The data input into the archive is organized exclusively via so called station-to-archive files. Thus, any station scientists must be familar with this file format. After quality checks have been performed by the staff of the archive, accepted files can be retrieved in their original format from any customer via ftp. Since the station-to-archive file is rather unique and complex we recommend all customers not familar with this format to retrieve BSRN-data alternatively via PANGAEA.

File structure

A single station-to-archive file contains all data from one month and one station. All files are named stammyy.dat with sta = station abbreviation, see “Event label” but written in small letters, mm = month (01-12) and yy = year (last two numbers). All station-to-archive files are ASCII coded. The length of the lines in the files is less than or equal to 80 characters. The end-of-line character of the files is LF.

Each station-to-archive file is grouped in logical records. The logical records are headed by a line beginning with *C9999 or *U9999, where 9999 is the logical record number. The second character of the logical record header line is C if data in the logical record has changed compared to the previous month, U if there are no changes

Information concerning the station and the instruments can be found in the logical record numbers below 99. The basic measurements - obligatory for all BSRN-stations - are coded in the logical record LR 0100. All optional logical records carry higher numbers. The important logical records are:

  • LR 0100 Basic measurements (global, direct,diffuse, downward long-wave, air temperature, relative humidity, pressure)
  • LR 0300 Other measurements (upward short-wave, upward long-wave, net)
  • LR 0500 Ultra-violet measurements (uv-a, ub-b)
  • LR 1000 Surface SYNOPS
  • LR 1100 Radiosonde measurements
  • LR 1200 Ozone measurements
  • LR 1300 Expanded measurements with instruments (total cloud amount, cloud base height, cloud liquid water)
  • LR 3nnn Other measurements at nnn meter height (global, upward short-wave, downward long-wave, upward long-wave, air temperature, relative humidity)
  • LR 4000 Net radiation and pyrgeometer temperatures (dome and body), click here for the new format (status 2023) and here for a LR4000 check script
  • LR 4nnn Pyrgeometer temperatures at nnn meter height (dome and body)

Detailed definition of the station-to-archive file format

The current format is described in detail in Table 1 in the GCOS-174 publication. Table 2 till Table A7 from that file contain information about the BSRN-stations, the identification numbers of the quantities measured, the code for the surface and topography types, as well as code how the pyrgeometer body and dome temperature compensation was performed.

The first line of most metadata logical records and of the instrument sub-records contains the date when any change as compared to the previous accumulation period occurred. This date is the start of the period, for which the values given in the following fields of the record apply. The missing value code (-1) indicating that no change occurred is mandatory if the logical record is flagged as unchanged in the record header line.

The unique identification numbers of the radiation instruments (WRMC No.) carry 5 digits. The first 2 digits normally corresponds to the unique BSRN station number given once from the WRMC to the station manager; the last three digits are running numbers starting with 001 depending on how many individual instruments ever have been used.

All data in the station-to-archive files are provided in UTC universal time.

History of the station-to-archive file format

The station-to-archive file format description currently on these pages have been released 2013-08-12. To avoid conflicts with already submitted files in the ftp archive, the format was changed only insignificantly with respect to the previous Initiates file downloadTechnical Plan for BSRN Data Management from Hegner et al., 1998. Only minor inconsistencies have been corrected. From the logical record 1300 all information concerning spectral aerosol optical depth has been excluded since it has never been used before. Plans to include aerosol optical depth in the WRMC could not be realized. The logical records 4000 and 4nnn were added in order to archive also pyrgeometer temperatures at ground level and at nnn meters height above ground.