PDS archives are typically stored in their “raw” or Engineering Data Record (EDR) format. Before they are truly useful for analysis, these images, at a minimum, should be radiometrically calibrated and map projected.

While some instrument teams provide science-ready versions of their data, many other archives must first be processed by the individual researcher. POW provides users with calibrated cartographic images that can be used for geologic mapping, analysis in a Geographic Image System (GIS), change detection, merging of dissimilar instrument images, and use in a host of other scientific applications (e.g., ArcMAP, ENVI, Matlab, JMARS, etc.). Output formats currently supported include ISIS, PDS3, GeoTiff, Jpeg, and PNG.

Quick step-by-step

  1. Find and selected images from PILOT. We currently have a 50 image limit.
  2. In PILOT, select the “download” button.
  3. Select a single instrument from your search, and push list into the POW ordering interface.
  4. Supply your email address and then select your POW processing parameters (e.g. map projection, resolution, output format) and submit job.
  5. Once your POW job is completed, you will be emailed and can then download the processed images as a single bundle or individually.

Also see the LPSC presentation for a walk through

Integrated Tools

  • ISIS - ISIS (version 3+) is an image processing software package. The focus of the software is to manipulate imagery collected by current and past NASA planetary missions sent to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and other solar system bodies.
  • PILOT and UPC – The Planetary Image LOcator Tool is a web based search tool for the Unified Planetary Coordinate (UPC) database of the Planetary Data System. PILOT features SPICE-corrected image locations and searching capabilities using a navigable map, user selectable image constraints (e.g., incidence angle, solar longitude, pixel resolution and phase angle), and facilitates bulk downloads and/or image processing using POW.
  • GDAL – Geospatial Data Abstraction Library is used for conversion from ISIS (version 3) format to GeoTiff, Jpeg, and PNG. Conversion to PDS format is handled by ISIS.


  • POW
    • Hare, T.M., et at., (2013), LPSC XLIV, abstract 2068
  • ISIS
    • Laura, J., et al. (2021), Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (6.0.0). Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5347823
    • Sides S. et al., 2017, LPSC XLVIII, abstract 2739
  • GDAL
    • Geospatial Data Abstraction Library GDAL (2022), DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5884352
    • Bailen, M.S., et al, (2017), LPSC XLVIII, abstract 1467
  • PDS
  • UPC
    • Akins, S. W., et al, (2009), LPSC XL, abstract 2002