DWDsat HRPT Viewer
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The DWDSAT HRPT Viewer is a program to allow with visualisation of NOAA HRPT data being sent over EUMETCast as part of the DWDSAT GDS (Global Data Set) service.

User comments

  • "The program is working well and with the range of satellites taken by DWD, is a real bonus to our HRPT quality imagery.  Thanks again for getting it up and running so quickly.  Brilliant software and service." - Douglas Deans.


The DWDSAT HRPT Viewer combines a number of functions:

  • Decoding of the TIFF and BZ2 data
  • Loading up to 5 channels of HRPT and presenting them for display
  • Combining the channels to provide a false-colour display
  • Combining the channels to provide an RGB display
  • Combining the channels to show a vegetation index display
  • Readout of the reflectivities, brightness temperatures, and vegetation index at the cursor location
  • Overlay of country boundaries and gridlines.


The DWDSAT HRPT Viewer in action

Screen-shot when running the DWDSAT HRPT Viewer with NOAA-17 data from 2006 November 23.  You can see the choice of display tabs at the top of the screen-shot.  The five basic channels are displayed in greyscale.  The false-colour option, shown below, combines and attractive display with scientifically useful data.  The RGB display brings out the detail in the cloud whereas the False-colour display brings out the detail in the land.  The vegetation display uses the well-known NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index) to show chlorophyll content by the difference in its reflectivity at 0.6Ám and 0.8Ám.  The north of the Adriatic Sea and Istria are visible to the right side of the image.

Screenshot from a pass

Here is an image derived from NOAA-15 data, when the sun was at a low angle, and March 18 was an unusually clear day in the Spring of 2009.  It shows North Wales and the Liverpool area, and has been enlarged by a factor of three after saving from the DWDSAT HRPT Reader.  There is more discussion about this image here.



  • The program works with NOAA DWDSAT HRPT data sent over the EUMETCast data stream.  You need to register with DWDSAT (free) to receive this data.  Select Data and Subscription fees and this will give you more information about how to register for DWD GDS (Global Data Set) data.
  • Files in both TIFF and BZ2 format are supported.  Example file names are like: 
  • A screen resolution of 1024 x 768 may be required to operate this software.
  • The program is supported on Windows 2000, XP and Windows Vista, it should work on Windows 2003 (but has not been tested), and may work on Windows 9X as well (not recommended).
  • A 500MHz PC with 512MB of memory is the minimum requirement.
  • Optional country boundary data.

The Program in operation

There are a number of tabs in the main program display, and a Show boundaries check-box.


Information for initial debugging purposes

Ch.1 to Ch.5

Data from the satellite pass, as calibrated and ground rectified by DWD.  Note that channels 3A (near-IR) and 3B (mid-IR) share the same downlink, so they will not both be present.  This is not an error.


Provides a false-colour image using the classic SatSignal colours which have proved so successful over the years.  A visible channel is used for the brightness of the image, and a thermal channel for the colour of the image.  Please note that the false-colour tab may not be available if there are insufficient channels in the pass.


Provides an RGB display with the classic RGB 124 channel mapping.


Provides a display showing the NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index), derived from channels 1 and 2.  Please note that the vegetation tab may not be available if channels 1 or 2 are missing from the pass.


The setup tab will allow you to match the program's data paths to those of your system, and to customise a number of options.

  • Please tell me what you want to see here.....

Suggestions for new users of this service

As this is a program for a recent EUMETSAT service, I will try and build up the user guide as we go along, using the questions you ask as a starting point.  If you have questions about the program, they may already be answered in the general FAQs or the DWDSAT HRPT Viewer FAQs.

A self-help group is available for this service at Yahoo! Groups: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dwdsat/info


V1.1.0 Add control of line width selection for boundary and grid lines, add choice of line colour for colour images.
V1.1.2 Optional enhancements to the File|Open dialog.
V1.2.2 Add pixel location read-out, build with Delphi 2009.
V1.2.4 Accept externally decompressed file sets.
V2.0.2 Investigate changed data from DWDSAT (header format has changed from version 1 to version 2, image size now not correctly found reading header, map projection parameters read incorrectly, provide temporary fix until new header format known or DWD correct).

Important: this program has built-in 30-day trial licence.  If you just want to try the program, please do not run the program until you know you are receiving data!  Once the trial 30-day period has started, there is no way to reset it.


  • You can register the DWDSAT HRPT Viewer online here.

Copyright © David Taylor, Edinburgh   Last modified: 2020 May 14 at 09:45