1. Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program
  2. Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program
  3. Accessing and Requesting Commercial Smallsat Data FAQ

Accessing and Requesting Commercial Smallsat Data FAQ

How can I become a NASA-funded researcher?

To submit a research proposal to NASA, individuals and the organizations with which they are affiliated must be registered in NASA's Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES). Individuals may register at any time. Organizations are required to have a valid registration with the System for Award Management before they can register in NSPIRES.

Who classifies as a NASA-funded researcher?

NASA-funded researchers are classified as a NASA employee, related entity, and/or authorized user.

Related entity: a contractor, subcontractor, partner, recipient or grantee of the U.S. Government assigned, tasked or contracted with, for, or on behalf of NASA to perform activities related to the data products that is subject to the same or more restrictive terms as expressed in the end-user license agreement.

Authorized user: “authorized user” means the number of users included in an applicable order under the prime contract, which user is an employee of licensee or a related entity that has been authorized by licensee to use the data.

Who classifies as a U.S. Government-funded researcher?

U.S. Government-funded researchers are classified as a U.S. Government contractor, subcontractor, partner, recipient or grantee of the U.S. Government.

What commercial data are available for download?

Currently, data acquired during the evaluations of Planet, Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe, Inc.) and Spire Global are available, as are data from the Teledyne Brown Engineering DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS). Data distributed by NASA are available under different scientific use licenses at various access portals.

How do I get approved to access the commercial data?

All NASA-funded researchers will have access to commercial datasets from Planet, Maxar, and Spire. All members of the U.S. Government have access to DESIS data. All data requests must be approved by CSDAP data managers. Contact us to provide your name, email address, and pertinent information (grant number, contract number, etc.) to indicate that you are authorized to use the data. The CSDAP team will verify if the user is authorized for data access first. Once verified, the user will be provided with additional information on how to request and access data. Please note that submissions of data requests through the SDX and distribution of the data begins on April 22nd.

What is the process to access Planet’s PlanetScope and RapidEye data and is there an allocation?

The process for requesting and obtaining PlanetScope and RapidEye data is as follows:

  1. User contacts CSDAP and provides name, email address, and pertinent information (grant number, contract number, etc.) for data access approval
  2. CSDAP will verify and notify Planet
  3. User will then create an account at Planet Explorer
  4. User may now search and browse data using Planet Explorer
  5. User will place a data request order
  6. A data download URL will be sent to the user via email

For PlanetScope and RapidEye, each user will be allocated a 5 million sq. km. quota. Furthermore, PlanetScope data will only be available 30 days after the acquisition. However, exceptions to both conditions can be made based on additional justifications.

What is the process to access Planet SkySat data?

The process for requesting and obtaining Planet SkySat data is as follows:

  1. User will search the data using the SDX
  2. User will select the data from the search result
  3. User will request the data (user will be asked to login using the Earthdata Login)
  4. Reviewer will review the request including verifying the user for data access
  5. If the request is denied, a notification will be sent requesting additional information
  6. If the request is approved, the user will be notified with a data download URL via email

What is the process to access Spire data?

The process for requesting and obtaining Spire* data products data is as follows:

  1. User will search the data using the SDX
  2. User will select the data from the search result
  3. User will request the data (user will be asked to login using the Earthdata Login)
  4. Reviewer will review the request including verifying the user for data access
  5. If the request is denied, a notification will be sent requesting additional information
  6. If the request is approved, the user will be notified with a data download URL via email

*Spire data must be obtained via the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) until May 14th.

What is the process to access Maxar data?

The process for requesting and obtaining any Maxar data products is specified in more detail at NASA's NGA Commercial Archive.

What is the process to access DESIS data?

The process for requesting and obtaining DESIS data is as follows:

  1. User will contact CSDAP to request an account
  2. CSDAP will send EULA information to the requesting user
  3. After acceptance of EULA, user will receive email from Teledyne Brown Engineering with instructions to create an account at the TCloudHost
  4. User will search data using the TCloudHost
  5. User will request data using the TCloudHost
  6. A data download URL will be sent to the user via email

Do I need permission to publish my work outside of NASA?

For Spire and Maxar data users: NASA and its related entities shall not publish the data products, or derivatives, or disclose the data products to any third party without the express written permission of the vendor.

For Planet and Teledyne Brown Engineering data users: authorized users of the data should send a courtesy copy of the publication(s) to the vendor.

Please refer to the vendor specific end user license agreements (EULAs) for more information.

What are the terms and conditions to use the data?

Data distributed by NASA are available under different scientific use licenses and various access portals. Vendor-specific end user license agreements (EULAs) and definitions for each EULA see below.

End User License Agreements

Vendor Data Available Date Range Who is authorized to use the data Scientific use only 3rd party publication requires permission Where to get archived data Can PIs submit new orders EULA
Planet PlanetScope, RapidEye
12/31/2005
- Present
NASA (funded) researchers Yes No* Planet Explorer Yes Planet EULA
SkySat 03/10/2015
- 12/12/2019
SDX No**
Spire GNSS Radio Occulation 01/22/2018
- 04/18/2019
NASA (funded) researchers Yes Yes GMAO Yes Spire EULA
GNSS Reflectometry 01/09/2018
- 04/18/2019
Precise Orbital Determination (POD) 01/22/2018
- 04/18/2019
Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe) WorldView 1, WorldView 2, WorldView 3, QuickBird,
IKONOS, and GeoEye
1/1/2000
-
Present
NASA (funded) researchers Yes Yes CAD4NASA Yes NextView License
WorldView 4 12/01/2016
- 01/07/2019
MAXAR EULA
Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. DESIS 11/21/2018
-
Present
U.S. Government (funded) researchers Yes No* TCloudHost Yes DESIS EULA

* PIs should submit publications as a courtesy copy to the vendor.

** Submissions of data requests through the SDX and distribution of the data begins on April 22, 2020.

Scientific use: use by authorized users of the data products pursuant to a NASA-initiated, U.S. Government-funded and/or U.S. Government-peer reviewed investigation established through a NASA Research Announcement or similar public notice of opportunity, and performed for the sole purpose of conducting experiments, evaluation, research, and/or development, including basic and applied research under the NASA Applied Sciences Program. Scientific use is not intended for the development of commercial products or services and does not include activities funded or sponsored by non-governmental organizations or activities outside of NASA.

Derivatives: any addition, improvement, update, modification, translation, transformation, adaptation or derivative work of, or to the data products, which is authored, created or developed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or its related entities, including, without limitation, any reformatting of the data products into a different format or media from which it is delivered and any addition of data, information or other content to the data products.

How do I know if specific areas of interest to my study are already available for download through NASA?

Users who are interested in accessing data purchased under CSDAP are encouraged to use the SDX tool first to verify whether the needed data is already available. All data purchased and future evaluations will be periodically mirrored and made available.

How do I request specific areas of interest to my study that are not available for download through NASA?

For data that is not already available for download through NASA, users will use the following vendor-specific tools to search and request data:

All data requests must be approved by CSDAP data access managers before downloads will be granted.

If I am interested in tasking the DESIS instrument, how can I request that specific data be captured for download?

U.S. Government-funded researchers can submit requests for satellite imagery to be captured on-demand for specific dates and locations. Currently, such tasking capability is only available for DESIS. DESIS tasking requests need to be approved by CSDAP first. Approved requests are submitted to Teledyne Brown Engineering by CSDAP. Users will be notified once the tasking data are available to download.

What is NASA's plan for long-term preservation of the data?

All data purchased by NASA are mirrored in NASA infrastructure for long-term preservation. As part of the mirroring activities, NASA is also extracting metadata to provide a robust search and explore functionality for broader dissemination of the data.

If you have not done so already, please consider subscribing to the SMD mailing list (log in to NSPIRES and check the appropriate boxes under "Account Management" and "Email Subscriptions").

For questions contact CSDAP.

For More Information

Frequently Asked Questions about ROSES

Frequently Asked Questions about Data Management Plans

Page Last Updated: May 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM EDT