Minimize How to access ESA Data



1. Available EO data resources

ESA distributes Earth observation data from ESA EO Missions, Third Party Missions (TPMs), ESA Campaigns, the Copernicus Space Component (CSC), 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.

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. The policy defines two classes of ESA datasets:

  • The free dataset includes the collections available online, and requires only a minimal fast registration through this site
  • The restrained dataset includes sets not available online – 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.

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 - known as 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 on the TPM datasets page.

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.

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.

Copernicus Space Component (CSC) data

ESA coordinates the access to space-based observation data from the Sentinel missions as well as from the Copernicus Contributing Missions.

Access to the Sentinel data is free and open for the Regional, National, European and International user community. Depending on the typology of use, access is granted to the relevant data hub after self- registration. More information can be found on the Sentinel Online Data Access pages.

Data from contributing missions are instead accessible from the Coordinated Data Access System. Full information on available data, eligibility, user registration and access can be found in the Copernicus Space Component Data Access portal (CSCDA).

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 via the product descriptions. They do not require registration.

Additonal data access resources

In addition to the Data Access area of this site, you can find a number of resources for access to the data of specific missions. Here are a few:

The list of ESA and Third Party Missions are also available in a Table which provides links to the products available for each of the mission instruments.

2. Get data procedure

2.1. Introduction

You can navigate through the list of data products in the Data Access section of this site, and then register for the products identified directly through the 'Get Data' links provided in most product descriptions.

Depending on the dataset you will be asked to follow a specific procedure before being granted access to the data.

A detailed description of the possible procedures is provided below.

2.2. Fast Registration with immediate access

You can access free, online datasets easily through our fast registration interface. If you are a registered user, just log in and go to the 'My EarthOnline' area of this site. If you're not yet registered, view the 'Registration Help' page.

If the dataset requires a Fast Registration with immediate access, you will be granted access to the data immediately after registration.

The first time that you access the interface (e.g. no proposals already submitted or no systematically available data already selected), you will be requested to provide some basic information (eg: Name, Last Name, Country of residence, broad Study Area location, Application domain of your research, and a short Executive summary to explain how you plan to use the data). Once this information has been provided in the system, you will not be requested to provide it in the future again, unless you want to update it (e.g. changes in affiliation, country of residence or new research objectives).

Note: changes in the email address have to be performed directly within the EO-SSO interface at the address:

If not previously accepted, you will also be requested to accept legal Terms and Conditions (T&C) for the utilisation of ESA or TPM data.

At the end of the process, the product requested is added to your personal "MyEarthnet" page under the "MyOnlineData" section, together with the download URL where the dataset can be found.

If basic information has been provided and the T&C for the utilisation of the selected dataset has already been accepted, the product will automatically be added to your "MyOnline Data" without the need to complete a registration form.

2.3. Fast Registration with approval

If the dataset requires a Fast Registration with approval, the procedure will be the same as the previous one. At the end of the process, the product requested will be added to your personal "MyEarthnet" page under the "MyOnlineData" section, but no download URL will be provided.

An ESA delegate will have to approve your request. If successful, after 2-3 working days after registration, you will receive confirmation together with the details about where to access the data.

2.4. Procedures requiring evaluation

2.4.1. Data service request

You can request restrained ESA products through our Data Service Request form. Such specific services can be granted by ESA, within technical, financial or legal constraints, to users who describe and justify their needs within the Data Service Request.

Instructions for submitting a Data Service Request can be found in the submission area.

ESA's reply to the request is usually provided within a couple of weeks.

2.4.2. Full proposal

To be authorised to access on demand ESA TPM data, a full project proposal is needed. Data is provided free of charge; no programming or production fees are applied.

Through the full proposal, the Principal Investigator needs to produce detailed information about the following topics:

  • Title of the Proposal / Coordinates of Principal Investigator
  • Description of the proposal
  • Summary of data requirements
  • Acceptance of ESA Terms and Conditions for data use

The proposal can be initiated either through the Get Data button, from your personal page through the "New Project" option, or directly from the PI Community section.

To facilitate assessment English is preferred, but French is also acceptable. Should you have any problems in submitting your proposal, you can contact EOHelp.

After the receipt of your project proposal, a peer review will be carried out in line with the approval procedure. Typically, evaluation results are provided to the PI 4 to 6 weeks after submission.

2.5. External Data

For some datasets the authorisation procedure to access the data is not under ESA's control, but is directly requested through an external entity.

You can reach the corresponding site by clicking the "Get Data" button at the top right of each dataset description page.

2.6. Campaign Data

ESA Campaigns Data is described here, and the data can be accessed after submitting a registration.

2.7. Announcement of Opportunity

ESA periodically opens specific 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 (normally free of charge).

You can find the current open announcements here. A project proposal is required, fitting objectives, restrictions and deadlines of the AO. The details for submitting a proposal are given in the AO text.