New Horizons Data at the PDS Ring-Moon Systems Node


Last updated: 12/24/2018

While all of the New Horizons data are available from the PDS Small Bodies Node (SBN), the Ring-Moon Systems Node maintains duplicate copies of all of the released LORRI and MVIC data.

  • Searches of both LORRI and MVIC data are supported in OPUS. The search parameter set for LORRI includes enhanced geometry parameters generated by the RMS Node.

For each mission phase prior to the Pluto encounter, for each instrument, the raw data is provided in a single volume NHaabb_1xxx, and the corresponding calibrated data is in a single volume, NHaabb_2xxx, where aa is the mission phase, bb is a two character instrument abbreviation, and xxx is the remainder of the volume number.

Mission phases are:

  • LA - Post Launch Cruise
  • JU - Jupiter Encounter
  • PC - Pluto Cruise
  • PE - Pluto Encounter

For the Pluto Encounter, because of the long transfer time from the spacecraft, data are being released incrementally. The spacecraft downloads are prioritized by content, not chronology. Consequently, subsequent releases may contain observations that preceded those in previous releases. As a result, the incremental data deliveries are not made as additional volumes (002,003,etc.). Instead, each new delivery is comprehensive and includes all previously delivered data products. Thus, for calibrated LORRI data from the Pluto encounter, the volume identifier for each release will be NHLOPE_2001. The easiest way to distinguish between multiple volumes is to check the value of the VOLUME_VERSION_ID keyword in the file found at the root level of the volume.


The metadata provided in the original INDEX.TAB files is very limited. We have produced a single, expanded index file covering each LORRI and MVIC volume.

In addition we have generated indices of enhanced geometric metadata for each calibrated LORRI and MVIC volume. The LORRI geometric metadata is incorporated into OPUS (Surface Geometry). We plan to incorporate the MVIC geometric metadata into OPUS in the near future.

  • All of the data, and the enhanced metadata can be accessed via Access Data.

Key Documents

The information contained in the SOC Instrument Interface Control Document (ICED), and in the documents submitted for publication in Space Science Reviews (SR) in 2007, is crucial to understanding the data in this archive. As such, the producers of this archive have included the best possible versions of these documents in the DOCUMENT sub-directory of each volume.

As a minimum, users of the LORRI data should review the following documents:

  • AAREADME. Provides an overview of the data set.
  • ICD. Contains general information and details of the LORRI instrument and data.
  • LORRI SR. The LORRI article submitted to Space Science Reviews.
  • LORRI Distortion. Provides additional information regarding the Distortion Model for LORRI (not included in the volumes).

For information on the geometry data included in the labels and metadata, see the

Ring Observation “Tour Guide”

Mark Showalter has assembled a table of all the LORRI Jupiter ring observations, including a brief description of the targeting and the science goals.

In addition to the Ring-Moon Systems Node, New Horizons information web pages are available from the

Observational geometry is available from the PDS NAIF Node:

Information on the spacecraft and its instruments is available from the New Horizons Mission Home page.

If you are unfamiliar with scientific image formats, consider taking Emily Lakdawalla’s free on-line course, Basics of Digital Imaging.