Generate lookup tables

It is sometimes required to generate lookup tables which, for example, contain radiances as function of one or more variable atmospheric parameters. Besides the wavelength loop, there is no looping over input parameters implemented in uvspec, so that uvspec can not create lookup tables on its own. However, several scripting languages are available that can be used to build looping-capable scripts around uvspec. These scripts repeatedly call uvspec with varying input parameters and use the uvspec results to build up a lookup table.

In the following we show and explain example scripts coded in Bash. The scripts generate lookup tables with simulated radiances for a satellite channel in the solar spectral range as function of one and two variable atmospheric parameters. The lookup tables are in ASCII format. The provided scripts can be adapted, e.g. for other setups or other sets of variable parameters etc.

Script for one variable parameter

First we describe an approach for looping over one variable input parameter. An example script with some required additional files is available here. (This example is for libRadtran version > 1.7)

Basically, there are three steps required for creating lookup tables using uvspec:

  1. Setup a template for the uvspec input file
  2. Setup a Bash script and a list of values for the variable input parameter
  3. Test and run the script

Step 1: Create a input template

You can create a template for the uvspec input file like you would do for any other uvspec input file, e.g. starting from an example in the examples folder or from the GUI. The only difference is that you have to replace the parameter you want to vary by a placeholder. In the provided example, we vary the aerosol optical thickness, thus the template file uvspec.inp.template_1para contains the following line

aerosol_modify tau set <AOT>

with the placeholder <AOT> for the variable aerosol optical thickness. In principle, a placeholder could be any unambiguous string, but for clarity we prefer using placeholders starting with “<” and ending with “>”. Note, that all other options are fixed in uvspec.inp.template_1para, with the consequence that the lookup table is created for this specific setup.

For easier processing of the uvspec output it is advisable to use the input option output_user, in our case

output_user uu

With this option, uvspec outputs only the radiances at the viewing angles that are specified by the umu and phi input options.

Step 2: Create a script

After the input template has been created, a looping script needs to be created. In our example, the script file batch_uvspec_1para is provided.

The list of the variable input parameter values needs to be created. This list is stored in the variable parameter_list in our example. There are different possibilities to create such a list. For example, it can be read from an external file list_aot using

parameter_list=`cat list_aot`

The `command` syntax in Bash is used to call an external command, whereby the output from the external command is redirected to the script. Here, the output from the cat command, which outputs the content of the file list_aot, is redirected into the variable parameter_list. As an alternative, the parameter values may be directly entered with

parameter_list="0.0 0.1 0.2 0.5 1.0"

Or an equidistant grid can be created using the external command “seq start_value step end_value

parameter_list=`seq 0.0 0.001 1.0`

The variable parameter_name in our example must contain the placeholder without the “<” and “>” characters, here “AOT”.

The for-loop

for parameter in ${parameter_list}

goes through the specified list of parameter values. For each parameter

cp ${uvspec_input_template} ${uvspec_input_file}                               
sed -i s/\<${parameter_name}\>/${parameter}/g ${uvspec_input_file}             
echo ${parameter} `${uvspec_command} < ${uvspec_input_file}` >> ${output_file} 

is executed. The first command copies the template input file to the actual temporary input file. The second command replaces the placeholder by the actual input parameter value using the external sed tool. The sed syntax for the replacement of searchstring in a file by a replacementstring is “sed -i s/searchstring/replacementstring/g filename”. As the “<” and “>” characters have a special meaning in Bash, they require a preceding “\” here. In the third line the uvspec tool is executed as an external command and its output is directed, together with the parameter value, to the lookup table file.

Step 3: Testing and running

The script can be started now. The script in our example is executed on the command line with


Depending on your setup, it may be required to

  • add the execute flag to the script with “chmod +x batch_uvspec_1para
  • enter the correct path to the uvspec executable in batch_uvspec_1para
  • enter the correct data_files_path in uvspec.inp.template_1para

If your script ran without complaints check out the contents of the lookup table. It is named lookup_table_1para.txt in our example. The provided bash script has added a header line containing the viewing directions for each column. The lookup table should look like this:

# AOT, umu 0.2 phi 0, umu 0.2 phi 60, umu 0.2 phi 180, umu 0.5 phi 0, umu 0.5 phi 60, umu 0.5 phi 180
0.000 4.355755615e+01 3.711856461e+01 4.831068802e+01 2.976097298e+01 2.829813576e+01 3.437047577e+01
0.001 4.413818741e+01 3.729845810e+01 4.845688248e+01 2.987973022e+01 2.834116173e+01 3.450103378e+01
0.002 4.474126053e+01 3.749518204e+01 4.862616730e+01 3.000129890e+01 2.839014435e+01 3.465411758e+01

There is a plotting script (requiring Python Matplotlib) provided in the example and called at the end of the Bash script. It plots the radiances as function of the variable parameter for the viewing directions specified in the template file. The AOT-dependence for the provided example is shown here:

This plot is for a satellite channel around 680nm (~10nm width), albedo 0.1, sza 60, phi0 0, and OPAC desert aerosol. The radiances are given in mW/m2/sr integrated over the channel response function.

Script for two variable parameter

The script described above can be modified for processing more variable input parameters. In the following we briefly show how to extend it by a second variable parameter; the modified files are available here.

We select the sun zenith angle as the second variable input parameter. So we have to replace the fixed sun zenith angle in the template by a placeholder:

sza <SZA>

In the Bash script a further list of parameters is added. The two variables with the list of parameter values are now named parameter1_list and parameter2_list. parameter2_name is now SZA. A for-loop for the solar zenith angle is added also. The sed tool needs to be called twice for each set of input parameters to replace both placeholders by the actual values. We have added the second parameter to the output, so that the second column in the lookup table now is the solar zenith angle; the file should look like this:

# AOT, SZA, umu 0.2 phi 0, umu 0.2 phi 60, umu 0.2 phi 180, umu 0.5 phi 0, umu 0.5 phi 60, umu 0.5 phi 180
0.00 0 5.674485779e+01 5.674485779e+01 5.674485779e+01 5.222948837e+01 5.222948837e+01 5.222948837e+01
0.00 2 5.653916168e+01 5.662508774e+01 5.693395615e+01 5.201465607e+01 5.210604095e+01 5.239772034e+01
0.00 4 5.631779480e+01 5.646367645e+01 5.710541916e+01 5.175418854e+01 5.192774200e+01 5.251840973e+01

There is also a plotting script provided to illustrate the radiances in the lookup table for two variable parameters. In the provided example the result looks like this (note the different color scales):

Additional variable parameters could be added analogously by modifying the template and script. (Plotting for more than two variable parameters however may not be as straightforward ;-))

user_area/generating_lookup_tables.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/28 13:39 by josef
Recent changes RSS feed Creative Commons License Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki
Drupal Garland Theme for Dokuwiki