NEW! Maxar data requests are now supported by the CSDA program data team. Access requests may be made by filling out the authorization request form.

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 licensed 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 (EULA).

Licensed User: An authorized recipient and end user of Licensed Material (commercial data) according to the end user license agreement (EULA).

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. "U.S. Government" is used as defined under Title 5 U.S.C. 101–105; State, Local, and Tribal Governments within the U.S; Academia; and Non-Governmental Organizations and/or Non-Profit Organizations.

What commercial data are available for download?

Currently, data acquired from Planet, Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe, Inc.), and Spire Global Subsidiary, Inc., are available, as are data from the Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc., DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS), and EarthDEM data products developed by the Polar Geospatial Center (PGC). 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. All members of the U.S. Government have access to DESIS and Spire data. At this time, Planet data is only accessible to U.S. Federal civil agencies (excluding DOD an IC) and National Science Foundation funded researchers. All data requests must be approved by CSDA 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 CSDA 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. 

Are there any restrictions on using screenshots, including that of imagery, from the Smallsat Data Explorer?

NASA supports an open data policy; when using screenshots of the Smallsat Data Explorer please cite it as "NASA CSDA Program Smallsat Data Explorer”.

For acknowledgment in scientific journals, please use:

We acknowledge the use of imagery from the Smallsat Data Explore application (, part of the NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program.

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

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

For Maxar data, authorized users of the data must obtain approval for public use (publications, presentations, etc.) from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). Please complete the Maxar Public Use Form before using the imagery in the public domain.

For EarthDEM, screenshots and figures of DEM products can be used in publications without restriction.

Screenshots from SDX should follow proper acknowledgment guidance.

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

How do I cite the commercial data? How do I acknowledge CSDA?

Please see the Citing Data section on individual vendor pages:

CSDA Acknowledgment

To help CSDA identify publications using CSDA-distributed data, please include the following acknowledgment in publications:

"This work utilized data made available through the NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program."

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. See table below for vendor-specific end user license agreements (EULAs) and definitions for each EULA.

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 6/29/2014
- Present
U.S. Federal civil agencies (including NSF) and their funded researchers Yes No* Planet Explorer Yes Planet Expanded EULA
RapidEye 02/1/2009
- 12/31/2019
SkySat 3/10/2015
- 12/12/2019
Spire GNSS Radio Occultation 9/24/2018 - 12/9/2018;
12/14/2018 - 3/8/2019; 11/1/2019 - onward
U.S. Government (funded) researchers




GNSS Grazing Angle Reflectometry 1/09/2019
-4/18/2019; 11/1/2019 - onward
GNSS Grazing Angle Reflectometry Sea Ice Product 03/01/2020 - onward
GNSS Grazing Angle Reflectometry Altimetry Product 06/16/2020 - onward
GNSS-R Level-1 BiStatic Radar Cross Section 5/1/2021
- onward
Ionospheric Profiles 11/1/2019
- onward
Magnetometer 11/1/2019
- onward
Request authorization
Raw intermediate frequency 6/17/2020;
By request (PDF)
Satellite Precise Orbital Determination (POD) and Satellite Attitude 9/24/2018
-4/18/2019; 11/1/2019
- onward
Scintillation 11/1/2019
- onward
Total Electron Content 11/1/2019
- onward
Ocean Winds MSS Level 2 5/1/2021 - onward
Soil Moisture 5/1/2021 – 5/7/2022 Request Authorization
Maxar (formerly DigitalGlobe) WorldView 1 09/18/2007-present NASA (funded) researchers Yes Yes CSDA data team Yes Commercial Data/Imagery EULAs Fact Sheet
WorldView 2 10/08/2009-present
WorldView 3 08/13/2014-present
GeoEye-1 09/06/2008-present
QuickBird 10/18/2001-01/27/2015
IKONOS 10/24/1999-03/31/2015
No NextView License
WorldView 4 12/01/2016
- 1/07/2019
Maxar EULA
Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc. DESIS 11/21/2018
U.S. Government (funded) researchers Yes No* TCloudHost Yes DESIS EULA
Polar Geospatial Center EarthDEM   U.S. Government (funded) researchers Yes No SDX Yes Commercial Data/Imagery EULAs Fact Sheet

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

Scientific use: use by Licensed 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 Government Science 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 the U.S. Government.

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 CSDA are encouraged to use the SDX tool first to verify whether the needed data are 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 are not already available for download through NASA, users will use the following vendor-specific tools to search and request data:

As additional commercial small-satellite datasets are evaluated and acquired by NASA, those datasets will also be made available.

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

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 CSDA.

For More Information

Frequently Asked Questions about ROSES

Frequently Asked Questions about Data Management Plans

Last Updated
Dec 1, 2022