on the Advanced or Map-Based interface may be proprietary, and are only accessible to privileged users authorised by the instrument team. These data are labelled as 'proprietary' in the 'Latest Results' window, and will be released and made publically available as soon as the official proprietary period is over.

If you are a privileged user, you will need to log in to the PSA and you will then see the status of the products change to 'Access Granted'.

For optimum performance of the FTP servers here at the Archive, we recommend that you make sure that your FTP client is always set to "PASSIVE" mode. There are reasons for this, but they are reasonably detailed and perhaps not appropriate in their entirety here.

n.b. Internet Explorer is sometimes set to "ACTIVE" FTP mode by default and so may be giving firewall problems. To set it to "PASSIVE":

  1. go to Options
  2. Advanced
  3. Browsing
  4. check the box on "Use PASSIVE FTP (for firewall and DSL modem compatibility)

This is a complex issue however, and so we also recommend that you take a few minutes to read the explanation on the difference between active and passive FTP mode from slacksite.com, should you find that you are experiencing problems. Slacksite.com

Using and Visualising the Data

Software for use with the data is often provided by the instrumentteams, and is typically found in the SOFTWARE or the DOCUMENT directory in their data set.

Some external software is provided by the PSA, and can be found in the Tools page. For Mars Express, there have also been a number of Data Workshops supported by the instrument teams, and information on available software from these can be found here.

Software to visualise the data is often provided by the instrument teams, and is typically found in the SOFTWARE or the DOCUMENT directory in their data set.

Some external software is provided by the PSA, and can be found in the Tools page. For Mars Express, there have also been a number of Data Workshops supported by the instrument teams, and information on available software from these can be found here.

Most data product can be read by standard PDS readers such as NASAView and ReadPDS.

     Copyright © 2014 European Space Agency. All rights reserved.
This page was first created on 14 December, 2011 and was last updated on 25 September, 2012.
Password Synchronization

The RSSD Web Portal provides a single login facility to simplify access to several other applications within this site.

The login facility has detected that you have passwords to one or more of these other systems (Livelink, Mantis, CVS, etc.) which do not match your current LDAP password.

By clicking on [SYNCHRONIZE] you will be able to reset all these passwords and bring them into line with your main portal password with no further effort on your part.

Synchronizing Passwords - Please Wait

Logging In - Please Wait