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A simple and small python package for handling and processing heliospheric satellite data.


Install the latest version manually using git:

git clone
cd HelioSat
pip install .

or from PyPi with pip install HelioSat.

Basic Usage

Import the heliosat module and create a satellite instance:

import heliosat

wind_sat = heliosat.WIND()

This will automatically download and load any required SPICE kernels (using spiceypy). Note that kernel or data files will be stored in ~/.heliosat by default. As this may use up alot of disk space you can alternatively change the default path by setting the environment variable HELIOSAT_DATAPATH.

Querying raw data in a certain time window can then be done using:

import datetime

t_start = datetime.datetime(2010, 1, 1)
t_end = datetime.datetime(2010, 1, 3)

t_raw, data_raw = wind_sat.get_data_raw(t_start, t_end, "mfi_h0")

Alternatively processed data at specific times in a specific reference frame can be queried using:

# observer datetimes for an entire week
obs = [t_start + datetime.timedelta(minutes=12 * i) for i in range(0, 7 * 24 * 5)]

# smoothing using a gaussian kernel and a smoothing scale of 5 minutes, the data is also cached
t_sm, data_sm = heliosat.get_data(obs, "mfi_h0", frame="J2000", smoothing="kernel", cache=True,
                                  return_datetimes=True, remove_nans=True)

If particular data columns are not being read out but are present within the data files, they can be added by setting the extra_columns parameter.


By default most satellites will have "mag" and "proton" data available. For a full list of all available data and definitions see the heliosat/json/spacecraft.json file.


  • Get object trajectory using wind_sat.trajectory(obs, frame="J2000")

Available satellites & data:

Satellites Trajectory Magnetic Field Protons
DSCOVR No* Yes Yes
PSP Yes Yes Yes
STEREO A Yes Yes Yes
STEREO B Yes Yes Yes
VEX Yes Yes No
WIND No* Yes Yes

*DSCOVR and WIND trajectory currently return the Earth trajectory.

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