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MRO Mars Climate Sounder Level 4 RDR V1.0 (PDS)


Availability: Archived at NSSDC, accessible from elsewhere


This data set consists of tables and supporting documentation from the final analysis of the Reduced Data Record (RDR) and details how the RDR data set was derived from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) Experimental Data Records (EDR).

MCS is an atmospheric sounder that makes one measurement every 2.048 seconds, containing science, engineering and housekeeping data, whenever the instrument is powered on. The instrument operates in a single data-taking mode and observational flexibility is provided by actuators that allow telescope boresights to be directed over a range of 270 degrees in azimuth and elevation.

Each instrument packet contains one measurement. The MCS RDR contains time-ordered, calibrated data for the entire MCS mission, starting with the initial instrument power-on in the MRO mapping orbit at 16:00 UT on 24th September 2006. The data are organized by UTC in monthly archive volumes, with 6 four-hour ASCII tables per day accompanied by detached headers. Each table row contains one measurement, and each column contains one calibrated science, engineering or housekeeping parameter.

The MCS RDR contains all the packets received by the MCS science team. Gaps in the data set are only evident from discontinuities in the timing of table rows (see Data Coverage and Quality section). Some, sub-commutated, raw housekeeping data are not available every 2.048 seconds. For convenience these are presented in the same table format with -9999 indicating time slots where data are not taken. Geometry information is not provided for soundings when the instrument is slewing and a value of -9999 is used in all geometry fields.

The MCS software collects 192 sixteen-bit science measurements from the focal plane interface electronics every 2.048 seconds, along with associated instrument engineering and housekeeping measurements. The science and housekeeping data are organized into data packets that are transmitted to the spacecraft at the same 2.048-second spacing. The data packets are downlinked to the MRO Ground Data System (GDS) and placed into the Raw Science Data Server (RSDS). MCS software queries the data from the RSDS and assembles them into EDR data tables, each covering a 4 hour time period. The data in the EDR tables are then calibrated to produce the RDR tables.

Each MCS RDR data table will be approximately 24MB for each 4 hour time period; the volume of the RDR data product will be approximately 144 MB per day; 4.3 GB per month.

These data are available on-line from the Planetary Data System (PDS) at: in the subdirectories MROM_1XXX.

Alternate Names

  • MRO-M-MCS-4-RDR-V1.0


  • Planetary Science: Atmospheres

Additional Information



Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Daniel J. McCleeseData ProviderNASA Jet Propulsion
Dr. Lyle F. HuberGeneral ContactNew Mexico State
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