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March 17, 2015 – Latest MESSENGER Release #13

ACT is under contract to the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to implement and manage the MESSENGER Science Operations Center.

Since 2007 ACT has been working with JHU/APL in the creation and delivery of MESSENGER products to the NASA Planetary Data System. These deliveries take place every six month. The following table highlights delivery #13 (the most recent one).


Data Acquisition

Release to Public

Comments on This Release


Aug. 3, 2004 - ~Apr. 30, 2015

May 6, 2016

(Schedule Final delivery of advanced products; redelivery of previously delivered calibrated and advanced products with final SPICE and corrections)


Aug. 3, 2004 - ~Apr. 30, 2015

Oct. 9, 2015

(Schedule End of extended mission 2 operations; final delivery of raw and calibrated products)


Aug. 3, 2004 - Sep. 17, 2014

Mar. 6, 2015

Latest MESSENGER Release #13

March 6, 2015: MESSENGER MDIS data through 9/17/14 (2014_260) are now available via the online data volumes. For the first time, this release includes high-incidence monochrome global maps (east – HIEs and west – HIWs – illumination), as well as high-resolution regional targeted mosaics (monochrome and color – RTMs). There are no new BDRs, MDRs or MD3s with this release. Visit ACT-REACT QuickMap to explore images and data from MESSENGER's orbital mission. An online tutorial for using ACT-REACT QuickMap is available at


Aug. 3, 2004 - Mar. 17, 2014

Sep. 5, 2014


Provides interactive access to images, mosaics, spectra, plus search/sub-setting/download tools.


Aug. 3, 2004 - Sep. 17, 2013

Mar. 7, 2014



Sep. 18, 2012 - Mar. 17, 2013

Sep. 6, 2013

ACT-REACT QuickMap... (end of extended mission 1)


Mar. 26, 2012 - Sep. 17, 2012

Mar. 8, 2013



Sep. 18, 2011 - Mar. 25, 2012

Sep. 7, 2012


(Mar. 17 is end of primary mission; Mar. 25 is end of second full solar day of science operations)


May 19, 2011 - Sep. 17, 2011

Mar. 8, 2012



Sep. 30, 2009 - May 18, 2011

Sep. 8, 2011


(Mercury orbit insertion + 2 months)


Oct. 21, 2008 - Sep. 29, 2009

Mar. 15, 2010

ACT-REACT QuickMap... (Third Mercury flyby))


Jan. 15, 2008 - Oct. 20, 2008

Apr. 15, 2009

ACT-REACT QuickMap... (Second Mercury flyby)


Jun. 6, 2007 - Jan. 14, 2008

Jul. 15, 2008

ACT-REACT QuickMap... (First Mercury flyby)


Aug. 3, 2004 - Jun. 5, 2007

Dec. 15, 2007

ACT-REACT QuickMap... (Earth and Venus flybys)


Ground calibration data

The total data volume delivered so far is 11.9 Tera-Bytes.

Feb. 27, 2015 – ACT releases new version of ACT-REACT™

A new release of REACT has been issued. A lot of work has been done in the stabilization side, lot of bugs have been fixed and there have been multiple enhancements under the hood.

In the latest releases we put a tremendous effort in making the layers update faster, making the best usage of the modern multi core architectures. In this release we have pushed the layers update speed even further optimizing the communication between processes (IPC) through shared memory.

Lot of enhancements have been done on other sides too:

  • Layers georings: faster rendering, grouping of layers georings, recentering on georing, use georing layer native projection, updating layer directly from its georing
  • Shapefile Search Tool: switch result view from list of items to detail item info, added the ability to open local resources in result items directly in the Cartographic Viewer
  • Better layers data source analysis: it is now possible to have a data preview in Layer Control Panel and in Shapefile Feature Detailed Info Panel
  • In the Development Environment (ProVIEW) improved MSHELL commands documentation browsing allowing to invoke help on an MSHELL command to open documentation of the command itself, added the ability to pause MSHELL script execution

January 17, 2015 – One More MRO/CRISM Data Period Delivered: #31

CRISM is the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, a visible-infrared hyperspectral mapper that maps the geology, composition, and layering of surface features on Mars aboard the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). CRISM data sets are produced by the CRISM Science Team at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland.

ACT is under contract to the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to implement and run the Science Operations Center PIPE-line for the MRO/CRISM instrument.

Since 2007 ACT has been working with JHU/APL in the creation and delivery of CRISM products to the NASA Planetary Data System. The following shows a delivery summary table.

Data Acquisition Year

Release# to PDS

Comments on This Release



  • Each release covers a 3 month period
  • Deliver to science team, prior to delivery to PDS, selected products (EPFs, etc.) determined by the science team to be of interest, as needed
  • Deliver all standard products generated from flight data acquired as part of each 3 month period
  • Deliver special products that are provided by science team in proper formats as appropriate















Total data delivered so far to PDS is 51.3 Tera-Bytes.


(skipping ... news updates ... due to the periodic nature of our deliveries over the years )


December 17, 2008 – Summary of Key Enhancements for ACT-REACT™ in 2008

  • Enhanced grid computing capability that enables ACT_REACT™ users to leverage multiple processers or cores in the local machine and take advantage of processors across a heterogeneous set of systems (MAC, LINUX, Windows) across the LAN.
  • Improvements to the collaborative targeting tools -- enabling detailed search and filtering for items in the target database.
  • Visualization enhancements: visualize all layers as contours, use probes to inspect data values at multiple points in the cartographic viewer, view plots for data at specific probes.
  • Scripting tools enhancements: Print from ScriptTools, mouse over inspection of the content of array and string variables, auto completion and syntax highlighting, support for global variables in expression layers.

December 11, 2008 – Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Completes Primary Science Phase.

During the intial two-year primary phase the spacecraft has found signs of a complex Martian history of climate change that produced a diversity of past watery environments. The orbiter has returned 73 terabits of science data, more than all earlier Mars missions combined. The spacecraft will build on this record as it continues to examine Mars in unprecedented detail during its next two-year phase of science operations.

ACT PIPE™ was used to process all data from the MRO CRISM instrument, the spacecraft's largest data generator. ACT's data processing highlights include:

  • Processed over 3.5 TB in about 35,000 Mars surface observations of raw CRISM EDR data
  • Created higher level CRISM products including:
    • 13 TB of Calibrated Data (TRDR)
    • 0ver 700 GB of Derived data, geomotry, etc.
    • Created 2TB of map tiles (MRDR)
    • Sent NASA PDS approximately 13TB of data (through May 8, 2008)

ACT processed the MRO/CRISM data leveraging its PIPE™ server in a grid computing infrastructure that included over 80 processors across 22 servers. The science team is also using ACT-REACT™ to support planning and targeting and science data analysis and visualization. <More>

December 8, 2008 – ACT Delivers Public Web-Based Targeting tool for LRO/LROC

ACT recently delivered a web-based Lunar targeting tool in support of the Arizona State University and NASA Education and Public Outreach program for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) LROC camera. The tool will enable the general public to analyze lunar data through a web-based, Open Layers interface and submit potential areas of interest (targets) for observation by the LROC camera. <More>

October 7, 2008 – ACT Supports 2nd MESSENGER Fly By

Yesterday, at 4:40 am EDT, MESSENGER successfully completed its second flyby of Mercury, and its cameras captured more than 1,200 high-resolution and color images of the planet – unveiling another 30 percent of Mercury’s surface that had never before been seen by spacecraft. ACT software continues to process sensor data from MESSENGER's suite of seven instruments including:

  • Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS)
  • Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
  • X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS)
  • Magnetometer (MAG)
  • Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA)
  • Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS)
  • Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS)

MESSENGER was launched in August of 2004 and will arrive in orbit around Mercury on March 18, 2011. In the meantime the MESSENGER instrument suite is capturing readings and images from Mercury during three fly bys -- the 3rd fly by will happen on September 29, 2009. The ACT team configured its PIPE™ server software to process data from each of the MESSENGER instruments and the MESSENGER Science Team is leveraging ACT-REACT™ for planning, targeting and mission tracking and progress. <More>

February 25, 2008 – ACT to support Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Scientists

In collaboration with Arizona State University School or Earth & Space Exploration, ACT has implemented a solution enabling scientists around the globe to collaborate on the identification and selection of targets for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) that will fly on LRO. LROC, developed by the ASU Science team lead by Mark Robinson, will retrieve high resolution black and white images of the lunar surface, capturing images of the lunar poles with resolutions down to 1m, and will image the lunar surface in color and ultraviolet. Science team members are using ACT-REACT™ workstation and PIPE server to view historical Lunar data and identify potential targets for the LROC mission. Potential targets are maintained in a central database that is being used to prioritize and plan the mission. <More>

January 15, 2008 – ACT Helps MESSENGER Scientist Get First Look at Mercury's Previously Unseen Side

ACT is an integral member of the Science Operations Center at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab that produced the first images of Mercury's previously unseen side. ACT's PIPE™ server is processing all the sensor data from MESSENGER's suite of instruments and creating products for the science team and NASA archives. <More>

December 17, 2007 – ACT releases new version of ACT-REACT™

ACT continues to expand ACT-REACT™ – its flagship geospatial fusion center workbench. In this version, ACT is providing expanded collaboration capabilities, numerous ease of use enhancements and development environment improvements.

Collaboration – A new network-centric collaboration feature enables users to build comprehensive workflows, generate striking, map-projected, visual products and save the results. Users are able to “publish” products and associated workflows to a server for access by other authorized users. This feature can be used to share work, collaborate across physical and temporal boundaries, and for peer-review and mark up tasks. Users can query the published data from a standard web-browser or ACT-REACT™.

Ease of use enhancements:

  • Drag-and-drop layers – enabling users to drop local geospatially referenced data on the layers rendering tree or cartographic viewer for instant addition of the layer and map projection.
  • Saved cartographic projections – enabling users to save and easily access a view projected in the cartographic viewer along with the all the information about the layers that were assembled to create the view.
  • Right click recenter & zoom – enabling users to right click a local layer and have the option to recenter and zoom into layer.
  • User defined right click options – enabling users to add their own options to the menu displayed with a right click.
  • Network status icons – icons for each network layer visually display the status of network connection.
  • Target database SQL query – enabling users to direct standard SQL queries against the targeting database from a new query tab.
  • Network configuration mode – enabling multiple users to access the same copy of ACT-REACT™ and preserve settings on a local hard drive.
  • Updated to latest version of the open source Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL)

Development environment enhancements

  • Script editor improvements enabling font size changes, expand/collapse of code branches, and simplified environmental variable access.
  • Enabled users to save development environment settings.
  • Added additional built-in functions to the to the library (e.g., url_copy_to_file(), sys_*()).

September 27, 2007 – ACT awarded MESSENGER Phase E Part II tasking -- ACT-REACT™ workstation and PIPE™ server products to be leveraged by the MESSENGER science teams.
ACT was awarded follow on tasks to continue work with the MESSENGER Science Operations Center. ACT software and the ACT team are supporting Data Management and Archiving and Data Analysis/Science tools development efforts. ACT will customize its PIPE server for the MESSENGER mission – enabling ingestion of data from MESSENGER instruments and automated production of EDR, CDR and RDR products and PDS archives. The MESSENGER science teams is also using a customized version of its fusion center workbench product -- ACT-REACT™ -- for visualization, analysis, and planning/targeting tasks.

July 28th, 2007 – ACT Products and Services available via GSA Advantage.
Applied Coherent Technology GSA schedule is added to GSA Advantage to simplify ordering for Federal and State Agencies. GSA Advantage Link

July 15, 2007 – New version of ACT-REACT™ released.
ACT continues to expand ACT-REACT™ – its flagship geospatial workbench. With this release, ACT added two key feature sets to the workbench -- coincidental data analysis and automated monitoring. Coincidental data analysis enables users to simultaneously interrogate a vast array of geospatial data and locate temporal intersections and other data junctions. These features enable analysts and scientists to quickly determine which data sets will produce the best analytic results from mountains of geospatial data. The new automated monitoring feature extends ACT-REACT’s™ workflow capabilities -- providing users with a method to schedule automatic update multiple data sources and have the data automatically ingested and displayed in the cartographic viewer.

May 7, 2007 – ACT awarded contract to support Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM Educational Program Office.
ACT was awarded an add-on task to its original award to support the educational outreach efforts of the MRO/CRISM team from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The MRO/CRISM science team is currently leveraging ACT-REACT workstation and PIPE™ server software for planning, targeting and science data ingestion and automated product creation. As part of this new task, ACT will train high school students on ACT-REACT; enabling the students to access and inspect past Mars imagery, conduct analytic tasks and collaborate with APL scientists on the selection of targets that warrant further exploration with the CRISM instrument.

March 21, 2007 - Dr. Erick Malaret addresses the Information Science and Technology Colloquium at Goddard Space Flight Center.
Dr. Malaret’s presentation -- Four Scientific Disciplines, Many Missions, One Architecture - Meeting Current and Future Science Needs through Technology Infusion and Re-use – presents an achievable architecture and strategy for maximizing the science and reuse across multiple missions.

Jan 2006 – ACT Awarded Contract through UMd for Moon Mineral Mapper (M3) mission.
Based on accomplishments in CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) and other missions, ACT was selected to participate in Moon Mineral Mapper (M3) mission through University of Maryland. The mission will leverage ACT ’s PIPE™ server for level 2 data processing. The M3 science team -- located in multiple different institutions thought the US -- using ACT REACT™ for analyzing, selecting, prioritizing and managing sensor target sites.

December 14, 2006 - Applied Coherent Technology recognized as a sponsor of the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL).
ACT continues its support for the Geospatial community becoming a GDAL Silver Sponsor - and  


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