Imperial College

Qtran: Cluster File Translator

Qtran version is 4.0.22 [9 October 2018]

Qtran version 4.0.22 is derived from QSAS 3.2.7 release.

The end of branch version Qtran 3.6.3 is also available (this earlier branch does not read PDS files and does not use Mingw on Windows).

This version is available for Solaris (source), Linux (source), Windows(binary and source) and Mac OSX (binary and source).

Under Windows this version uses Mingw (msys) linux environment which must be installed to build from source on Windows.

Qtran converts files between the following formats...

It also converts from PDS (for Rosetta) format into any of the supported formats above, but does not write PDS.

Qtran is maintained by the Space and Atmospheric group in the Physics Department at Imperial College London as part of our role in the Cluster Science Centre within the UK and the Rosetta Plasma Consortium. These formats and software, while originally designed with Cluster in mind, are quite general in applicability.

Additionally, metadata may be added to variables by providing an additional .qat file which is read alongside the file, see CU-QMW-TN-0011

File Formats and User Documentation

Obtaining Qtran

Qtran is available as a compressed tar file containing source, documentation and Mac OSX executable.

Compiling Qtran

On Solaris and Linux platforms, cd to src in the Qtran directory and edit the makefile to locate the local CDF installation.

Qtran is designed to work with CDF version 3.1 or later, but the backward compatibility flag is set to ensure it writes files that can be read by cdf 2.7 onwards.  The restriction of using 3.1 onwards is to allow reading of Themis data files that use epoch16 which is not available in earlier versions.

To compile Qtran type 'make' at the prompt inside the src directory.  This will compile the Qtran executable and place it in the top level Qtran directory.

On Apple Mac machines, download the Qtran.tar.gz installer and unpack in /Applications.

Running Qtran

Once installed, typing Qtran without any arguments will produce a description of options.

Without any options (and just a filename as argument) Qtran will attempt to create a CDF file, unless the input file is already a cdf file, in which case it will create a Cluster Exchange (.cef) file.

Options, if set, specify the input and output format, control whether an existing file will be overwritten, toggles record numbering, and specify verbose messages.

Authors This software was written by the CSC Team members at IC - Tony Allen ( and Steve Schwartz ( Please address all comments to csc-support-dl.

Qtran is developed as part of the Cluster Science Centre within the UK and funded by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council . The software is provided 'as is' under the GPL public licence, though QM and IC retain the copyright. No liability is accepted for any damage resulting from the installation or use of this software, and no guarantee of its suitability is implied for any use other than the scientific visualisation and manipulation of Cluster science data. Copyright.

Last up-dated 17 October 2018

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