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SPEDAS Graphical User Interface

Welcome to SPEDAS

Here you can find information and documentation for the Space Physics Environment Data Analysis Software (SPEDAS) framework. The most current version, SPEDAS 5.0, was released in April 2022.

SPEDAS is a grass-roots data analysis software for the Space Physics community. It supports multi-mission data ingestion, analysis and visualization. It standardizes the retrieval of data from distributed repositories, the scientific processing with a powerful set of legacy routines, the quick visualization with full output control and the graph creation for use in papers and presentations.

The SPEDAS framework:

  • Contains a Graphical User Interface for ease of use by novice users.
  • Works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
  • Is based on IDL, benefiting from platform independence and software maintenance services.
  • Can be used with or without an IDL license.

SPEDAS supports plugin modules for multiple projects (THEMIS, GOES, MMS, WIND, ERG, etc) and provides interfaces for software modules developed by the individual teams of those missions.

SPEDAS is concerned mostly with establishing developers' guidelines, communicating best practices, and providing peer review of new products to like-minded colleagues, towards an efficient space environment data analysis suite of software code.

Known Issues


If you're having trouble running the SPEDAS GUI, EVA, or any other code that involves IDL widgets on macOS or OSX, see the macOS known issues page for a potential fix.


Unable to allocate memory: to make array - Heap Problems.

MMS downloads failing? (updated June 26, 2020)

A change was made to the LASP SDC servers that broke access to the MMS datasets using SPEDAS in June 2020; if you're running an older version of SPEDAS, we suggest updating to the latest bleeding edge zip:

Download Bleeding Edge.


* SPEDAS Youtube Channel - SPEDAS introductory videos
* Starting with SPEDAS - Video: how to download and install SPEDAS 
* MMS data analysis using SPEDAS: an introduction  - Video: how to use MMS data with SPEDAS 
* MMS multi-instrument plots  - Video: how to create MMS multi-panel, multi-instrument plots with SPEDAS 
* SPEDAS Screenshots - SPEDAS screenshots
* Introductory Examples - Examples for first-time users
* SPEDAS Presentations - PowerPoint presentations on SPEDAS

Downloads and Installation

* New! SPEDAS 5.0 released (April 2022) 
* Nightly build - Quick link to the nightly "bleeding edge" SPEDAS source code zip file.  
* Downloads and Installation - Detailed instructions for downloading and installing SPEDAS.
* Supported IDL Versions - List of supported IDL versions
* SPEDAS Archive - Previous SPEDAS versions

The nightly builds are zip files containing a snapshot of the SPEDAS source code repository. They have not been through our full QA process, but they do have the very latest features and bug fixes, and this is what many researchers are using.

The current, fully-QAed version is available from the Downloads and Installation page, in several different formats. In addition to the IDL source code files, this page includes download links to pre-compiled, executable versions of SPEDAS, which do not require a separate, paid, IDL license.

Supported Missions

SPEDAS contains specialized plugins that can download, analyze and plot data from multiple space missions, including:



The following links contain lists of refereed publications that have used SPEDAS as a data analysis tool


The Space Physics Environment Data Analysis System (SPEDAS) has recently (December 2018) been accepted for publication in Space Science Reviews :

If you benefit from SPEDAS code, please consider citing this paper. You can simply add the citation in your acknowledgment, and that could include your software version. For example: "Data access and processing was done using SPEDAS V3.1, see Angelopoulos et al., 2019" and that would be natural and informative for readers.


* HTML Documentation - Documentation of SPEDAS functions, with source code 
* User's Guide - Documentation for users 
* Developer's Guide - Documentation for plugin developers
* Crib Sheets - Step-by-step usage scenarios 
* Tips and Tricks - SPEDAS tips and tricks 
* Data Model - Description of the data model used in SPEDAS
* Time Handling - Description of how times are used in SPEDAS
* 3D Data Structures - Description of the data structures used in many SPEDAS particle data sets.
* 3D Data Conversion Factors - Description of the conversion factors used for different data quantities, for particle data.
* Autoplot Interface - Description of the Autoplot interface
* Heliophysics Application Programmer’s Interface (HAPI) - Description of how to access HAPI data using SPEDAS

External Resources

* LICENSE.txt - License for the SPEDAS framework
* SPEDAS Blog - SPEDAS Developer Blog and Announcements 
* SPEDAS ChangeLog - Recent changes to the bleeding edge
* Overview Plots - Summary plots generated with SPEDAS
* IDL Documentation - IDL Documentation by Harris Geospatial Solutions
* Wiki User's Guide - Information on using the wiki software.
* Information on the coordinate transformation library Rocotlib and on a method for computing wave polarization


* Getting Started with pySPEDAS - SPEDAS software in the Python programming language
* PySPEDAS bleeding edge - PySPEDAS bleeding edge, hosted at GitHub
* PySPEDAS documentation - PySPEDAS documentation, hosted at ReadTheDocs