PDS Node Descriptions

The Planetary Data System is organized as a federation of a Project Management Team and eight nodes, briefly described below. Links to the home pages of the publicly facing nodes are provided by clicking on the node name; these home pages provide more detail about the node's makeup, holdings and services. They also provide information for peer reviewers of data sets that are staged for ingestion into the PDS archives.

Atmospheres Node The Planetary Atmospheres Node (ATM) is responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of all non-imaging atmospheric data from NASA's planetary missions, including higher-order products derived from those data. In addition to providing user consultation, the node makes available a number of tools and services supporting researchers.
Geosciences Node The Geosciences Node (GEO) is responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of data sets that are relevant to the geosciences discipline: the study of the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies. Derived image data, geophysics data, microwave data, spaceborne thermal data and spectroscopy data obtained from NASA's planetary science missions are archived at the Geosciences node or at one of its data nodes, along with related data from laboratory and field studies. In addition to providing user consultation, the node makes available a number of tools and services supporting researchers.
Cartography and Imaging Sciences Node The Cartography and Imaging Sciences Node (CIS), also known as the "Imaging Node" or "IMG", is responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of NASA's primary digital image collections from missions to the inner and outer Solar System planetary systems (planets, rings and moons, including icy satellites). Imaging provides the archives, ancillary data, sophisticated data search and retrieval tools, and cartographic and imaging science expertise necessary to develop and fully utilize the vast collection. Node expertise includes orbital and landed camera instrument development and data processing, data engineering and inforatics, planetary remote sensing at UV to RADAR wavelengths, and cartographic and geospatial data analysis and product development.
Planetary Plasma Interactions Node The Planetary Plasma Interactions Node (PPI) is responsible for acquisition, preservation, and distribution of fields and particle data from NASA's planetary science missions. In addition to providing user consultation, the node makes available a number of tools and services supporting researchers.
Ring-Moon Systems Node The Planetary Ring-Room Systems Node (RMS) is responsible for the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of data sets relevant to outer planetary systems containing planetary rings and/or moons, including the ways the rings and moons interact. Remote sensing data (images, imaging spectrometer data, and occulations) for systems beyond the asteroid belt (that is, Jupiter through Pluto) are archived at the RMS node. The Ring-Moon Systems Node also performs a variety of services to support research into these data sets. These services include OPUS, a comprehensive search tool for outer planet systems, various tools for planning and analyzing observations, and coordinating special observing campaigns.
Small Bodies Node The Small Bodies Node (SBN) is responsible for the archiving and distribution of planetary science data relevant to research of objects generally described as comets, asteroids, and interplanetary dust including dwarf planets, objects in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud, Centaurs, and small planetary satellites. Included are mission, ground-based, and laboratory data. In addition to providing user consultation, the node, acting through its comet (University of Maryland College Park), asteroid and dust (Planetary Science Institute, Tucson AZ) sub-nodes, makes available a number of tools and services supporting researchers and observers. The SBN oversees the Minor Planet Center (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge MA), a data center, in the execution of its special tasks mandated by the International Astronomical Union, including the categorization and designation of small bodies.
Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility Node The Navigation and Ancillary Information Support Node (NAIF) is responsible for design and implementation of the SPICE system - a means for computing observation geometry used in mission design, mission evaluation, observation planning and science data analysis. NAIF also services as the PDS' "ancillary data node," with responsibility for the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of SPICE kernel files produced by those NASA planetary science missions that choose to use SPICE. NAIF provides SPICE users the NAIF Toolkit Software, needed for computing observation geometry parameters from SPICE data.
Engineering Support Node The Engineering Node provides systems engineering support to the entire PDS, handling global aspects such as standards (data, software, documentation, operating procedures), technology investigations, coordination and development of system-wide software, coordination of data ordering and distribution, catalog development and implementation, and maintenance of the PDS catalogs.
PDS Project Management The PDS Project Management group provides operational oversight for all the nodes, including telecons, meetings, establishment of focus groups and a variety of interactions with NASA's Planetary Science Division management. It also provides a "home base" for the Project Scientist function.