RAF Data Documentation


Since 1975, RAF has archived its production data sets as bitfiles on the NCAR/CISL High Performance Store System (HPSS).   Data are accessible via the EOL data management system. Please note that some older logs are incomplete due to lost data.   A cryptic list of RAF projects from 1975 to 2007 can be found at RAF Projects by Fiscal year.

Where available, each dataset has a link to a sample netCDF or GENPRO header.   Among other things it has a list of the measurements made for one example flight.   In most cases the measurement list will apply to all flights for that project.


  • A project number's first digit indicates which aicraft was used.
    • 1 = N130AR, C-130Q Hercules
    • 2 = N312D, B200T KingAir (one N2UW, Wyoming KingAir project in 1985)
    • 3 = Naval Research Lab (NRL) P-3
    • 4 = N304D, QueenAir, A-80
    • 5 = N677F, Gulfstream V (from 2005)
      5 = N595KR, L-188 Electra (1973 through 1977)
    • 6 = N306D, QueenAir, B-80
    • 7 = N307D, Sabreliner, Model 60
    • 8 = N308D, L-188 Electra (1978 through 2000)
    • 9 = N9929J, Schweitzer 2-32 Sailplane
  • The specific format for each data set is shown in the project's bitfile log.   See RAF Bulletin No. 9 for an explanation of RAF output data formats. Appendix D gives information on netCDF.   Appendix E describes our now-obsolete GENPRO data formats.

    Virtually all project data prior to 1983 will be in GENPRO-I format, and, to decode those data, RAF has only an old FORTRAN-77 program (written for a Cray machine) and some project-specific, donated MATLAB software.

    RAF has registered its specific netCDF NIMBUS conventions with Unidata.   They can be found at the URL http://www.eol.ucar.edu/raf/Software/netCDF.html.   netCDF software and reference information can be found here.
  • On 10 June 2002 RAF changed its naming convention for netCDF files and is now using "nc" as its extension instead of "cdf".   (The extent name will not change for netCDF files archived prior to 2000.) Please be aware that for some RAF software utilities, the "nc" extension must be used.   This may require renaming a file before using it.

 RAF Assigned Project Numbers (a table relating deprecated RAF assigned 3-dgit project numbers to project name) Internal Only