How do 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.), Spire Global Subsidiary, Inc., and Airbus U.S. 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 can get access to commercial datasets. All members of the U.S. Government have access to DESIS and Spire data. Planet data is only accessible to U.S. Federal civil agencies (excluding DOD an IC) and National Science Foundation funded researchers. Through CSDA, Maxar data are accessible to NASA-Funded investigators. All data requests must be approved by CSDA data managers. To request access to CSDA data offerings, complete the CSDA Authorization form. 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 Explorer application (, part of the NASA Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program.

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

For Planet, Spire, Airbus U.S., 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.

What copyright notice do I use for commercial data?

Please see the Copyright section on individual vendor pages:

How do I acknowledge CSDA?

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 CSDA 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

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

CSDA-acquired data is for Scientific use, which is defined as 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.

Value-Added Product means a work that is created when a Licensed User modifies Licensed Material—through technical manipulation, addition of data, or both—where the principal features and characteristics of the source Licensed Material are retained in the work and are extractable through technical means. Value-Added Products created from Licensed Material received under this agreement will be considered as Licensed Material.

Derived Product means a work that is created when a Licensed User exploits Licensed Material in a manner that irreversibly modifies and uncouples the work from its source, such that extraction of the principal features and characteristics of the source Licensed Material is impracticable. This includes but is not limited to License User derived Digital Elevation Models. Derived Products are not considered Licensed Materials.

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.

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

All data purchased by NASA CSDA 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.

For More Information 

Frequently Asked Questions about ROSES

Frequently Asked Questions about Data Management Plans

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:

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