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Ulysses HISCALE Data Analysis Handbook


Chapter 2: HISCALE Data File Descritions and Overview


Chapter 2.2: Experiment Data Record



This section contains a description of JPL SIS of extracted HISCALE data packets. Preparation has been done by HISCALE data system flight software, and build up is from Ulysses telemetry by JPL data records system. The document is read by ARCGEN and processed into .RAT and .PHA records.


Interface Medium Characteristics


The ISPM experiment data tapes were originally magnetic tapes written at 9-track, 1600 bpi with odd parity, but now they are being replaced by CD-ROMs starting with the September 1991 issue.

The following sections describe the format and content of the Ulysses CD-ROM.




CD-ROM data shall be formatted in accordance with ISO and CCSDS specifications.


Disc Format. The Ulysses CD-ROM format shall be compatible with various computer systems including IBM PC, Macintosh, Sun, and the VAX. The Ulysses CD-ROM format shall be in accordance with ISO 9660 level 1 Interchange Standard, with file attributes specified by Extended Attribute Records (XARs) (logical blocks of 512 bytes), to provide a file system of directories, sub-directories, and data files. Computer systems that do not support XARs will either ignore them or append them to the beginning of the file. In the latter case, the user must ignore the first 512 bytes of each file.


File Formats. The following paragraphs describe file formats for the various kinds of files contained on CD-ROMs.


  • ASCII Files: ASCII files (TXT suffix) contain lines terminated by a carriage return character and a line feed character (ASCII 10). This allows the files to be read by most operating systems.
  • PDS Files: Tabular files (.TAB suffix) exist in the index directory. Tabular files are ASCII files formatted for direct reading into many database management systems on various computers. PDS label files (.LBL suffix) are descriptive labels for other files.
  • Experiment Data Records (EDR) Files: Experiment Data Records (EDR) files are created from spacecraft telemetry and ground monitor data provided by the “front end” processor called the Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS). All nine EDRs will be present on each CD-ROM, each file containing one month of EDR data.
  • Common Data File (CDF) Files: Common Data File (CDF) files are created from spacecraft telemetry data using EDRs as the source. These are two types of files. One contains CDF data from the Bame, Gloeckler-Geiss, Keppler, Lanzerotti, Simpson, and Stone experiments and the other contains CDF data from the Hedgecock experiment. Each file contains data for one calendar month.
  • Supplementary Experiment Data Record (SEDR) Files: Supplementary Experiment Data Record files are derived from two sources: navigational parameters and spacecraft spin axis orientation information. There are two files: one contains floating point values and the other fixed point (IBM architecture). Each file contains data for one calendar month.
  • Quality, Quantity, Continuity (QQC) Files: The Quality, Quantity, Continuity file contains quality, size, and coverage period information for the raw data from which the EDRs were created. For each data gap longer than three minutes, the reason that the data could not be recovered is given.
  • Spacecraft Event Time/Spacecraft Clock count (SCET/SCLK) File: This file contains the coefficients that allow the calculation of Spacecraft Event Time given by the spacecraft clock.
  • Command History File (CMDH): This file contains a list of the commands transmitted and aborted for the given month, along with the transmit and on-board times and the OWLT.
  • Monitor File: TBS
  • One Way Light Time File (OWLT): TBS




The set of Ulysses CD-ROMs contains all EDR, SEDR, CDR, and auxiliary files, including QQC, OWLT, Command History, Monitor, and SCET/SCLK files. A month of data sets is contained on each CD-ROM. The following paragraphs describe the content of the CD-ROMs.


Directories. The Ulysses CD-ROM directory structure consists of one root directory, an index subdirectory, a software subdirectory, and a document subdirectory. Files in the root directory provide data files, a volume label, and text describing the Ulysses CD-ROMs. Files in the index directory describe the contents of the data products on that CD and all previously produced CDs. Files in the document directory describe data products. The following tables describe the content and source of files in the Ulysses CD-ROM directories.



Table 2.1 Files in the Root Directory for ULS CD-ROMs


File Contents Source
AAREADME.TXT CD-ROM content and format information DMT
CUMCOMM.TXT A cumulative listing of comments concerning all Ulysses CD-ROMs published to date. DMT
EDRyymm.ttt EDR files, where yy is year, mm is month, and ttt is the instrument name (BAM, GLG, GRU, HED, HUS, KEP, LAN, SIM, STO). DMT
SEDRyymm.ttt SEDR file, where yy is year, mm is month, and ttt is the numeric representation (Flt for floating point, FIX for fixed point). DMT
CDFyymm.fff CDF file, where yy is year, mm is month, and fff is three characters that identify the file type (HED for the Hedgecock file, and ALL for the BAM, GLG, KEP, LAN, SIM, and STO file). DMT
QQCyymm.TXT A text file containing a description of the Quality, Quantity, and Continuity (QQC) of the EDR data. DMT
SCETyymm.TXT SCET/SCLK coefficient file as of year yy and month mm. DMT
CMDHyymm.TXT Command History file for year yy and month mm. SPC Team
OWLTyymm.TXT One Way Light Time file as of year yy and month mm. NAV
MONyymm.DAT Monitor data for year yy and month mm. DMT
VOLDESC.SFD A description of the contents of this CD-ROM volume in a manner recommended by the CCSDS. DMT



Table 2.2 Files in the index subdirectory


FileContents Source
CONTENTS.TABA tabular listing of each data product on this disk, the directry in which it is located, and other searchable parameters DMT
CONTENTS.LBLPDS detached label that describes CONTENTS.TABDMT



Table 2.3 Files in the document subdirectory


File Contents Source
EDRSIS.EPF The SIS for the EDR files. DMT
SEDR.SIS The SIS for the SEDR files. DMT
CDFSIS.EPF The SIS for the CDR files. DMT
QQCDESC.EPF A description of the QQC file. DMT
CMDHDESC.EPF A description of the Command History file. SPC Team
CDROMSIS.EPF This document. DMT
OWLTDESC.EPF A description of the One Way Light Time file. NAV



Files with the extension EPF are Encapsulated Postscript Files.
SIS is an acronym for System Interface Specification, which is a document that describes the syntax of a data set.


Files. The formal description of the CD-ROM content is given by an SFDU structure in the file VOLDESC.SFD. This file is structured in accordance with the international standard. The software tool kit supplied in the SOFTWARE subdirectory may be used to access data via this file.


The CONTENTS.TAB file is suggested for Planetary Data System users. It may be loaded into a database and used to search for data based upon type, time, etc.

VOLDESC.SFD. This file contains a description of the contents of this volume in terms of SFDU detached labels. It is compliant with the CCSDS standards and can be read using the software tools supplied on this volume.


CONTENTS.TAB. This file contains a tabular listing of data product on the disk, including the directory in which it is located and other searchable parameters.


Table 2.4 EDR SIS acronyms


Acronym Derivation
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
CCSDS Consultive Committee For Space Data Systems
CCT Computer Compatible Tape
CD-ROM Compact Disk - Read Only Memory
CD-R Compact Disk Recordable
CDF Common Data File
CDR Common Data Record
DMT Data Management Team
EDR Experiment Data Record
EOF End of File
ISO International Standards Organization
JPL Jet Propulsion Lab
Mbytes Megabytes
MDR Master Data Record
OWLT One Way Light Time
PDS Planetary Data System
QQC Quality, Quantity, Continuity
ROM Read Only Memory
SCET Spacecraft Event Time
SCLK Spacecraft Count Clock
SEDR Supplementary Experiment Data Record
SIS Software Interface Specification
SPIDS Standards for Preparation and Interchange of Data Sets
TBD To Be Determined
ULS Ulysses
WORM Write-Once Read-Many optical disk
XAR Extended Attribute Record



Table 2.5 Recommended CD-ROM drives and driver software


System DriveDriver Comments
VAX/VMS Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) RRD40, RRD42, or RRD50 DEC VFS CD-ROM driver V4.7 The driver software may be obtained from Jason Hyon at JPL.  It is necessary to use this driver to access the XARs on the CD-ROM.
VAX/Ultrix DEC RRD40 or RRD50 Supplied with Ultrix 3.1.Use the "cdio" software package (in "~ftp/src/cdio.shar" from the "space.mit.edu" server.)
IBM PC Toshiba, Hitachi, Sony, or compatible Microsoft MSCDEX version 2.2 Microsoft MSCDEX version 2.2
Apple Macintosh Apple CD SC (Sony) or Toshiba Apple CD-ROM driver The Toshiba drive requires a separate driver, which may be obtained from Toshiba.
Sun Microsystems Delta Microsystems SS-660 (SONY) Delta Microsystems driver or SUN CD-ROM driver For more information, contact Dennis Down at Delta Microsystems, 415-449-6881.



Next: Chapter 2.2.1: EDR SIS VOLDESC.SFD File


Return to Chapter 2 Table of Contents

Return to Ulysses HISCALE Data Analysis Handbook Table of Contents

Updated 8/8/19, Cameron Crane


Manufacturer: ESA provided the Ulysses spacecraft, NASA provided the power supply, and various others provided its instruments.

Mission End Date: June 30, 2009

Destination: The inner heliosphere of the sun away from the ecliptic plane

Orbit:  Elliptical orbit transversing the polar regions of the sun outside of the ecliptic plane