NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility
The Space Photography Laboratory (SPL) is a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility (RPIF), one of an international system of planetary image libraries, that was established in 1977. These facilities maintain photographic and digital data as well as mission documentation and cartographic data. Each facility's general collection contains images and maps of planets and their satellites taken by solar system exploration spacecraft.
SPL collections include terrestrial and planetary images in prints, negatives, and/or digital records. All materials are cataloged, systematically filed, protected, and made available to users. All photographic (print) and film records are stored in archive-quality media. Planetary maps and charts are an integral part of the SPL collections.
In addition to planetary collections, sets of terrestrial maps, charts, and aerial photographs used in previous and on-going planetary geology analog field studies are contained in SPL. Included are images from Earth-orbiting spacecraft; digital files from the Shuttle Radar Laboratory experiment; Side-looking Airborne Radar image sets for select areas: i.e. coverage of Japan and Nigeria; photographic prints; negatives; and ancillary data files.
SPL collections also contain the photographic records from various laboratory experiments which have been run by ASU planetary scientists, including records from the NASA-Ames Vertical Gun impact facility, the Mars Surface Wind Tunnel, and various volcanic simulation experiments.
The SPL "stacks" have mission documentation, books and other general planetary science references, abstract volumes from key meetings, and journals important to planetary geoscience.
SPL houses hundreds of thousands of products within its collection. Users of SPL have access to Earth and planetary data stored on CD-ROMs, and to online catalogs for searching and retrieving image information. The facility also supports the user with work space, computer workstations, light tables, drafting tables, Earth and planetary globes, microfiche viewers, videotapes, and slides. Facility personnel are available to assist in the use of the collection and equipment.
SPL is located at the main campus of Arizona State University, on the fifth floor of the Bateman Physical Sciences Center F-Wing in room PSF-513A. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Regents' Professor Ronald Greeley, of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, is the Director of SPL.