Getting the DataΒΆ

Data collected by the CALIPSO satellite is free to the public, all it takes is going through a couple of steps to order the data. Eosweb is the primary distributor for the satellite, you can find their webpage here and order data from here.

Once at the order page, you can use either EarthData Search or the ASDC Ordering Tool. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so test each to see which works best for you. Once you’ve decided on the time and place you would like data, download it. The tool works with both Level One and Level Two data, which come as HDF files entitled “CAL_LID_L1-Standard” and “CAL_LID-VFM_Standard” followed by the version number, date, and time. Version 4.10 data is recommended, however other less verified versions may work.

In order to view L1 and L2 data simultaneously, you will have to download L1 and L2 files with the exact same date and time. In the ASDC HTML Order Tool, this is easily done by ctrl + clicking on both the “CAL_LID_L1-Standard-V4-10” and “CAL_LID_VFM-Standard-V4-10” options under Data Sets. EarthData Search provides a visual tool for selecting data. See the tour on their website for more details on its use. You will still want to download both L1 and L2 data.


Even it you only wish to view L2 data, you must have the corresponding L1 file

Another option is to grab example data from ccplot’s sourceforge page, which a simple CALIPSO data file you can easily download and load into VOCAL right off the bat: