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New SunSPICE package for solar mission ephemerides

This page describes a change in the STEREO branch of SolarSoft that users may need to be aware of, particularly Windows users.

The STEREO mission uses a particular kind of ephemeris file known as SPICE for the orbit and attitude information, and there are routines in the SolarSoft "$SSW/stereo/gen" tree for handling the files. The upcoming Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus missions will also use the SPICE ephemeris system, so the STEREO software for handling SPICE files has been migrated to a separate package called "SunSPICE". This is explained in this document.

People using Linux or Mac OS X, and who have either the SECCHI or SSC trees installed, should pick up this new package automatically when they update SolarSoft. The package can also be installed through the following command:

IDL> ssw_upgrade, /sunspice, /passive_ftp, /spawn

However, Windows users may need to take an additional step. Many people on Windows machines keep their version of SolarSoft up-to-date through the file $SSW/site/setup/Daily.bat, either by manually clicking on it, or automatically through the Windows Task Scheduler (accessing in Windows 10). Users who use this mechanism should edit the file $SSW/site/setup/ssw_install.pkg and include something like the following:

package=_solarsoft_packages_sunspice
   comment=ssw_upgrade__solarsoft_packages_sunspice
   site=sohoftp.nascom.nasa.gov
   remote_user=anonymous
   remote_password=
   remote_dir=/solarsoft/packages/sunspice/
   local_dir=C:\ssw\packages\sunspice
   mode_copy=true
   passive_ftp=true
   use_timelocal=false
   max_delete_files=99%
   max_delete_dirs=99%
   update_log=C:\ssw\site\logs\ssw_upgrade__packages_sunspice.log
   compress_patt=
   force_times=yes
   exclude_patt=[:\?]
#

You may need to edit the "local_dir" line to reflect the correct location on your machine. (I'm told that if this the last package in the file, it needs to be entered twice to make sure it's properly run.) Once this file has been edited, running Daily.bat will install the latest version of SunSPICE.

Once the SunSPICE package has been installed, users who have either "secchi" or "ssc" in their SSW_INSTR list will also pick up the SunSPICE package automatically. The package can also be loaded by including "sunspice" in the SSW_INSTR list.

As of 7 November 2016, the STEREO SPICE software calls SunSPICE to do the actual work. The duplicate SPICE/Icy binaries have been removed.


Last Revised: Monday, 07-Nov-2016 21:21:05 UTC
Responsible NASA Official: [email address: Therese.A.Kucera<at>nasa<dot>gov]
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