XRIT2PIC manual (release 2016, working on).



xrit2pic is a program to handle HRIT/LRIT/AVHRR data, broadcasted by Eumetsat via satellite and internet. Data formats supported include:

Picture-data can be viewed directly, or translated into standard picture formats.
Xrit2pic can perform some simple dataprocessing; e.g. false colour pictures may be generated by mapping multiple channels onto different colours. Some dedicated mappings (e.g. fog and dust detection) are built-in. (Currently only working for MSG.)
Xrit2pic can also generate anaglyphs (3D images); the luminance is translated into altitude.
Movie generation is implemented, and is also possible in combination with all mentioned features.
For polar satellites tracks may be plotted on a world map; selection of parts of a track to view or export is supported.
All data processing is done using directly the received raw files, so without generation of intermediate files.

Next figure shows the place of xrit2pic in a MSG receiving environment.

For more information see:

Note: This is just an example; data coming from the Eumetsat ftp service, located on a CDROM etc. are equally suitable to manage by xrit2pic.

xrit2pic is available for both Linux and Windows. It is also compilable for other platforms (Sun/Solaris, MAC, etc.); source code is available (ask for the newest source code; the code on the web-site is not always up-to-date)
Note that (as far as I know) Eumetsat does only support Linux and Windows platforms, for their Tellique software.

Xrit2pic doesn't need much PC memory; normally way under 1G. Executing several xrit2pic's in parallel is no problem. Note, however, that xrit2pic can delete (on request, of course) or move files; if a second xrit2pic is using the same data it can get "confused" (but should not crash!).

Supported formats.

Following input formats are supported:


xrit2pic has default settings for about everything. They may be changed in the Preferences part; user settings are saved in xrit2pic.ini stored in the directory where the program is started.

Some tabs contain a 'Save' button, to store the settings in that tab. Currently this is done for the 'main' tab (under 'More'), 'Record' tab, and 'Received' tab. (This replaces the 'gui state sav' option in previous versions of xrit2pic.)

There are 3 places where xrit2pic.ini and xrit2pic.gini are searched after starting xrit2pic:

The first xrit2pic.ini/xrit2pic.gini file found is taken.

The 2 most important settings are:

Both files are in ASCII, so they may be changed using a text editor, if desired. For more information about settings see chapter
Directory settings and Preferences.

Xrit2pic and MSG Data Manager.


Using xrit2pic together with David Taylor's MSG Data Manager may give problems. Both programs move and/or delete received data, causing "interference": Result is that both programs may show lost segments.
There are a few methods to use both programs, but the bottom line is: There is one exception: You may use MDM for MSG and xrit2pic for AVHRR together, if you don't have David's AVHRR Manager. xrit2pic has a special AVHRR mode, which makes it 'blind' for MSG data; MDM is 'blind' for AVHRR anyway. So, MDM will not touch AVHRR files; xrit2pic will not touch other than AVHRR files. This prevents conflicts between the 2 programs.
Note that if xrit2pic is in continuous update mode (see
record) and in AVHRR mode then MDM should also be activated. Otherwise the 'received' directory will get a lot of files, and xrit2pic will need more and more time to analyze this dir, to see if new files are added. (This is one of the reasons why both programs try to keep the received directory empty!)


Instead of using data in the 'received' directory, left there by Tellique, xrit2pic can also read jpeg files. In this way xrit2pic can be used as postprocessor of data handled by MSG Data Manager: The files show up in the tree window as single segment files, but for the rest all xrit2pic features can be used:

Main window.

The main window contains several tabs for: Figure 1 gives an impression of the program in-use.

Description main window:

Selection can be done in several ways:

Multiple selections are possible, for sets, channels or segments:

Buttons in main window.

To make selection easier certain items visible in the tree can be hidden, using the second button under 'List' (now showing 'All'); e.g. just HRIT picture items can be made visible, or just LRIT MET7 items, etc.
This list will only show items present in the tree.

Expand: Expand the tree 1 level, so all channels become visible. Clicking again will collapse the list.

Menu items

After selection of one or more items a preview or file generation can be performed.

Basic actions in the main tab.


Note: Note:
Drawing a picture the first time takes some time because first the data has to be decompressed. (For a high resolution colour picture 4 pictures have to be decompressed.) To speed-up redrawing:


Default format of the exported picture depends on the format in which it was received: Note: RAH is hrpt 10-bits-per-pixel format. This is readable by:
See Other features for selecting different formats.

If the picture needs to be exported with special options, i.e. zoomed, custom luminance settings etc., use the File->Save menu in the preview window.

Data processing.


Overlay for MSG: Country boundaries etc.

There are currently 2 ways to add coast and country boundary lines:
  1. Use the "picture" overlay files of Eumetsat
  2. Use vector-based overlay files
A prefered type can be choosen from Preferences, tab 'generation'. The prefered type will be tried first, then the other type.
For both types overlay files have to be downloaded.

"Picture" overlay files.

Download the overlay files:
From here you may choose to either download each overlay file separately (choose "singleFiles") or to download zip-files (choose "zipped") In the zipped folder you can find zip-files for msg, foreign (fsd) or met first generation (mtp), or just download everything in 1 zip file.
Don't change the names of the files. Place them at one of the following locations: xrit2pic uses the same search algorithm as for the xrit2pic.ini file.
Select 'Overlay' and choose the ovelay type you want (default: country boundaries).
Note: xrit2pic determines which overlay to use with the following info: For MSG satellites there is now one set of overlay files, valid for all MSG's at a certain position. The file name starts with:

"Vector" overlay files.

Download the file:
Don't change the name of the file. Place it at one of the following locations: This overlay file is suitable for all satellites, including polar satellites if they are shown using a special projection (plate carree, plar etc.). For NOAA a suitable Kepler file is necessary (see below). METOP doesn't need a Kepler file since track info is included in the received files. Currently only coast lines are available. (Note: For some reason Australia is missing...)

lon/lat lines.

lon/lat lines may be activated for each satellite; see menu View->lon_lat. For NOAA a suitable Kepler file is necessary, e.g.: http://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/noaa.txt
The file may contain multiple entries for each satellite; xrit2pic will take the nearest in time. Note: The files shouldn't be too old, to maximize accuracy. So this file has to be renewed from time to time.
The name of the noaa file (default 'noaa.txt') may be changed in the preferences.

Colour pictures.

Generation of colour pictures is possible with 'Preview' or as a file in 3-bytes PPM or JPEG format.

If a 'blue line' is selected then a colourpicture can be generated; click on 'Enable' in the 'Colours' box. By default the following mapping is used:

These defaults are overwritten with the -r, -g, -b, -ro, -go and -bo commandline options. See
Non-gui mode.

Selecting button 'Mapping' pops up a window in which you can change the mapping:

Contribution of each channel to any colour can be changed with the spin-buttons below, between (e.g.) +100 and -100%.
For each colour an offset may be defined.
Calculation of the contribution of each channel depends on the 'Mirror neg. values' button.

With an offset unequal to 0 it is possible to invert the contribution of a channel: set offset to 100 and contribution to -100.
(Note that in principle it is not needed to define offsets for each channel separately; offsets of all channels are simply summed.)

Some default mappings are built-in:

These are selected using the button at the right bottom, showing "nrgb" (natural colour, which is the default). NOTE: These are currently defined for MSG only! For more info about these mappings see:

Also see next chapter 'Special mappings window'; in here, the mappings are set (and can be altered if desired).

Special mappings window.

The special mappings mentioned, like airmass, fog etc., use one channel or a difference of 2 channels for each colour. Xrit2pic has a special mapping window to enter these kinds of mappings. Temperature boundaries can be entered directly. If a special mapping is selected then the values will be visible in this window, and they can be easily adjusted, if needed.
See picture below: Each colour can have max. 2 channels associated. The right one (in column "Chan N") will be substracted from the left one ("Chan P").
Next 2 columns (Temp L, Temp H) give the temperature boundaries between which the channel combination is mapped.
E.g.: In the picture below channel IR_108 is substracted from IR_120. A difference of -4 Kelvin and lower will be mapped on "Black", a difference of +2 Kelvin and higher on max. Red. Between -4K and +2K mapping depends on the gamma correction; gamma=1 gives a linear mapping.

After changing a setting click on "Set" to make it effective.
If a channel is not available then the button will be coloured red.

High resolution colour pictures.

High resolution colour pics are possible by using the HRV channel for luminance and other channels for chrominance.
Enable 'Colour' and 'Hires'. See previous part for selecting other than default channels for colour mapping. Don't use HRV for one of the colours.
Note: For a perfect mapping of HRV onto other channels it is necessary that the prologue file is present (see PRO_EPI in the tree). In this file the exact positions of the upper and lower part are defined. If this file isn't present default values for the shift of the upper part are used. (These values change for about each picture, so it is important to have the prologue file available.)

The formula's used to create the high resolution colour is, for each pixel:

Rh=Lh * Rl / Ll
Gh=Lh * Gl / Ll
Bh=Lh * Bl / Ll
With: (Each Rl/Gl/Bl pixel is used 9x for one resulting Hres pixel, since HRV has a 3x3 higher resolution.)

Note that for grey parts (Rl=Gl=Bl) the result is: Rh=Gh=Bh=Lh

When will what be generated.

If one group (blue line) is selected there are several possibilities what will happen after clicking Preview or Export: If multiple groups are selected, and colour is enabled, the pop-up window will come up. This is especially usefull in case of exporting; in the pop-up you can define if and how to generate a movie. Also the pop-up shows progress of the generation process.


See Details about anaglyph generation

Geographic mappings.

Besides the "normal" mapping there are 4 other geographic mappings implemented:

Translation multiple pictures.

Generation of multiple pictures.

If multiple pictures are selected then, after clicking 'Preview' or 'Export' a window will pop up with all pictures selected.
(Note: If one 'blue' line is selected, but color is not enabled, then all channels under this line are selected as separate pictures. So, the mentioned window will pop-up.)

Pressing 'Help' gives a overview of the meaning of the status-'led's':

Generation of movies.

Movies are generated in avi format. It is possible to use a simple built-in generator or an external program 'mencoder', which you first need to install.
Now all selected items will be translated into JPEG files, in a special directory. After completion the jpeg files will be combined into one avi-formatted movie file.

Note on using preview window: The first picture selected will be shown in the preview window. If this pic is not suitable to do the settings then:

  • Select first the pic to do the settings.
  • Click on 'Preview'.
  • Now select all items to use for the movie.

    Some extra movie features:

    Generation of a movie of a couple of days will take a long time, especially the generation of all jpeg files (96 for 1-day movie) is very CPU intensive.
    Normally, after the avi-file is generated, these files are deleted. However, you can also choose to keep these files so they can be reused. If e.g. more frames have to be added to the movie just the extra added pieces have then to be translated.

    In the Translate window, second row of buttons, choose near 'Tempfiles':

    Before reusing a file xri2pic will first check if the size is correct. If not, it will re-generate the file.

    Generation of zoomed/adjusted pictures or movies.

    After pressing 'Preview' in the popup window (NOT in the main window!) a preview will pop up. All settings done in this window are used for picture/movie generation.

    If multiple items are selected only the first item will get a preview. It is however possible to use another item to do the settings:


    Xrit2pic can update its tree and show pictures as they are received (i.e., dumped by the Tellicast software into the Received directory.
    Also picture files and movies can be generated, and raw data may be deleted in an automatic way.
    Click the Record tab. There are 4 sub-tabs:

    'Show live' subtap

    'Generate' subtap

    Next features only work during continuous update.

    Generate files from raw data. The satellite choosen in the 'Show Live' tab will be used. However, the colour mode is determined by settings in the 'Main tab! This includes hiresolution and special mappings. The picture type (jpeg etc.) is determined by format (jpeg, pgm etc.).

    'Items to delete' subtap

    Here you can define all data to be deleted immediately after receiving, before xrit2pic would add them to the tree.

    'Aging' subtap

    Shows the defined amount of days after which data is deleted. To define in preferences, tab 'Record'. x

    'Others' subtap

    Here you can enable 'MSG notify'. This will run a command after the epilogue file of an MSG channel is received. (Command specified in 'Preferences'.)

    On top of these sub-tabs there is a common 'Updating' part. updating means that xrit2pic adds new received files to it's internal database. As a result these files show up in the tree (main tab) as they arrive.

  • Updating the tree:

    File management.

    Click the Archive tab.
    Click on Update to update the directory list. (Normally only needed first time after start of the program.)

    xrit2pic uses following directory structure to handle xrit-data:

    Move data between received and archive: Note: Besides HRIT/LRIT and AVHRR data also other data types are broadcasted, e.g.: xrit2pic flags these files as 'unknown'. They will be moved to directory archive/unknown.

    Move data between received and done directory:
    Normally never needed.

    Handle exported/generated files.

    Click the Exported tab.

    Exported/generated files (including movie files) in the destination directory are now visible. Files may be viewed using an external viewer (see 'Viewer programs' in preferences) or deleted. Temporary files, used to generate movies, are also accessible via this window.

    Prologue/epilogue files.

    HRIT files have one prologue and epilogue file for each set of channels (of a certain time). In the list they are shown immediately below a group, at the same level as the channels.
    GOES LRIT files have a dedicated prologue file for each channel. These are shown at the same level as the segments, one level below each channel.

    Currently xrit2pic only uses prologue files to extract the position of the 2 parts of the HRV channel. The used prologue data is visible using Preview (select first the prologue file in the tree).
    If data is processed using external programs the prologue/epilogue data may be needed. For this purpose they can be exported.
    To extract a prologue/epilogue file select the item and click on 'Export'.

    It is possible to export prologue/epilogue files in an automatic way together with the channels they belong to. See 'Other features'.

    Other features.

    By pressing the 'More' button (bottom-right) some less frequently used buttons will get visible:


    Only active if pictures with more than 8 bits per pixel have to be mapped to 8 bits per pixel: Items:
    E.g.: A 10-bits pixel with value 261=01 0000 0101: The grey 'circle' below this selection shows how the luminance of the picture will change for each select.


    Invert the picture. For preview and export.
    Note: In preview there is also an invert option. These 2 functions cancel each other out, i.e., both active -> no inversion.

    3D sh.

    Enabled if Anaglyph is checked. Change the maximum shift between left and right view (in pixels).

    AVHRR Segment range

    Select a certain track range to process/view. Especially handy with very long METOP passes.
    After clicking the 'World map' button a world map containing the track of the selected satellite is shown. The selected track part is coloured red.
  • Choose: North pole, south pole, full
  • Direction: North nound, south bound


    Determine output file format.

    By default files will be generated with highest possible quality:

    The following formats will be generated:

    defaultPGM selectedJPEG selectedBlue line selected

    black&whitecolourB&W or colour
    LRIT (Meteosat)JPEG 8 bits (1)PGM 1 bytePPM 3 bytesJPEG 24 bit (2)select window pops up
    LRIT (foreign)PGM 1 or 2 bytesPGM 1 or 2 bytes(not supported)JPEG 24 bitselect window pops up
    HRIT except HRVPGM 2 bytesPGM 1 or 2 bytesPPM 3 bytesJPEG 24 bitselect window pops up
    HRIT HRVPGM 2 bytesPGM 1 or 2 bytes(not supported)JPEG 24 bit
    AVHRRPGM 2 bytesPGM 1 or 2 bytesPPM 3 bytesJPEG 24 bitrah (for wsat, hrptreader)
    EPSPGM 2 bytesPGM 1 or 2 bytesPPM 3 bytesJPEG 24 bitrah (for wsat, hrptreader)
    Admintext (ASCII) format
    Otherbinary format


    Remarks on file formats.

    Non-gui mode.

     xrit2pic [options]
      -h                       this help
      -e                       non-gui examples
      -overlay_files           show available overlayfiles
      -nogui                   non-gui mode
        options for locations:
          -src <path>          path to source XRIT files (def.: see ini-file)
          -dest <path>         path to destination dir (def.: see ini-file)
        options for file formats:
          -pgm                 generate PGM  (see below for defaults)
          -pgm8                generate PGM (forced to 8 bits pp)
          -jpg                 generate JPEG (see below for defaults)
          -rah                 generate rah from AVHRR
          -nolin               don't linearize AVHRR
          -overwrite           overwrite if file exist (default: not)
        options for choosing what to generate:
          -europe              Europe part only (MSG)
          -gmap               'plane carre' mapping (geostat)
          -movie               generate movie file
          -sat <sat_source>    translate only this sat (MSG1, MET7...)
          -type <H or L or A>  translate only this type (HRIT/LRIT/AVHRR)
          -chan <chan_name>    translate only this channel
          -segm <range>        translate only these segments
          -date <yy-mm-dd>     translate only this date
          -time <hh:mm>        translate only this time
          -pro                 extract also prologue file
          -epi                 extract also epilogue file
          -inv                 invert
          -temp                generate temperature mapping (IR only)
          -anagl [anagl_opts]  generate anaglyph
             anagl_opts: <shft[:lmin[-lmax]]>
                               shft:  pixel-shift left/right (def. 20)
                               lmin:  max shift at this lum  (def. 0)
                               lmax:  min shift at this lum  (def. 512)
        options for multi-channel compositions:
          -compose [type]      make false-color pics
                               type=optional; vis or airm or dust or fog
          -hrvlum              use HRV for lum (high-res colour)
          -inv <channame>      invert this channel
          -lmin <val>          minval; this val mapped on 'black' 
          -lmax <val>          maxval; this val mapped on 'white' 
          -inv <channame>      invert this channel
          -inv <channame>      invert this channel
          -r <channame>[=val]  use this channel for red
          -g <channame>[=val]  use this channel for green
          -b <channame>[=val]  use this channel for blue
                               val=-100...100 (def. 100)
          -ro <offset>         offset for red (def. 0)
          -go <offset>         offset for green (def. 0)
          -bo <offset>         offset for blue (def. 0)
          -msb <msb>           msb for translation 10 bits->8 bits
                               <msb>=9, 8 or 7
        Other options:
          -test                don't generate, just show what will happen
          -log                 generate log file 'xrit2pic.log' (in dest. dir)
          -ol[=<lum>] [<type>] add overlay to picture
                               <lum> = overlay lum, 0..255 (def. 255)
                               <type> = coa(st), cou(ntry),
                                        l(atlong), b(oth) (b=default)
    Default generated formats: See Generated files.
    For options -chan, -date and -time wildcards are allowed.

    In the non-gui mode xrit files can be translated immediately into JPEG/PGM files.


  • xrit2pic -nogui -type H -chan VIS* -segm 3-7 -date 04-02-* -time 21:00 -pro

    This will translate all HRIT files with channels VIS* (VIS006, VIS008), segments 3 until 7, of februari 2004 and time 21:00, together with their prologue files.

    The log file, if generated, will be placed in the destination directory. Note that this file will not be overwritten; new info will always be appended.

    Make sure that you have write access to the destination directory! Otherwise nothing will happen, and also no log file will be created (because this file would be created in the destination directory).

    See Example nongui commands.

    Using two PC's.

    Xrit2pic may be used in a 2-PC environment, but has currently some limitations.
    In this part 3 methods are described, as well as a detailed settings description for one of the methods.

    The 2 PC's have the following functionality:

    1. Receiving PC (R):
      • Equiped with Skystar2 tuner
      • Running Tellicast
      • Optional: Running xrit2pic to delete unneeded data
    2. Processing PC (P):
      • Data-connection to receiving PC
      • Running xrit2pic to process data
    There are several methods to use 2 PC's:

    Method A: (see detailed Windows settings below)

    Method B:

    Advantage compared to previous method is that the copy mechanism may run on low priority, so less chance on lost segments. Also, raw data is read just once from harddisk 'R'.

    Method C:

    Advantage: Processing is quicker (decompressing Wavelet is processor intensive). Disadvantage: Bigger files (if used format is PGM) or data loss (if JPEG is used)
    (Note: Working on adding losless compressed format with at least 10 bits per pixel.)

    Method B is currently the best method: no data loss before processing, and file sizes relatively small.

    Settings for remote access (Linux).

    If Linux is running on both PC's you can do a remote mount using sshfs:
  • If not available install sshfs. E.g. fedora: (as root, of course).
  • create a mount point, e.g.:
  • Find out the IP address and user of the remote machine, e.g. 192.168.1 40 and abcd
  • Find out the directory which you want to mount, e.g. /home/abcd
  • Mount remote directory: Now you can browse to /mnt/msg, and from thereon to all directories below (asuming protections are set correctly).

    Settings for remote access (Windows).

    Method A using Windows.

    In short, if your files on your Receiving PC are in:
  • C:\aa\bb\cc
    then you need to make shareable:
  • C:\aa\bb
    and in xrit2pic on the Processing PC you can find the files on the receiver PC in:
  • \\rec_pc\bb\cc
    (with rec_pc the network name of your receiver PC).

    Now in detail:
    Assumed is standard Tellique installation, i.e., received directory is:
    Program Files\T-Systems\BusinessTV-IP\received
    on your Receiver PC.

    Note: The directory which is made shared ('BusinessTV-IP' in this example) is NOT reachable by xrit2pic, but directories below the shared directory ('received' in this case) are. This is the reason why the directory containing received is made shareable, and NOT received itself!

    What works remotely:

  • Viewing/translating xrit data.

    What maybe doesn't work remotely: (to test)

  • Moving (archiving) files from receiving to processing PC.
  • Archiving anyway
  • Deleting files on remote PC

    Directory setting.

    If no directories are defined then defaults are used.

    Define directory with XRIT files:

    Now the program will jump to the main part, and the content of the selected directory is visible.

    Some notes:


    xrit2pic saves its settings into a preferences file xrit2pic.ini. In previous versions of xrit2pic it was possible to save button states, and restore these at restart. This is replaced by special 'save' buttons on some of the tabs. A save button on a tab will save the state of buttons on that tab only. Clicking on 'Save ' in the preferences window will not save changes of buttons.
    You can get back the program's defaults by clicking the 'Load defaults' button.
    Save settings by clicking on Save '. Note that the directory list (see
    Directory setting) is also saved, including the directory selected!
    If the program is started a next time it will read the preferences file and will immediately load the directory which was selected just before saving the preferences file.

  • Update:
  • AVHRR mode: Check only if used in combination with MSG Data Manager.

  • Delete old files: Define age of files which will be deleted using the menu item "File->Delete old".
  • Activate record at program start:

  • Viewer programs: In this part the viewer to launch can be defined (one for JPEG files, one for PGM). It is assumed that the viewer accepts the picture file as a argument.
    For each viewer options may be defined to make sure that the picture is always shown "upside up".

    If no viewer is specified the following built-in viewers are used:

    In the example: Note: If no '%s' is added the filename will be added as last argument to the program. If '%s' is present then this will be replaced by the filename. (Compare in this example avi and pgm.)
  • Window size: Define sizes of preview and live window at the moment they are activated. (Resize is possible manually.)
  • Postprocessings: Define programs to handle BUFR files.

  • Correct scan direction: If not selected pictures will be saved as they are transmitted. E.g. MSG pictures are transmitted south-to-north, so saved MSG files will be upside-down. If selected then generated PGM/PPM files will be always 'Upside-up'. See also Flip button in Preview.
    Note: JPEG files will be always as they are transmitted (i.e., MSG and MET files upside-down, foreign formats upside-up).
  • Auto export prologue/epilogue. If the 'pro/epi' button is activated then exporting a channel will result in exporting related prologue and/or epilogue files too.
  • Overwrite. What to do if a file to generate already exist. Generated files get unique names, using time and channel. There are 3 methods to deal with existing filenames (see 'Overwrite')
  • Overlay: Define colours and overlay types.
    Define directories for:
    Define files for: The default time/date spec "%t" may be replaced by a more custom time spec. Formatting will be done according to the strftime() C-function, except for the folowing % codes:
    %k, %s, %c, %n, %r, %t
    Some codes:
           %a     The abbreviated weekday name according to the current locale.
           %A     The full weekday name according to the current locale.
           %b     The abbreviated month name according to the current locale.
           %B     The full month name according to the current locale.
           %C     The century number (year/100) as a 2-digit integer. (SU)
           %d     The day of the month as a decimal number (range 01 to 31).
           %D     Equivalent to %m/%d/%y. (Yecch - for Americans only.   Americans
                  should  note  that in other countries %d/%m/%y is rather common.
                  This means that in international context this format is  ambigu-
                  ous and should not be used.) (SU)
           %e     Like %d, the day of the month as a decimal number, but a leading
                  zero is replaced by a space. (SU)
           %H     The  hour as a decimal number using a 24-hour clock (range 00 to
           %I     The hour as a decimal number using a 12-hour clock (range 01  to
           %j     The day of the year as a decimal number (range 001 to 366).
           %p     Either  \x{2018}AM\x{2019}  or  \x{2018}PM\x{2019} according to the given time value, or the
                  corresponding strings for the current locale.  Noon  is  treated
                  as \x{2018}pm\x{2019} and midnight as \x{2018}am\x{2019}.

    Save colour mappings per source type:

  • Save current mapping as:
    Adjust and save colour mapping for up to 4 source types. The colour mapping will be used as default for the related
  • Open in main window mapping window (box 'Colours', button 'Maping')
  • Adjust colour mapping to save.
  • In Preferences, click one if the buttons 'MSG HRIT', 'MSG LRIT', 'AVHRR NOAA' or 'EPS METOP'
  • Click 'Save it'.
  • Set default mapping for:
    Set to build-in default colour mappings.

    Save zoom areas:

  • Zoomed boundaries(%): ??
  • Zoomed boundaries (degrees) Define up to 4 zoom area's. The area's will be accessble via the main window pull-down menu 'Area'.
    For each are define:
  • Add a name and center/delta numbers.
  • Click 'Save it'.
  • Restart xrit2pic.
  • In main window, select pull-down 'Area'. The new defined name should appear. Select it, and then select a picture to draw, the ususal way. If the area is not OK:

    Calculations center/delta's to zoom areas:

    If lon+/-delta is outside the globe then take x=0 or width-1.
    If lat+/-delta is outside the globe then take y=0 or height-1.

    Saving/restoring gui state.

    Note: This mode is replaced by 'Save' buttons on some of the tabs on the main window. This gives a better control on saving certain button state, instead of saving all button states. You can switch on the gui state mode in Preferences, tab 'Misc':
    (re)store gui state
    For following windows the gui state can be saved/restored after start-up: To save the gui state: The file is stored in xrit2pic.gini in the current directory. Like xrit2pic.ini it may beplaced in a central location; see



    This is a list of all needed/related items for xrit2pic to run:
    categorynameneededupdatewhere to get
    Main programxrit2pic(.exe)alwayseach new releasehttp://www.alblas.demon.nl/wsat
    libraryGTKalwaysneverhttp://www.alblas.demon.nl/wsat (Windows)
    init-filexrit2pic.inino (defaults)-generated by xrit2pic
    gui init-filexrit2pic.ginino (defaults)-generated by xrit2pic
    supporting programbzip2(.exe)AVHRR onlyneverhttp://www.alblas.demon.nl/wsat (Windows)
    overlay filesmet8*.gif etc.Geostat. MeteosatneverEumetsat
    Kepler filesnoaa.txtAVHRR lon/lat calc.each month?http://www.celestrak.com


    Installation of xrit2pic is simple; it is just a matter of placing the program and its libraries on the right place.

    There are 2 files to download:

    It is assumed that gtk is installed. This is normally always the case (I think) on Linux machines. Otherwise download and install gtk-1.2.

    Unzip the 2 files and place the result into e.g. $HOME/bin.
    For AVHRR bzip2 is needed. This is also present in each Linux distribution.


    Installation of xrit2pic is simple; it is just a matter of placing the program and its libraries on the right place.

    There are 4 or 5 files to download:

    For updates it is normally enough to download just xrit2pic.zip, and then run the installer.

    Installation using install program:

    Installation: (if install program is not used)

    Note In Properties of the link (select from menu via right mouse-click) it is possible to minimize the command shell which pop ups at start of xrit2pic. Also the working directory may be changed here.

    Example non-gui commands.

    Next command translates all HRIT files with a channel name starting with VIS for every day with UTC time of 12:00. Only segments 7 and 8 are added to the picture (which is Europe).
    xrit2pic -nogui -type H -chan VIS* -segm 7-8 -time 12:00 
    Next is a example to do this translation 'forever'; each day the receive directory is cleaned.

  • Script for Linux:
    xrit2pic -nogui -type H -chan VIS* -segm 7-8 -time 12:00 -log
    rm /home/user/from_msg/received/*
    Start it as a cronjob every day around midnight (at least several minutes from the time that the files to translate are generated!)

  • For Windows:
    xrit2pic -nogui -type H -chan VIS* -segm 7-8 -time 12:00 -log
    del c:\from_msg\received\*.*

    Start it using 'Task scheduler'.

    Temperature mapping.

    For both pgm and jpeg output files:
    In command line mode, using option -temp_bw, mapping is done using GOES mode-A (dog-leg) scaling for temperature:
  • Mode-A (counts) = 418K - Tscene (for Tscene between 163K and 242K)
  • Mode-A (counts) = 660K - 2*Tscene (for Tscene between 242K and 330K)
    In gui mode the same happens after selecting one IR channel, and clicking "Export".

    Details about movie generation.

    xrit2pic generates movies in the following way:
    If an external encoder 'mencoder' is used then basically the same happens. 'mencoder' combines ALL files in the temp directory into a movie file; this is the reason why first all files are moved to the sav directory. For the internal movie generator this isn't necessary.
    Advantage of mencoder is that several codecs may be used. The default one is msmpeg4v2.
    The options of mencoder, or even the whole command, may be replaced by something else; see preferences and mencoder manual. So other codecs or a complete different encoder program may be used.

    Details about anaglyph generation.

    Meteosat data doesn't contain 3d info. For getting a 3D illusion the left and right pictures are generated using the luminance of each pixel. Clouds are bright and high, land is relatively dark and low, which clarifies why luminance can be used for depth information.
    Each pixel is duplicated in red and cyan; the shift between the two is bigger if the luminance is low ('land').


    In the preview window several buttons pop up in Anaglyph mode. If land/coastlines have to be added:
    Anaglyphs are possible for black-and-white and coloured picures, as well as movies. Black-and-white gives better results than colour anaglyphs.

    Continuous movie generation.

    Example of generating a continuous movie of the last 2 days, wihout filling up your disk. Using rgb day/night colours.
    The given 'Save' instructions are not needed; if given xrit2pic will start with the saved settings, so movie generation and showing will be executed as soon as xrit2pic is started next time.

    Installation of mencoder and codecs (NOT needed if the internal movie generator is used!)

    Installation mencoder for Linux.

    Download mplayer and codecs from:
    Mplayer site

    Installation mencoder for Windows.

    Go to the
    Mplayer site and download MPlayer-mingw32-1.0pre5.zip
    Put mencoder.exe into a directory which is in the search path (e.g. c:\windows).

    Go to the
    codecs site and download win32codecs-essential-20040703.tar.bz2
    Decompress and put the dll files into c:\windows\system.

    Some remarks.

    The generated files may be very big; full HRV pictures are 5568 x 11136. If you experience problems with viewers because of memory shortage you may try wsat. This program is able to show pictures with virtually unlimited size on a very small computer. (Drawback is that redrawing, e.g. after zoom action, is a bit slow.) It can not read jpeg, so you should write out in PGM format if you want to use it. (File size of HRV in PGM format is about 124 Mbytes).

    Program information.

    xrit2pic is written in C and C++, using: