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HDF-EOS Aura File Format Guidelines. Cheryl Craig September 20, 2000. Aura Data System Working Group will meet in October to discuss and hopefully adopt Authors from each instrument team are in agreement. Preliminary.

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HDF-EOS Aura File Format Guidelines

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HDF-EOS Aura File Format Guidelines

Cheryl Craig

September 20, 2000

Aura Data System Working Group will meet in October to discuss and hopefully adopt

Authors from each instrument team are in agreement


Third in series of EOS atmospheric chemistry satellites (1:45 PM equator crossing time)

Formerly known as CHEM

To be launched June 2003

Level 2 data products include:

Vertical profiles of temperature, pressure, chemical and aerosol species

Column amounts of chemical species

Cloud properties

What Is Aura?

HIRDLS (High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder)

Limb infrared sounder

University of CO and Oxford

MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder)

Limb microwave sounder


OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument)

Nadir wide-field-imaging spectrometer

Netherlands, Finland and US

TES (Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer)

Nadir and limb infrared-imaging spectrometer


All instruments have world-wide co-investigators

Aura Instruments

HDF-EOS Swath allows a lot of flexibility

Ease cross-platform use of Aura files

Ease development of software

Easier to understand

Intended to standardize Level 2 files (may apply to Level 3 and above as well)

Why Guidelines for Aura Instruments?

Organization of data fields and attributes

Dimension names

Geolocation names and dimension ordering

Data field names and dimension ordering

Units for data fields

Attribute names, values and units

Areas of Potential Mismatch

Instrument teams will use the same major version of HDF-EOS

Aura Level 2 files will use HDF-EOS Swath

HDF-EOS structure names will strictly adhere to Valids list

Data will be reported on a pressure grid and be ordered from ground to space

Guidelines List

Data fields will be ordered with pressure coordinate being the fastest incrementing coordinate

Data fields will be in units specified

HDF fill value and MissingValue will have the same value

Instrument data fields unique to particular instrument will be prefixed with instrument name

Guidelines List (continued)

Swathname: Instrument Name



nLevels etc.

Geolocation Fields:


Latitude etc.

Data Fields:


O3 etc.

Global Attributes:

Instrument Name

Process Level etc.

Swathname: Meas. Species Name



nLevels etc.

Geolocation Fields:


Latitude etc.

Data Fields:



Global Attributes:

Instrument Name

Process Level etc.

Organization of Data Fields and Attributes

Type 1

Type 2

  • HDF-EOS V3.x Note – Two types may be merged into one using links for Data Field Names

Adhere to strict names (spacing and capitalization required)

Dimension names

Geolocation Fields – Used to hold descriptor data (includes SolarZenithAngle, OrbitAscendingFlag, etc.)

Data Fields – Contains measured and derived data

Global Attributes – Includes InstrumentName and ProcessLevel

Data Field Attributes – only if use HDF-EOSV3 (includes MissingValue, ScaleFactor, Units, etc.)

Standard Names



Currently used by Terra and Aqua teams

Currently available


Based on HD4 – supported by HDF group in maintenance only mode



Contains new functionality

local data attributes

more than one unlimited dimension

compression with unlimited dimensions

Based on HDF5


IDL support (unknown?)

HDF-EOS V2.x Versus V3.x

Aura will decide at future date. At January, 2000 DSWG, indicated desire to used V3.x if packages like IDL will be available in V3.x

Preliminary standardization complete – meeting in October to discuss and adopt

HDF-EOS version decision to be decided at a future date

Some decisions postponed until prototyping efforts complete

Standard may evolve as instrument teams get better understanding of their data storage needs

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