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Seascanarch plugin for reading Rutter .DAT files

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    2013 May 14:  the latest master version of radR from today can handle archives with a mix of gated and ungated segments.  Ungated segments are now "random" access, although the GUI is somewhat broken:  clicking in the player slider window moves forward or backward only by chunks, which is invisible to radR until the number of chunks is big enough to include a whole sweep. (Fixes an issue with the 2013 May 01 release.)

    The Rutter Inc. Seascan server can record archives of raw radar data for subsequent processing.  Although the seascan plugin is able to ask the Seascan server to play back these data, this plugin is not available on Linux and so the seascanarch plugin is needed there.  We recommend using the seascanarch plugin on both Windows and Linux, because it avoids the memory and processing overheads of using the Seascan server.  The seascanarch plugin understands the .DAT file format used by version 4.2 of Seascan software - users interested in support for later versions (if these exist) should contact the author of radR.  The seascanarch plugin does not require any Rutter software or hardware, but is not able to record data in .DAT files (see the rawarch plugin for an alternative raw output format.)

    Gated vs ungated data

    Rutter's software can record data into  .DAT archives in either gated or ungated mode.  Gated mode provides a fixed number of pulses per sweep, and these will form a subset of all transmitted pulses, selected so they are spaced uniformly over the 0-360 degree azimuth space.  Ungated mode tries to capture as many pulses per sweep as possible, and this number may vary from one sweep to the next.

    The seascanarch plugin can read data from .DAT archives recorded in both gated and ungated modes, but the latter has received very little testing.  Users who find problems with the handling of ungated data are welcome to submit bug reports, and ideally, short ungated .DAT files; however, we recommend recording in gated mode.  You can ensure that the Rutter Seascan/Seaview software is recording gated data by verifying that the following line is found in the file SeaScan0.ini:

    recordGatedData = 1             // 0 for no gating; 1 for gating

    Changes to the SeaScan0.ini file only take effect after you restart the Seascan server.  Please see the paragraph on Configuration with SeaScanRCU here for a discussion about which copy of SeaScan0.ini is actually used by the SeaScan server; otherwise, you might find your changes to SeaScan0.ini have no effect!

    Multiple segments in a .DAT file

    Note that .DAT files can hold multiple segments of data, and each such segment shows up as a separate entry in the table of contents drop-down menu in the Player window:

    2013 May 1:  Note: each segment can be gated or ungated, independently of the others.  No indication of this is given in the menu, but "scans" in an ungated segment refers to "chunks" of data lasting a few hundred milliseconds or so, rather than to 360-degree "sweeps".

    Seascan locks .DAT files

    The Seascan server locks its current .DAT file, whether it is recording to it or just serving it for playback.  radR is not smart enough to detect this situation, and if you attempt to open a .DAT file with radR while Seascan has it open, you will get a message like this one:


    and there are, in fact, no more details in the console window.  You should close the Seascan server and then try to open the file in radR again.

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    FileSizeDateAttached by 
    what happens when you try to open a .DAT archive when SeaScan still has it open
    3.78 kB20:53, 12 Oct 2010JohnActions
    each segment in a .DAT file appears as an entry in the Player table of contents
    45.55 kB16:18, 8 Oct 2010JohnActions
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