What format are the Aquarius salinity data in and how can they be read into computer memory?
Other than the Level 0 Aquarius data which are in binary format, all other Aquarius data products (L1, 2 and 3) are in HDF5 file format (http://www.hdfgroup.org/HDF5/). Detailed information on the L2 and L3 product data specifications are available in the Aquarius Data Users Guide available on the PO.DAAC DRIVE-site (https://podaac-tools.jpl.nasa.gov/drive ... arius/docs). This includes a description of file global attributes and all file variables for both L2 and L3 file types. Users simply wanting to browse the structure, metadata and data contents of Aquarius data files interactively via a GUI tool should consider the following free and easy to use software packages: Panoply (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/panoply/) and HDFview (http://www.hdfgroup.org/products/java/h ... l/hdfview/). For users wanting to access Aquarius data for analysis, PO.DAAC provides routines in MATLAB and IDL in the \SW directory of PO.DAAC DRIVE (https://podaac-tools.jpl.nasa.gov/drive ... quarius/sw). Documentation for these routines is provided in the source files themselves and in the User’s Guide. For MATLAB a generalized Matlab HDF5 reader routine (“readHDF5”) and plotting routine (“plotAquarius.m”) is available and will work for both Aquarius L2 and L3 files. The MATLAB script “callFuncs_ReadHDF5_PlotAquarius.m” illustrates usage of these routines. For users of IDL, the "h5_browser" is a GUI-based tool part of the IDL software suite that is easy to use and particularly helpful for inspecting Aquarius data products. For users wanting to read the Aquarius data particularly for analysis purposes in the IDL environment, PO.DAAC provides two IDL readers: one for the L2 data ("read_aquarius_hdf_L2.pro"), and one for the L3 files ("read_aquarius_hdf_L3_mapped.pro"). Both can be run interactively from the IDL command line.