[Spice_announce] Satellite Numbering Extension

Charles H. Acton cacton at mailhost4.jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Nov 26 15:55:22 PST 2003

        This has to do with extension of the current satellite
        numbering scheme used in SSDG and NAIF/SPICE systems.

The Solar System Dynamics Group and the NAIF group at JPL expect to 
extend the natural satellite numbering scheme currently in use to 

   - the possibility of having more than 98 satellites recognized by 
the IAU for a given planet, and
   - having a scheme where provisional IDs may be assigned that will 
not "collide" with subsequent permanent IDs.

The accommodation must not impact current users of SPICE, nor already 
distributed SPICE files.

The changes needed to accommodate this extension are expected to be 
made in SSDG software (satellite ephemeris and HORIZONS) and NAIF 
software (the SPICE Toolkit) by around the end of January, at which 
time another announcement will be broadcast.

The attached paper describes the planned extensions, and is provided 
for your information.
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