Accessing Satellite Data

The Satellite Applications Catapult, together with the UK Space Agency, offers a data hub that makes it straightforward to identify and access a broad range of satellite data that can be used for evidence-based decision making, information gathering and environment monitoring.

Why Improved Access to Satellite Data Matters

Monitoring operational environments from Space requires a robust and sustainable data supply. With new policies on data access, applications and services can be created that harness the significant power of data assets. But for this ecosystem to flourish, access to the raw data is essential.

Identifying the Data

There has been a massive increase in Earth observation data being offered by both public and private satellite operators. The European Commission’s Copernicus programme, for example, will deliver unprecedented access to free and reliable data through its Sentinel satellites. Sentinel 1 was launched in April 2014, and Sentinel 2 in June 2015.

Commercial and research organisations can now explore and download this data for their own use, using the Data Discovery Hub to understand what is available and from where. In many cases the raw data can be accessed directly through the Data Hub.

Using the Data

Historically, the use of satellite data was the preserve of specialists and scientists who had specific tools to understand what the data is telling us. The Catapult aims to removes this limitation by including tools to allow a broader audience to use the data effectively.

Access to satellite data varies from free and open to commercial and licensed. The Data Discovery Hub lists access rights for each data set, based on details given by the particular data provider.

The SEDAS portal contains a 30-day rolling archive of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from Sentinel 1A and 1B. (Product Types: GRD, SLC & OCN), as well as Optical data from Sentinel 2 (Product Type: L1C).

Further Information

If you would like to find out more accessing data sets, email

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