NOAA-N and
-N' Supplement

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The launch of the NOAA-N and -N' spacecraft will bring about a number of changes to the data formats. These changes are associated with: the substitution of the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) for the AMSU-B instrument; replacement of HIRS/3 with HIRS/4 instrument; and new direct readout formats. NOAA has tried to keep the changes to a minimum, but nevertheless, it will require some software modifications by the users in order to be able to read data from NOAA-N and -N'.

NOAA has announced the intent to use the new NOAA Level 1b format (version 3) for data processed from the NOAA-15, 16 and 17 instruments beginning in early 2005 (date TBD). Version 2 formats (v2) were used on all NOAA KLM (NOAA-15, 16 and 17) data until January or February 2005 (TBD). After this date, the version 3 format (v3), also known as the NOAA-N format, will be implemented for all operational POES spacecraft. There is no plan at this time to reprocess archived data into the new format.

Part of the updates to the NOAA-N and -N' Level 1b formats is the inclusion of additional or secondary header records. These header records will contain ancillary dataset names and any metadata needed for primarily reprocessing. Currently, the content and format of any secondary header record is to be determined (TBD). Applications that will access Level 1b datasets for NOAA-N and N' should use the "Count of Header Records in this Data Set" field, located in the first, or primary, header record to calculate the position of the first data record and skip the secondary header records.

The following links provide the user with information on the specific changes for the NOAA-N and -N' spacecraft.

1) Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) instrument replaces the AMSU-B

2) HIRS/4 instead of HIRS/3 instrument

3) AVHRR changes

4) Advanced DCS (A-DCS) changes

5) Direct Readout formats

6) Appendix D

Amended February 18, 2004

Amended February 23, 2004

Amended March 10, 2004

Amended March 29, 2004

Amended April 5, 2004

Amended April 19, 2004

Amended July 14, 2004

Amended August 27, 2004

Amended January 4, 2005

Amended May 25, 2005

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