ESA has agreed with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) to make data available to them from the European Sentinel satellites.
With the third Copernicus satellite, Sentinel-3A, recently launched, ESA has signed technical arrangements with these US agencies for accessing Sentinel data. These arrangements coordinate the technical implementation covering the Sentinel data access to the US.
ESA and its international partners are pursuing Earth observation activities in a number of areas of common interest, and are sharing each other’s satellite data. All sides are committed to the principle of full, free and open access to the European Sentinel and the NASA, NOAA and USGS Earth observation satellite data and information.
The signed arrangement will allow NASA, NOAA and USGS to systematically retrieve the Sentinel data from a dedicated International Data Hub operated by ESA.
These agencies will then transfer the data to the US, absorbing them in their existing data access systems, such as EarthExplorer and GloVIS, and disseminating them to their own user communities.
This dissemination scheme across the globe with international partners will support ESA’s task of managing the Sentinel data distribution. The US Agencies will also act as an interface between ESA and US national initiatives for data exploitation.
For over three decades, ESA has been acquiring, processing and disseminating data from a number of US missions such as Landsat to the European user communities as part of its Earthnet Third Party Mission Programme.
While the US agencies’ objective is to serve the US user communities with priority, the Sentinel data will continue to be freely accessible for Copernicus Services, as well as to users worldwide, through the ESA operated data hubs.