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Import of AVHRR L1B fails in BEAM 5.0
Dear BEAM developers,

Thanks for the BEAM software!

I have downloaded and installed VISAT/BEAM v5.0 on my Mac (OS X 10.11.3). I am trying to load AVHRR L1B sample data from your website at

I have tried to load AVHRR data via ‘File | Import Raster Data | NOAA_AVHRR_3_L1B’ and selected the uncompressed data file (from your website) named

The application shows a message saying ‘Cannot decode the selected product file’ (see the attached screenshot). I updated the AVHRR reader plug-in to v5.0.3, however the error still appears. Do you have any suggestions on how to resolve this problem?

Note that I was able to successfully load an AVHRR L1B file downloaded from the NOAA CLASS archive. However I am not sure if this succeeded because of
(a) the file was named according to the NOAA CLASS conventions (e.g., NSS.HRPT.NP.D16040.S0659.E0714.B3609595.WI)
(b) the NOAA CLASS AVHRR L1B files apparently have a special header record, as described starting on page 8-7 of this document:

I wish to use AVHRR L1B files created from real-time direct broadcast data, and they do not have the CLASS header record. I would be happy to provide a sample of these AVHRR L1B files if it would be helpful.


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RE: Import of AVHRR L1B fails in BEAM 5.0
2/12/16 8:54 AM as a reply to Liam Gumley.
Hi Liam,

first I would like to note that BEAM is in its maintenance phase and its development is further carried out in the SNAP project.
You can get it from the following web page: http://step.esa.int
If you install SNAP with the Sentinel-3 Toolbox you can also open AVHRR. But only the same as in BEAM.

regarding the sample AVHRR data you can not open. I've just tried it and I was able to open it without any problem.
Maybe something went wrong with the extraction.
Please try this one. It is the same file but already extracted.
If it is still not working it would be good if you start VISAT from the command line by using the visat-d script in the bin folder of the installation directory. Probably some error message will be printed related to reading the file. Please provide the error message with your next post.

Regarding support for the direct broadcast format. I'm afraid I have to say that it is not supported.
What BEAM/VISAT can read is described on this help page. It can also be found in the help within VISAT.

best wishes
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