ISTP Data Flow into NSSDC

Volume 15, Number 4, December 1999

By Ramona Kessel

Data from the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) satellites continue to flow into NSSDC. These are best accessed through CDAWeb (, which is a data display and download system. The total data available on CDAWeb amounts to about 115 GBytes. Each month, about 5 GBytes of new data are added.

There are over 120 distinct data sets that make up the ISTP era data. Since September 1992 the Geotail satellite has been contributing approximately 1 min resolution key parameters that now amount to about 6 GBytes of data. Since that same time 1 min key parameter data from the Interplanetary Monitoring Platform (IMP) 8, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and Department of Energy (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) geostationary satellites, and from the Canadian Auroral Network for the Open Program Unified Study (CANOPUS), Dual Auroral Radar Network (DARN), Severe Environmental Storms and Mesoscale Experiment (SESAME), and Sondestromfjord ground-based stations have been ingested. In late 1994 the NASA Wind satellite and in early 1996 the NASA Polar satellite began submitting key parameter data. Polar data represent the largest volume on CDAWeb (approximated at 75 GBytes) due mainly to the ultraviolet and visible imagers. Most of the key parameter data are now citable with caution, that is, a check with the principal investigator in cases of anomalies. A number of instruments have begun submitting higher resolution definitive data products and/or event data.

In collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Equator-S satellites have contributed data. SOHO data begin in 1996 and are ongoing; Equator-S data exist for six months in 1998. The Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) is participating through the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) with Interball Tail (starting in 1995) and Interball Aurora (starting in 1996). In addition other missions have rounded out the ISTP era data including the Solar Anomalous Magnetospheric Particle EXplorer (SAMPEX, starting in 1992), the Fast Auroral Snap Shot Explorer (FAST, starting in 1996), and the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE, starting in 1997). The FAST data are at 5 sec resolution and currently account for about 16 GBytes on CDAWeb.

The objective of ISTP is to promote further understanding of the Earth's complex plasma environment and the Sun-Earth connection. The underlying data standard of the Common Data Format (CDF) using the ISTP/IACG Guidelines has allowed effective data sharing particularly through the CDAWeb system. The data standard and the growing amount of data available in this standard contribute to the success of the overall ISTP program. With the data available in CDAWeb, the ISTP objective is beginning to be met.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curator:Lori Persichitti
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 15 MARCH 2000 [LAP]