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Last update
13 May 2008

This page is maintained by
Mark Fielding

All content Copyright © The University of Reading unless otherwise stated.


If ever you need to use Chilbolton data you may find the code on this page useful.

Reading Chilbolton NetCDF data

Chilbolton cloud radar and lidar data is now available at the British Atmospheric Data Centre in NetCDF format. It is accompanied by raingauge data in simple ASCII. Here is some documentation:

Scanning data from the 3 GHz radar will shortly be available at BADC:

Here is code for reading NetCDF data into some popular data analysis packages:

Reading Chilbolton-format radar data, Chilbolton FFT data and Vaisala lidar ceilometer data

Chilbolton radar data is stored in its own unique format that has been extended a number of times over the last few years. This package contains source code for UNIX utilities to read and process both scanning and vertically-pointing data, including utilities to convert to ASCII and NetCDF, and to produce quicklooks in EPS or PNG format (similar to the real-time cloud radar images on this site). There is also a "mex" program for reading data directly into matlab. The ability to read Chilbolton FFT data (Doppler spectra) and Vaisala lidar ceilometer data is also included.

Converting model ASCII data to NetCDF

Data from the Met Office, ECMWF and Meteo France models is supplied to the CloudNET project in different ASCII formats. The cnconversion code converts these various formats into one common NetCDF format.

Contact Ewan O'Connor if you have any problems.

Calculating microwave propagation and scattering parameters

The mwps package contains code to calculate gaseous attenuation (using the Liebe 1985 line-by-line model) and dielectric parameters of liquid water (using the Manabe, Liebe and Hufford 1987 "double-Debye" formulation), as a function of frequency, temperature, pressure and relative humidity. It includes a program for converting ECMWF DDH var files to NetCDF, including calculation of propagation parameters at any frequency specified (up to 300 GHz), although this is now obsoleted by cnconversion above.

Contact Robin Hogan if you have any problems.

Reading Vaisala lidar ceilometer data

  • LCload.m (16 Dec 1999) - load lidar ceilometer data into matlab (much slower than the MEX file in the code above, and with no data cleanup).
  • ceil.pro (16 Dec 1999) - load lidar ceilometer data into IDL + pretty graphical front end. (Provided by RAL for the CLARE'98 experiment.)

Plotting 3GHz data using Matlab

The Danplot package allows you to browse and plot 3GHz data using Matlab, and implements some processing of Doppler data in particular. You'll need two files (as well as Matlab):

  • dataview.tar.gz - The main Danplot package.
  • matlab.tar.gz - A collection of matlab scripts and MEX files, many of them used by the Danplot package above.

Copy dataview.tar.gz into your $HOME/dataview and untar/unzip it. Then read the comments at the top of danplot.m and the file doc/README.ps (or .tex)

See also...

    Mathworks - all about matlab
    UNIDATA - all about netCDF
    MexCDF - a matlab toolbox for reading NetCDF data
    The Gimp - used to create the some of the graphics on this web site.