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Data visualization library for SuperDARN data

Project description


License: GPL v3 Python 3.6 GitHub version DOI

Python data visualization library for the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN).


Version 1.0 - Release!

pyDARN is released! Included are the following features:

  • Reading and writing DMap format IQDAT, RAWACF, FITACF, GRID/GRD and MAP files
  • Reading and writing HDF5 format files for Borealis radar data, as well as conversion to and from DMap format
  • Range-time parameter style plots for RAWACF and FITACF files
  • Summary plots for RAWACF and FITACF files
  • Time series plots for RAWACF and FITACF files


pyDARN's documentation can found here

Getting Started

pip install pydarn

Or read the installation guide.

If wish to get access to SuperDARN data please read the SuperDARN data access documentation. Please make sure to also read the documentation on citing superDARN and pydarn.

As a quick tutorial on using pydarn to read a non-compressed file:

import pydarn 

# read a non-compressed file
fitacf_file = ''

# pyDARN functions to read a fitacf file
reader = pydarn.SDarnRead(fitacf_file)
records = reader.read_fitacf()

or to read a compressed file:

import bz2
import pydarn 

# read in compressed file
fitacf_file = ''
with as fp: 
      fitacf_stream =

# pyDARN functions to read a fitacf file stream
reader = pydarn.SDarnRead(fitacf_stream, True)
records = reader.read_fitacf()

For more information and tutorials on pyDARN please see the tutorial section

Getting involved

pyDARN is always looking for testers and developers keen on learning python, github, and/or SuperDARN data visualizations! Here are some ways to get started:

  • Testing Pull Request: to determine which pull requests need to be tested right away, filter them by their milestones (v1.1.0 is currently highest priority).
  • Getting involved in projects: if you are looking to help in a specific area, look at pyDARN's projects tab. The project you are interested in will give you information on what is needed to reach completion. This includes things currently in progress, and those awaiting reviews.
  • Answer questions: if you want to try your hand at answering some pyDARN questions, or adding to the discussion, look at pyDARN's issues and filter by labels.
  • Become a developer: if you want to practice those coding skills and add to the library, look at pyDARN issues and filter by milestone's to see what needs to get done right away.

Please contact the leading developer, Marina Schmidt (, if you would like to become a member of the team!

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