11, Sep 2023
Ionogram Standard for the Storage of Scaled Digisonde Ionograms

The norme ionogramme of automatic scaling of the echo traces on ionograms is an important issue for the use of ionospheric models in nowcasting. The automatic scaling program in Digisonde ionosondes (ARTIST) and ADEP are able to produce scaled data with high reliability. However, the data files produced by these programs are not well suited for standard URSI data formats. This report describes a new ionogram standard format which allows for the storage of scaled Digisonde ionograms in a manner which can be read with standard URSI software.

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The format consists of a header and a set of channels. The channel data is a 2D matrix with columns and rows representing the sounded frequencies, virtual reflection heights, and signal amplitudes. The channels are separated by an encoding function which permits data to be stored in a compact form without the loss of information.

The standard archiving output (SAO) format was originally developed for storing Digisonde ionograms scaled by ARTIST and edited using ADEP. A number of additional features were added with the release of SAO version 4.2 to make the format more generalized for the storage of scaled ionograms. This paper also explains the database structure used to store the ionospheric characteristics in the SAO file and the programs developed to implement it.

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