From Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

The CF Standards Cluster


Propose extensions to the CF naming conventions that are relevant to observational data
Create use cases and interoperability demos that demonstrate the value of CF usage in remote sensing
Provide tutorials at Federation meetings on the use of the CF conventions

Get Involved: Monthly Telecons

Next telecon:
Monday Dec 12, 3pm ET / 12noon PT
Dial: 877-668-4493
Access code: 23138379
Winter Meeting Plans
Selection of Cluster Chair
Minutes of past telecons/meetings:

Possible CF Extensions

1. Spectral bands
Define as dimension rather than coordinate variable
Pre-define band names
Pre-define by wavelength/frequency range
2. Data quality
Modifiers such as "percent_cloud_free"
3. Swath geometry
Orbital parameters
4. Engineering parameters
Calibration tables

CF-Aware Tools

Spectral Band Proposal by Tom Whittaker

Create standard_names that can be recognized by applications as being the special "band dimension" variable (similar to "time"). The name of this dimension variable would not, however, be specified, but inferred from its attributes.

Create two coordinate axis types ("wavelength" and "wavenumber") that can be recognized by the NetCDF library as defining a "spectral coordinate".

Thus, the band dimension might be declared:

<variable name="band" shape="band" type="float" >
<attribute name="standard_name" value="wavelength" />
<attribute name="units" value = "cm" />
<attribute name="_CoordinateAxisType" value = "wavelength" />

The dimension variable can then be used to dimension arrays associated with the spectral channels, e.g., wavelength boundaries for each band (channel), units, scaling, etc. The use of these (dimensioned) variables, however, would be up to the application developers rather than made part of the conventions, per se.

This would necessitate creating perhaps two new standard_names:

wavelength (there is already a "radiation_wavelength" with "electromagnetic_wavelength" as an alias, but I don't see an issue for making just "wavelength" a standard name, either. I also recognize that in most cases this refers to the center wavelength of the band/channel, and perhaps should be so designated...?).

wavenumber (There is no equivalent standard_name. Again, I imagine this would actually refer to a center wavenumber).

We would also then need to define two new coordinate axis types: wavelength and wavenumber.

For the case where people don't or can't use the dimension variable as a coordinate variable, we recommend that they use the convention name "band" as the dimension variable so that applications can at least recognize this for what it is.

In all cases, new (dimensioned) variables could then be used to specify band-specific attributes. For example:

<variable name="minimum_wavelength" shape="band" type="double">
<attribute name="units" value="cm" />

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Interim Chair: Rob Raskin raskin at