A C-language computer program accepts, as input, a set of scientific data and metadata from an Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite and converts the set from (1) the format in which it was created and delivered to (2) another format for processing and exchange of data on Earth. The first-mentioned format can be either HDF-EOS 2 or HDF-EOS 5 (“HDF” signifies “Hierarchical Data Format”). The second-mentioned format is netCDF (“CDF” signifies “Common Data Format”), which is an open-standard, machine-independent, self-describing format for scientific-data files. In the absence of this or a similar program, incompatibilities among the three file formats can cause loss of metadata upon conversion.

This program preserves as many of the metadata as possible upon conversion. The program opens the input HDF-EOS 2 or HDF-EOS 5 file, queries the components of the file by use of the HDF-EOS 2 and HDF-EOS 5 Compatibility Library (which is described in the immediately following article and provides uniform access to HDF-EOS 2 and HDF-EOS 5 files), and writes the data and metadata components into a netCDF file following the Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata conventions.

This program was written by Richard Ullman of Goddard Space Flight Center; Bob Bane of Global Science & Technology, Inc.; and Jingli Yang of Earth Resources Technology, Inc.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2008 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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