Offshore Physical Environmental Guidelines
Appendix H - Recommended Data Format

Data Formats

The essential requirements for data formats are:

  • All key information is included,
  • An appropriate format is selected, and
  • Complete documentation is specified.

The following categories of formats are recommended:

  • WMO character-based and binary formats, and
  • ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor.

WMO formats are used for marine, aviation and ice observations that are distributed to government and Industry agencies in real-time. ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor formats are used when the nature of the data to be archived is not practically served by one of the other formats.

Summary of Report and Data Product Formats

Table A-1 summarizes formats for each of the possible reports or data products that may be used in a Monitoring Program. Wherever possible, standard data formats should be used. A description of the different format types is provided in the following sections.

Table H-1 - Formats for Reports and Data Products

Report or Data Product Recommended Format
Aviation Weather Report ASCII
Marine Weather Report FM-13
Ice Report ICE
Iceberg Report ICEBERG
Wave Spectral Data Report ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor
Ocean Current Data Reports ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor[1]
Sensor data used for Installation-specific operations ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor
Sensor data to be shared between Installations At Operator's discretion
Miscellaneous Data ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor
[1] Current data from conventional moored instruments or moored Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) instruments may be submitted in either ASCII or any data format readable by a simple text editor, provided that all of the essential support documentation described in Appendix I on Current Meter Metadata Report Format is provided.

WMO Formats

The Canadian, MANAIR [2], MANOBS [1] and MANICE [3] manuals use WMO-developed and maintained character-based formats for the coding of marine, aviation and ice reports. These reports are distributed on Canadian and international telecommunications circuits.

The FM-13 format is used to code marine weather and sea state observations. The ICE format is used to code ice data. These data should be archived in these WMO formats.

There is also a WMO character-based format for coding wave spectra data from sea sensor systems. The WMO FM 65-IX WAVEOB format can be used to distribute wave spectral data in real-time. This information is useful for determining the response of floating vessels to wave conditions.

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