US, Europe to share more satellite data

Thanks to a new agreement with the European Space Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA all will have access to Sentinel satellite data from the Copernicus Earth observation program.

With data complementary to the U.S. Landsat program, the European-launched Sentinel satellites will give scientific and commercial customers more frequent views of the Earth, improving their ability to see and understand changes taking place.

The arrangement allows NASA, NOAA and USGS to retrieve Sentinel data from ESA’s International Data Hub and transfer it into data access systems like EarthExplorer and the USGS Global Visualization Viewer, giving the scientific community access to free, full and open Landsat and Sentinel data. Currently, only selected Sentinel data is available through USGS systems.

The agreement allows ESA to manage its international Sentinel data distribution and enables the participating U.S. agencies to act as an “interface between ESA and U.S. national initiatives for data exploitation,” according to ESA's announcement of the agreement. Both parties hope the combination of Landsat and Sentinel data will foster global economic and scientific benefits and discovery.

The procedures for timely access to all Sentinel data, data transfers and data delivery are still being developed at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science center, according to the USGS.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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