Minimize EO data distributed by ESA

ESA distributes Earth observation data from ESA EO Missions, Third Party Missions (TPMs), ESA Campaigns, the GMES/Copernicus Space Component (GSC), as well as sample and auxiliary data from a number of missions and instruments.

Data distributed by ESA is available under different data policies and by various access mechanisms.

View the How to Access Data webpage.

ESA earth observation missions data

The revised ESA Earth Observation Data Policy was approved by the ESA Earth Observation Programme Board in May 2010, and applies to the ESA missions ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat, GOCE, SMOS, CryoSat and future Earth Explorer missions. It is derived from the full and open access approach established in the Sentinel Data Policy.

The policy defines two classes of ESA datasets:

  • The free dataset includes the collections available on-line, and requires only a minimal fast registration through this site. See How to Access Data webpage for details
  • The restrained dataset includes sets not available on-line – on demand products, on-demand data acquisition, some archived data etc. The data is provided free of charge in most cases, and requires the submission of a Project Proposal. ESA may however request the user to provide a contribution in case of requests for very large datasets. See Apply for Data webpage for details.

Third Party missions data

ESA uses its multi-mission ground systems to acquire, process, archive and distribute data from satellites not owned or operated by ESA - so called Third Party Missions (TPMs).

The TPM datasets are distributed under specific agreements with the owners or operators of the mission – some sets are available under the free dataset policy and require only a fast registration, others are part of the restrained data set and require the submission of a project proposal. The data is normally free of charge. Exceptions applicable to prices and specific restrictions to the TPM data exploitation are fully described here.

See How to Access Data webpage for details.

ESA campaigns data

ESA has been running numerous airborne, ground-based, or balloon campaigns over different locations inside and outside Europe. The resulting datasets are available on the internet or media.

See How to Access Data webpage for details.

Products offered within an ESA Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

ESA periodically opens Announcements of Opportunity (AOs), offering the possibility to conduct sciences and operational application research using various data products available following the specific rules set in the main text of the AO. The data is normally free of charge.

A project proposal is required, fitting objectives, restrictions and deadlines of the AO.

You can find current and past AOs in the PI Community area of this site.

GMES/Copernicus Space Component (GSC) data

ESA provides access to data products from the GMES/Copernicus Space Component (GSC). The GSC relies on several Earth observation missions contributing to GMES, with new missions becoming available over time and others ending or being replaced.

The GSCDA data and services are accessible in the form of data sets, which are pre-defined collections of coherent mono- and multi-mission products. The complete list of available DataSets for the period June 2011-November 2014 is described in the Data Access Portfolio (Download DAP). These DataSets have been derived from the requirements of the Copernicus Service Providers, following trade-off with the overall system capacity.

Full information on available data, eligibility, user registration and access can be found in the GMES/Copernicus Space Component Data Access portal (GSCDA)

GRID - Processing on demand

ESA offers to scientists the possibility to perform bulk processing using their own algorithms, exploiting the large ESA Earth Observation archive and GRID computing and dynamic storage resources.

The GPOD service requires a project proposal.

Sample data and auxiliary data

ESA provides sample data for a number of instruments and product types, as well as sample sets related to specific events.

You can get auxiliary data – data files used to generate a product other than the direct measurements of the instrument – for a number of missions and instruments. The sets typically include calibration data that was measured on-board but is not part of the main measurements of the instrument; external calibration files from sources other than the satellite; processor configuration files, and any other files needed by instrument processors.

Sample and auxiliary datasets are generally provided free of charge and by direct download. They do not require registration.

For more information on EO data availability please contact the Earth Observation Helpdesk Team