NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header



Availability: Archived at NSSDC, accessible from elsewhere


This description was generated automatically using input from the Planetary Data System.

Data Set Overview

This data set contains Level 2 (EDR; raw) approach and encounter images taken by the Stardust Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) targeting asteroid 5535 Annefrank. The encounter with 5535 Annefrank was planned as much as a rehearsal for the prime encounter with comet 81P/Wild 2, to test flight systems (e.g. auto-navigation; camera response) and ground systems (e.g. navigation team), as a science investigation of its own. The impetus for this data set delivery is to apply the updated NAVCAM calibration procedure, developed during the later Stardust-NExT extended mission, to the approach and encounter images of the target body. Therefore, the images in this data set are only a subset of all images taken during approach and encounter; calibration images, and early approach images in which the target body cannot be detected, have been intentionally excluded.

Data Collection Periods

For the complete list of images and their parameters, refer to the data set's index table, INDEX/INDEX.TAB. For additional notes on individual images also consult with the documents ``Log of Stardust NAVCAM Flight Images'', DOCUMENT/PIIMGLOG.LBL, and the detailed data set description, from earlier data sets containing these data, in CATALOG/OLD_DATASET_CAT.TXT. N.B. The NAVCAM data collection periods listed here have gaps between the stop time of one period and the start of the next; this is intentional and consistent with the NAVCAM data set in that no NAVCAM image data were taken between these periods. N.B. The NAVCAM data collection periods listed here overlap, but are defined differently than, the mission phases defined in the mission catalogs for this mission and for the extended mission (NExT). N.B. The periscope was not used for the Annefrank encounter; in the absence of any dust hazard, it was not necessary to keep the spacecraft oriented along the velocity vector, so Annefrank tracking utilized mirror angles from 17.7 to 111.3 degrees. The following sections list the NAVCAM data collection periods. Approach -- 2002-10-31 to 2002-11-01 -- Images 346-370 --------------------------------------------------Attempts to acquire Annefrank were made in the days before encounter, but a combination of large phase angle, image smear, pointing uncertainty and generally small chosen window sizes meant the asteroid was not detected in any of these windowed images. Encounter part 1 -- 2002-11-02 -- Images 371-407 ------------------------------------------Twenty-five minutes before the closest approach, images were acquired to attempt autotracking. A combination of dropping phase angle and range resulted in Annefrank appearing in the first image. Exposures of 65ms ensured the asteroid was well exposed; after the first few images only every third image was downlinked to Earth, fifteen in all from these observations. Of these, the first two or three were partially on the periscope, and three show a large amount of smear, but several are of scientific use. Autotracking was initiated shortly before reducing the exposure, and image 410 and all subsequent Annefrank images are well centered in their frames. Encounter part 2 -- 2002-11-02 -- Images 410-445 ---------------------------------------------Exposure times on Annefrank were reduced to 25 ms beginning with image 410 at a range of 5088 km and a phase angle of 113 degrees. Images beginning with #420 started to show saturation. This was predicted, but these images were being taken to test the autotracking rather than for scientific purposes, and autotrack works perfectly well with saturated images. The images soon reached 80% saturation, so images 420 through 445 are of limited scientific use. Every image was transmitted to the ground beginning with #426, a total of 26 images with 25 ms exposure. Twenty-two of these have some to nearly total saturation. Encounter part 3 -- 2002-11-02 -- Images 446-476 ---------------------------------------------Beginning with image #446, exposure time was reduced to 5 ms. In fact the characteristics of the shutter are such that alternate images are given exposures shorter by 1.5 ms than the set value, so in fact all even numbered images have an exposure of 3.5 ms and odd numbered ones 5 ms. It was intended that these images be of scientific as well as engineering use. If Annefrank had not been acquired by this time, there was little hope of acquiring it, so there was no need to saturate the images. The subsequent images (through image 476) taken at phase angles from 71.0 to 47.2 degrees constitute the best images for scientific use. During this period the range fell from 3133 km to 3078.5 km and increased back to 3162 km, so there is minimal change to scale.

Instrument and Data Calibrations

Calibration sources ------------------The calibration data for NAVCAM were derived from pre-launch and in-flight testing; the calibration analysis and pipeline development were done during the Stardust-NExT extended mission. Re-calibration of the 5535 Annefrank and 81P Wild 2 subsets of prime mission data was performed in 2013/2014, which resulted in this data set. The NAVCAM was specified as an engineering instrument for the prime mission to Wild 2. Its main purpose was for navigation, calibration was done on a best-efforts basis, and late hardware deliveries severely hampered those efforts. For Stardust-NExT, imaging was a key part of the science goals, and review of existing data plus extensive in-flight calibration was done to characterize NAVCAM performance [KLAASENETAL2011B]. This data set includes documents (see /DOCUMENT/DOCINFO.TXT), references to published papers, and calibration files (see /CALIB/CALINFO.TXT) detailing the calibration of the NAVCAM instrument. Data calibration process -----------------------Although calibration was not applied to the data in this EDR data set, this description is provided in both EDR and RDR data sets for completeness. The data calibration pipeline comprised several steps: masking pixels outside any windows; quality checks (saturation); decompression of compressed data; bias estimation and subtraction; dark-current estimation and subtraction; signal-to-noise ratio calculation; flat-fielding to remove stable pixel-to-pixel variations; calculation of DN rate; conversion to radiance. The data calibration process does not remove coherent noise (CNoise) or Fixed-Pattern Noise (FPN) from the images. See below for a brief description of these effects. N.B. Coherent Noise (CNoise) ---------------------------Coherent Noise is usually only visible in underexposed, uncompressed images when viewed using extreme contrast enhancement, and appears as stripes of noisy dark and light pixels. The CNoise variation is about +/-5DN in the raw images [KLAASENETAL2011B]. N.B. Fixed-Pattern Noise (FPN) -----------------------------Fixed-Pattern Noise (FPN) is usually only noticeable in images where the NAVCAM has been on for more than ten hours. The rise in FPN is accompanied by an associated rise in CCD temperature. It occurs independent of the contamination level of the camera. But a peculiar aspect of the FPN is that even after long power-on times with elevated CCD temperatures, the FPN does not show up in dark frames, only in those that have had the shutter open to admit some level of external photons (even if only a low-level scattered light background). Investigation of the FPN during NExT showed that the FPN level also depends on the amount of background scattered light in an image. The Wild 2 approach images had scattered light levels of <100 DN and raw FPN amplitudes of 6-20 DN rms. But during the NExT approach to Tempel 1, much higher levels of scattered light were encountered, and the FPN amplitude increased to 25-45 DN rms even when the camera had been powered on for only a short time and the CCD temperature remained low. The FPN can be largely eliminated by successive frame differencing when identical frame pairs are acquired. No evidence of FPN is found in the Tempel 1 close encounter images, which were acquired using data compression, at short power-on time, and with minimal scattered light. No attempts to correct for FPN are included in the NAVCAM processing pipeline [KLAASENETAL2011B].

Data Product Type and Format Overview

NAVCAM data files provided in this archive are divided by activity (approach; encounter). The images in this data set are in FITS format with detached PDS labels. The Primary Data Unit (PDU) of each image file in this data set is a two-dimensional array of brightnesses as measured by the array of pixels in the NAVCAM CCD, and as viewed through the NAVCAM optics. The brightnesses in the PDU are the raw Data Numbers (DNs) from the NAVCAM Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) as it read the voltages in the CCD pixels. In some cases these DN data have been compressed via lookup table; see CALIB/NC_COMPR.LBL. Note that, to save on limited downlink at the time some image observations were made, only rectangular window subsets of the the full-frame of pixels were telemetered to Earth. This can be identified by WINDOW objects in PDS labels, and by the appearance of the image as gray/white rectangle against a rectangles against a black background in the BROWSE/ images. Note that BLS pixels are not avalable in these windowed images, which affects their calibration. Refer to the documentation and the calibration paper [KLAASENETAL2011B] for more detail about the effect windowing has on data calibration. The Extension Data Unit (EDU) of raw data contain the BaseLine Stabilization (BLS) pixels. Refer to the data labels and the calibration documentation for more details about the EDUs. Additional image-synoptic data such as CCD temperature, geometry and windowing parameters are stored in the image labels. In cases where only windows of the detector were stored and downlinked, the program filled the pixels in the image corresponding to the areas for which data had not been downlinked with raw zeroes. In such images WINDOW OBJECTs define the areas containing non-null data.


The primary parameters in this data set are brightness images, two-dimensional arrays of brightnesses corresponding to the pixels in the NAVCAM CCD, and as viewed through the NAVCAM optics. The brightnesses are the raw Data Number (DN) values from the CCD.

Data Processing

The images in this data set were initially assembled at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from raw telemetry packets sent down by the spacecraft; attached preliminary PDS labels were populated with housekeeping values and computed geometry parameters from SPICE kernels. The JPL image files were then converted to FITS format.

Ancillary Data

The geometry items included in the image PDS labels were computed using the SPICE kernels archived in the Stardust SPICE data set, SDU-C-SPICE-6-V1.0 [SEMENOVETAL2004B]; refer to that data set for details. Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMS) provided image command logs, which were needed to calibrate the data; see /CALIB/CALINFO.TXT for details.

Reference Frames

The geometry items provided in the files are relative to the J2000 reference frame. Refer to the description of the geometry table columns in /INDEX/INDEX.TAB to see which parameters are defined in which frame. Epoch of Geometric Parameters: All geometric parameters provided in each image PDS label were computed at the epoch specified in the start time for that label.


The images in this data set conform to the FITS standard, and have standard PDS image labels. They can be viewed by a number of PDS-provided and/or open-source and/or commercial programs. For this reason no data-set-specific software is provided with this data set.

Contact Information

For any questions regarding this archive, contact the Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node.

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

Alternate Names



  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information



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



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Ray L. Newburn, Jr.Data ProviderNASA Jet Propulsion
Dr. Brian CarcichGeneral ContactCornell
[] NASA Logo -