File Name Overview

Files contained in the ESPO Data Archive are all named according to one of two standardized file naming conventions. The file name conventions have been developed in order to maximize the information in each file name, while also ensuring that every file in the archive has a unique name. Prior to 2011, all data archive files were named according to the Ames file name format. Since 2011, missions using the ICARTT data format have used the ICARRT file name format for all mission files. The components of the file name in the Ames and ICARTT file name formats are the same, but the order of the components have been revised, along with some other details.

In both formats, all filenames start with a file code, identifying the contents of the file, e.g. which instrument's measurements are contained in the file. The middle part of each filename contains an eight-digit date (yyyyMMdd), identifying the date when the measurements were collected. Various additional details can be supplied as necessary after the date, for example, the time may be provided for ozonesondes to distinguish that are launched multiple times per day.

The following table illustrates sample filenames, using measurements made from the WB-57 aircraft on April 1st, 2011 (20110401) as examples:

Ames filecode Ames filename ICARTT filecode ICARTT filename
MM MM20110401.WB57 MMS-MetData MMS-MetData_WB57_20110401_R0.ict
AL__ALL AL20110401__ALL.WB57 ALIAS ALIAS_WB57_20110401_R0.ict

Ames File Name Format

The structure of a typical Ames-format file name is:
Where CC is a two-letter file code, yyyyMMdd is the date, and .ext is an extension, typically providing the aircraft used for the measurements. The full specifications are available at:

ICARTT File Name Format

The structure of a typical ICARTT-format file name is:
Where FileCode is the file code, Location is the location where the measurements were made (typically the aircraft), yyyyMMdd is the date, and R0 is the revision number. ICARTT data files always end in .ict.