About the PDS

The PDS is a federation of nine teams geographically distributed around the U.S. Six are science discipline nodes, focusing on Atmospheres, Geosciences, Cartography and Imaging Sciences, Planetary Plasma Interactions, Ring-Moon Systems, and Small Bodies. There are two support nodes: the Engineering Node, and the Navigation and Ancillary Information Node. The ninth team is the project management group, which includes a project scientist function.

Several of the nodes have "sub-nodes" to help with a specific aspect of the node's discipline. Several of the nodes oversee one or more data nodes, established for a short period of time to deliver a specific data collection to the PDS.

Each node is led by an expert in the subject discipline, and each has an advisory group made up of other practitioners of that discipline. Node selections are made every five years under a NASA Research Announcement.

In 2017, a PDS Roadmap Study Report was produced. The report summarizes an assessment of the state of PDS, highlights community-based findings, and serves as a roadmap for PDS as it evolves.

This diagram identifies the primary nodes and the institutions at which they are located. For more information about each node, see PDS Node Descriptions.