NASA Extends Contract with Spire Global for Satellite Data

Spire Earth observing data will be openly available to U.S. government-funded researchers and federal agencies through NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program.
Logo of the small satellite company Spire.

Satellite data provider Spire Global received a six-million-dollar, 12-month contract extension from NASA to continue its participation in the agency’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program. Under the extension, Spire will deliver a comprehensive catalog of data, associated metadata, and ancillary information from its Earth-orbiting small-satellite constellation. These data will be available for scientific purposes at no cost to all U.S. federal agencies, NASA-funded researchers, and, more broadly, all U.S. government-funded researchers. They will be archived and maintained by NASA as part of CSDA’s Smallsat Data Explorer (SDX) tool.

Sea ice coverage and age estimates based on the signal characteristics of GNSS signals that reflect off of the Arctic ice sheets for 4-10 March 2020, via the Spire Sea Ice Level 2 Grazing Angle Reflectometry product. Image Credit: Jade Morton, Univ. of Colorado-Boulder.

Specific data products in the subscription data-buy with Spire include radio occultation (RO), grazing angle Global Navigation Satellite System-RO (GNSS-RO), total electron content (TEC), precise orbit determination (POD), soil moisture and ocean surface wind speed GNSS-R, and magnetometer data. Spire will provide 12 months of rolling daily access with a 30-day latency period with an average of 8,000 to 10,000 radio occultations per day.

The data-buy includes an end-user license agreement (EULA) that provides an exceptionally broad level of dissemination and shareability. Along with all U.S. federal agencies, Spire data will be openly available for scientific purposes to state and local governments, territories, and tribal authorities within the U.S.; U.S. government-funded non-governmental and non-profit organizations; and U.S. government-funded contractors, subcontractors, partners, and grantees. To read the EULA and to request access to Spire data, please see the CSDA Commercial Datasets webpage.

NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) program is a component of NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program. Formerly known as the Private-Sector Small Constellation Satellite Data Product Pilot Project, CSDA was established in 2017 to identify, evaluate, and acquire remote sensing imagery and data that support NASA’s Earth science research and application activities. Spire was one of the original vendors selected as part of the pilot project.

NASA researchers have used Spire data to support investigations into water and sea ice levels in the polar regions, the height of the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL), and the day-to-day variability of thermospheric density at high altitudes. Spire data also have been used as inputs into the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) Atmospheric Data Assimilation System, which uses space-based data to analyze Earth’s atmosphere and assimilate the data into its Earth observation systems.

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