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Voyager Raw Radio Science Data from Saturn (PDS)


Availability: At NSSDC, Ready for Offline Distribution (or Staging if Digital)

Time span: 1981-08-25 to 1981-08-26


This data set contains raw data, partially processed data, and ancillary/supporting files acquired during the Voyager 2 radio occultation and ring scattering experiment at Saturn. It has been prepared following standards of the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS).

Observations were carried out using the VG2 spacecraft and the DSS 43 Earth-based receiving station of the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) near Canberra (Australia). The observations were designed so that physical structure of Saturn's atmosphere (temperature and pressure as a function of radial position) and the nature of Saturn's ring system and its particles could be determined. The data also allowed estimation of Saturn's radius and inference of magnetic field orientation in the upper ionosphere.

The spacecraft S- and X-band carrier signals (13 and 3.6 cm wavelengths, respectively) served as coherent signal sources, probing the atmosphere at various depths. During the ring scattering experiment, the radio signals were transmitted toward the rings from behind the planet; energy scattered in the forward direction by the ring particles was sought in the signal received on Earth. Output from up to four DSN receivers (right- and left circular polarization at both S- and X-band) was sampled and recorded for later analysis. Two recording systems were used, running in parallel with staggered start/stop times. The original data tapes were converted to computer-compatible tapes (CCTs) later at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The data from these CCTs (with names of the form CnBPmm) represent the primary archival product here.

Each disc in the volume set contains data from part of the Saturn observation period. Saturn data collected using Recorder A appear first in the volume set, followed by data collected using Recorder B. Test and calibration data collected before the Saturn events are last. Within each of these three groupings, CCTs are in chronological order by start time of the original tape. A table of contents is included with each volume, listing each data file in the volume; a separate table of contents shows all files within the data set.

The primary data files are accompanied by a number of ancillary files. These include receiver frequency files in the CALIB directory, ephemerides and High-Gain Antenna (HGA) pointing files in the GEOMETRY directory, and documents and other descriptive material in the CATALOG and DOCUMENT directories. With the exception of the DOCUMENT directory, which appears in full on only the final volume, these ancillary directories and files are repeated on each volume.

The final volume contains the full document set describing the experiment. Because of many figures, it was impractical to include the full document collection on each data volume. The DOCUMENT directory on individual data volumes is limited to the Software Interface Specifications (SISs) which describe the binary data formats found on the volume.

Raw data from the Voyager 1 Saturn egress occultation have been archived as a separate data set.

Ancillary Data Information

Alternate Names

  • PDS Voyager Raw Data from Saturn
  • VG2-S-RSS-1-ROCC-V1.0


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres


  • 77-076A-02L

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Richard A. SimpsonGeneral ContactStanford
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