GOES IDL User Guide

Dominic Zarro (ADNET/GSFC) and Kim Tolbert (CUA/GSFC)

NEW: GOES EUV Data added May 2016

Data from multiple generations of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) since 1976 are available.  Each GOES satellite carries an X-Ray Sensor (XRS) consisting of two ionization chambers to measure the total solar flux in two wavelength bands, 0.5 - 4 and 1 - 8 Angstroms.  In addition, since GOES13 (launched in 2006), the GOES satellites have carried an Extreme Ultraviolet Sensor (EUVS) which measures the EUV in 5 bands from ~5-127 nm.

IDL software distributed in SolarSoft (SSW) provides an easy way to access and analyze the GOES XRS and EUV lightcurve data.  The goes IDL class in SSW creates a GOES lightcuve object that users control from the IDL command line, a GUI interface, or a combination of the two.

 

Finding GOES data Plotting GOES Lightcurves Using EUV Data
GOES GUI (Workbench) Retrieving GOES Lightcurve Data Getting GOES Event List
Creating GOES Object Subtracting Background Saving GOES data
Setting Options Retrieving Temperature, Emission Measure, and Energy Loss Rate GOES Object Parameter Summary
  Plotting Temperature, Emission Measure, and Energy Loss Rate  

 


Finding the GOES data

The goes object automatically searches for and retrieves GOES data files across the network for the time interval requested. 

When the files are copied to the user's computer, they are placed in a goes directory in the user's temporary directory (whatever is returned by the function get_temp_dir() ).

XRS DATA

There are two GOES archives used by the goes object, -YOHKOH (originally created for the YOHKOH project) and SDAC (Solar Data Analysis Center) both stored on servers at GSFC.  The two archives are essentially the same; they serve as backup for each other.  The differences are:

Location and description of files (though, as mentioned above, the software automatically retrieves them, so users don't need to know this):

SDAC daily FITS files: http or ftp Files are organized in year directories.
Files are named goxxyyyymmdd.fits where xx is the GOES satellite number and yyyymmdd is the year, month, day of the data, e.g. go1020020723.fits contains GOES 10 data for 23-July-2002.
YOHKOH weekly files: http or ftp Directories are named gnr where n is the last digit of the satellite number, and r is the resolution - 'd', '1', or '5' for 3-sec, 1-min, or 5-min data resolution respectively),  e.g. g01 contains GOES 10 1-minute data.
Files are named gnryy_wwa.01 where n is the last digit of the satellite number, r is the resolution (d, 1, or 5), yy is the last 2 digits of the year, and ww is the week of year number, e.g. g0199_44a.01 contains GOES 10 1-minute data for week 44 of year 1999.

If the files are available locally (mounted via NFS or equivalent on your computer, or copied manually to your computer), you can speed things up by setting some environment variables so they can be read directly instead of copied.  For the SDAC GOES files, set the environment variable GOES_FITS to the directory containing the GOES FITS files.  For the YOHKOH GOES files, set SSWDB to the directory containing the ydb directory, and the SSW setup will take care of the rest. 

EUV DATA

We provide access to the GOES EUVA (2.8 - 20.6 nm), EUVB (2.8 - 36.4 nm), and EUVE (113.5 - 132.8 nm) data.

The GOES EUV data are in daily text files available via http or ftp (although as mentioned above, the software will automatically retrieve them).  The files are organized by EUV channel and year. For example, the daily files from GOES 13, 14, and 15 for the EUVE channel for the year 2012 are in the directory http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/goes_euv/euve/2012/.  The files are named gxx_euvn_yyyymmdd.txt where xx is the GOES satellite number, n is the channel (a, b, or e) and yyyymmdd is the year, month, day of the data., e.g. g15_euve_20120908.txt contains the GOES15 EUVE data for 8-Sep-2012.


How to access GOES data using the Graphical User Interface (GUI) known as the GOES Workbench

Use any of the following commands to start the GOES Workbench.  Note that you can work with the GOES Workbench and command line interface interchangeably.  

IDL> goes                                 ;-- start the GOES GUI
IDL> goes, a                              ;-- start the GOES GUI and return GOES object reference
IDL> a->gui                               ;-- start GOES GUI with an existing GOES object
Any of the commands above will bring up the widget interface to the right.

Set the time interval you're interested in, and click Plot.  By default the lightcurve in the two channels will be plotted in PLOTMAN (an interactive plot interface). The setup at right produced this plot.

Clicking List will display a list of time periods covered by each of the ~16 satellites in use since 1976.

Clicking Event List will display a list of all GOES events (defined by NOAA) during the time interval selected.

Before plotting temperature, emission measure, or energy loss, you may want to define background time intervals and a functional form for estimating background throughout the flare, and click the option to subtract background.

If you started the GUI using either the 'goes,a' or 'a->gui' commands, then you have access to the goes object, a, at the command line.  You can use any of the commands described below to set options or retrieve or plot the data.  If you change any options from the command line, click the Refresh button on the GUI to reflect the new settings.  And when you click Quit, the object a is still available at the command line.


How to create a GOES object

To create a goes object without opening the GUI:

IDL> a = ogoes()

To create a goes object and open the GOES GUI:

IDL> goes, a

All of the commands below assume you have created a goes object called a (either with or without the GUI).

All of the GOES parameters and their default values are listed below.  To change options, set any of the parameters via the set command, or on the plot (or plotman or getdata) command itself.  Any parameter you set will persist until changed explicitly.  Use a->help to see current settings for all parameters, or print,a->get(/xxx) to see the current value of parameter xxx, e.g. print,a->get(/sdac).

And remember - any time you want to use the GUI with your existing object, just type

IDL> a->gui

You can quit and restart the GUI any time with this object a.


How to set options in the GOES object

To set the time interval, and satellite preference:

IDL> a->set, tstart='13-Nov-2005 12:33.12.123', tend='13-Nov-2005 16:12:34.567', sat='goes12'

All of the  GOES parameters and their default values are listed below.


How to plot a GOES lightcurve

IDL> a->plot                        ;-- plot GOES lightcurve
IDL> a->plotman                     ;-- plot GOES lightcurve in interactive plot interface
IDL> a->plot,'1-jun-04'             ;-- plot a different day
IDL> a->plotman, '1-jun-04', '5-jun-04' ;-- plot four days

Note:  If you specify times in seconds rather than one of the fully qualified time formats, they will be interpreted as seconds since January 1,1958 (UTC or TAI), not 1979. 

Example:  To plot 18:00-19:00 on 22-mar-2002, 1-minute GOES data from the YOHKOH archive, preferably GOES10, with no GOES class level markings, you can do either of the following:

IDL> a->set, tstart='22-mar-2002 18:00', tend='22-mar-2002 19:00', $
   /yohkoh, sat='goes10', mode=1, showclass=0
IDL> a->plot
or
IDL> a->plot, tstart='22-mar-2002 18:00', tend='22-mar-2002 19:00', $
   /yohkoh, sat='goes10', mode=1, showclass=0

How to retrieve a GOES lightcurve

IDL> d = a->getdata()                    ;-- retrieve 2 channels of GOES data
IDL> help,data
   FLOAT = Array[115087, 2]
IDL> low=a->getdata(/low)                ;-- extract low channel only
IDL> high=a->getdata(/high)              ;-- extract high channel only
IDL> times = a->getdata(/times)          ;-- extract time array and UTBASE
IDL> utbase = a->get(/utbase)
IDL> utplot,times,high,utbase            ;-- plot high channel data
IDL> deri=deriv(times,high)              ;-- take time derivative of high energy
                                         ;   channel (for Neupert Effect lovers)

NOTE: The data extracted will be cleaned and/or background-subtracted if those options are set.

To retrieve all quantities with one call (see below for more details):

IDL> data = a->getdata(/struct)          ;-- extract data and derived quantities into a structure

Using GOES EUV data

To select EUV data, set the euv parameter to 1, 2 or 3 (for EUVA, EUVB, or EUVE), e.g. to select EUVE, type

IDL > a->set, euv=3

Setting euv to 0 (or setting on of the sdac or yohkoh options) will unselect EUV data.

Some of the options available for GOES XRS data are not available for the EUV data, namely computing temperature, emission measure and energy loss rate, and subtracting background.  In the GUI, these options are insensitive when EUV data are selected. At the command line, requesting any of those computed data will return -1.

Each EUV channel, EUVA, EUVB, and EUVE contains only one channel.  Since the design of the GOES object was based on GOES XRS data, which has 2 channels, the data arrays returned in the getdata calls are dimensioned [ntime, 2] where ntime is the number of time intervals.  For XRS data the second dimension contains the 1-8 Angstrom data in element 0, and the .5-4 Angstrom data in element 1. For EUV data the data is in channel 0, and channel 1 is set to all 0s  (except for EUVE, see below).

The EUV files contain counts in each ~10 second interval.  These counts are converted to irradiance using the the tables and equations provided in the GOES EUVS document.

The EUVE channel stored in channel 0 of the data arrays is the irradiance corrected for degradation and scaled to the SORCE SOLSTICE Lyman-alpha measurements.  This is what is plotted by default.  The uncorrected, unscaled irradiance is stored in channel 1, and can be retrieved at the command line through the getdata call. The uncorrected EUVE data can be plotted using the GOES object plot method via the command (assuming EUVE data type is selected):

IDL> a->plot, /uncorrected

The time returned in the time array is the center of the data accumulation interval.

The clean option also works a little differently for the EUV data than for the XRS data. For the XRS data, bad data are identified from flags and spike detection, removed, and interpolated over.  For the EUV data, bad data are identified from flags, but are not interpolated over.  Instead, they are set to a value of -99999.0.  When plotting using the GOES object plot method, the -99999.0 values are removed. When plotting at the command line without using the GOES object plot method, you will need to remove them yourself.  Something like this should work:

IDL> data = a->getdata(/struct)
IDL> q = where(data.yclean[*,0] ne -99999.)
IDL> utplot, data.tarray[q], d.yclean[q,0], utbase, /ynozero

How to subtract background for GOES XRS

To enable background subtraction, you must set the bsub option to 1 and define one or more background time intervals.

Any number of background time intervals can be selected. The background for each channel during the flare is computed by fitting the selected function to the flux values in all of the background time intervals.

IDL> a->set, /bsub           ;-- set bsub to 1
IDL> a->set, btimes= [ ['22-Mar-2002 18:12:54', '22-Mar-2002 18:14:36'], $
    ['22-Mar-2002 18:40:57', '22-Mar-2002 18:42:06'] ]

or set different background time intervals for each channel using b0times, b1times (btimes takes priority so disable btimes first):

IDL> a->set, btimes=0
IDL> a->set, b0times= [ ['22-Mar-2002 18:12:54', '22-Mar-2002 18:14:36'], $
    ['22-Mar-2002 18:40:57', '22-Mar-2002 18:42:06'] ]
IDL> a->set, b1times=  ['22-Mar-2002 18:14', '22-Mar-2002 18:15']
IDL> a->set,bfunc='exp'      ;-- choices are 0poly,1poly,2poly,3poly, or exp
IDL> a->set, /bsub           ;-- set bsub to 1
IDL> a->plot, /bk_overlay    ;-- plot two channels and background for two channels
Any data you retrieve or plot after setting valid btimes intervals, and setting bsub to 1, will have the background in each channel subtracted. To stop subtracting background, set bsub to 0 or set btimes to 0.
IDL> a->set, bsub=0          ;-- don't subtract background
Even if you are working from the command line, you can use the PLOTMAN interface to select background intervals graphically by typing:
IDL> a->select_background    ;-- use graphical interface for selecting background.
                             ;   Use /ch0 or /ch1 for selecting b0,b1times.
IDL> ptim, a->get(/btimes)   ;-- display background time intervals in ASCII format. 

You can also set the background level manually for either channel using the  b0user, b1user parameters.  If either of these is set, it overrides the background computed from the background time interval. 

IDL> a->set, b0user = 1.4e-7  ;--  can be scalar or vector.  If vector, it's interpolated 
                              ;    to the # data points in the selected time interval

How to extract temperature, emission measure, and energy loss rate for GOES XRS

IDL> temp = a->getdata(/temperature)
IDL> emis = a->getdata(/emission)
IDL> lrad = a->getdata(/lrad)              ;-- get total radiative energy loss rate
IDL> lx = a->getdata(/lx)                  ;-- get X-ray energy loss rate
IDL> lrad = a->getdata(/lrad, /integrate)  ;-- cumulative sum of lrad 
IDL> a->set,abund='Coronal'                ;-- choose spectral model
                                           ;   choices are 'Coronal', 'Photospheric', 'Meyer'
IDL> a->set,itimes=['22-Mar-2002 18:16:18', '22-Mar-2002 18:30:57'] ;-- set time for lrad integration
To unset integration time, set itimes to [0.,0.] or -1.

Even if you are working from the command line, you can use the PLOTMAN interface to select integration intervals graphically by typing:

IDL> a->select_integration_times  ;-- use graphical interface for selecting integration times
IDL> ptim, a->get(/itimes)        ;-- display integration time intervals in ASCII format

See below for how to retrieve all quantities in a structure with one call.


How to plot temperature, emission measure, and energy loss rate for GOES XRS

IDL> a->plot, /temp     ;-- (or could use plotman)
IDL> a->plotman, /emis  ;-- (or could use plot)
IDL> a->plot, /lrad     ;-- plots lrad and lx (total and X-ray energy loss rate)
IDL> a->plot, /lrad, /integrate   ;-- plots integrated lrad and lx

More options for extracting GOES data arrays

Instead of calling getdata for each quantity you need, call getdata with the /struct keyword to return a structure containing all of the available quantities, as follows:
IDL> data = a->getdata(/struct)       ;-- extract data and derived quantities into a structure
IDL> help, data, /struct
IDL> help,data,/st
** Structure <70774e0>, 15 tags, length=3936, data length=3928, refs=1:
UTBASE STRING '22-Mar-2002 18:00:00.000' ; utbase time
TARRAY LONG Array[61]         ; time array in seconds relative to utbase
YDATA FLOAT Array[61, 2]      ; 2 channels of GOES data in watts/m^2
YCLEAN FLOAT Array[61, 2]     ; 2 channels of cleaned GOES data in watts/m^2
YBSUB FLOAT Array[61, 2]      ; 2 channels of cleaned background-subtracted data in watts/m^2
BK FLOAT Array[61, 2]         ; 2 channels of computed background in watts/m^2
BAD0 INT -1                   ; indices for channel 0 array that were bad
BAD1 INT -1                   ; indices for channel 1 array that were bad
TEM DOUBLE Array[61]          ; temperature array in MK
EM DOUBLE Array[61]           ; emission measure array in cm^-3 * 10^49
LRAD DOUBLE Array[61]         ; total radiative energy loss rate (or integral) array in erg/s
LX FLOAT Array[61]            ; radiative energy loss rate in X-rays (or integral) array in erg/s
INTEGRATE_TIMES STRING Array[2]   ; integration time interval
YES_CLEAN INT 1               ; 0/1 means data wasn't / was cleaned
YES_BSUB INT 1                ; 0/1 means background wasn't / was subtracted
Note: if you use getdata(/struct, /integrate) then lrad and lx are the cumulative integrals.

How to get the GOES event list for a time period

To show the GOES event list (as defined by NOAA) for the current time period set in the goes object:
IDL> gev = a->get_gev(/show)
Or to specify times explicitly and retrieve a structure with decoded class:
IDL> gev = a->get_gev('23-jul-2002', '23-jul-2002', /struct, /class_decode)

Options to the get_gev function are:

struct If set, return a structure with event information, instead of a string array
class_decode If set, converts class to number, e.g. 'C1.2' becomes 1.2e-6
show If set, calls prstr.  Can include other keywords that will be passed to prstr, e.g.
    /nomore - show list in IDL log, not in 'more' window
    file='xxx.txt' - sends the output to file xxx.txt

 


How to examine current GOES object settings

Print individual parameters (see the list of GOES parameters for the names of each object parameter), e.g.

IDL> print,a->get(/showclass)

or use the help method to show a summary of parameter settings:

IDL> a->help

GOES parameter values:
Last data interval read:
  1-Jun-2002 00:00:00.000 to 3-Jun-2002 00:00:00.000
Current TSTART / TEND:
  1-Jun-2002 00:00:00.000 to 3-Jun-2002 00:00:00.000
ARCHIVE: YOHKOH then SDAC
MODE: 0
DATA TYPE: GOES8 3 sec
NEED_UPDATE: 0
CLEAN: 1
MARKBAD: 1
SHOW CLASS: 1
SUBTRACT BACKGROUND: 1
BACKGROUND TIMES:
  1-Jun-2002 07:53:39.000 to 1-Jun-2002 08:34:36.000
BACKGROUND FUNCTION: 0poly
USER BACKGROUND:
  Channel 0 : None
  Channel 1 : None
INTEGRATION TIMES:
  None
ABUNDANCE: Coronal (5.1)

How to save GOES data in an IDL save file

IDL> a->savefile, filename='goes.sav'       ;-- If you don't specify a filename, a dialog box
                                            ;   will pop up to let you navigate to a file.
This saves the raw, cleaned, and background-subtracted flux in the two GOES channels, and time array, the temperature , emission measure and energy loss rate, and more.
IDL> restore, 'goes.sav'                    ;-- Restore saved data
IDL> prstr, readme                          ;-- Print the readme variable to see a summary 
                                            ;   of the saved variables

Summary of GOES parameters

The following parameters can be set into the GOES object and will persist until changed.  You can set them via the set command, or by passing them as keywords in calls to getdata or plot or plotman.
tstart Start time.  Default is start of the day two days ago.  (If seconds, use TAI, relative to 1958.)
Example: a->set, tstart='13-Nov-2005 12:33.12.123'
tend End time. Default is end of the day two days ago. (If seconds, use TAI, relative to 1958.)
Example: a->set, tend='13-Nov-2005 16:12:34.567'
sat Satellite preference.  Options are goes6, goes7, goes8, goes9, goes10, goes12.  If selected satellite isn't available for selected time, returns data for the most recent satellite that does contain the time. As of September 2015, the options are:
goes91, goes92, goes1, goes2, goes3, goes5, goes6, goes7, goes8, goes9, goes10, goes11, goes12, goes13, goes14, goes15
Example:  a->set, sat='goes12'  or a->set, /goes12
sdac Selects XRS data archive to use, SDAC or YOHKOH. Options are
 0  - use YOHKOH
 1  - use SDAC
 2  -  use YOHKOH, then SDAC (if not available in YOHKOH, use SDAC)
 3  -  use SDAC, then YOHKOH
Default is 2.
Example: a->set, /sdac  or  a->set, sdac=0  (or  a->set,/yohkoh) or a->set,sdac=3
mode Data resolution.  Options are 0,1,2 for 3-second, 1-minute, and 5-minute data. Can set via 0,1,2 or /three, /one, /five.  Default is 0. (Note: Only 3-second data is available in the SDAC data archive.)
Example: a->set, /five   or  a->set, mode=2
euv Set to 1, 2, or 3 to select EUVA, EUVB, or EUVE data. (sdac and mode parameters are not used). Set to 0 to use XRS data (via sdac and mode).
clean If set, clean glitches from gain changes, etc in data. Default is 1. (Note: Data from YOKHOH archive is already cleaned.)
Example:  a->set, /clean 
bsub If set (and btimes or b0user/b1user is set), subtract background.  Default is 0.
Example: a->set, /bsub
btimes Any number of background start/end times in [2,n] array.  Default is none.  (If seconds, use TAI, relative to 1958.)
Example:  a->set, btimes= [ ['22-Mar-2002 18:12:54', '22-Mar-2002 18:14:36'], $
   ['22-Mar-2002 18:40:57', '22-Mar-2002 18:42:06'] ]
b0times Same as btimes, but for channel 0 background.  btimes takes priority if set.
b1times Same as btimes, but for channel 1 background.  btimes takes priority if set.
bfunc Function to use for computing background. Options are 0poly, 1poly, 2poly, 3poly, exp.  Default is 0poly.
Example: a->set, bfunc='exp'
b0user User-defined background for channel 0.  Scalar or vector. Set to -1 to disable.
Example: a->set, b0user=4.e-7
b1user Same as b0user, but for channel 1
showclass If set, show A,B,C,M,X level on side of plots.  Default is 1.
Example:  a->set, showclass=0
markbad If set, mark bad points (that are cleaned if clean is set) with an X in plots.  Default is 1.
Example:  a->set, markbad=0
abund Spectral model used in calculation of temperature and emission measure. Options are 0/1/2 for Coronal, Photospheric, Meyer. Default is 0.
Example:  a->set, abund=1  or  a->set, abund='photospheric'
itimes A single time interval to define the integration interval for energy loss calculation. Default is none, which means integrate over the entire time interval.  (If seconds, use TAI, relative to 1958.)  To unset integration time, set itimes to [0.,0.] or -1.
Example:   a->set,itimes=['22-Mar-2002 18:16:18', '22-Mar-2002 18:30:57']

 

The following keyword parameters apply only to the getdata, plot, or plotman methods, and do not persist, i.e. they apply to the current call only.

temperature If set, return or plot temperature.
Example:  a->plot, /temperature
emission If set, return or plot emission measure .
Example: emis = a->getdata(/emis)
lrad If set, return or plot radiative energy loss rate
Example:  a-> plotman, /lrad
integrate If set, and lrad is set, return or plot integrated energy loss rate.  Uses itimes for integration times.
structure Applies only to getdata call.  If set, getdata returns a structure with everything.
Example: struct = a->getdata(/struct)
quick_struct Applies only to getdata call. If set, getdata returns a structure with items specified by keyword arguments.  Faster than /struct if you don't need everything computed.
Example: struct = a->getdata(/quick_struct)

 


Last Revised: 05/12/2016 17:14