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Software Tools

The listed tools are available to help handle and manipulate AIRS data files. The AIRS Data Support Team at GES DISC is researching, testing and enhancing various software packages to designed to handle the HDF-EOS data format (the AIRS standard format). Inclusion of an externally developed software tool in the list below does not represent an endorsement of that tool by the Goddard Earth Sciences DISC.


   Package Name
AIRS data readers provided by the AIRS Science Team, NASA JPL

FORTRAN/C readers for version 5 Level-1B and Level-2 data, refer to the accompanying Guide document.

FORTRAN/C readers for version 6 Level-2 data, refer to the accompanying Guide document.

IDL and MATLAB procedures to read Level-1B, Level-2 and Level-3 product files.

A Java-based GUI tool for browsing and editing HDF4 and HDF5 files. HDFEOS plug-in extends the capabilities to HDFEOS files.

Integrated Data Viewer

The Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) from Unidata is a Java-based software framework for analyzing and visualizing geoscience data. The IDV brings together the ability to display and work with satellite imagery, gridded data, surface observations, balloon soundings, NWS WSR-88D Level II and Level III radar data, and NOAA National Profiler Network data, all within a unified interface.

GES DISC provides a step-by-step README document on how to display AIRS 3-D data as vertical cross section plots. The input data is in netCDF format, which can be obtained using our HDF to netCDF conversion service.

HDF Zoo Examples on how to access and visualize various NASA HDF/HDF-EOS files using IDL®, MATLAB® and NCL.
GISS Panoply Viewer Panoply is a cross-platform application which plots geo-gridded arrays from netCDF, HDF and GRIB datasets.


Tools Developed by GES DISC

Package Name

Giovanni AIRS Level-3

Daily / Monthly


Giovanni is a Web-based application developed by the GES DISC that provides a simple and intuitive way to visualize, analyze, and access vast amounts of Earth science remote sensing data without having to download the data. AIRS Level-3, daily and monthly products, are available through Giovanni. Other Giovanni instances:A-Train, MISR, MODIS, MLS, OMI, TRMM, ...

A command line utility to browse the content of HDF/HDFEOS files.

swath_time utility
A command line utility that converts Time() array stored in AIRS Level-1B and Level-2 products from TAI93 (TAI seconds since 1993-JAN-01) to UTC date and time, and prints the results to screen in ISO date format.

1. IDL compiled *.sav file:
To run on Linux/Unix environment: idl -novm -rt=swath_time.sav –args filename
Example: idl -novm -rt=swath_time.sav –args

2. Linux Executable:
Usage: swath_time.exe <filename>
Example: swath_time.exe
AIRS L2 Support Product Vertical Slice Plot

A utility that generates vertical curtain plots of Level-2 support product. In order to run on Linux/Unix environment:

idl -novm -rt=airx2sup_curtain.sav -args filename 

filename: L2 support product (path must be included)


idl -novm -rt=airx2sup_curtain.sav –args



Output jpg plots are written to current working directory.


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Last updated: Jun 10, 2014 02:49 PM ET