This software was developed for the NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System) Preparatory Project (NPP) Science Data Segment. The purpose of this software is to compare HDF5 (Hierarchical Data Format) files specific to NPP and report whether the HDF5 files are identical. If the HDF5 files are different, users have the option of printing out the list of differences in the HDF5 data files.

The user provides paths to two directories containing a list of HDF5 files to compare. The tool would select matching HDF5 file names from the two directories and run the comparison on each file.

The user can also select from three levels of detail. Level 0 is the basic level, which simply states whether the files match or not. Level 1 is the intermediate level, which lists the differences between the files. Level 2 lists all the details regarding the comparison, such as which objects were compared, and how and where they are different.

The HDF5 tool is written specifically for the NPP project. As such, it ignores certain attributes (such as creation_date, creation_ time, etc.) in the HDF5 files. This is because even though two HDF5 files could represent exactly the same granule, if they are created at different times, the creation date and time would be different. This tool is smart enough to ignore differences that are not relevant to NPP users.

This work was done by Chiu P. Wiegand, Jacqueline LeMoigne-Stewart, and LaMont T. Ruley of Goddard Space Flight Center.