# How to read NOAA/NASA GOES satellite data?

I requested satellite image data (GVAR_IMG) for a project that I am working on from the GOES satellite, but I don't know what format it's in or how to read it. When I open it with a text editor it is hexadecimal. The files are end in .BAND_01, .BAND_02, etc. The website that I requested the data from said that the data is available in different formats: "Data distribution formats available are raw, AREA, NetCDF, GIF, and JPEG." However, I do not see the option for selecting different formats.

• The "shopping cart" screen you ordered the data from has selections for what format data you want. What did you select? Jul 28 '15 at 13:39
• Given the OP's own answer, the question title should be about choosing file formats rather than reading files, no? Jul 29 '15 at 11:13
• I added a little bit about how I read in the file for completeness. Aug 5 '15 at 7:56

Go to the user preferences. From there you will be able to choose different formats and data options. If you choose netCDF, you will be able to read these filetypes with most map readers. For Python, you can use netCDF4-python.

• In addition, for Python, I would recommend xarray for reading geophysical data from NetCDF files.
– gerrit
Mar 21 '17 at 20:41
• @gerrit how about satpy ? Jun 14 '18 at 10:03
• @gansub I don't know about satpy.
– gerrit
Jun 14 '18 at 11:02
• @gansub Good. There's also pytroll that understands a lot of file formats.
– gerrit
Jun 14 '18 at 13:16
• @gerrit - pytroll is satpy.github.com/pytroll/satpy Jun 15 '18 at 0:16

The same as scottlittle, but you can use also McIdas V. It also can read nedcdf files and also is a free software. http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/mcidas/software/v/documentation.html