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Proposed CF Standard Names and Units

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The EUMETSAT Data Centre endeavours to use the Climate and Forecast (CF) Standard Names and Units convention in the development of netCDF delivery formats.

Last Updated

21 September 2020

Published on

01 May 2013

Currently, the scope of this convention does not provide enough coverage for netCDF datasets created from satellite data. This is a known limitation and it is being addressed by the netCDF developers in the user community through the submission of proposed updates to the CF governance committee for inclusion into the convention.

The process for doing this is:

  • Submit the proposed updates to the CF Satellite mailing list, for comments and feedback. Based on the inputs received, the proposed updates should be reviewed. It is recommended to allow subscribers on the mailing list sufficient time to provide input.
  • Submit the proposed updates to the CF Metadata Trac for the attention of the CF governance committee. It will take some time for the update to be reviewed and if accepted, included into the conventions.

The Data Centre is proposing the following updates:

Updates to standard names and units convention
Definition Proposed Standard Name Proposed Unit
Azimuth angle is the angle measured towards the east, from north, along the astronomical horizon to the intersection of the great circle passing through the point and the astronomical zenith with the astronomical horizon. azimuth_angle degrees
Latitude of the satellite measured at the sub-satellite point. platform_latitude degrees_north
Longitude of the satellite measured at the sub-satellite point. platform_longitude degrees_east
Altitude of the satellite above mean sea level. platform_altitude m
Bandwidth of the satellite’s spectral channel. sensor_band_spectral_width cm-1
'toa' means top of atmosphere; irradiance which is relevant for any sensor measuring in the UV-VIS and NIR. This parameter is reported by integrating over the whole sphere. toa_spectral_irradiance mW m-2 (cm-1)-1
Ratio of radiance to irradiance I/I0, reflection from a thick layer where the layer, here the atmosphere, is part of the reflection's property. toa_spectral_reflectance 1
'toa' means top of atmosphere; "outgoing" means emitted toward outer space; the radiance is integrated over a discrete band. toa_outgoing_inband_radiance mW m-2 sr-1
Ratio of the energy of reflected to incident light at the top of atmosphere. toa_reflectance Percent