The Planetary Data System—An Accumulating Archive developed by Scientists for Scientists
Abstract:Since 1986 the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) has archived, curated, and distributed digital data from NASA’s planetary missions. The goals of the PDS are both to provide the planetary science community convenient access to data from NASA’s missions- and to curate, maintain, and provide a permanent archive for mission data sets so that scientists will be able to access these data, including meta data, in the future. The PDS contains data from almost 60 years of NASA missions to our planetary system. The PDS is a distributed system, with nodes that are archive data centers for specific discipline areas (from planetary geology to space physics). The PDS also provides engineering support to the entire PDS through the Engineering Node.
In order to adequately capture complete mission data sets into the PDS containing not only raw and reduced instrument data, but also calibration and documentation and geometry data required to interpret and use these data sets both singly and together, we (PDS) work with NASA Flight Programs and missions from the initial Announcement of Opportunity to the end of mission to define, organize, and document the data for the archive. This process includes peer-review of data sets by members of the science community to ensure that the data sets are scientifically useful, effectively organized, and well documented (and searchable). The PDS works to make the data in our accumulating archives easily searchable so that members of the science community can both query the archive to find data relevant to specific scientific investigations and easily retrieve the data for analysis. In order to ensure long-term preservation of data and make data sets more easily searchable with the new capabilities in Information Technology becoming available (and as existing technologies become obsolete), the PDS has developed and deployed a new data archiving system, known as PDS4, released in 2013. The LADEE, MAVEN, OSIRIS REx, InSight, and Mars2020 missions are using this new system. The PDS is actively working to develop tools to aid data providers and users. The PDS is also incorporating challenge-based competitions to rapidly and economically develop new tools for both users and data providers.