SPICE is an information system the purpose of which is to provide scientists
the observation geometry needed to plan scientific observations and to analyze
the data returned from those observations. SPICE is comprised of a suite of data
files, often called kernels, and software -mostly subroutines. A customer incorporates
a few of the subroutines into his/her own program that is built to read SPICE data
and compute needed geometry parameters for whatever task is at hand. Examples of the
geometry parameters typically computed are range or altitude, latitude and longitude,
phase, incidence and emission angles, instrument pointing calculations, and reference
frame and coordinate system conversions. SPICE is also very adept at time conversions.
This multi-mission capability has been used for more than 20 years now on many NASA
missions. More recently, scientists who work with data from ESA's planetary missions
(Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, Smart-1 and Bepi Colombo) use SPICE to analyse
Training workshops focused on how to use SPICE software and data are occasionally offered
at ESAC. Future workshops will be announced here. You may also contact the ESA SPICE Team .
To read more about the SPICE system, you can go to the
official home, hosted by NAIF.
SPICE at ESA
The ESA SPICE Team leads the SPICE operations for ESA missions. The group operates
software to convert ESA orbit, attitude and spacecraft clock correlation data into the
corresponding SPICE formats. In partnership with NAIF the group works to produce the
other mission-specific SPICE kernels. The ESA SPICE Team provides consultation on use
of SPICE for ESA scientists.
Accessing SPICE data
The ESA SPICE Team operates a
repository that stores
all the SPICE kernels for ESA
missions, including the several mission-independent (generic) kernels used by all missions.
The ESA SPICE Team creates an official, peer reviewed archive of the ESA missions SPICE
data sets and stores them into the ESA's Planetary Science Archive (PSA). There, the
archived SPICE data are available to anyone interested.
For any question/suggestion about these pages, or SPICE for the ESA missions in
general, please contact the ESA SPICE Team.