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Report of the IAU Commission 4 Working Group on Standardizing Access to Ehpemerides and File Format Specification

Authors: J. L. Hilton, C. Acton, J.-E. Arlot, S. A. Bell, N. Capitaine, A. Fienga, W. M. Folkner, M. Gastineau, D. A. Pavlov, E. V. Pitjeva, V. I. Skripnichenko, P. Wallace

Journal: Proceedings of the Journées 2013 "Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels" N. Capitaine (ed.), Observatoire de Paris, 265-266

Year: 2014

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The IAU Commission 4 Working Group on Standardizing Access to Ephemerides recommends the use of the Spacecraft and Planet Kernel (SPK) file format to provide a uniform format for the position ephemerides of planets and other natural solar system bodies, and the use of the binary Planetary Constants Kernel (PCK) format for the orientation of a body. It further recommends supporting data be stored in a text PCK. These formats are used by the SPICE system developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A new data type, Type 20: Chebyshev (Velocity Only) has been added. Other changes to the specification are new object identification numbers for coordinate time ephemerides, and a set of three new data types that uses the TCB rather than the TDB timescale.