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How to read AXBT data files

  1. Description of AXBT

    The Airborne eXpendable BathyThermograph (AXBT) measures ocean temperature as a function of depth. As part of the Hurricane Research Division's hurricane field program, AXBT data is collected to
    1. assess the upper ocean's heat content available to approaching hurricanes
    2. make quantitative estimates of upper ocean rates of mixing and cooling, and heat fluxes in the storm environment

  2. How to unpack the data files

    After downloading the file to your unix machine unpack using:
    	% gzip -vd .tar.gz
    	% tar xvf .tar

  3. Files naming and data organization

    The resulting files are the drop data themselves, named by "splash" date and time. The files are named according to the format:
    where YYYY is year, MM is month, DD is day, X is the flight ID (H or I), HH is hour, MM is minute, SS is second of splash time.

    The data in each of the drop files is as follows:

    	First line has 1) number of points in vertical profile,
                           2) longitude 
                           3) latitude
            Each subsequent line has two columns:
    		       1) depth (meters)                 
    	               2) temperatue (Celsius)	
    Longitudes and latitudes are decimal (not minutes/seconds). The position is the location of the aircraft at launch time. The original data is provided from the instrument at approximately 1.5 meter vertical resolution, and has been interpolated to 1 meter levels using cubic splines.

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