Caviar is an IDL-based software package for the measurement of the positions of natural satellites in spacecraft images.

The current version is designed only for images from the Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) of the Cassini spacecraft.

An example of the main Caviar interface, showing a Cassini image of the Saturnian satellite Dione, with background stars annotated:

Natural satellite positions can be measured either using a limb-finding technique (for resolved images), or a centroiding technique (for unresolved images). Reference star positions are used to correct for errors in the nominal camera pointing direction. Currently the Tycho2 and UCAC5 star catalogues are used.


The following requirements are necessary to run Caviar:


Caviar is available for download via the links shown below. The source code and SPICE kernels are provided separately.

  • The full CAVIAR article is available here
  • Caviar source code and documentation (5 Mo): download
  • A set of SPICE kernels covering the Cassini Mission up to mid-2016 (6.3 Go): download

Future released versions of Caviar will allow the reduction of images from other spacecraft missions, including Viking, Mariner 9, Voyager, Galileo and New Horizons. Options for automatic astrometry are also being explored.

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Last update Wednesday 06 October 2021