Category Archives: Uncategorized

SPEDAS 3.00 now available!

The SPEDAS development team is pleased to announce the release of SPEDAS 3.00! The software is available as a zip file containing the IDL source code (which requires an IDL license to use), and also as pre-compiled executable files for Windows, Linux, and Mac.  The executable version supports the subset of features available via the SPEDAS Graphical User Interface, but requires no additional downloads or IDL licenses.


Where to get it

SPEDAS 3.00 can be downloaded from the SPEDAS web site:

Installation notes

There are a few platform-specific issues that may require additional steps after installation on the Mac and Windows 10 platforms:

What’s new?

SPEDAS 3.00 includes numerous bug fixes, efficiency enhancements, and new features:

New SECS (Spherical Elementary Currents System) plugin

A new plugin is available for the Spherical Elementary Currents System (SECS).  Two data types are available. The Equivalent Ionospheric Currents (EICS) are the horizontal currents and SEC Amplitudes (SECA) are the current amplitudesSummary plots can be generated in the SPEDAS GUI by selecting Tools->Overview Plots->SECS Overview Plots.

Command line crib sheets  and can be found in projects/secs/examples

New DSCOVR plugin

A new plugin is available for loading and plotting data from the DSCOVR mission. Summary plots can be generated in the SPEDAS GUI by selecting Tools->Overview Plots->DSCOVR Overview Plots.  Command line crib sheets and  can be found in projects/dscovr/examples

New GEOTAIL plugin

A new plugin is available for loading GEOTAIL data.  A command line crib sheet can be found in projects/geotail.

Updates to THEMIS, ERG and IUGONET plugins
Updates to SPDF library to support HTTPS access to CDAWeb


New features in MMS plugin

– Added mms_flipbookify for creating “flipbook” style series of images with 2D FPI/HPCA distribution slices.  See  in projects/mms/examples/advanced
– Added crib sheet that shows how to send MMS FGM and FEEPS data to Autoplot – mms_tplot2autoplot_crib (in projects/mms/examples/advanced)
– Updated FEEPS sun sector masks and active telescopes
– Updated mms_part_getspec to allow adding B-field/spacecraft ram directions to angular spectra
– Added initial overview plots to the SPEDAS GUI
– Added ability to subtract FPI distribution errors from prior to distribution calculations
– Added routine for creating MMS orbits plots (mms_orbit_plot)
– Added load routine for L3 merged FGM/SCM data products

Experimental new features (work in progress):

Download via HAPI (Heliophysics Application Program Interface)

A command line crib sheet  can be found in general/examples

Import/export data to Autoplot

A command line crib sheet crib_tplot2ap can be found in general/spedas_tools/tplot2ap .  See also: mms_tplot2autoplot_crib in projects/mms/examples/advanced

Write CDFs from TPLOT variables with tplot2cdf
The tplot2cdf tool can be used to create CDF files (including most ISTP required variable attributes) from tplot variables.
A command line crib sheet  can be found in general/examples.  See also: mms_tplot2cdf_crib in projects/mms/examples

Where to find more documentation

See the SPEDAS wiki at

Where to get help

Please email questions, bug reports, help requests, and enhancement suggestions to



The SPEDAS software development has been supported by NASA contracts NAS5-02099 (THEMIS mission), NNG17PZ01C  (SPEDAS general development), and NNG04EB99C (MMS sub-contract).  We would also like to thank the many software developers and SPEDAS users who have supported the development effort by contributing code, reporting problems, and suggesting enhancements.

SPEDAS version 2.00 final release now available

The SPEDAS development team is pleased to announce the final release of SPEDAS version 2.00!

New features and capabilities for this release include:

  • Support for HTTPS downloads (now required by several data sources)
  • A new load routine, hapi_load_data, to support downloading data via the new Heliophysics API. A crib sheet is available in general/examples/
  • ISEE 3D particle data visualization tool, with support for displaying THEMIS, MMS, and GEOTAIL data. A crib sheet is available in projects/themis/examples/advanced/
  • Updated IGRF coefficients through 2015
  • Numerous bug fixes and efficiency improvements

Updated plugins:

  • MMS (curlometer code, ISEE 3d plots, angle-angle plots)
  • THEMIS (combined electron and ion moments, improved SST calibrations, improved spacecraft potential estimates, support for additional GMAG networks and sites, support for ESA low energy mode)
  • ERG/IUGONET (updated load routines for better HTTP and future HTTPS support)

The SPEDAS 2.00 IDL source code release can be downloaded from the web site:

The IDL source code release requires an IDL license.  In a few weeks, we expect to release a set of SPEDAS 2.00 executable files, which use the IDL Virtual Machine to allow access to the SPEDAS Graphical User Interface, with no IDL license required.  That release is pending, while we work through the process of renewing our IDL “Right to Distribute” agreement which is required for us to build the executable files. In the meantime, users without IDL licenses can download executables based on a SPEDAS 2.00 beta release from January 2017.  Please visit the Downloads and Installation link mentioned above for download and installation instructions.

We are grateful to NASA Headquarters for their support of the SPEDAS development effort.

SPEDAS at the December 2015 mini-GEM

We will once again be holding a SPEDAS workshop at this year’s mini-GEM meeting preceding the Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco.

Our session will be from15:30-17:00,  Sunday Dec 13, 2015, at Oregon Rm, Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, SF, CA.

At the top of the agenda, we’ll begin with a brief report on the current state of the SPEDAS framework itself, and the development road map for the near future, leading up to the next SPEDAS release.

We will also be featuring a preview of the MMS plugin, demonstrating usage of some example crib sheets we and the MMS team have developed.   The MMS data products will not be officially released until Spring 2016, but for the purpose of this demo we have obtained approval to make available a subset of the September 1, 2015 MMS data, for anyone wishing to follow along with the demo during the session.   We are still finalizing the exact data sets we’ll be using for the demo, but once that’s resolved, we will make them available for download from

We will also bring the data files on a thumb drive or CD, for anyone who didn’t have time to download the files beforehand, and doesn’t want to test their luck with the venue’s internet connection.

The demo will also require a licensed IDL installation, and the latest “bleeding-edge” build of the SPEDAS and MMS plugin code .

We may also have a few brief presentations from other plugin developers who are making their mission data available via SPEDAS plugins.  Please contact Jim Lewis (jwl at  if you would like to be included in the program.

The remaining time will be used for Q&A with the SPEDAS and MMS developers, and for planning the agenda of next summer’s GEM conference.