Online Access to the NSSDC/SPDF Satellite Situation Center (SSC) Software System

Volume 11, Number 1, March 1995
By Bob McGuire
A unique capability to cast Earth-orbiting spacecraft orbits against empirical models of the boundaries of various regions of geospace, and a variety of internal/external magnetic field models for field line tracing in the magnetosphere, is available online in the Satellite Situation Center system (jointly operated by the NASA/GSFC National Space Science Data Center and its sister organization, the Space Physics Data Facility).

The software supports:

The user-accessible system runs from the same database (some 33 spacecraft, with current and planned launches populated with predictive, as well as definitive data as available) that is used by the SSC operations staff and by the ISTP Science Planning and Operations Facility. The database and SSC system are one of several international capabilities that will be used in support of upcoming solar-terrestrial observational campaigns to be conducted under the auspices of the InterAgency Consultative Group (IACG). The database is frequently updated to include the latest orbital information on space physics missions of current interest.

Access to the system is possible via World Wide Web (at the URL or via the Space Physics Data System home page at or by direct "telnet" connection to the account "captive" at "". Note access via WWW is ultimately still via telnet/rlogin connection to the underlying system and user interface at the present time. Extensive online help is available; a postscript version of the current User's Guide (version 2.1) is available via anonymous ftp to in the subdirectory SSC/documentation/. A new release of the software with updated region and field definitions and extended functionality is expected in about two months.

The operational SSC facility also supports:

We encourage comments to the system functionality and usability from all interested users. Those may be sent as a direct option within the system or as electronic mail to the author (at the Internet address as most convenient.

Return to NSSDC News Table of Contents

NASA home page GSFC home page GSFC organizational page

Author:Miranda Beall
Curators: Erin Gardner and Miranda Beall
Responsible Official: Dr. Joseph H. King, Code 633
Last Revised: 04 Dec 1996 [EDG]