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Mars Pathfinder Lander Raw Image EDR's on CD-ROM (PDS)


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

Time span: 1996-12-16 to 1997-09-27


This data set contains all 16,661 raw images (also known as Experiment Data Records, or EDR's) taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera on the Mars Pathfinder Lander, contained on 3 CD-ROM volumes. There is also ancillary information, attached PDS labels, documentation on the image parameters, camera, and mission, and index and a gazetteer. A hypertext image browser is included on the volumes to give a simple search and quick-look capability. The image EDR's were transmitted with various compressions, some lossy, and this is reflected in the image quality. The EDR's have been decoded and decompressed in single frame form, but not calibrated or radiometrically corrected. The images taken by the rover camera are not included on these volumes.

Of the 16,661 images collected by the lander camera, 3774 were for a series of panoramas of the landscape, which differed in terms of the coverage and compression of the data, the number of filters used, and whether they were monoscopic or stereo. Other images were taken for scientific studies: 4832 atmospheric images were taken of the Sun and sky, 1136 astronomical images of Phobos, Deimos, and stars, 1812 of the windsocks, 992 of the APXS sites (multispectral spots and slices), 665 of the magnet targets, and 585 for the super-resolution frames. Additionally 1479 images were taken for rover support, 567 for radiometric calibration, 321 photometric spots, and 252 for other purposes such as searching for dust devils and change monitering. Finally 220 surface images and 26 cruise frames came out dark. Not all the images are complete: 16191 images have 100% coverage, the other 470 are missing portions. All the lander images are included on the CD-ROMs.

This CD-ROM has been formatted according to the ISO-9660 level 1 Interchange Standard so that a variety of computer systems (e.g., PC, Macintosh, and Sun) may access the data. The Mars Pathfinder IMP EDR images on this set of CD-ROMs are uncompressed, 16-bit files, labelled in conformance with PDS standards. Each image file is stored with a fixed length record format. There is an attached PDS label at the beginning of each image file that describes the content and format of the image. The PDS provides software for displaying PDS format images on a variety of computer platforms. The application program for image display is called NASAView, which has versions for SUN, Macintosh, and PC platforms. For some computer platforms, there is a NASAView version that will work as a Web Browser helper application. Since the IMP data is 16-bit, some earlier versions of NASAView may not be able to display it. Versions 1.1.2 and later have been tested and are able to display this data. NASAView is not included on the CD-ROMs. It is the intention of PDS to distribute NASAView through its World Wide Web and FTP sites. The address for the PDS NASAView web site is:

These CD's can be ordered through the NSSDC CD-ROM catalog at:

These data are also available online at:


Some users, particularly on Macintosh platforms, may have difficulty viewing some of the html pages on these CD's. The pages will cause Netscape Communicator 4.04 to crash. It is suggested that Netscape 3.01 be used, in which the pages load slowly, but are viewable.

Some of the image labels on the CD-ROMs have errors, a list of the affected images is available at:

Alternate Names

  • PDS Mars Pathfinder Raw Images
  • MPFL-M-IMP-2-EDR-V1.0


  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics


  • 96-068A-01A

Additional Information



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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Ms. Susan K. LaVoieData ProviderNASA Jet Propulsion
Mr. Allan J. RunkleGeneral ContactNASA Jet Propulsion
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