SuperDARN data is distributed to the community in the rawacf format. For most science applications you will want to process these files into the fitacf format using the make_fit routine.

Basic syntax

make_fit [inputfile].rawacf > [outputfile].fitacf

Use the -vb flag to print some information in the terminal during the data processing.

By default, the data are processed using FITACF2.5. To use FITACF3.0 instead, add -fitacf-version 3.0

Old format files

The Data Analysis Working Group recommends converting old-format dat files to rawacf format before calling make_fit. For example,

dattorawacf 2002020202f.dat > 2002020202f.rawacf
make_fit 2002020202f.rawacf > 2002020202f.fitacf

It is also possible to process dat files directly using make_fit -old, which will produce an old-format fit file as output. However, lossy compression associated with the old-format fit files will lead to small differences in the fitted parameters compared to the recommended procedure shown above.

make_fit -old [inputfile].dat [outputfile].fit

Convert multiple files

To perform the rawacf to fitacf conversion for all files in the current directory:

for file in *.rawacf
  make_fit -vb $file > "${file%.rawacf}.fitacf"

You can then concatenate the 2-hour fitacf files into a daily file, for example:

cat 20181001.*.lyr.fitacf > 20181001.lyr.fitacf


When concatenating fitacf files, it is important that the files are in chronological order. Usually the shell sorts the filenames in the correct order automatically, but if you do the listing with wildcards (e.g. system call from another program), you may need to do the sorting yourself.