Hitran-PC Version 4 : Bug List, Fixes, Comments and
Hitran-PC Version 4 : Bug List, Fixes, Comments and
Update History (Updated: September 7, 2010)
Current Hitran-PC Bug List to be corrected in future updates
September 7, 2010:
1) Bug in partial pressures specification using Barr or Torr units.: A bug was found in partial
pressures specification windows if the units are changed to Barr or Torr and a partial pressures
window is closed and opened again. Each time a partial pressure specification window is
opened, the pressure units displayed are not returned and updated correctly to the default Atm
units and instead the units selected previously are used. This causes discrepancy and incorrect
partial pressure value conversion. The error does not occur if only the default Atm units are
used. This issue will be fixed in a future update.
August 24, 2010:
1) Error if the slant path initial altitude set higher than the atmospheric model maximum
altitude: It was found that if an attempt is made to increase the initial altitude above the highest
altitude in the currently selected atmospheric model files (120 km for the built in atmospheric
models), an error will occur and the program will terminate since no proper error handling has
been implemented for this case. To avoid this error it is important that the atmospheric profile
files used cover the entire altitude range to be modeled before the initial altitude and path length
are modified in the slant path editor. If custom atmospheric profile files extending above the
maximum altitude are used, it is important to load such files first and then manipulate the slant
path geometry parameters (initial altitude, slant path angle, path length).
2) Bug in ”Angle from zenith” manual value modification for slant path calculations: A bug
was found in the Hitran-PC program which incorrectly accepts the slant path layer angle if the
angle is selected in the “Angle from zenith” mode and the value is manually typed into the text
box as opposed to using the corresponding scrollbar. To overcome this problem it is
recommended to keep the angle specification in the “Angle from horizon” setting where both
the scroll bar and the textbox values are then accepted correctly.
3) Problem in handling missing (i.e. zero) air broadening half-widths in the HITRAN database:
It has been found that a small number of lines and isotopes in the newer 2004 and 2008 HITRAN
databases had missing (i.e. zero) values for the air-broadened half width. At present, this causes
an error in the HITRAN-PC calculations and gives line intensities too high. We are working on
a fix for this.
The table below summarizes the number of lines with zero air-broadened half-widths for
molecules and isotopes in HITRAN 2008, 2004, 2000, and 1996 editions.
Molecule / Isotope
Number zero air-broadening half widths
O3 / Isotope 667
O3 / Isotope 676
Total O3
CH3Cl / Isotope 215
CH3Cl / Isotope 217
Total CH3Cl
PH3 / Isotope 1111
Total PH3
No lines with
zero airbroadening half
No lines with
zero airbroadening half
Comments and explanations
April 28, 2010:
Explanation of wavelength binning method used in Hitran-PC: In most intensity based
spectroscopic applications, the line intensity and lineshape are more critical than the absolute
position of the line. To take this into account, Hitran-PC was designed to preserve the
calculated maximum line intensity regardless of the wavelength resolution selected by the user.
To do this, the line center position is rounded to the closest wavelength resolution point in the
wavelength grid set; the wavelength grid is determined by the minimum, maximum
wavenumbers and the number of wavelength data points (ie. resolution) set by the user. Such
rounding only affects the position of the entire calculated line and has no effect on the line
maximum or the lineshape.
As such, due to this rounding, the calculated line position is only as accurate as the grid
resolution set by the user. It is therefore important to remember that if the line position is critical
in a particular calculation, the wavelength grid resolution should be set fine enough to
accommodate the line position precision required by the user. The data in the HITRAN database
is provided with a maximum precision of 10-6 cm-1. However, as an example, since most
pressure broadened lines have a linewidth of about 0.1 cm-1, it is common in laser remote sensing
applications to calculate the spectral intensities using a wavelength resolution on the order of
about 3 to 10 times smaller.
April 15, 2010:
Typo Error found in the Doppler (Gaussian) lineshape function calculations: Some constant
values are stored in numerical format in the Hitran-PC program for faster calculations. An error
was found in the calculation of the Doppler broadened lineshape in that the ln(2) term value
stored in numerical form was accidentally typed in as 0.963 ( as opposed to 0.693) in the
Doppler line profile equation shown below:
⎛ 1
g D (ν − ν o ) = ⎜⎜
⎡ − ln 2 ⋅ (ν − ν )2 ⎤
⎞ ln 2
⋅ exp⎢
This error results in an underestimation of the Doppler line width by 17.8 percent, however it
does not affect the peak or line center line intensity. This error is shown in the following figure
showing the Doppler lineshape of a water vapor line :
This error in the HITRAN-PC program only affects the calculations with Doppler broadened
lineshapes (if “Line >> Doppler (Gaussian)” menu option is selected), and does not effect the
Pressure broadened (Lorentzian) lineshapes or the Voigt (Pressure and Doppler) lineshapes that
use a different equation. This error will be fixed in the next Hitran-PC update. We want to
thank Chen Bin (Harbin Institute of Technology) for pointing this error out to us.
March 24, 2010:
1) Problem running aerosol calculations within the HITRAN-PC 4.1 program on new 64-bit
Windows versions: It has been found that there are problems running aerosols calculations on
machines with 64-bit Windows installed (such as 64 bit versions of Windows 7 or Windows XP
or Windows Vista). The problem is due to the fact that the BACKSCAT 4.0 aerosols calculations
are currently carried out by calling a standalone BACKSCAT 4.0 executable program from
within the main Hitran-PC program. This executable was compiled to operate under 32 bit
operating systems, and does not use the .NET framework. The main Hitran-PC 4.1 program is
not affected since it operates through the .NET framework (which allows 32 and 64 bit operating
systems), however the aerosol calculations will only operate under 32-bit versions of Windows.
As such, if aerosols calculations are required, then the user should use only a 32 bit Windows
system (XP, 7, or Vista) at this time. A re-compile to allow for 64 bit use is planned in the
March 16, 2010:
1) In the Cross-sections window the “Chemical formula” field is blank. Only the “Name” filed
is displayed which contains the common chemical name or the chemical formula.
2) If a value of more than 10 is manually typed in into the smoothing window dialog (located
under Comp >> Smooth composite with >>…), then the “Start smoothing” button is pressed
and the smoothing window is opened again, an error results. This is due to incorrect linkage
between the scroll bar and the smoothing window value used. This bug prevents from applying
smoothing with widths over 10 cm-1 repeatedly.
3) If the “Use default (25)” button in the “Wing contribution window” located under “Par >>
Wing Contribution for Line Shape Calc.” is pressed then the value assigned to the
corresponding scroll bar is 2.5 instead of 25.
4) Is some cases, such as when loading of HITRAN cross-sectional files is loaded repeatedly,
the last line in the cross-sections list (located under “Molecules >> Cross-section HITRAN
molecules”) may not be displayed.
5) In some rare cases a mistake may occur when switching from the Log mode back to the linear
mode is done.
6) If an external file (such as an experimental data file) with a small number of datapoints is
loaded into Hitran-PC, the spectrum may have a “ladder” appearance in some regions.
Dec. 10, 2009: Problem in reading PNNL Database from a DVD distributed by Ontar: It has
been found that the Hitran-PC program encounters an error if an attempt is made to load a PNNL
database from an older 2004 PNNL database version on a DVD provided by Ontar. The problem
is due to non-standard file names and files contained in the “Ancillary” folder of the “Individual
Chemicals” folder on the PNNL database DVD distributed by Ontar. We plan to modify the
HITRAN-PC program later to handle this exception correctly. However, as of right now the
following steps should be followed to enable the use of the PNNL database on Ontar’s DVD by
the Hitran-PC program:
1 - Copy the contents of the Ontar’s PNNL database DVD to a selected location on your hard
2 - Remove the folder called “Ancillary” from the “Individual Chemicals” folder of the PNNL
database copied to your hard drive from the Ontar’s PNNL DVD.
3 - Load the PNNL database from within the Hitran-PC program by selecting the “Individual
Chemicals” folder of the PNNL database located on your hard drive (this folder now shouldn’t
contain the “Ancillary” folder).
Note: The Hitran-PC program was originally designed to operate with the PNNL database
downloaded directly from the PNNL website (https://secure2.pnl.gov/nsd/nsd.nsf/Welcome). It
has a larger number of compounds (more than 430) than the Ontar’s PNNL DVD (281
compounds) and is regularly updated with spectral data for new chemicals. It is thus
recommended to use the PNNL database obtained directly from the Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory with the Hitran-PC program. The "Ancillary" folder causing the above mentioned
problem is not a part of the PNNL database distribution available directly from the PNNL
Nov. 1, 2009: HITRAN C2H6 isotope number 2 update: As one of the updates a new isotope
number 2 of C2H6 molecule was added to the HITRAN database in September 2009. This
isotope is therefore currently not recognized by the Hitran-PC program. This issue will be
addressed in the next sub-release of the current Hitran-PC version.
Hitran-PC Version 4.1 (Released October 28, 2009)
1) Bug fixed in resizing forms and fonts: Testing of Hitran-PC 4.0 on Windows 7 revealed
problems with automatic resizing of certain forms and elements under the default 100% font size
settings in Windows 7. It was also found that the form resize issue affects Windows Vista if the
system font Dpi setting is set to a value higher than the standard 100% default setting of 96 Dpi.
To remedy this problem, the Hitran-PC program has been modified accordingly to properly
resize Hitran-PC windows at various Font Dpi size settings.
Even though in most cases Windows is operated with the default font size setting of 96Dpi,
sometimes (as in the case of high resolution screens), it may be necessary to increase the Dpi
value of the Font size for better readability. Please note that the Font Dpi setting is a parameter
setting that is different than the screen resolution setting.
2) Bug fixed in incorrect addition of cross-section and PNNL attenuation in Slant Path mode if
wavelength span did not cover line-by-line wavelength region: A bug was found in the slant
path calculations related to the use of Cross-sectional and PNNL data. The bug affects the slant
path calculations at the stage of combining spectra from different layers into the total slant path
composite. This bug only affects Slant path calculations in which cross-sectional and/or PNNL
data is used (with or without Line-by-line data) and only in those cases when the cross-sectional
or PNNL data used does not cover the entire spectral region selected for calculations. The bug
does not affect the line-by-line portion of the calculations and in most cases is reflected in that
the cross-sectional or PNNL components not covering the entire spectral range chosen for
calculations may be excluded from the total composite spectrum if no line-by-line data in the
region is present. In some rare circumstances the bug may lead to underestimation of total
composite absorption for the slant path calculations if Cross-sectional and/or PNNL spectral data
is used along the line-by-line data and only in the cases when Cross-sectional and/or PNNL
spectra do not cover the entire spectral range selected for calculations.
3) Bug fixed if "Enter" key pressed within the Main Window: As an option, the user can select
the default values during the manual input parameter sequence by pressing the "Enter" button.
However, a bug was found that if the "Enter" key was pressed in the Main calculation Window,
then this caused automatic Total pressure, Temperature and Refractive index recalculation. This
has now been fixed.
4) Displaying numerical data has been modified (for example, a value such as 1.0 E-14 used to
be displayed as 10.0 E -15).
5) Scroll features with mouse wheel have been enabled for various lists (like the PNNL, Crosssectional and Laser lines lists).
6) Bug fixed in selection of individual Mie and Rayleigh aerosol attenuation: A bug was found
that did not permit the user to select individual components of aerosols (Mie or Rayleigh)
separately in the main menu. This bug did not affect calculations, but did not allow for this
option to be selected. The bug has been fixed.
7) Slant path editor and the Info panel disabled for the time the calculation is carried out to
avoid possible modification of slant path parameters while the calculation is running.
8) A “Press Esc key to Cancel” message added to be displayed during the calculation run to
inform the user that the calculation may be canceled by pressing the “Esc” key during the
calculation run.
9) Modification of laser lines color may now be changed by double clicking anywhere within
one laser list record (not just in the color box area of the laser lines window). Also the option to
apply the color of one record to all other laser lines for a particular laser (done with a right click
of the mouse on a record) was replaced with “apply color to all with same name”.
10) Several other small interface related bugs and typos not affecting the performance were
Hitran-PC Version 4.0 (Released September 10, 2009)
1) Installation program was rewritten in Visual Studio 2005 to only require Microsoft .NET
framework version 2.0 and eliminate the requirement of version 3.5 which does not come
standard with Windows XP.
2) Bug corrected which prevents downward looking geometry calculations in the slant path
3) Division by zero bugs corrected in the pressure recalculation module.
4) Laser line files (and the user manual) updated to use the latest laser line information.
5) Other minor interface related bugs corrected.
Hitran-PC Beta Version 4.0 (Released June 11, 2009)
Beta version released.
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