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Cloud Absorption Radiometer (CAR) data are stored and distributed as Hierarchical Data Format(HDF) files. 

Developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), HDF is a multi-object file format for the transfer of graphical and numerical data between different computer platforms. It is a self-describing, portable, and public domain data format. 

Please consult the online resources for additional information and description of HDF at the NCSA HDF Home Page. It's important to install the latest release of the HDF package on your platform. 

There are three groups of objects in a CAR HDF file:

  • Global Attributes: General information about the flight and the data set.
  • Dimensions: Denote the size of the arrays.
  • Arrays and their Attributes: Physical data parameters as a function of time. Attributes describe each array.

To view the CAR HDF files install ‘HDFVIEW’. This software is freely available at HDFVIEW

CAR HDF files can also be read by calling either:

No matter which of the two methods is being used, the HDF multi-file libraries will handle the calls properly and will be transparent to the user.

Polar BRDF Python Software