Solar System Workings 2016

Last updated: 8/1/2016, through Amendment 19.

Critical Dates

    Step 1 due date:                 11/17/2016

    Step 2 due date:                   2/23/2017

    Data Availability date:         1/24/2017


The Solar System Workings (SSW) program is described in Appendix C.3 and Amendment 1 of the ROSES 2016 NRA. The full document can be accessed under Solicitations at the NSPIRES web site.

This is a very wide ranging call. While we provide a brief synopsis here, proposers must refer to the call for specifics.

The Solar System Workings program solicits proposals for innovative scientific research related to understanding the atmospheric, climatological, dynamical, geologic, physical, and chemical processes occurring within the Solar System. This program is open to investigations relevant to surfaces and interiors of planetary bodies, planetary atmospheres, rings, orbital dynamics, and exospheres and magnetospheres. The Solar System Workings program values the potential of interdisciplinary efforts to solve key scientific questions. The program also values research in comparative planetology. Research supported by this call may include data synthesis, laboratory studies that examine physical or chemical properties and processes, studies of sample or analog materials of other Solar System bodies, field studies of terrestrial analogs of planetary environments, or theoretical and numerical modeling of physical or chemical processes.

This program seeks to understand processes that occur throughout the Solar System, as well as those specific to individual objects and systems, but inform our understanding of the fundamental processes at work. A nonexhaustive list of areas of research called for in this solicitation follows. For conciseness in this list, the term "planetary" refers to Solar System objects other than the Sun (ranging in size from small objects, like comets and asteroids, through natural satellites, and up to planets) and structures (such as atmospheres, ionospheres, and ring systems).

Data Sources

The specific data availability and restrictions given for the 2016 SSW are given in Sections C.3 and C.1 of ROSES 2016:

    "Mission Data Analysis. NASA solicits proposals that use, analyze, and/or enhance the scientific return of certain planetary missions through its data analysis programs (DAPs), listed below. Solar System Workings does not accept proposals that are eligible for submission to a DAP. The DAP solicitations should be consulted prior to the submission of any proposal that uses planetary mission data."

    "For proposals that contain mission data analysis, planetary spacecraft mission data to be used in proposed investigations must be available in the Planetary Data System (PDS) or equivalent publicly accessible archive at least 30 days prior to the proposal submission date."

    "Regardless of the archive(s) used, if the data to be analyzed have issues that might represent an obstacle to analysis, the proposers must demonstrate clearly and satisfactorily how such potential difficulties will be overcome."

For volumes at the Ring-Moon Systems Node which meet the SSW basic eligibility requirements for publicly available timing (based on the Step 2 Proposal due date), see the Data Status tab.

The Ring-Moon Systems Node generates HST "volumes" which do not contain data. They point to data maintained at STScI. These volumes identify HST data, in the public domain, which contain observations of one or more outer planet system(s) (Jupiter through Pluto), and are used to support our search tool, OPUS.

Finding SSW Relevant Data within the PDS

Data at the Ring-Moon Systems Node.
  • Search for data
  • OPUS, our Outer Planets Unified Search tool, allows users to search for and obtain subsets of data based on a wide range of constraints. OPUS supports Cassini CIRS, ISS, UVIS and VIMS data, New Horizons Jupiter LORRI data, Galileo SSI data, Voyager ISS data, HST ACS, WFPC2 and WFC3 data. The results returned include preview products and tables of metadata.

  • Browse our Data Directories
  • Download entire volumes as tar.gz files.
  • Use our Mission Information Pages
  • Our mission information pages provide overviews of data sets and instruments along with links to detailed descriptions of the instruments and to the data and to Ring-Moon Systems Node generated browse images and footprint diagrams.

    • New Horizons . Our New Horizon page provides access to the full set of LORRI Jupiter data and SPICE files, browse images for the LORRI data, and links to the full New Horizons Jupiter data collection at the Small Bodies Node.
    • Galileo. Our Galileo page supports the Solid State Imager (SSI) and the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS).
    • Voyager. Our Voyager pages support ISS including new data sets of uncompressed, calibrated and geometrically corrected images, IRIS, and occultation data from PPS, UVS, and RSS. These pages also provide access to the Voyager SPICE kernels generated at the Ring-Moon Systems Node.
    • HST. Our HST page describes our HST holdings including the volumes in our "HST Observations of the Outer Planets" project which provide references to HST observations made with either the ACS, WFC3, or WFPC2 that included an outer planet system. The volumes are updated periodically.
    • Uranus Ring Plane Crossing . While publicly available URPX observations obtained under Planetary Astronomy Program are covered by this NRA, we do not currently have any such data. If eligible URPX data becomes available at the Ring's Node prior to the proposal deadline, this page will reflect it.
  • The PDS NAIF Node and observation geometry.
  • SPICE data and software may be obtained from the NAIF web site.SPICE data files contain spacecraft and solar system geometry data necessary to interpret scientific observations from space-based instruments. The SPICE system also includes a large suite of software, mostly in the form of subroutines, that users incorporate in their own application programs to read SPICE files and to compute derived observation geometry, such as altitude, latitude/longitude, and lighting angles.

Archive Planning

    Selected investigations may result in data products that are of broad use to the science community, including maps, data with improved calibrations, etc. NASA strongly encourages that such data products be archived in the Planetary Data System (//, or equivalent public archive, by the end of the award period. Proposers are advised to read C.1, The Planetary Science Division Research Program Overview, for information on including an archiving plan in the proposal.

    • Requirements for depositing derived data products in the Planetary Data System have been revised to require that all products be PDS4 conformant.
    • On July 26, 2016 a change was made to the wording in section C.1 of ROSES 2016 which affects SSW proposals: "Proposers intending to archive data or products in the PDS must obtain and include confirmation, in the form of a letter of support from the appropriate Discipline Node, that the PDS is willing to accept their submission."
    • Proposals submitted to ROSES-2016 are required to include a data management plan (DMP), unless explicitly noted by the specific program element.
      • Guidelines for preparing PDS4 compliant submissions to the Planetary Data System are available at Archiving under PDS4.

    Additional links within PDS

    • Links to ROSES support pages at the other PDS Nodes can be found at the PDS Engineering Node's ROSES support page.
    • For PDS wide search, start with the PDS wide search engine. This search capability is limited, but initial results include links to relevant and much more powerful discipline node search engines.