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Apollo 16 ALSEP ARCSAV Level 0 Raw Binary Digital Files

NSSDCA ID: PSPG-00915

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

Time span: 1975-04-02 to 1975-06-30

Description

This collection consists of digital binary files of unprocessed raw Level 0 data collected by the Apollo 16 Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP) from 2 April 1975 through 30 June 1975 for the Passive Seismic Experiment (PSE) and Lunar Surface Magnetometer (LSM). These data were extracted 'as read' from 7-track ALSEP ARCSAV (telemetry) tapes that were recovered from the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) in 2010 [1]. Each tape contains 24-hour, time-edited, raw data (not decommutated) from instruments for the ALSEP station deployed near the Apollo 16 landing site. The NASA Johnson Space Center recorded approximately 5000 ALSEP ARCSAV tapes from April 1973 to February 1975 for Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 but so far only 439 of them containing data from April through June 1975 have been found at the WNRC [2].

Data recovery companies John Bordynuik Inc. (JBI) and DataBank Data Services (DBDS) were contracted in 2013-2016 to read and extract one binary file 'as is' [3] from each daily ARCSAV tape. Since each company uses a different file format for output, data extracted by DBDS are available in the JBI format so that users need work with only that format. Users should refer to the 'ARCSAV Tape Description Document' [3], which describes the bit organization for extracting the data from the digital files for the ALSEP experiment of interest, in conjunction with the 'Apollo Scientific Experiments Data Handbook' [4] and the 'Description of ARCSAV files as produced by JBI, DBDS and KDM' [5] that explains the differences between the JBI and DBDS file formats. A cross-reference of ARCSAV tapes to the binary data files in this collection is available as document 'ARCSAV Tape versus File Names' [6]. Users should also refer to the 'ALSEP Termination Report' [7] which describes the ALSEP experiments for Apollo 11 through Apollo 17 and gives pertinent operational history for each experiment.

The computer programs and supplemental inputs used to extract data from the ARCSAV Tape files and produce the binary data in this collection are available in this selected reference by Nakamura (2020): https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b56521.pdf

References:

[1] Nagihara, S. et al., Availability Of Previously Unprocessed ALSEP Raw Instrument Data and Derivative Data and Metadata Products, 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held March 21-25, 2016 at The Woodlands, Texas, Lunar and Planetary Institute Contribution No. 1904, p. 1194, Mar. 2016. (https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2016/pdf/1194.pdf )

[2] Nagihara, S., et al., Search and Recovery Efforts for the ALSEP Data Tapes, 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held March 7-11, 2011 at The Woodlands, Texas, Lunar and Planetary Institute Contribution No. 1608, p. 1103, Mar. 2011. (https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2011/pdf/1103.pdf )

[3] Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package Archive Tape Description Document, JSC-09652, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, USA, May 1975. (https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/42 ; also available as NSSDCA document B56514-000A, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b56514.pdf )

[4] Lauderdale, W. W., and W. F. Eichelman, Apollo Scientific Experiments Data Handbook, NASA Technical Memorandum, NASA-TM-X-58131, JSC-09166, Houston, Tex., Aug. 1974, updated Aug. 1976. (https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/17 or https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19760007062.pdf ; also available as NSSDCA document B22807-000A, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b22807.pdf )

[5] Nakamura, Y., Description of Apollo ARCSAV tape files as produced by JBI, DBDS and KDM, with Addendum, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 29 Nov. 2016, updated Dec. 2016 and Oct. 2017. (NSSDCA document B56515-000A, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b56515.pdf )

[6] Nakamura, Y., ARCSAV Tape versus File Names, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Apr. 2017. (NSSDCA document B56516-000A, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b56516.pdf )

[7] Bates, J. R., et al., ALSEP Termination Report, NASA Reference Publication, NASA-RP-1036, Houston, Tex., Apr. 1979. (https://repository.hou.usra.edu/handle/20.500.11753/16 or https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19790014808.pdf ; also available as NSSDCA document B32116-000A, https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/misc/documents/b32116.pdf )

Disciplines

  • Planetary Science: Fields and Particles
  • Planetary Science: Geology and Geophysics

Additional Information

Spacecraft

Experiments

Questions and comments about this data collection can be directed to: Ms. Stephanie A. McLaughlin

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Yosio NakamuraGeneral ContactUniversity of Texas, Austinyosio@utig.ig.utexas.edu

Selected References

  • Lauderdale, W. W., and W. F. Eichelman, Apollo scientific experiments data handbook, NASA, TM-X-58131, Houston, Tex., Aug. 1974, updated Aug. 1976.
  • Bates, J. R., et al., ALSEP termination report, NASA, RP-1036, Wash., DC, Apr. 1979.
  • Nakamura, Y., Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package Archive Tape Description Document (ARCSAV), NASA Johnson Space Center, JSC-09652, Houston, TX, May 1975.
  • Nakamura, Y., Description of Apollo ARCSAV tape files as produced by JBI, DBDS and KDM, with Addendum, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 29 Nov. 2016, updated Dec. 2016 and Oct. 2017.
  • Nakamura, Y., Index of Apollo ARCSAV Tape Versus File Names, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, Apr. 2017.
  • Nakamura, Y., Apollo ARCSAV Level 0 (Raw Binary) File Processing Programs and Supplementary Input Files, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, Apr. 2020.
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