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Generic Kernels

SPICE kernels that exist independent of any particular flight project are called generic kernels. These may be obtained from the Generic Kernels link of the NAIF server, appearing below.

Generic Kernels

Included under this category are:

  • Ephemerides for planets, satellites, and some comets and asteroids (SPK). NOTE: See the information regarding the Horizons Ephemeris System for generating and subsequently downloading up-to-date comet and asteroid SPKs
  • Planetary constants kernels, including special binary versions for the earth and the moon (PCK)
  • Special frames kernels associated with the moon (FK)
  • Current leapseconds kernel (LSK)
  • Topocentric locations (SPK) and reference frame definitions (FK) for some earth stations
  • Digital Shape Kernels for a few small,irregularly shaped objects (DSK)
  • Star catalogs (PPM, Tycho2 and Hipparcos, in SPICE Type 1 format)

A wide assortment of source data are used in producing these generic kernels. Be sure to understand the provenance of any generic kernel you may consider using.

Copies of generic kernels used by a particular mission are included in both the PDS archive for that mission and in the suite of operational kernels for that mission.

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