Areas/Heights Database Restructuring
Complications. Several problems with some of the original database files from the earlier years of the RITS program required fixing before their data could be transfered to the restructured files. These problems reflected changes that were made as the RITS program evolved. The chromatogram inventory was used to correct a data record timestamping anomaly found in four of the files. An anomalous peak storage sequence found in four other files was corrected. Finally, the binary structure of the earliest database files from the RITS program (those from the year 1986) required decoding and conversion to a more familiar structure. All of these changes were necessary to achieve full campatability with existing software routines across the entire spectrum of original database files.
In addition, the original database files associated with measurements made at South Pole during the years 1988-1991 were rebuilt. Chromatograms produced at South Pole during this time were processed on site and only the peak analysis outputs were saved in the form of numerous ascii files stored on several dozen 5 1/4 inch floppies. The original database files constructed from these floppies were significantly affected by problems of data loss due to inconsistent scaling, file-type incompatibilities with the changing sampling protocol, unnecessary floating point truncation errors in the timestamps, and sample-type labeling errors stemming from the fact that the sample type could only be inferred from knowledge of the sampling sequence and differences in the concentration of reference compounds between the two calibration tanks. Rebuilding these files was a labor-intensive and time-consuming effort that significantly augmented and improved the South Pole database covering these early years.