Helpful programs should not be hard to figure out! Hopefully this guide will get you to the important aspects of your scientific analysis quickly. If you haven’t installed pysat yet, the Installation section can help you with that.

Set the Data Directory

pysat will maintain organization of data from various platforms. When you import pysat for the first time, it will remind you that you need to set this variable for your system.

import pysat

Hi there!  Pysat will nominally store data in the 'pysatData' directory at
the user's home directory level. Set `pysat.params['data_dirs']` equal to a
path that specifies a top-level directory to store science data.

Most people are fine setting a single path for all of their data, but other people have a LOT of data and need to store it on multiple disks. pysat supports setting the data_dirs parameter equal to either a string or a list of strings, as illustrated in the example below.

# Set a single directory to store all data
path = '/path/to/your/data/directory/that/may/or/may/not/exist'
pysat.params['data_dirs'] = path

# Alternately, multiple paths may be registered. For a given Instrument,
# pysat will iterate through the available options until data files
# are found. The search will terminate at the first directory with data.
# If no files are found, the first path is selected by default.
pysat.params['data_dirs'] = [path_1, path_2, ..., path_n]

To check the currently set data directory,


Load an Instrument

The best way to see if pysat is working is to load a test instrument. The test instrument will simulate data when it is asked to load data. Loading a day of data will ensure there is no problem with the underlying pandas and xarray installations.

# Testing out the pandas installation
inst = pysat.Instrument('pysat', 'testing')
inst.load(2009, 1)

# Testing out the xarray installation
inst = pysat.Instrument('pysat', 'ndtesting')
inst.load(2009, 1)


pysat will not allow any Instruments to be instantiated without a data directory being specified.


Test instruments have a limited date range over which they will simulate data.

Explore the Possibilities

At this point, you are set up to start exploring the tools and methods pysat provides. To start working with some Instruments that manage real space science data, check out the pysat Ecosystem. For a more detailed dive into pysat, check out the Tutorial and Examples.