IRBEM Library user manual#

The International Radiation Belt Environment Modeling (IRBEM) library is a set of source codes dedicated to radiation belt modeling. The library facilitates the calculation of magnetic coordinates and drift shells using various external magnetic field models. Further routines are provided for various spatial coordinate and time format transformations.

The library can be called from FORTRAN or C code and from Python, IDL or MATLAB code. For Python, IDL and MATLAB, wrappers are provided in the distribution package. The SpacePy python package does also provide a wrapper to the IRBEM library (spacepy.irbempy).

The International Radiation Belt Environment Modeling (IRBEM) library is freely distributed under the umbrella of COSPAR’s Panel on Radiation Belt Modeling (PRBEM).

For any questions, suggestions or to report bugs please visit the issue tracker at the source repository on GitHub.

Publication aknowledgement#

When publishing research that used IRBEM, please provide appropriate credit to the IRBEM team via acknowledgment:

We acknowledge the use of the IRBEM library (XXX), the latest version of which can be found at

where XXX is replaced by one of the following, depending on if you are using an official release library or a repository version of the library:

  • Official Release: XXX = “version X.Y.Z” where X.Y.Z is the version number of the official release that was used (PRBEM/IRBEM)

  • Repository Version: XXX = “repository version YYY” where YYY is the output of git rev-parse --short HEAD

Library content#

Rule of use#

This library is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this library. If not, see

COSPAR does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, use, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed in documents and software available from the IRBEM library or developed as a result of the use of information or software made available from the library.