Minimize Frequently asked question

Frequently asked questions

 

 

Q: How do I obtain satellite pictures?
A: If you want to complement an article with a satellite picture which gives an idea without presenting the details, you can browse the web pages below:

  • For a general search of an area / city / feature / phenomenon see the EOLi catalogue
  • For a collection of free-to-use pictures from the ESA ERS and ENVISAT missions, see the ESA Image Gallery
  • For dedicated image services (interferometry, natural hazards, etc.) see the Images section of this website. For re-use of pictures, see our Disclaimer

Be aware that you will find pictures at a reduced spatial resolution compared to the original data, therefore, you can consider the possibility of purchasing the original data.

Q: Do I have to pay to obtain satellite data?
A: To find out about purchasing images, visit the 'How to Apply' page.

To access free data, read FAQ: How to get access to ESA Earth Observation data?

Q: How to get access to ESA Earth Observation data?
A: According to the ESA data policy, satellite data can be obtained from ESA free of charge via Registration (Free Dataset for science or operational use) or upon submission and approval of a project proposal (for Restrained Datasets/on demand planning and production) through the ESA Earth Observation Principal Investigator (EOPI) Portal depending on the products required. Further details are available from the EOPI restrained dataset page.

Data available under the simplified 'Registration' procedure is systematically generated and distributed online. See further details including the list of available products on the EOPI free dataset page.

See also the applicable prices for 'Third Party Mission' data.

Alternatively (Category-2 priority), you have to contact either of the two Distributing Entities EMMA and SARCOM represented by e-GEOS and Spot Image for purchase of data on a commercial basis.

Please also refer to 'How to Apply' and 'How to Access' page.

As far as the ESA Earth Observation data coverage is concerned, you should make use of the EOLi-SA catalogue. The EOLI catalogue can be freely used for search and browsing. User ID and password for ordering are only provided upon approval of a project proposal/registration.

Extensive information on the various ESA Earth Observation Missions and Products is available on Earth Online.

Q: How to access ESA EO data for re-sell and operational use?
A: ESA is gradually moving towards implementing free of charge access for all its data.

Most of the Envisat and ERS data is available on the internet free of charge (Free Dataset) to anybody for science or operational use via registration at the dedicated ESA EOPI website (includes further details and the list of available products). The current Terms and Conditions for using those data do not allow reselling of the data.

Some data which is not yet available systematically on the internet (in particular SAR instrument tasking or some specific SAR data production) can still be obtained through two channels:

  • at ESA, free of charge, within a production quota defined by ESA and with a lower priority. The current Terms and Conditions for using those data do not allow reselling of the data.
  • through existing Distributing Entities, EMMA and SARCOM represented respectively by e-GEOS and Spot Image for purchase of data on a commercial basis with an higher priority. See also under 'How to Apply' page.

The Distributing Entities may authorise reselling and should be contacted directly for this purpose.

See also the ESA Data Policy.

Q: How to get ESA data acquired for the 'International Charter for Space and Major Disasters'?
A: In case of major natural disasters, ESA will normally and if possible, perform planning for acquisitions of relevant satellite data for ERS and/or ENVISAT. This is sometimes done through the Back Ground Mission (BRM) and/or often activated upon request through the 'International Charter for Space and Major Disasters' or 'GMES SAFER'.

The special planning performed by ESA for such events is reported on the ESA Earth Watching website.

Distribution of the relevant acquired satellite data is handled directly within the framework of the activated Charter, distributed commercially through the dedicated Distributing Entities (Category-2 priority) or to approved ESA project proposals upon ordering or access to online archives by registered users.

All acquired validated data is made available in the EOLi-SA catalogue and can be ordered/accessed according to the normal procedure, see 'How to Access' page.

Q: How to get EO sample data and information on training?
A: As far as ENVISAT is concerned, some sample data products from the various instruments are freely available for download on the ENVISAT sample data products page. Here you will also find the EnviView software that will enable you to open and examine ENVISAT data sets, as well as the BEST, NEST and BEAM software toolboxes that are available free of charge from the Software tools page.

See also the latest sample data , made freely available for specific events including: Bam Earthquake, Asia Earthquake & Tsunami and the Prestige oil spill over Galicia.

Extensive information on the ENVISAT Mission, products and applications is available on the ENVISAT web pages. See in particular the sections dedicated to 'Instruments' and 'Product Handbook' for the instrument of interest.

Should you be in need of other data covering a specific area and date range, please be advised that satellite data can be obtained from ESA free of charge via Registration (Free Dataset) or upon submission and approval of a project proposal (for Restrained Datasets/on demand planning and production) through the ESA Earth Observation Principal Investigator (EOPI) Portal depending on the products required. Further details are available from the EOPI restrained dataset page and 'How to Access' page.

For training and education, you can refer to the Library section on ESA Earth Online site. Many documents are available in full text and/or can be ordered directly online. See e.g. the CD-Rom 'ERS Spaceborne Radar Imagery' available in full text online.

We also draw your attention to the section dedicated to 'Education' on the ESA Portal. See e.g. the link to Eduspace were you will find information and case studies related to Remote Sensing presented in a user-friendly way.

Q: How to get information on Project Proposal submission, Fast Registration, Progress reports etc?
A: Answers to questions related to Category-1 proposal submission procedures, Fast Registration, filling of proposal, progress reports, quota extension etc, are available in a separate EOPI FAQs list.

 

Other frequently asked questions

For all other frequently asked questions, please refer to the ESA EO Help FAQs document (PDF 435kb).

If you need assistance, please contact the Earth Observation Helpdesk team.