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).

How can I access NASA's commercial smallsat data?

Data distributed by NASA is available under different scientific use licenses and various access portals. All NASA-funded researchers will have access to commercial smallsat datasets from Planet, Maxar, and Spire. All members of the U.S. Government have access to DESIS data.

How do I get approved to access the 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 user authentication and upon approval you will receive credentials to access the data.

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

Yes. 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 contractor.

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 (EULA) and definitions for each EULA see below.

End User License Agreements (EULA)
Vendor Data Available Date Range Who is authorized to use the data Scientific use only 3rd party publication requires permission Maintain original copyright Where to get archived data Can PIs submit new orders
Planet PlanetScope, RapidEye,
- 01/16/2020
NASA (funded) researchers Y Y Y SDX No
- 04/18/2019
NASA (funded) researchers Y Y Y GMAO Yes
Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe) WorldView 1, WorldView 2, WorldView 3, Worldview 4, QuickBird,
IKONOS, and GeoEye
NASA (funded) researchers Y Y Y CAD4NASA Yes
Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. DESIS 11/21/2018
U.S. Government (funded) researchers Y Y Y TCloudHost Yes

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

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2020 at 5:56 PM EST