SAO Explorer

Interactive ionogram Scaling Technologies

© 1998-2021

U MASS Lowell
Center for Atmospheric Research
Last changed: January 31, 2021

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Configuring "read-only" connection to Lowell DIDB 

Apply for the Lowell DIDB account to Prof. Bodo Reinisch, A username and password will be issued for SAO-X connection to Lowell.
Make sure you have SAO Explorer version 3.2.02 or later. The SAO-X installation page with instructions can be found here.
Configure DIDB connection. This operation is done once.
  • Open SAO-X and select "Database connection" from the File menu. That brings up "Connection to database" window, with a list of available databases in the lower panel and address editor in the upper panel. The database list should be empty in your case, all lines should say NONE ().
  • Select one of the available lines in the list and click Edit button to specify our server. 
  • Enter the alias. "Lowell DIDB" or "UMLCAR DIDB" seems like a good suggestion for the alias.
  • Enter Database URL:
    • Lowell DIDBase, USA: jdbc:firebirdsql://
    • Prague, Czech Republic: jdbc:firebirdsql://
    • Hermanus, South Africa: jdbc:firebirdsql://
    • Beijing, China: jdbc:firebirdsql://
  • Provide the DIDB username and password.
  • Click on "Save in the list" button.
  • Then click the Connect button below.
  • The window will close and SAO-X will attempt connecting to us.
If the connection is successful, the title bar of the SAO-X will have "(<database alias> is online)" added after its version number. This connection needs to be configured only once. Next time you start SAO-X, it will attempt connecting to the DIDBase by itself.
Catalogs and queries
  • When you see "DIDB is online" in the title bar, you can click on the "New Query" tool-button with the symbol of lightning (or "New Query" from the File menu). The SAO-X will request the list of available digisonde stations from DIDB. It may take some time, depending on your location and DIDB activity.
  • The first thing to try is perhaps the Station Tree, where we have the list of digisonde stations and start and end times of stored data. As you open the tree branches, watch for the mouse pointer that turns to the sandclock when there is an ongoing operation. When you follow down the tree to a particular day, you can click on the Set button to select the data for query.
  • Then try Calendar Tree for the list of stations available for individual days. You can also select a particular station in the "Data Source" combobox and try "Current Station" button for complete inventory of data for that station.
  • You can directly specify time interval and station in the query window. If you are not sure whether the data are available in DIDB, look up the data in the catalog first (using station or calendar tree).
Read-only connection to DIDB does not allow online submissions of ionogram editing results to DIDB. Please apply for the scaler account to Prof. Bodo Reinisch, and further instructions will be e-mailed to you.