Index Page
PCK Required Reading

Table of Contents

   PCK Required Reading
      Abstract
         Intended Audience
         References
      Introduction
         Body Codes
         Epochs and Reference Frames
         Planetocentric Coordinates
      Using the PCK System: Overview
      Orientation Models used by PCK Software
   The Two Formats of PCK files
         Detection of Non-native Text Files
         DAF Run-Time Binary File Format Translation
      NAIF Text Kernel Format
      Text PCK Contents
         Text PCK Kernel Variable Names
         Restrictions on the Availability of Orientation Models in Text PCK Kernels
         Models for the Sun, Planets, and some Minor Bodies in Text PCK Kernels
         Models for Satellites in Text PCK Kernels
         Shape models in Text PCK Kernels
         Summary of PCK Variables used in Text PCK Kernels by SPICE
      Creating and Modifying Text PCKs
      Binary PCK Kernel Format
         Segments--The Fundamental PCK Building Blocks
         The Comment Area
         Binary PCK Data Types
         Supported Data Types
         Type 2: Chebyshev (Angles only)
         Type 3: Chebyshev (Angles and their derivatives)
         Type 20: Chebyshev (Only angular derivatives)
      Creating Binary PCKs
   PCK Software
      Getting PCK Data into Your Program
         Loading Text PCK Kernels
         Loading Binary PCK Kernels
         Unloading Binary PCK Kernels
      Binary PCK Coverage Summary Routines
      Access Routines
         High-Level PCK Data Access
         Low-Level PCK Data Access
      Summary of Calling Sequences
   Appendix A --- Summary of PCK Routines
   Appendix B --- Epoch and Frame Specifications in Text PCK Kernels
   Appendix C --- Revision History
         2013 JAN 22 by E. D. Wright, C. H. Acton
         2010 JUN 03 by B. V. Semenov.
         Original version K.R. Gehringer, K. S. Zukor




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PCK Required Reading





Last revised on 2013 JAN 22 by E. D. Wright, C. H. Acton.



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Abstract




The Planetary Constants Kernel (PCK) subsystem provides cartographic and physical constants data for Solar System bodies. SPICE software uses these data when determining observation geometry dependent on the size, shape, and orientation of planets, natural satellites, comets, and asteroids.



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Intended Audience



This document is recommended reading for all users of PCK files.



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References



    4. SPK Required Reading (spk.req).

    7. Double Precision Array Files Required Reading (daf.req).

    8. ``Planetary Geodetic Control Using Satellite Imaging,'' Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 84, No. B3, March 10, 1979, by Thomas C. Duxbury.

    9. ``Report of the IAU/IAG Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements of the Planets and Satellites: 2000.''

    10. ``Report of the IAU/IAG Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements: 2006.''

    11. ``Report of the IAU Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements: 2009.''



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Introduction




The functionality of the PCK subsystem is supplied by data files called ``PCK files'' (or PCKs) and by SPICELIB subroutines that can read and interpret the data in these files.

Historically, only one type of PCK existed, the text PCK (called the "P constants kernel.") These ASCII files can be easily viewed and modified via text editor. The current SPICE system also supports a non-ascii binary PCK. These files contain more precise body orientation information in binary format (no size and shape data). This format permits large amounts of data to be stored and quickly accessed. As of the date of this document, binary PCK files exists only for the moon, earth, and the asteroid Eros.

The purpose of the PCK and associated software is to provide SPICE users a convenient mechanism for supplying planetary physical constants to application programs. SPICELIB software reads files conforming to these formats and returns both the data contained in such files and a few commonly used numeric quantities derived from the kernel data.



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Body Codes



NAIF software uses a system of integer codes to conveniently represent celestial bodies, locations such as barycenters, Lagrange points, and spacecraft. The NAIF IDS Required Reading document, naif_ids.req, describes this system in detail.

In this document, the following features of the code system will be relied on:

    -- The code for the barycenter of the nth planetary system is n. The count starts at 1, which stands for Mercury; e.g. the code for Jupiter's barycenter is 5. The code for the Sun is 10. SPICE maintains Pluto as the 9th planet.

    -- The code for the nth planet's barycenter is n

    -- The code for the nth planet's mass center is n99; e.g, the code for the Earth (Earth barycenter is 3) is 399.

    -- Natural satellites have ID codes of the form

              PNN, where
 
                     P  is  1, ..., 9
                 and NN is 01, ... 98
    or

              PXNNN, where
 
                     P   is    1, ...,  9,
                     X   is    0  or    5,
                 and NNN is  001, ... 999
 
              Codes with X = 5 are provisional.
    For example, the code for the Earth's moon (moon 1 of body 399) is 301, and the code for Ganymede (moon 3 of body 599) is 503.



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Epochs and Reference Frames



Some constants that frequently appear in PCK files are associated with a particular epoch and with a particular reference frame. For example, PCK files released by NAIF typically contain constants that define the axes of various body-fixed planetocentric coordinate systems, given relative to a specified inertial reference frame, as a function of time. In this sort of definition, the independent variable, time, is measured relative to a specified reference epoch.

Within SPICELIB, reference frames are identified by short character strings such as 'J2000'. The names of the body-fixed reference frames are usually constructed by adding the prefix ``IAU_'' to the name of the body, for example ``IAU_MARS'' for Mars. The exception from this rule are body-fixed reference frames associated with high-precision orientation provided in binary PCK files. For more details see FRAMES Required Reading, frames.req.

However, SPICELIB also has a system of integer codes used by some routines to specify reference frames. This coding system is also described in detail in frames.req.



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Planetocentric Coordinates



The body-fixed ``Planetocentric'' coordinate system referred to in this document is defined for solar system bodies as follows:

    -- The x-axis of the Planetocentric coordinate system for a specified body lies both in the body's equatorial plane and in the plane containing the body's prime meridian.

    -- The z-axis is parallel to the body's mean axis of rotation and points North of the invariable plane of the solar system (regardless of the body's spin direction). The north pole is the pole of rotation.

    -- The y-axis is defined as the cross product of the z and x axes, in that order. Thus, the frame is right-handed.

The above definition implies that the axes of a planetocentric system are time-varying. Thus a complete specification of the axes requires identification of an epoch as well as the body.



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Using the PCK System: Overview




This section describes how PCK files and software are used in application programs.

The use of PCK data in an application program requires three steps:

    1. Selecting the appropriate PCK file(s) for the problem.

    2. Reading the PCK data into the program.

    3. Using the data within the program.

Step 1 is not necessarily trivial since there may be no single set of ``best values'' for physical constants of interest; the ``best'' values - if such exist - depend on the problem. The user's judgment, supported by comments and usage notes in the PCK file, is required for this step.

Step 2 is referred to as ``loading'' a PCK file. Text PCK files are loaded by calling the SPICELIB subroutine FURNSH and supplying the name of the PCK file to load as the input argument or by loading a meta kernel that lists the PCK. All data in a text PCK file is read into memory when the file is loaded by an application program at run-time. Load binary PCKs in the same way. The program can access all loaded data during the program run, unless deliberately overwritten or unloaded. Multiple text and multiple binary PCKs can be used simultaneously.

The data available from binary PCKs take precedence over that from text PCKs. If data for a requested planetary constant and time period is covered by a loaded binary PCK file, the subsystem returns and uses the binary data. If multiple binary PCK files are loaded, the most recently loaded file takes precedence, down to the binary file loaded earliest. The subsystem defaults to text PCK data when no binary PCK data is available. If the user loaded multiple text PCKs, and those PCKs contained variable assignments using the same variable name, the later loads overwrite the assignments defined by earlier loads.

Step 3, using loaded PCK data, is accomplished via calls to SPICELIB routines. At the lowest level, these access routines allow the calling program to retrieve specified data that has been read from one or more PCK files. Higher-level access routines can return quantities derived from loaded PCK data.

For text PCK files, the PCK software can be thought of as ``buffering'' all data loaded from PCK files: the data from these files is retained in memory. Therefore, repeated calls to the PCK access routines do not incur the inefficiency of re-reading data from files. For binary PCK file, like the case of the SPK and CK readers, only a portion of the most recently used information is buffered.

The data structure used by SPICELIB to maintain associations of text kernel variable names and values is called the ``kernel pool.'' Data loaded into memory via FURNSH is referred to as ``being present in the kernel pool.'' There is no analog to the kernel pool for binary PCK files.



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Orientation Models used by PCK Software




The orientation models used by SPICELIB PCK access routines all express the direction of the pole and location of the prime meridian of a body with respect to an inertial reference frame, as a function of time. This information defines the coordinate axes of the ``Body Equator and Prime Meridian'' system.

The orientation models use three Euler angles to describe the pole and prime meridian location: the first two angles, in order, are the right ascension and declination (henceforth RA and DEC) of the north pole of a body as a function of time. The third angle is the prime meridian location (represented by `W'), which is expressed as a rotation about the north pole, also a function of time. The coordinate transformation defined by the Euler angles is represented by the matrix product

   [ W ]    [ Pi/2 - Dec ]    [ Pi/2 + RA ]
        3                 1                3
where

   [ W ]
        i
denotes the matrix that rotates a coordinate system by W radians about the ith coordinate axis (or rotates vectors by -W radians about the same axis), using the right hand rule. (This notation is explained in detail in rotation.req).

In PCK files, the time arguments of functions that define orientation always refer to Barycentric Dynamical Time (TDB), measured in centuries or days past a specified epoch such as J2000, which is Julian ephemeris date 2451545.0. The time units expected by the SPICELIB software are ephemeris days for prime meridian motion and ephemeris centuries for motion of the pole.



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The Two Formats of PCK files





There are two general forms for PCK files, text and binary files. Text files are ASCII and can be created and modified with an editor. Therefore, they are easily changed and read. Binary files are created via SPICELIB programs and have a particular format and architecture. They cannot be examined or changed with an editor. These files require SPICELIB software for their manipulation. Binary PCKs can contain more data and are faster to use. In the PCK case, the binary files contain higher precision data than the text files. Binary PCKs contain only orientation data, while text PCKs usually include orientation, size, and shape data, and may include other physical data associated with a body.



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Detection of Non-native Text Files



The various platforms supported by SPICE use different end-of-line (EOL) indicators in text files:

   Environment                  Native End-Of-Line
                                Indicator
   ___________                  _____________________
   PC DOS/Windows               <CR><LF>
   Mac OS X, Linux, Unix        <LF>
As of the N0057 release of the SPICE Toolkit (March, 2004) the SPICELIB data loading mechanism detects and prohibits loading text kernel files containing lines terminated with EOL character(s) non-native to the platform on which the Toolkit was compiled. If a non-native EOL terminator is detected in the first 132 characters of a text kernel, the execution stops and an error message is displayed. This feature fails on files smaller than 132 bytes or have the first line longer than 132 characters.



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DAF Run-Time Binary File Format Translation



As of the SPICE N0052 release (January, 2002), supported platforms are able to read DAF-based binary files (SPK, CK and binary PCK) written in a non-native, binary representation. This access is read-only; any operations requiring writing to the file (adding information to the comment area, or appending additional ephemeris data, for example) require prior conversion of the file to the native binary file format. See the Convert User's Guide, convert.ug, for details.



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NAIF Text Kernel Format




Text PCK files express data as ``assignments''; in text PCKs, values are associated with name strings using a ``keyword = value'' format. These name strings, together with their associated values, are called ``kernel variables.'' The SPICELIB routines that access text PCK data at run time use these associations established by loaded text PCK files to reference desired data values; these routines look up data ``by name.'' Therefore, programmers writing applications that use text PCKs must coordinate use of kernel variable names between their software and the text PCK files used by their software.

Text PCK files conform to a flexible format called ``NAIF text kernel'' format. The SPICE file identification word provided by itself on the first line of the text PCK file is ``KPL/PCK''. Both the NAIF text kernel format and SPICE file identification word are described in detail in the Kernel Required Reading document, kernel.req. For the reader's convenience, an overview of the NAIF text kernel format is provided here.

NAIF text kernels are, first of all, ASCII files. As such, they are human readable and can be easily modified by text editors. In addition, NAIF text kernels can be readily ported between computer systems, even when the systems in question have different file systems and file formats.

The NAIF text kernel format provides for representation of data in a ``keyword = value'' syntax. The format also provides for the inclusion of free-form comment blocks.

There are two kinds of data that can be placed in NAIF text kernel files: double precision numbers and UTC time strings.

According to the text kernel format, a text kernel nominally consists of a series of sets of contiguous lines (or ``blocks'') of comments, alternating with blocks of data. Comment blocks are started with the string (called a ``control sequence'')

   \begintext
alone on a line, as shown here. Comment blocks are ended by the control sequence

   \begindata
alone on a line. In a text kernel file, the lines preceding the first

   \begindata
control sequence are considered to constitute a comment block; the

   \begintext
control sequence is optional for this comment block.

Comment blocks can contain arbitrary text, except for non-printing characters or lines that can be interpreted as control sequences. On the other hand, data must be organized according to a very specific format: all of the data in a text kernel must appear in the form of an ``assignment'' such as

   NAME = VALUE
or

   NAME = ( VALUE1, VALUE2, ... )
where "NAME" is a string no longer than 32 characters, and one or more values appear on the right hand. A specific example is shown below:

   BODY399_RADII     = (  6378.140  6378.140  6356.75  )
The "VALUES" may be integer, double precision or string values.

Some variations on the form shown here are allowed: commas between data values are optional, the right hand side of the assignment can be continued over multiple lines, and the data values can be expressed as integers or reals without causing the PCK software to fail. Either an "E" or "D" can be used to set off an exponent. Assignments of scalars do not require the value on the right hand side to be enclosed in parentheses, but that notation is frequently used as a visual cue. Blank lines within or between assignments are ignored by the SPICELIB software that reads text kernels.

In addition to numbers, UTC strings can be assigned to variables. The ``@'' character is used to identify the strings as time strings. The strings are stored internally as double precision numbers representing ``UTC seconds past J2000.'' An example is the assignment:

   SCLK_KERNEL_ID            = ( @01-MAY-1991/16:25 )
See kernel.req for a complete discussion of the allowed form of assignments.

The effect of an assignment in a text PCK file is to associate values with a name. The name is referred to as a ``kernel variable.'' When a text PCK file is loaded by an application, the associations of names and values established by the PCK are maintained: the values associated with a given name can be retrieved at any time.



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Text PCK Contents




Other than the limitations imposed by the PCK file formats, no absolute restrictions exist on the names or values of the variables used in PCK files. However, the SPICE kernel concept calls for the contents of PCK files to be limited to physical and cartographic constants describing extended solar system bodies: radii of bodies, constants defining orientation models, and masses or values of GM are examples of data appropriate for inclusion in PCKs.

SPICELIB includes a set of routines (GIPOOL, GDPOOL, GIPOOL) for general access to text PCK defined data. Another set (BODVRD, BODVCD, SXFORM, PXFORM) recognizes and uses particular PCK data to return body constants or the matrices to transform position or state vectors between reference frames.

In this document, the formulas defining time-varying coordinate transformation matrices and Euler angles are referred to as ``orientation models'' since they define the orientation of an extended body with respect to specific inertial frames.

Because PCK access routines that deal with orientation models are used extensively in SPICELIB and applications that use the Toolkit, the kernel variables that these routines rely on will be discussed in detail.

Those functions defining the Euler angles are characterized by a set of parameters. The specific values of the parameters are values assigned to kernel variables in PCK files. The functions themselves are implemented by code within SPICELIB routines. The general form of the functions is that used in the IAU/IAG 2000 report. Values shown in this document reflect the 2000 report. For the latest PCK values, check with NAIF.

In a text PCK file, the variables (Euler angles)

   RA,  DEC,  W
for the Earth (Earth ID = 399) are represented by the names

   BODY399_POLE_RA
   BODY399_POLE_DEC
   BODY399_POLE_PM
The equations above are expressed in a text PCK file by the kernel variable assignments (Values taken from IAU/IAG 2000 report.)

   BODY399_POLE_RA        = (    0.      -0.641         0. )
   BODY399_POLE_DEC       = (  +90.      -0.557         0. )
   BODY399_PM             = (  190.16  +360.9856235     0. )
If you examine a PCK file produced by NAIF, you'll see an additional symbol grouped with the ones listed here; it is

   BODY399_LONG_AXIS
It represents the offset between the longest axis of the triaxial ellipsoid used to model a body and the prime meridian of the body. This term is currently zero for all bodies except Mars.



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Text PCK Kernel Variable Names



Text PCK variables recognized by SPICELIB PCK access routines have names that follow a simple pattern: variables related to a body whose NAIF integer code is nnn have names of the form

   BODYnnn_<item name>
where

   <item name>
is a short string that identifies the type of quantity the kernel variable represents. For example, the variable containing quadratic polynomial coefficients for the right ascension of the Earth's north pole is

   BODY399_POLE_RA
The following sections specify the specific item names recognized by PCK access routines.



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Restrictions on the Availability of Orientation Models in Text PCK Kernels



Orientation models usable by SPICE's text PCK access routines are not available for all solar system bodies. For example, Saturn's moon Hyperion is ``tumbling'' and does not admit a description of its motion by the sort of models used in text PCKs.



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Models for the Sun, Planets, and some Minor Bodies in Text PCK Kernels



For the Sun, planets, and minor bodies, the expressions used in text PCK files for the north pole direction and prime meridian location are always quadratic polynomials, where the independent variable is time. Some coefficients may be zero.

Let RA and DEC represent the right ascension and declination of a body's north pole as expressed in the J2000 frame, and let W be the prime meridian location, measured in the counterclockwise direction, from the direction defined by the cross product of the Z direction in the J2000 frame (the Earth's ``mean'' North pole at the J2000 epoch) and BODY's North pole at ET, to BODY's prime meridian at ET.

The variables RA, DEC, and W constitute sufficient information to compute the transformation from a specified inertial frame to body-fixed, planetocentric coordinates for the body to which they apply, at a specified time.

The angles RA, DEC, and W are defined as follows:

                                   2
                              RA2*t
   RA  =  RA0  +  RA1*t/T  +  ------
                                 2
                                T
 
                                    2
                              DEC2*t
   DEC =  DEC0 + DEC1*t/T  +  -------
                                 2
                                T
 
                                  2
                              W2*t
   W   =  W0   + W1*t/d    +  -----
                                 2
                                d
where

   d = seconds/day
   T = seconds/Julian century
   t = ephemeris time, expressed as seconds past the reference epoch
       for this body or planetary system


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Models for Satellites in Text PCK Kernels



Orientation models for natural satellites of planets are a little more complicated; in addition to polynomial terms, the RA, DEC, and W expressions include trigonometric terms. The arguments of the trigonometric terms are linear polynomials. These arguments are usually called ``phase angles.'' However, within SPICELIB internal documentation, these quantities are called ``nutation precession angles''; for consistency with the SPICELIB software, we'll use this terminology in the following discussion.

Expressions for the right ascension and declination of the north pole and the location of the prime meridian for any satellite of a given planet are as follows:

                                2      ____
                           RA2*t       \
   RA  = RA0  + RA1*t/T  + ------   +  /     a  * sin * theta
                              2        ----   i              i
                             T           i
 
                                 2     ____
                           DEC2*t      \
   DEC = DEC0 + DEC1*t/T + -------  +  /    d  * cos * theta
                               2       ----  i              i
                              T          i
 
                               2       ____
                           W2*t        \
   W   = W0   + W1*t/d   + -----    +  /     w  * sin * theta
                              2        ----   i              i
                             d           i
where

   d = seconds/day
   T = seconds/Julian century
   t = ephemeris time, expressed as seconds past a reference epoch
RA0, RA1, DEC0, DEC1, W0, and W1 are constants specific to each satellite.

The nutation precession angles

   theta
        i
are specific to each planet. The coefficients

   a ,  d ,  and w
    i    i        i
are specific to each satellite.

SPICELIB software for text PCKs expects the models for satellite orientation to follow the form of the model shown here: the polynomial terms in the RA, DEC, and W expressions are expected to be quadratic, the trigonometric terms for RA and W (satellite prime meridian) are expected to be sums of sines of nutation precession angles, and the trigonometric terms for DEC are expected to be sums of cosines of nutation precession angles. The nutation precession angles themselves are defined by linear polynomial functions of time.

Note that the number of values defining the nutation precession angles for a planetary system must be consistent with the number of trigonometric terms used in the expressions for the RA, DEC and W angles for the satellites of that system. See ``Creating and Modifying Text PCKs Kernels'' for details.



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Shape models in Text PCK Kernels



SPICELIB contains a number of geometry routines that make use of triaxial ellipsoidal models of extended solar system bodies. Although SPICELIB currently contains no routines that directly use the specific PCK variables that define these models, text PCK files typically contain radii of solar system bodies, since these values can be looked up by low-level text PCK access routines and subsequently used by SPICELIB geometry routines.

In text PCK files produced by NAIF, the radius values for body nnn are assigned to the variable as:

   BODYnnn_RADII = ( a, b, c )
where ``a,'' ``b,'' and ``c'' are the radius values for each axis.

Three radius values are always assigned for each instance of this variable. The data are ordered as in the IAU/IAG report: the equatorial radii are listed with the largest axis, normally called the ``a'' axis, appearing first; the polar radius, normally called the ``c'' axis, is last.

Spheroids and spheres are obtained when two or all three radii are equal.



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Summary of PCK Variables used in Text PCK Kernels by SPICE



In order to compute transformations for the Sun, a planet, or an asteroid (say body number ppp), the PCK access routines require that one or more PCK files containing values for the following variables be loaded:

   BODYppp_POLE_RA
   BODYppp_POLE_DEC
   BODYppp_PM
For a satellite (say body number sss), one or more PCK files containing values for the following variables must be loaded:

   BODYsss_POLE_RA
   BODYsss_POLE_DEC
   BODYsss_PM
   BODYsss_NUT_PREC_RA
   BODYsss_NUT_PREC_DEC
   BODYsss_NUT_PREC_PM
   BODYbbb_NUT_PREC_ANGLES
where the code bbb embedded in the last name above is that of the barycenter of the planetary system to which the satellite belongs.

The triaxial ellipsoidal model for body nnn is expressed by the assignment

   BODYnnn_RADII = ( <larger equatorial radius>,
                     <smaller  equatorial radius>,
                     <polar radius> )


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Creating and Modifying Text PCKs




The text PCK file format allows NAIF Toolkit users to easily modify existing text PCKs and to create their own files containing values of their choosing. Any text editor capable of working with ASCII files can be used to edit text PCK files.

Although the text PCK format makes it easy to modify text PCK files, NAIF recommends that application programmers avoid software designs that call for special-purpose, user-created text PCK files. The opportunities for confusion and errors increase with the number of available versions of a text PCK file (or any data file).

NAIF recommends that you take the following precautions when modifying a text PCK file:

    -- Change the name of the updated file.

    -- Document the changes by adding appropriate comments to the file. Each text PCK file should contain sufficient information to allow a reader to find out who was responsible for creating the current version of the file and what the source was for each data value in the file. If the file is an update, the reason for the update and a summary of the differences from the previous version should be included.

    -- Test the file using software that makes use of any values that you've added or modified.

The reasons why a NAIF Toolkit user might wish to modify an existing text PCK are:

    -- Removing unneeded data or comments to speed up loading and simplify the file. Removal of data is much more important than removal of comments, as far as speeding up kernel loading is concerned.

    -- Adding data values for new bodies.

    -- Updating existing data values or substituting preferred data values.

New kernel variables added to text PCK files should follow the naming conventions described in the ``Kernel Variable Names'' section. All text PCK variable names, whether or not they are recognized by SPICELIB software, should start with the prefix

   BODYnnn_
where nnn is the NAIF integer code of the body corresponding to the variable.

Kernel variables having names recognized by users' application software are a potential problem area: if the names used in the application don't match those in the text PCK file, the application will fail to obtain the data as intended. The most frequent cause of this type of failure is misspelling of variable names, but programmers who considering changing the names of PCK variables already in use should also keep this problem in mind.

Modifying orientation models for satellites requires attention to the consistency between the number of nutation precession angles and the number of coefficients of trigonometric functions having the nutation precession angles as arguments. For any planetary system, there should be twice as many values for the nutation precession angles as the maximum number of trigonometric terms in the expressions for prime meridian location or right ascension or declination of the pole of any satellite in the system. This is because the nutation precession angles are defined by linear polynomials; each polynomial has two defining coefficients.



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Binary PCK Kernel Format




The binary PCK file format is built upon the SPICE DAF (Double precision Array File) architecture. Readers who are not familiar with this architecture are referred to the DAF Required Reading document, daf.req, which describes the common aspects of all DAF formats, as well as a collection of SPICELIB subroutines that support the DAF architecture. The SPICE file identification word occupying the first eight bytes of a properly created binary PCK file is ``DAF/PCK ''. For more information on SPICE identification words refer to the Kernel Required Reading document, kernel.req. Most users will not need to understand the details of the structure of binary PCK files.



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Segments--The Fundamental PCK Building Blocks



A binary PCK file contains one or more `segments'. Each segment contains data sufficient to compute the axes of a body-fixed planetary coordinate system, relative to a specified inertial reference frame, as a function of time.

The data in each segment are stored as a single array. The summary for the array, called a `descriptor', has two double precision components:

    1. The initial epoch of the interval for which data are contained in the segment, in ephemeris seconds past Julian year 2000;

    2. The final epoch of the interval for which data are contained in the segment, in ephemeris seconds past Julian year 2000.

The descriptor has five integer components:

    1. The NAIF integer code for the body.

    2. The NAIF integer code for the inertial reference frame.

    3. The integer code for the representation (type of PCK data). Currently types 2, 3, and 20 are supported.

    4. The initial address of the array.

    5. The final address of the array.

The name of each array may contain up to 40 characters. This space may be used to store a `pedigree' for the data in the array. The pedigree of a segment should allow a user to determine the conditions under which the data in the segment were generated.



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The Comment Area



Preceding the `segments', the Comment Area provides space in a binary PCK file for storing additional textual information besides what is written in the array names. Ideally, each binary PCK file would contain internal documentation that describes the origin, recommended use, and any other pertinent information about the data in that file. For example, the beginning and ending epochs for the file, the names and NAIF integer codes of the bodies included, an accuracy estimate, the date the file was produced, and the names of the source files used in making the binary PCK file could be included in the Comment Area.

SPICELIB provides a family of subroutines for handling this Comment Area. This software provides the ability to add, extract, read, and delete comments and convert commented files from binary format to transfer format and back to binary again.



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Binary PCK Data Types



The third integer component of the descriptor---the code for the representation, or `data type'---is the key to the binary PCK format. For purposes of determining the segment best suited to fulfill a particular request, all segments are treated equally. It is only when the data in a segment are to be evaluated that the type of data used to represent the data becomes important. Because this step is isolated within low-level readers, new data types can be added to the binary PCK format without affecting application programs that use the higher level readers.



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Supported Data Types



Three representations, or data types, are currently supported by the binary PCK routines in SPICELIB. They are:

    1. Type 2, Chebyshev polynomials (Euler angles only).

    2. Type 3, Chebyshev polynomials (Euler angles and their derivatives) for intervals of possibly varying lengths.

    3. Type 20, Chebyshev polynomials (Derivatives of Euler angles).



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Type 2: Chebyshev (Angles only)



These are sets of Chebyshev polynomial coefficients for the Euler angles, defining as a function of time the right ascension (RA) and declination (DEC) of a body's north pole, and the prime meridian rotation (W). The rates of the angles are obtained by differentiation.

The segments contain an arbitrary number of logical records with each record describing a set of Chebyshev coefficients valid across an interval of fixed length.

A segment consists of a set of records, ordered by increasing initial epoch, each record containing the same number of coefficients. The segment structure is illustrated below:

           +---------------+
           | Record 1      |
           +---------------+
           | Record 2      |
           +---------------+
             .
             .
             .
           +---------------+
           | Record N      |
           +---------------+
           | INIT          |
           +---------------+
           | INTLEN        |
           +---------------+
           | RSIZE         |
           +---------------+
           | N             |
           +---------------+
A four-number `directory' at the end of the segment contains the information needed to determine the location of the record corresponding to a particular epoch.

    1. INIT is the initial epoch of the first record, given in ephemeris seconds past 2000 Jan 01 12:00:00, also known as J2000.

    2. INTLEN is the length of the interval covered by each record, in seconds.

    3. RSIZE is the total size of (number of array elements in) each record.

    4. N is the number of records contained in the segment.

Each component has the same number of coefficients, and all records are the same size (RSIZE), so the degree of each polynomial is

    polynomial degree = ( RSIZE - 2 ) / 3 - 1
The structure of each record:

   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  The midpoint of the approximation interval in TDB seconds  |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  The radius of the approximation interval in TDB seconds    |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for RA                |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for DEC               |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for W                 |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
TDB seconds is time in ephemeris seconds past J2000, often called ET in the SPICE system.

The first two elements in the record, MID and RADIUS, are the midpoint and radius of the time interval covered by coefficients in the record. These are used as parameters to perform transformations between the domain of the record (from MID - RADIUS to MID + RADIUS) and the domain of Chebyshev polynomials (from -1 to 1 ).



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Type 3: Chebyshev (Angles and their derivatives)



A type 03 PCK segment consists of coefficient sets for fixed order Chebyshev polynomials over consecutive time intervals, where the time intervals need not all be of the same length. The Chebyshev polynomials represent the orientation of a body specified relative to an inertial frame by the angles RA, DEC, W and body fixed angular rates for each axis of the body fixed coordinate system defined by RA, DEC, and W. The angles and the angular rates of the axes are given in degrees and degrees/sec.

Each segment contains an arbitrary number of logical records. All records contain the same number of coefficients.

A segment of this type is structured as follows:

           +---------------+
           | Record 1      |
           +---------------+
           | Record 2      |
           +---------------+
             .
             .
             .
           +---------------+
           | Record N - 1  |
           +---------------+
           | Record N      |
           +---------------+
The structure of each record:

   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  The midpoint of the approximation interval in TDB seconds  |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  The radius of the approximation interval in TDB seconds    |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for RA                |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for DEC               |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for W                 |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the body          |
   |  fixed X-axis rate                                          |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the body          |
   |  fixed Y-axis rate                                          |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the body          |
   |  fixed Z-axis rate                                          |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
TDB seconds is time in ephemeris seconds past J2000, called ET in the SPICE system.

The type 3 data type is seldom used.



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Type 20: Chebyshev (Only angular derivatives)



PCK data type 20 contains Chebyshev polynomial coefficients for a specified set of Euler angle rates of a body-fixed, body-centered reference frame as a function of time. Euler angles representing the orientation of the frame are obtained by integrating the rates using a specified integration constant.

This data type is provided to accurately represent ``EPM'' orientation data developed by the Institute of Applied Astronomy (IAA), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

Each type 20 segment contains an arbitrary number of logical records. Each record contains a set of Chebyshev coefficients valid throughout an interval of fixed length. Each record also contains an Euler angle set applicable at the midpoint of its coverage interval.

The records within a segment are ordered by increasing initial epoch. All records contain the same number of coefficients.

A segment of this type is structured as follows:

           +---------------+
           | Record 1      |
           +---------------+
           | Record 2      |
           +---------------+
             .
             .
             .
           +---------------+
           | Record N      |
           +---------------+
           | ASCALE        |
           +---------------+
           | TSCALE        |
           +---------------+
           | INITJD        |
           +---------------+
           | INITFR        |
           +---------------+
           | INTLEN        |
           +---------------+
           | RSIZE         |
           +---------------+
           | N             |
           +---------------+
A seven-number `directory' at the end of the segment contains the information needed to determine the location of the record and perform an evaluation of the record corresponding to a particular epoch.

    1. ASCALE is the angular scale used for both orientation and angular rates; ASCALE has units of radians. For example, if the angular units are degrees, then ASCALE is the number of radians in one degree.

    2. TSCALE is the time scale used for angular rates; TSCALE has units of TDB seconds. For example, if the time units of the rate data are TDB Julian days, then TSCALE is 86400.

    3. INITJD is the integer part of the TDB Julian date of the initial epoch of the first record. INITJD has units of Julian days. INITJD may be less than, equal to, or greater than the initial epoch.

    4. INITFR is the fractional part of the TDB Julian date of the initial epoch of the first record. INITFR has units of Julian days. INITFR has magnitude strictly less than 1 day. The sum INITJD + INITFR equals the TDB Julian date of the initial epoch of the first record.

    5. INTLEN is the length of the interval covered by each record, in TDB Julian days.

    6. RSIZE is the total size of (number of array elements in) each record. The same number of coefficients is always used for each component, and all records are the same size. RSIZE is 3 + 3*(DEGP+1), where DEGP is the common degree of the Chebyshev expansions for each Euler angle rate component.

    7. N is the number of records contained in the segment.

Each component has the same number of coefficients, and all records are the same size (RSIZE), so the degree of each polynomial is (solve RSIZE for DEGP)

   polynomial degree = ( RSIZE/3 - 2 )
Define the angles as:

   angle  * ASCALE = ( RA   + pi/2 )
        1
 
   angle  * ASCALE = ( pi/2 - DEC )
        2
 
   angle  * ASCALE = ( W )
        3
The structure of each record:

   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the rate of       |
   |  angle 1                                                    |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  value of angle 1 at interval midpoint                      |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the rate of       |
   |  angle 2                                                    |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  value of angle 2 at interval midpoint                      |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  (polynomial degree + 1) coefficients for the rate of       |
   |  angle 3                                                    |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   |  value of angle 3 at interval midpoint                      |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
The rate coefficients have units of ASCALE radians/TSCALE seconds: multiplying a Chebyshev expansion's value by ASCALE/TSCALE converts angular rates to units of radians/s.

Euler angles at a record's midpoint epoch are given in units of ASCALE radians: multiplying the angles by ASCALE converts the angles to units of radians.

The Euler angles represent the orientation of the PCK reference frame relative to its base frame. The angles, which are numbered according to their ordinal position in the logical records, define a transformation matrix R as follows:

   R = [ angle  *A ]  [ angle  *A ]  [ angle  *A ]
              3     3        2     1        1     3
where A is the angular scale ASCALE. Here the notation

      [ THETA ]
               i
denotes a reference frame rotation of THETA radians in the right-hand sense about the ith coordinate axis. See the Rotation Required Reading for further discussion of this notation.



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Creating Binary PCKs




NAIF creates most binary PCKs. Normally, binary PCK files should be obtained from NAIF.

Only very knowledgeable users who need to incorporate new planetary/satellite orientation information in binary format should consider writing binary PCK files. Users who write binary PCK files must have a thorough understanding of the information they wish to place in a binary PCK file. They must also master the high level structure of the PCK files, and they must be sure to correctly package the data for the PCK writing subroutines provided in SPICE. We also strongly recommend that the writer of a PCK file include descriptive comments in the comment area.

The user should keep in mind that the PCK segments should be as large as possible to create smaller, faster to load files.

The are generally three steps to creating a binary PCK file.

    1. Open the file.

    2. Begin the segment, add data to the segment and close the segment.

    3. Close the file.

The subroutine PCKOPN is used to open a new binary PCK file. Below is an example of a call to PCKOPN. `NAME' is the name of the file to be opened, `IFNAME' is the internal file name, `HANDLE' is the handle of the opened SPK file. We use `I' for the number of record to reserve for comments.

   CALL PCKOPN ( FILE, IFNAME, I, HANDLE )
The method for beginning the segment, adding data to the segment and closing the segment differs with the PCK type.

For type 2, SPICELIB includes a segment writing routine called PCKW02. This routine takes as input arguments the handle of an PCK file that is open for writing, the information needed to construct the segment descriptor, and the data to be stored in the segment. The header of the subroutine provides a complete description of the input arguments and an example of its usage.

An example of a call to PCKW02:

   CALL PCKW02 ( HANDLE, BODY,  FRAME,  FIRST,
                 LAST,   SEGID, INTLEN, N,
                 POLYDG, CDATA, BTIME        )
For type 3, there are three subroutines used in creating a binary PCK file. They are PCK03B, which begins a type 3 segment, PCK03A, which adds data to segment, and PCK03E, which ends a segment. The type 3 subroutines can be used in a loop, where PCK03A is called to add data to the segment. Here is a code fragment that begins a type 3 segment, writes data to that segment in a loop, and then closes the segment.

   CALL PCK03B ( HANDLE, SEGID, BODY, FRAME,
                 ETSTRT, ETSTOP, CHBDEG )
   DO WHILE ( <a condition> )
      ...
      CALL PCK03A ( HANDLE, N, COEFFS, EPOCHS )
      ...
   END DO
 
   CALL PCKO3E ( HANDLE )
For type 20, SPICELIB includes a segment writing routine called PCKW20. takes as input arguments the handle of a PCK file that is open for writing, the information needed to construct the segment descriptor, and the data to be stored in the segment. The header of the subroutine provides a complete description of the input arguments and an example of its usage.

An example of a call to PCKW20:

   CALL PCKW20 (  HANDLE,  CLSSID,  FRAME,   FIRST,
                  LAST,    SEGID,   INTLEN,  N,
                  POLYDG,  CDATA,   ASCALE,  TSCALE,
                  INITJD,  INITFR                  )
When a user finishes writing segments of any type to a binary PCK, the PCK must be closed with the subroutine PCKCLS.

   CALL PCKCLS ( HANDLE )


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PCK Software





This section describes the proper use of the SPICELIB PCK software.



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Getting PCK Data into Your Program




Because loading PCK files is usually time-consuming, it is good programming practice to have applications load PCK files during program initialization rather than throughout their main processing thread, especially if that processing thread is a loop.

It is also wise to avoid designing data processing systems that effectively place PCK loading in a tight loop by requiring repeated runs of programs that expend a significant fraction of their run time on loading PCK files. If a program loads PCK files, it is preferable that it do all of its processing in a single run, or at least in a small number of runs, rather than carry out its processing by being re-run a large number of times: the former design will greatly reduce the ratio of the time the program spends loading PCKs to the time it spends on the rest of its data processing.



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Loading Text PCK Kernels



As earlier mentioned, in order to use text PCK files in an application, the data in the files must be read into memory. This is accomplished by calling the SPICELIB routine FURNSH. The name of the text PCK file to load is supplied as an input to FURNSH, for example:

   CALL FURNSH ( 'example_pck.tcp' )
File names supplied to FURNSH will generally be system-dependent. It is good programming practice to not use hard-coded file names in calls to FURNSH. Instead, applications should obtain kernel file names by one of the following methods:

    -- Reading the kernel file names from a meta-kernel, a file containing the names. (This allows users to change the kernel files without re-compiling and re-linking the application.)

    -- Prompting the user for the file names at run-time.

An application can load any number of text PCK files during a single program run. There are, however, parameterized limits on both the total number of kernel variables that can be stored and on the total number of data values assigned to those variables.

Each time a text PCK is loaded, the assignments made in the file are maintained in the PCK software. In particular, if a kernel variable occurs in multiple PCKs loaded in a single run of a program, the value of the variable will be the one assigned in the following priority: last binary PCK file loaded, previously loaded binary PCK files, then last loaded text PCK files followed by previously loaded text PCK files. All binary PCK files take precedence over text PCK files. Within the binary and/or text file groups, the last loaded files takes precedence.



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Loading Binary PCK Kernels



The routine FURNSH maintains a database of loaded binary PCK files. The calling program indicates which files are to be used by passing their names to FURNSH.

   CALL FURNSH ( 'example_binary_pck.tcp' )
Once an PCK file has been loaded, it may be accessed by the PCK software. Each set of constants is computed from a distinct segment.

A PCK file may contain any number of segments. In fact, the same file may contain overlapping segments: segments containing data for the same body over a common interval. When this happens, the latest segment in a file supersedes any competing segments earlier in the file. Similarly, the latest file loaded supersedes any earlier files. In effect, several loaded files become equivalent to one large file. Binary PCK files take precedence over text PCK files.



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Unloading Binary PCK Kernels



It is possible, though unlikely, that a program would need to make use of many binary PCK files in the course of a single execution. On the other hand, the number of binary PCK files that may be open at any one time is limited, so such a program might need to unload some PCK files to make room for others. A binary PCK file may be unloaded by supplying its name to subroutine UNLOAD. The call to this subroutine is shown below,

   CALL UNLOAD ( 'example_binary_pck.tcp' )


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Binary PCK Coverage Summary Routines




SPICELIB includes two routines for obtaining information about the contents of a binary PCK file from within an application.

The PCKFRM routine provides an API via which an application can find the set of reference frames for which a specified binary PCK file contains data. The reference frame class ID codes are returned in a SPICE ``set'' data structure (see sets.req).

The PCKCOV routine provides an API via which an application can find the time periods for which a specified binary PCK file provides data for a reference frame of interest. The coverage information is a set of disjoint time intervals returned in a SPICE ``window'' data structure (see windows.req).

Refer to the headers of PCKFRM and PCKCOV for details on the use of those routines.



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Access Routines




SPICELIB contains two basic categories of PCK access routines: those that return PCK data directly, and those that return quantities derived from PCK data. This section discusses the PCK access routines in the later category: these routines deal with coordinate and state transformations.

All of the routines listed here make use of the orientation models discussed in the section titled ``Orientation Models used by PCK Software.'' Note that in order to use these routines, an application must first load a PCK file (or files) containing sufficient data to define all of the required orientation models. If needed data has not been loaded, these routines will signal run-time errors when called.



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High-Level PCK Data Access



To obtain the matrix that transforms 3-vectors from a specified reference frame to another frame, at a specified ephemeris time, use the routine PXFORM. The calling sequence is

   PXFORM ( FROM, TO,  ET,  ROTATE )
In the argument list for PXFORM:

FROM

is the name of a reference frame in which a position vector is known.
TO

is the name of a reference frame in which it is desired to represent a position vector.
ET

is the epoch in ephemeris seconds past the epoch of J2000 (TDB) at which the position transformation matrix `rotate' should be evaluated.
ROTATE

is the matrix that transforms position vectors from the reference frame `from' to the frame `to' at epoch `et'.
The fundamental quantities defined by PCK orientation models are actually Euler angles, not matrices. These Euler angles, which we call ``RA, DEC, and W,'' are related to the transformation operator returned from PXFORM by the equation

   rotate = [ W ]   [ Pi/2 - DEC ]   [ Pi/2 + RA ]
                 3                1               3
To directly retrieve these angles, use the call:

   BODEUL ( BODY, ET, RA, DEC, W, LAMBDA )
BODY

is the NAIF integer code of the body defining the planetocentric coordinate system.
ET

is the ephemeris time at which the orientation model given the basis vectors of the planetocentric frame is to be evaluated.
RA

is the right ascension of the North pole of body at et with respect to the J2000 inertial reference frame.
DEC

is the declination of the North pole of body at et with respect to the J2000 inertial reference frame.
W

is the prime meridian location for `BODY' at `ET', also measured with respect to the J2000 inertial reference frame.
LAMBDA

is the positive west longitude, measured from the prime meridian of body, of the longest axis of the triaxial ellipsoidal model for body given in a PCK file.
Currently, the only body having a non-zero value of LAMBDA is Mars (see Duxbury 1979). SPICELIB software does not currently make use of `LAMBDA'.

SPICELIB provides a routine analogous to PXFORM that returns the matrix to transform state vectors between reference frames for a particular time. This routine is called SXFORM; the calling sequence being

   SXFORM ( FROM, TO, ET, ROTATE )
The input arguments `FROM', `TO', and `ET' have the same meanings as in the argument list of PXFORM. The output argument `ROTATE' is the 6x6 matrix required to transform state vectors from inertial to body-fixed coordinates. Left multiplication of a state vector by `ROTATE' will transform it from the frame specified by `FROM' to the frame specified by `TO' at time `ET'.



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Low-Level PCK Data Access



WARNING: These low-level access routines for text PCK files only search the text kernel pool for these values. Values found in loaded binary PCK files will NOT be found by these routines. The values retrieved from a binary PCK file take precedence over the values found in text PCK kernels. Therefore, if binary kernels have been loaded, values returned by these low level routines may not be the same values used by higher level routines like SXFORM and PXFORM. We recommend the user who loads binary PCKs NOT USE these low-level routines!

The lowest-level SPICELIB PCK access routines are GIPOOL, GDPOOL and GCPOOL. These are general-purpose routines for retrieving any text kernel data by data type (integer, double precision, and character string, respectively) loaded via FURNSH. The calling sequences for the routines:

   GDPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
   GCPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
   GIPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
The meanings of the arguments are follows:

NAME

is the name of the kernel variable whose values are desired. This is the name used in a PCK file to make an assignment.
START

is the index of the first component of NAME to return. If START is less than 1, it will be treated as 1.
ROOM

is the maximum number of components that should be returned for this variable.
N

is the number of data values assigned to the kernel variable.
VALS

is the return arrays of sufficient size and correct type to contain the data corresponding to NAME.
FOUND

is a logical flag indicating whether the kernel variable designated by name was actually loaded.
The GIPOOL, GDPOOL, and GCPOOL set is frequently used by other SPICELIB routines; however, SPICELIB users will usually find it more convenient to use the PCK access routines that return double precision body constants, e.g radius, RA/DEC of the spin axis, the GM value, etc.

In text PCKs produced by NAIF, PCK variables will have names conforming to the naming convention used in SPICELIB, that is, the kernel variable names have the form

   BODYnnn_<item name>
BODVRD and BODVCD retrieve the values of such variables from the kernel pool; BODVRD accepts as inputs the body name and a string making up the portion of the item's name following the prefix:

   BODVRD ( BODYNM, ITEM, MAXN, DIM, VALUES )
BODVCD functions in the same manner as BODVRD except BODVCD accepts as inputs the body NAIF ID and the string, `ITEM', as described for BODVRD:

   BODVCD ( BODYID, ITEM, MAXN, DIM, VALUES )
It is possible to test whether a kernel variable has been loaded by calling the SPICELIB logical function BODFND, as long as the variables in question follow the SPICELIB naming convention. The calling sequence is

   FOUND = BODFND ( BODY, ITEM )
where body is the NAIF integer code of the body, and `ITEM' is the string making up the portion of the item's name following the prefix

   BODYnnn_


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Summary of Calling Sequences




Loading text and binary PCKs:

   CALL FURNSH ( filename )
Unloading text or binary PCKs:

   UNLOAD   ( filename )
Getting binary PCK coverage summary:

   PCKFRM ( FILE, IDS )
   PCKCOV ( FILE, IDCODE, COVER )
Searching binary PCK files for appropriate information:

   PCKSFS ( BODY, TIME, HANDLE, DESCR, IDENT, FOUND )
Testing for the presence of variables in the text kernel pool:

   BODFND ( BODY, ITEM )
Obtaining values for assigned variables from the text kernel pool:

   BODVRD ( BODYNM, ITEM, MAXN, DIM, VALUES )
   BODVCD ( BODYID, ITEM, MAXN, DIM, VALUES )
 
   GDPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
   GCPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
   GIPOOL ( NAME, START, ROOM, N, VALS, FOUND )
Obtaining Euler angles and their derivatives from a binary PCK file:

   PCKEUL ( BODY, ET, FOUND, REF, EULANG )
Obtaining position transformation matrices between reference frames:

   PXFORM ( FROM, TO,  ET,  ROTATE )
Obtaining Euler angles defining inertial-to-body-fixed coordinate transformations:

   BODEUL ( BODY, ET, RA, DEC, W, LAMBDA )
Obtaining state transformation matrices between reference frames:

   SXFORM ( FROM, TO, ET, ROTATE )
Opening a binary PCK file for writing:

   PCKOPN ( NAME, IFNAME, NCOMCH, HANDLE )
Writing a type 2 segment to a binary PCK file:

   PCKW02 ( HANDLE, BODY,   FRAME,  FIRST, LAST, SEGID, INTLEN,
            N,      POLYDG, CDATA,  BTIME )
Writing a type 3 segment to a binary PCK file:

   To begin a type 3 segment:
   PCK03B ( HANDLE, SEGID, BODY, FRAME, FIRST, LAST, CHBDEG )
 
   To add data to a type 3 segment:
   PCK03A ( HANDLE, NRECS, RECRDS, EPOCHS )
 
   To end a type 3 segment:
   PCK03E ( HANDLE )
Writing a type 20 segment to a binary PCK file:

   PCKW20 (  HANDLE,  CLSSID,  FRAME,   FIRST,
             LAST,    SEGID,   INTLEN,  N,
                  POLYDG,  CDATA,   ASCALE,  TSCALE,
                  INITJD,  INITFR                  )
 
Close a binary PCK file after writing:

   PCKCLS ( HANDLE )
Reading a type 2 segment from a binary PCK file:

   PCKR02 ( HANDLE, DESCR, ET, RECORD )
Evaluating a type 2 segment from a binary PCK file:

   PCKE02 ( ET, RECORD, EULANG )
Reading a type 3 segment from a binary PCK file:

   PCKR03 ( HANDLE, DESCR, ET, RECORD )
Evaluating a type 3 segment from a binary PCK file:

   PCKE03 ( ET, RECORD, ROTMAT )
Reading a type 20 segment from a binary PCK file:

   PCKR20 ( HANDLE, DESCR, ET, RECORD )
The subroutine PCKE20 contains the algorithm used to construct an Euler angle state from a particular logical record.

   PCKE20 ( ET, RECORD, EULANG )


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Appendix A --- Summary of PCK Routines





Some of the routines listed below are entry points to another subroutine. If they are, the parent routine's name will be listed inside brackets preceding the mnemonic translation.

   BODEUL         ( Return Euler angles for a body )
   BODFND         ( Find values from the kernel pool )
   BODVCD         ( Return d.p. values from the kernel pool )
   BODVRD         ( Return d.p. values from the kernel pool )
   FURNSH [KEEPER]( Furnish a program with SPICE kernels )
   GCPOOL [POOL]  ( Get character data from the kernel pool )
   GDPOOL [POOL]  ( Get d.p. values from the kernel pool )
   GIPOOL [POOL]  ( Get integers from the kernel pool )
   PCK03A         ( PCK, add data to a type 3 segment )
   PCK03B         ( PCK, begin a type 3 segment )
   PCK03E         ( PCK, end a type 3 segment )
   PCKCLS         ( PCK, close file )
   PCKCOV         ( PCK, coverage )
   PCKE02         ( PCK, evaluate data record from type 2 segment )
   PCKE03         ( PCK, evaluate data record from type 3 segment )
   PCKE20         ( PCK, evaluate data record from type 20 segment )
   PCKEUL         ( PCK, get Euler angles at time from PCK file )
   PCKFRM         ( PCK, get reference frame class ID set )
   PCKOPN         ( PCK, open new file )
   PCKR02         ( PCK, read record from type 2 segment )
   PCKR03         ( PCK, read record from type 3 segment )
   PCKR20         ( PCK, read record from type 20 segment )
   PCKSFS [PCKBSR]( PCK, select file and segment )
   PCKW02         ( PCK, write type 2 segment )
   PCKW20         ( PCK, write type 20 segment )
   PXFORM         ( Position Transformation Matrix )
   SXFORM         ( State Transformation Matrix )
   UNLOAD [KEEPER]( Unload a kernel )


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Appendix B --- Epoch and Frame Specifications in Text PCK Kernels





The constants used in PCK files to define an orientation model for a specified body are assumed by default to define a time-dependent rotation R(t) that converts vectors from J2000 coordinates to body-fixed, planetocentric coordinates at the epoch t seconds past J2000, TDB (JED 2451545.0). We say that the constants are ``referenced to the J2000 epoch and J2000 frame.'' However, these default values for the epoch and frame of the constants may be overridden: it is possible to use constants referenced to the B1950 frame and to the J1950 epoch, for example.

The default constants and frame for a body are overridden by setting the values of the kernel variables

   BODY<id code>_CONSTANTS_REF_FRAME
and

   BODY<id code>_CONSTANTS_JED_EPOCH
Here

   <id code>
is:

    -- for planets and their satellites: the NAIF integer code of the corresponding planetary system's barycenter.

    -- for other bodies: the NAIF integer code of the body itself.

The values of the frame specifier variable

   BODY<id code>_CONSTANTS_REF_FRAME
are the frames IDs for the inertial reference frames coded into the Frames subsystem. Refer to the Frames Required Reading document, frames.req, for a list of the inertial reference frames and the corresponding frame IDs.

For example, to use constants referenced to the FK4 frame (frame ID 3) for the asteroid Gaspra (ID code = 9511010), the PCK file containing the constants should include the assignment

   BODY9511010_CONSTANTS_REF_FRAME   =   (  3  )
The values of the epoch specifier variable

   BODY<id code>_CONSTANTS_JED_EPOCH
are Julian ephemeris dates. To use constants for Gaspra referenced to the J1950 epoch, the PCK file containing the constants should include the assignment

   BODY9511010_CONSTANTS_JED_EPOCH   =   (  2433282.5 )
The creator of a PCK file can set the frame and epoch of the constants on a body-by-body basis, except in the case of planets and their (natural) satellites, where a single choice of frame and epoch must be used for each planetary system. For example, to use constants referenced to the B1950 frame (frame ID 2) and J1950 epoch for the Earth and Moon, use the assignments

   BODY3_CONSTANTS_REF_FRAME   =   (  2           )
   BODY3_CONSTANTS_JED_EPOCH   =   (  2433282.5 )
The ID code `3' designates the Earth-Moon barycenter.

Note: the assignment

   BODY399_CONSTANTS_REF_FRAME   =   (  2           )
   BODY399_CONSTANTS_JED_EPOCH   =   (  2433282.5 )
would be ignored by the PCK reader routines; you cannot assign a frame or epoch using the ID code of a planet or satellite.



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Appendix C --- Revision History







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2013 JAN 22 by E. D. Wright, C. H. Acton



Corrections and updates to properly describe PCK binary Type 2 and PCK binary Type 3 data segments. Added information concerning PCK binary type 20 data segments.

Eliminated Examples section.

Corrections to text eliminating typos in the code call examples.

Update to document structure to include Revision History.

The document now includes description of Icy, and Mice PCK APIs.



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2010 JUN 03 by B. V. Semenov.



Previous edits.



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Original version K.R. Gehringer, K. S. Zukor