Laura Peticolas Laura Peticolas

Where Are the Spacecraft? A Quick and Easy Way to Find the Answer with the Heliophysics Data Portal

Updated on July 24, 2014 - 6:56 AM CDT
Posted on July 24, 2014 - 6:55 AM CDT

Tags: SMD E/PO Community | Educator | Use of NASA Data | NASA Product | Visualizations/ Video | Scientists


I am sharing a post orignally found in the current American Geophysical Union Space Physics 
and Aeronomy Newsletter, as it could be of use to our Heliophysics 
education and communications community. -Laura

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Where Are the Spacecraft?  A Quick and Easy Way to Find the Answer with
   the Heliophysics Data Portal 
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From: Aaron Roberts <aaron.roberts at nasa.gov> 
  
Whether it is when reviewing a paper or browsing data for a specific study, 
we often want to know the location of the spacecraft that is the origin of a 
time series of interest.  A quick route to this, that also allows the user 
to find, for example, what other spacecraft are available for that interval, 
can be found at the Heliophysics Data Portal 
(http://heliophysicsdata.gsfc.nasa.gov).  Click on either the “Geo Orbits” 
or “Helio Orbits” button, depending on your interest.  The latter is a 
simple route to the SPDF “HelioWeb” page that has various ways of plotting 
orbits of planets and interplanetary spacecraft, as well as differences 
between any of these.   The “Geo Orbits” button provides a simpler interface 
to the “SSC Web” orbit service.  From the page that comes up you can choose 
a time range and a set of spacecraft or simply click “refine spacecraft” to 
see what spacecraft were available during that interval. Choosing the 
spacecraft of interest allows the user to “Plot spacecraft orbits” and 
retrieve the SSCWeb generated plots.  There is also a link to the “Tipsod” 
4-D viewer app that will allow you to see the orbits in the 3-D space and 
through time.