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For this page:
INTERNAL LINKS

EXTERNAL LINKS
THE NERC MST RADAR FACILITY AT ABERYSTWYTH
DATA FILE NAMING CONVENTIONS
The British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) make the following recommendations for data storage:
  • All data (from a given instrument or for a given data type) for a 24 hour period (00:00:00 - 23:59:59 UTC) should be stored in a single file
  • the following file naming convention should be adopted so that the contents of the file can be appreciated without having to read it:
instrument-name_location-name_YYYYMMDD[hh][mm][ss][_extra].ext

where:

instrument-name is the name of the instrument. In order to remove ambiguities for field campaigns where several groups are recording the same data type at the same location, the instrument name should be prefixed with an institute name. The prefix "nerc-mstrf-" has only been added to the most recent data types for the NERC MST Radar Facility. It will gradually be added to all file types - click here for more details.
instrument-location is name of the place where the instrument was located (not of the organisation which made the observations). This is either capel-dewi or frongoch for data from the NERC MST Radar Facility.
YYYY is the 4-digit year during which the data were collected
MM is the 2-digit month [01 - 12] during which the data were collected
DD is the 2-digit day [01 - 31] during which the data were collected
hh is a 2-digit hour [00 - 23] during which the data were collected
mm is a 2-digit minute [00 - 59] during which the data were collected
ss is a 2-digit second [00 - 59] during which the data were collected
extra contains any additional important information
ext indicates the file format. This is typically na for Nasa Ames files or nc for netCDF files.

The fields shown in square brackets are optional. The BADC maintains a list of accepted instrument and location names.

All of the files generated by the NERC MST Radar Facility since around 2005 have followed the above naming convention (albeit without the use of an institution name in the instrument name field). A number of legacy files exist which follow a similar, but more restricted, file naming convention:

prefixYYMMDD[_hhmm].ext

prefix is a 2 or 3 (lower-case) character file type indentifier
YY is the 2-digit year [00 - 99] during which the observations were made


The file name extensions are typically one of the following:

dat indicating a (non-standard) binary format
gz indicating a (non-standard) ASCII format which has been compressed (see below)
tgz indicates a number of consecutive (non-standard) ASCII format files which have been archived into a single file before being compressed (see below).


Dealing with .gz and .tgz extension files
These binary files have been compressed using the GNU gzip function. On a Linux/Unix system they can be uncompressed with the command:

gunzip filename.gz
gunzip filename.tgz

In the case of the .gz extension files, this gives an ASCII file with the name filename, which has no extension. In the case of the .tgz extension files, this gives an archive file (which contains a number of separate files) with the name filename.tar. The individual (ASCII) files are retrieved with the command:

tar xvf filename.tar

On a Windows machine, these functions can be achieved through a tool such as WinZip. NOTE, however, that this gives rise to an unexpected change in file name in the case of the
unaveraged wind files.

Internal Links:
Return to the top of the page
Access to the data
Directory naming convention
File contents
Overview of file formats
External Links:
File-naming conventions, on the BADC site
The current list of accepted instrument and location names
Page maintained by David Hooper
Last updated 9th September 2008