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File Naming Conventions

In order to convey useful information about Argo files and distinguish them from the Argo GDAC files, we have implemented a standardized naming convention for all files.

For a multi-profile float file, the name itself is broken into three parts, separated by underscore symbols:

[prefix]_[float_ID_number]_[data_type].[ext]

where
prefix is always "nodc", an affix that indicates files are in the NODC format.
float_ID_number is a 7 digit number: A9xxxxx. The A is the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) region of deployment, 9 is an indicator for a float, and xxxx is a number allocated serially.
data_type is a three or four-character string indicating the data type of the file. The "dat" files contain vertical distribution of measured parameters such as temperature, salinity, and conductivity of profiling floats; the "inv" files are inventory table files for each floats on this disk; the "sta" files contain the status of each float as of the time of this CD production; and the "prof" files contain the vertical distribution of measured parameters in the so called "one-file per float" or "multi-profile" formats.
ext is the filename extension, which indicates the kind of data stored in the file. Those files in netCDF format have the .nc extension at the end of the file name.

Filenaming conventions for mono-profile files are slightly different than for the multi-profile float files. The filename has two parts, again, separated by underscore symbols:

[prefix]_[data_mode][float_ID_number]_[cycle_number].[ext]

where
prefix is an affix and is always "nodc"
data_mode is a character indicating the data mode of the float, R for real-time profile data and D for delayed-mode profile data,
float_ID_number is a 7 digit number: A9xxxxx as described above, and
cycle_number is a three-digit numerical number indicating the cycle number of the float. and ext is always 'nc' indicating the data type is netCDF format.