SPyCAT Provides Access to NSSDC/SPDF Near-Line Data

Volume 11, Number 4, December 1995
By Emily Greene, Karen Horrocks, Robert Candey, Ramona Kessel, Robert McGuire, and Joseph King

The NASA/GSFC National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) and Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) have developed a new World Wide Web (WWW)-based interface to facilitate electronic retrieval of a wide range of NSSDC-held space physics data including the newly-released International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program Key Parameters (KPs) described in this issue in "Public Release of ISTP Key Parameter Data Begins." This new interface, termed the Space Physics Catalog or SPyCAT, supports access to data held "near-line" in the NASA/NSSDC Data Archive and Distribution Service (NDADS) from space physics missions that now include the following:

The SPyCAT interface may be found at the WWW URL http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/ndads/spycat.html.

The SPyCAT interface operates in several steps from an initial user specification of the mission, data set, and a range of times of interest to a detailed inventory of the specific data files available from NDADS to the user's request to NDADS for data. As a near-line system NDADS then processes data requests in a "batch" mode to stage requested files to an anonymous FTP area. At the user's discretion and with appropriate account information, NDADS can also place the data on the user's machine. NDADS sends E-mail notification when files have been staged. All data may also be requested from NDADS via its Automated Retrieval [by Electronic] Mail System (ARMS).

While SPyCAT and the underlying NDADS system are fully operational, a series of hardware and software upgrades are in progress to improve system response times. During its early period users may find variable response times depending on the system and network load.

Questions and comments about the SPyCAT interface may be directed to Dr. Emily Greene at (301) 441-4234 or at emily@ncf.gsfc.nasa.gov or through Dr. Robert McGuire at (301) 286-7794 or at mcguire@ncf.gsfc.nasa.gov. Questions about space physics data, NDADS, and other services of NSSDC may be directed to any of the authors above or to the NSSDC Coordinated Request and User Support Office (CRUSO) at (301) 286-6695, at request@ncf.gsfc.nasa.gov, or at FAX number (301) 286-1771.

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Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 21 Nov 1996 [EDG]