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News and Announcements

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 [February 2017]: Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) web sites changed to use HTTPS instead of HTTP:

Scientific data from many heliophysics missions are available at the Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) through web pages or by using the Heliophysics Data Portal. This includes CDAWeb data browsing, SSCweb orbit displays and the OMNIWeb as well as the CDF software pages.

All of these SPDF web sites and web services have changed from HTTP to HTTPS to provide assurance that you are accessing the servers you expect and not imposter sites. This change has been planned for some time and is in keeping with the rest of the US Government. FTP data access is not affected at this time.

For most people, this will be transparent since current versions of browsers will redirect automatically to the HTTPS pages. However, this may be an important and immediate concern for developers and users of SPDF Web Services inside Java, IDL or other software packages, since most web service calls will BREAK until updated to specify HTTPS instead.

SPDF web services and some clients - that need to be changed to HTTPS:
Calls to OMNIweb inside software packages:
Also SPDF web services from the SPEDAS IDL library:

Clients running with recent run-time environments (e.g., Java 1.8.0_102, IDL 8.5.1, etc. or newer) will likely not have a problem using HTTPS. Clients using an older run-time may have to update their environment with newer Certificate Authority (CA) root certificates. Additional information about accessing these web services over HTTPS is available at

Any questions or comments concerning this release should be emailed to

[October 2016]: CDF Version Released:

Common Data Format (CDF) Version is now available. This release contains a minor change to the earlier release of V3.6.3.0 and includes a new leap second added for 1/1/2017. Please read the change notes that describe the changes made in this release, as well as all previous releases. Updates for Perl, IDL, Matlab, and Java interfaces and the SKTeditor CDF editor are also available.

[2016]: Revised Definition of the Sunspot Number Index:

Sunspot Number Index values 1963-2015 in OMNI have been updated to the revised Version 2 definition now used by the Royal Observatory of Belgium (see The updated values are generally larger by factors 1.2-1.7 and can be compared in detail using OMNIWeb's sunspot index comparison tool.

[2014-Oct-14]:New CDF Version 3.6.0 Released:

The Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has issued an important update to its Common Data Format (CDF) package of software APIs and tools. We strongly urge all CDF users to promptly upgrade their CDF software to this latest release (version 3.6) to better ensure the correct handling of times after the 2015 June 30 leap second. Updates for Perl, IDL, Matlab, and Java interfaces are also available. CDAWeb is currently receiving and also producing CDF 3.6 files.

Besides many minor software updates and fixes, this release includes an updated internal leap second table and now preserves (in the CDF file header) this latest leap second available when a CDF is written. This enables a warning when CDF_TIME_TT2000 times may have been computed with an out-of-date leap second table and thus may be incorrect. CDFconvert has additional options for sorting on a specified variable, resetting the blocking factor, updating the CDF header for the latest leap second, and adjusting CDF_TIME_TT2000 times written with an out-dated leap second table. For further details, see the CDF release notes.

The SPDF's SKTEditor program was also upgraded for this new release and includes additional validation options.

We also encourage all to subscribe to the CDF Announcements email list to receive warnings of future leap seconds and other CDF issues As always, please report any problems, issues or questions to

Michael Liu and Robert Candey

[2014-Oct-14]:New CDF Version 3.5.0 Released:

NASA's Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) is pleased to announce the release of Version 3.5.0 of the CDF software. In addition to many minor software updates and fixes, the software now includes the open source version of zlib for doing gzip compression, new support for Visual Basic for Windows, additional C/Fortran functions and enhancements to the toolkit programs. For further details please read the CDF release notes.

[2013-Aug-28]:Current MagED Data from GOES 13/14/15 Now Available in CDAWeb:

NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC cf. and NASA's Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) are pleased to announce a joint long-term effort to make a variety of appropriate current GOES and POES heliophysics data available through SPDF's CDAWeb multi-mission data service. As the first of many data products we expect to eventually support, current GOES 13 and 15 1-minute and 5-minute electron flux data from the Energetic Particle Suite (EPS) Magnetospheric Energetic Detectors (MagEDs) are now available in CDAWeb including graphics, listings, superset/subsets in CDF, FTP/HTTP downloads, via CDAWeb web services calls and within IDL sessions using the SPDF's Cdas library. GOES 14 MagED data for Oct-Nov 2012 (before this s/c was put in orbital storage) are also available.

CDAWeb access supplements the existing distribution of this data in CSV and netCDF format from the NGDC archival services at MagED data consist of electron fluxes 40 - 475 keV in 9 look directions, with data from GOES 13 from January 2011 through June 2013, data from GOES 15 from February 2011 to the present.

[2013-Jun-11]:Data from NASA's Van Allen Probes Now Available in CDAWeb:

With thanks and all credit to the dedicated work of the project and instrument teams, the Space Physics Data Facility is pleased to announce availability in CDAWeb of some 70 new Level-2 and Level-3 datasets from the Van Allen Probes spacecraft, previously known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes or RBSP. While additional datasets will become available over the next few months, this data collection fully spans the range of measurements from particles-plasma (RBSPICE, ECT) through magnetic-electric fields and waves (EMFISIS, EFW) with data generally current to within 60 days or less. The research community is referred to the project pages and particularly to the information and links on the science Gateway page for more complete descriptions of the spacecraft and instruments, the correct meaning and appropriate use of Van Allen data, space weather and summary plots of various kinds, and a range of other highly useful and more specialized data services at the instrument sites. The full set of data and services for the Van Allen Probes will be the focus of a special session on Tuesday afternoon June 18th at the GEM meeting in Snowmass, Colorado.

The project, instrument teams and SPDF hope that including these already-public data in the CDAWeb database will make access and use of this data (e.g. plots, listings, supersets and subsets, direct downloads by FTP and HTTP, links to key capabilities at the instrument team sites) more convenient for the science community. Having this range of data in CDAWeb makes comparison of data among instruments and spacecraft much easier, as well as comparisons and analysis of these data versus current data from other missions such as THEMIS, TWINS, Cluster, ACE, Wind and the >120 ground magnetometer stations also in CDAWeb. All these data are also available through the SPDF web- services interfaces and e.g. our spdfcdawebchooser routine that allows direct selection and ingest of data from CDAWeb into an IDL session (cf.SPDF's Cdas library)., Van Allen Probes orbits are fully supported in our SSCWeb and 4-D Orbit Viewer services.

[2012-Sep-24]:Relocation of Directories and Files Served by FTP by SPDF and NSSDC:

On September 24 and 25, the Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) renamed and restructured its FTP and HTTP accessible directories. This newly unified structure merges CDAWeb files already served by SPDF with legacy heliophysics data holdings that have been served by the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) on The responsibility for the final archiving of heliophysics has been transferred from NSSDC to SPDF (for non-solar instruments) and to Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC) (for solar instruments). SPDF will also serve legacy solar instrument data previously served by NSSDC on at least an interim basis.

All heliophysics data and other files previously accessible separately from NSSDCftp or CDAWeb are accessible from any of the following links:

Other SPDF services are unchanged.

Any databases or services that point to specific server and directory locations on CDAWeb and NSSDCftp will need to update their records to these new locations. A list of directories as now moved (current and new locations) is posted here.

Changes to CDAWeb data directories are listed first and directories moved from NSSDCftp are listed second. Data now on NSSDCftp may continue to be available on NSSDCftp for a limited time after this official move.

SPDF regrets that this level of re-naming and re-structuring of our data holdings cannot be made fully transparent to users. Please report any problems and discrepancies to us at

[2012-Jun-20]:Let's Not Lose Our Data :

Along with the Solar Data Analysis Center (SDAC), the Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) is charged with ensuring the long-term preservation and ongoing availability of important data from NASA heliophysics investigations, with interest as well in other data relevant to current NASA heliophysics science objectives.

SPDF is concerned that important data from older missions (past and current) are at increasing risk of being lost as projects and their funding expire, and as the scientists responsible for the data move to new missions, change responsibilities or retire. So I ask that you please carefully consider the status of any data you may now hold:

  • Does it have potential long-term value to our research community?
  • Is it now held on aging media or systems?
  • Is it held where there may not be ongoing funding to ensure continued preservation and access?

Everyone with a direct role in collecting or analyzing space data knows the investment in time and resources represented in such data. For the data you hold and work with, you know the important science in your data that may still remain unexploited. Very high time resolution measurements and particle distribution functions are among the kinds of data that could be of special interest.

If you have or know of existing heliophysics data that might be a concern, please contact me as the Project Scientist for SPDF. We welcome the opportunity to work with you to preserve such data and keep it available for future use by the heliophysics research community.

[2012-May-21]: Changed Responsibilities in Archiving NASA Heliophysics Data:

As many of you probably already know, NASA’s Heliophysics Science Division at NASA HQs issued a revised Heliophysics Science Data Management Policy in 2009. This revised policy redefined the Heliophysics role of the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) at Goddard to be solely that of a “deep archive” and defined a new role for the Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) to be one of two “active Final Archives” charged to work with NASA HQs to ensure the long-term accessibility and availability of all important NASA heliophysics data.

This policy has generally superseded all prior definitions of the archiving role of NSSDC in heliophysics mission PDMPs or other arrangements. Delivery of all archival products from Heliophysics missions or investigations should be expected to be to the SPDF rather than NSSDC. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us by phone or through the "Feedback" link on this page.

[2012-Apr-17]: New CDF Version 3.4 Software Released :

CDF now supports two new data types, INTEGER*8 (signed 8-byte integers) and time_TT2000 (which correctly and unambiguously handles leap seconds and carries nanosecond precision in 8 bytes). CDF 3.4 also includes numerous bug fixes, security improvements and performance enhancements. USERS ARE STRONGLY URGED TO UPGRADE TO THIS NEWEST RELEASE AT THEIR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE. Updates for Perl, IDL, Matlab and Java interfaces are also available on the CDF website.

[2012-Apr-17] SSCWeb and the 4D Orbit Viewer Are Running on a More Powerful Server:

The SSCWeb service and its database have been fully converted to Linux and are now operational on a new server. Users should see greatly improved performance of the SSCWeb user interface and the SSCWeb web services interface, as well as server-side database operations and computations of the 4D Orbit Viewer.

[2012-Apr-17] SPDF's Partnership with the RBSP and MMS Missions:

Both RBSP and ( MMS/ MMS-SMART) have decided to use to our CDF format for their public science data and to supply their public data to our CDAWeb service as part of their commitment to ensure their data are properly archived and to make their science data fully public and easily accessible. We are gratified that these major new projects find our services useful and relevant, and we look forward to serving these data as they become available. Note RBSP's scheduled launch is later this summer

[2009-Sep-03] SSCWeb's Important Cluster Ephemeris Changes:

The old Cluster ephemeris data has been moved to "Cluster-* (superceded)" and the new, up to date ephemeris is called "Cluster_*". Download pdf for the details. If you have any questions, after reading the above documentation, please email

The SPDF is based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD U.S.A. and is a project with the Heliophysics Science Division of Goddards Sciences & Exploration Directorate . The project is headed by Dr. Robert E. McGuire.

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