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SatelliteDL: Helping you manage satellite datasets.

SatelliteDL is an IDL toolkit for the analysis of satellite Earth observations from a diverse set of platforms and sensors. The design features an abstraction layer that allows for easy inclusion of new datasets in a modular way. The core function of the toolkit is the spatial and temporal alignment of satellite swath and geostationary data. IDL has a powerful suite of statistical and visualization tools that can be used in conjunction with SatelliteDL. Our overarching objective is to create utilities that automate the mundane aspects of satellite data analysis, are extensible and maintainable, and do not place limitations on the analysis itself.

Toward this end we have constructed SatelliteDL to include:

  1. HTML and LaTeX API document generation,
  2. a unit test framework,
  3. automatic message and error logs,
  4. HTML and LaTeX plot and table generation,
  5. several real world examples with bundled datasets available for download.

For ease of use, datasets, variables and optional workflows may be specified in a flexible format configuration file. Configuration statements may specify, for example, a region and date range, and the creation of images, plots and statistical summary tables for a long list of variables. SatelliteDL enforces data provenance; all data should be traceable and reproducible.

The output NetCDF file metadata holds a complete history of the original datasets and their transformations, and a method exists to reconstruct a configuration file from this information.

Releases of early-user-access SatelliteDL took place in 2013, with full release in 2014. SatelliteDL is distributed with

Future releases will provide ingest methods for ocean and land surface products, gridded and time averaged datasets (L3 Daily, Monthly and Yearly), and support for 3D products such as temperature and water vapor profiles. Emphasis will be on NPP Sensor, Environmental and Climate Data Records as they become available. More details area available at the project URL.

SatelliteDL block diagram