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Earth Science Data



Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)

Earth Observing System Data and Information System

The Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) is a major core capability within NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program. EOSDIS ingests, processes, archives and distributes data from a large number of Earth observing satellites. EOSDIS consists of a set of processing facilities and Earth Science Data Centers distributed across the United States and serves hundreds of thousands of users around the world, providing hundreds of millions of data files each year covering many Earth science disciplines.

CloudSat Data Processing Center

CloudSat Standard Data Products are distributed by the CloudSat Data Processing Center, located at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The CloudSat mission was selected as a NASA Earth System Science Pathfinder satellite mission in 1999 to provide observations necessary to advance our understanding of cloud abundance, distribution, structure, and radiative properties. CloudSat was co-manifested with the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite aboard a Delta II rocket for its launch on 28 April 2006. In a series of maneuvers, CloudSat and CALIPSO joined the A-Train constellation of satellites.

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) Interactive Solar Irradiance Data Center

The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment SORCE is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that is providing state-of-the-art measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation. The measurements provided by SORCE specifically address long-term climate change, natural variability and enhanced climate prediction, and atmospheric ozone and UV-B radiation. These measurements are critical to studies of the Sun; its effect on our Earth system; and its influence on humankind. The LASP Interactive Solar Irradiance Data Center provides a variety of solar irradiance datasets, including daily measurements, reference spectra, composite time series, and model results.

Precipitation Processing System (PPS)

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data are generated by the Precipitation Processing System (PPS). PPS is responsible for processing, analyzing, and archiving data from the current TRMM mission as well as the upcoming Global Precipitation Mission(GPM). PPS also provides validation data from multiple TRMM ground radar sites. The data products are available to the science community and the general public from the PPS online FTP archive.


NASA's Earth Science program was established to use the advanced technology of NASA to understand and protect our home planet by using our view from space to study the Earth system and improve prediction of Earth system change. To meet this challenge, NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with the research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public.

NASA was the first agency in the US, and the first space agency in the world, to couple policy and adequate system functionality to provide full and open access in a timely manner – that is, with no period of exclusive access to mission scientists – and at no cost.

NASA made this decision after listening to the user community, and with the background of the then newly-formed US Global Change Research Program, and the International Earth Observing System partnerships. Other US agencies and international space agencies have since adopted similar open-access policies and practices.

Since the adoption of the Earth Science Data Policy adoption in 1991, NASA’s Earth Science Division has developed policy implementation, practices, and nomenclature that mission science teams use to comply with policy tenets.

Read our Data Policy

Satellite Mission Data System Requirements

Airborne Mission Data System Requirements (e.g. EV-1, IceBridge)


Data Levels

EOSDIS science data products are processed at various levels ranging from Level 0 to Level 4. Level 0 products are raw data at full instrument resolution. At higher levels, the data are converted into more useful parameters and formats. All EOS instruments must have Level 1 products. Most have products at Levels 2 and 3, and some have products at Level 4.

Detailed definitions of data levels

Data Maturity Levels

Data System Standards

NASA's Earth Science Data Systems Groups anticipate that effective adoption of standards will play an increasingly vital role in the success of future science data systems.  The Earth Science Data Systems Standards Process Group (SPG), a board composed of Earth Science Data Systems stakeholders, directs the process for both identification of appropriate standards and subsequent adoption for use by the Earth Science Data Systems stakeholders.

List of Approved Data System Standards


Core and Community Data System Elements

In order to serve the needs of a broad and diverse community of users, NASA's Earth Science Data Systems Program is comprised of both “Core” and “Community” data system elements.

Core data system elements reflect NASA’s responsibility for managing Earth science satellite mission data characterized by the continuity of research, access, and usability. The core comprises all the hardware, software, physical infrastructure, and intellectual capital NASA recognizes as necessary for performing its tasks in Earth science data system management.

Core component Websites:

Community data system elements are those pieces or capabilities developed and deployed largely outside of NASA core elements and are characterized by their evolvability and innovation.  Successful applicable elements can be infused into the core, thereby creating a vibrant and flexible, continuously evolving infrastructure.

Both core and community capabilities are required for NASA to meet its overall mission objectives. While both types of capabilities are innovative and strive towards state-of-the-art in technology, there is difference in relative emphases. Core capabilities use proven technologies and emphasize reliability and robustness, while community capabilities allow for more experimental technologies that may eventually be infused into the core capabilities and data products that may be archived in EOSDIS Data Centers for public distribution.

Community Data Systems Website

Data System Evolution Activities

Data Systems Decadal Survey


Relevant Programs that Openly Solicit Research and Development

The Earth Science Data Systems Program has periodic open solicitations for research and development to support the continual evolution of our Earth science data systems, and add to data records being provided from our systems. These include the Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS), Earth Science Data Records Uncertainty Analysis, and Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) programs.