Latest versions:

  CODA(see CODA website)
  HARP(see HARP GitHub website)
  VISAN-3.18(released on July 12, 2017; Release Notes)

Known issues for VISAN can be found on the current issues page.

Known issues for the CODA and HARP packages can be found on their respective GitHub pages: CODA issues, HARP issues.


The ESA Atmospheric Toolbox project (BEAT) aims to provide scientists with tools for ingesting, processing, and analyzing atmospheric remote sensing data.

The project consists of several components, with the main components being CODA, HARP, and VISAN. These components are made available by means of several software packages. A full overview of the BEAT components and packages can be found below.

The primary instruments supported by BEAT are Tropomi (Sentinel-5P), GOME-2 and IASI (MetOp), OMI, TES and MLS (Aura), GOMOS, MIPAS, and SCIAMACHY (ENVISAT), and GOME (ERS-2).

All packages are provided as Open Source Software, enabling user community participation in further development and quality improvement.

BEAT Overview

BEAT consists of the following components:

CODA:The first layer of BEAT, formerly known as BEAT-I, is implemented using CODA. CODA allows direct reading access to product data, supporting a very wide range of products. The version of CODA that comes with BEAT supports over 75+ atmospheric product files (this includes level 0 through level 4 data and auxiliary data, but also HDF4, HDF5, netCDF, GRIB, and XML files). The supported instruments include GOMOS, MIPAS, SCIAMACHY, GOME, GOME-2, IASI, OMI, TES, and MLS. All product file data is accessible via the CODA C library. On top of this C library there are several interfaces available to directly ingest product data using e.g. Fortran, IDL, MATLAB, and Python. Furthermore, CODA also comes with a set of command line tools (codacheck, codacmp, codadump, and codafind).
HARP:HARP is the successor of BEAT-II. It is a toolset for ingesting, processing and inter-comparing satellite or model data against correlative data. The toolset provides a set of command line tools, a library of analysis functions, and direct import/export interfaces for Python, IDL, and MATLAB. The main goal of HARP is to assist in the inter-comparison of data sets. By appropriatelty chaining calls to the HARP command line tools one can preprocess satellite and correlative data such that the two datasets that need to be compared end up having the same temporal/spatial grid, same data format/structure, and same physical unit.
VISAN:VISAN is a cross-platform visualization and analysis application for atmospheric data. The application uses the Python language as the means through which you provide commands to the application. The Python interfaces for CODA and HARP are included so you can directly ingest product data from within VISAN (HARP interfaces will be added once the HARP Python interface becomes available). Using the Python language and some additional included mathematical packages you will be able to perform analysis on your data. Finally, VISAN provides some very powerful visualization functionality for 2D plots and worldplots.
Data Files:On the download page you can also find a set of data files, such as sample products for GOME (level 1, level 2, and level 4) and a Reference Spectra Database file for GOME and SCIAMACHY (courtesy of the Molecular Spectroscopy Group of the Institute for Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen).

The components are made available via the following software packages:

CODA:You will need this package if you want to use the CODA interfaces directly or if you are going to install the BEAT or HARP source packages. The CODA package can be downloaded from the CODA website. The HARP and VISAN packages also include some part of CODA, but these will not install CODA for direct usage. Some types of products will need CODA definition (codadef) files in order to read them with CODA. These CODA definition files can be downloaded from the CODA website as well.
HARP:The HARP software package contains everything for HARP. HARP has a dependency on the CODA software package.
VISAN:The VISAN software package is a self-contained application. It incorporates the Python interfaces for CODA and HARP, and includes all necessary CODA definition (codadef) files.

To download CODA,HARP, and/or VISAN, please go to the download page.

More information about the CODA, HARP, and VISAN packages can be found in the on-line CODA documentation, HARP documentation, and VISAN documentation.

Supported Platforms and Languages

Supported platforms include:

It should be possible to use CODA and HARP on other Unix platforms (Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, SGI Irix, HP/UX, BSD, etcetera) as well, since the entire system is implemented in portable ANSI-C code. However, these platforms are not routinely tested and may therefore require more effort during installation.

The VISAN application is currently only supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Because BEAT is an open-source effort, users are actively encouraged to send any installation reports, suggestions and/or patches that can improve stability, usability, or cross-platform compatibility. Contributions will be integrated into the main distributions of BEAT, CODA, HARP, VISAN, etc.


The development of the ESA Atmospheric Toolbox is primarily funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
ESA Project Manager: Christian Retscher

The development of GOME-2 and IASI data product support in the toolbox is funded by EUMETSAT.

BEAT, CODA, HARP and VISAN are designed, developed and maintained by S&T.


Support and Feedback

Please send an e-mail to beat@stcorp.nl if you have any questions and/or remarks regarding BEAT.

For BEAT and VISAN, be sure to check the current issues page to see if a problem that you are faced with is not already mentioned there. For CODA and HARP issues are tracked via the GitHub site: CODA issues, HARP issues