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Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition Program

The Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program was established to identify, evaluate, and acquire data from commercial providers that support NASA's Earth science research and application goals.

Through this program, all researchers funded by any U.S. federal civilian agency and/or the National Science Foundation have access to Planet’s vast archive of PlanetScope imagery for scientific use and Earth science applications for societal benefit.

Getting started with Planet data

Rapidly onboard with Planet using a range of self-guided tutorials and guides that help you take advantage of our unprecedented dataset and platform.

Interactive Training & Education

Live and on-demand training and topical education sessions are held once per month. These cover various ways to download and interact with Planet data, ingesting it into your workflows, and research presentations by both researchers and Planeteers.

This list will be updated as new sessions are added and recordings become available. In addition, once you have been approved for a Planet account by NASA’s CSDA team, you will receive this information via Planet’s monthly Science Update email.

Introduction to the Planet Constellation of Satellites and Imagery

This presentation will give an overview of Planet's constellations and image data products, along with highlights of scientific applications from across the research community.


Intro to Planet


Slide deck

Introduction to Planet Explorer

Planet Explorer is a web application that can be used to search Planet’s catalog of imagery, view metadata, and download full-resolution imagery. This presentation will include an in-depth explanation on how Planet Explorer can be used to search for and download imagery.

Planet Integration Updates: Google Earth Engine, QGIS, and ArcGIS

Integrations lead Asa Strong demonstrates some of the updated capabilities of our integrations with popular GIS software tools.

Planet's ArcGIS Pro & QGIS Integrations

If you use ArcGIS Pro or QGIS, did you know you can conveniently browse for and download Planet imagery directly into your projects? This training will walk through how to use Planet’s integrations in both of these programs to easily incorporate our imagery into your existing workflow.

Bulk Downloading Planet Data

Learn techniques for downloading large amounts of PlanetScope imagery through our platforms in this training session.

Introduction to the Data API

Planet’s Data API allows users to search for and download images. It supports batch activation and download and can be a powerful tool for working with a lot of imagery. This presentation will cover set-up and go through a list of common commands to search for and download imagery.

Cloud Filtering: An Introduction to Usable Data Masks

Clouds and haze are often unavoidable when imaging the Earth from space. This training session will discuss Planet’s cloud detection through our Usable Data Masks (UDM), and how these masks can aid your workflow with our imagery.

Using Planet Data in Existing Workflows: Google Earth Engine

Google Earth Engine is a cloud computing platform that allows for visualization and scientific analysis of geospatial datasets. This training session will discuss how to ingest and analyze Planet data in this platform and integrate it with other datasets available in GEE. Note: This session is intended for users familiar with GEE.

Overview of the PlanetScope Calibration Process

This session will dive into the technical details of the radiometric calibration of the PlanetScpe constellation of satellites (Dove and SuperDove), as well as atmospheric and geometric correction.



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Calibration Slide Deck

Multi-Mission Operations

Learn about how Planet operates two separate constellations of satellites in tandem - composed of over 150 separate CubeSats and SmallSats!


Multi-Mission Operations

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Atmospheric Correction

This session will take an in-depth dive into the methodology behind atmospheric correction of PlanetScope and RapidEye products.

Geography in Motion: Planning from 450km Above

This session will discuss the day-to-day life of a Collection Planner for Planet's Skysat constellation.

Measuring & Valuing Forest Carbon with Planet Data

In this session, learn more about how the United Nations, World Bank, and partner countries are using Planet data to improve forest area estimation - thereby helping stimulate performance-based payments for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) under international climate policies. This session will also explore how leading researchers are leveraging Planet data to directly measure tropical forest carbon stocks and emissions.

Disaster Response at Planet

From the Disaster Data Program to experimental R&D, learn about how Planet imagery is aiding the response to global natural disasters.

PlanetScope Image Processing in GDAL

Former NASA (and current Planet) visualization specialist Rob Simmon gives a gentle introduction to processing PlanetScope data using GDAL.

Evolution of the PlanetScope Constellation

The agile nature of Planet allows for rapid updates to our Dove satellites, comprising the PlanetScope constellation. This session will discuss the progression and design changes of the Doves from their inception to our newestSuperDove satellites.

Using Planet Imagery in the Arctic

Dr. Joseph Mascaro, ecologist and Planet’s Director of Education and Research, will discuss applications of and working with PlanetScope imagery across the Arctic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What imagery does the NASA CSDA Program include access to for researchers?

Under the NASA Commercial SmallSat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program, researchers can access the entire archive of PlanetScope 3–5 m imagery with a 30-day latency period, and the full RapidEye 6 m imagery archive, spanning from 2009 to 2019.

If your research requires access without a time delay, such as disaster response efforts, exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by NASA. The allotted total quota per user is 5,000,000 sq km. Access to data through this program currently extends through September 2021.

What Planet imagery is not included under the CSDA program?

The program does not include access to PlanetScope Basemaps or any SkySat image products. If you require access to these for your research, please contact us for additional information, access options, and pricing.

What are the usage terms for Planet imagery under the CSDA program?

Planet imagery is provided under our standard Scientific Use License. Under this license, imagery can be used for the purpose of conducting experiments, evaluation, research, and/or development, including applied research. This allows for the publication of any derived products products in common research applications, including but not limited to:

  • Figures for journal articles and conference presentations
  • Image/tile streaming into apps or websites
  • Visualizations hosted online
  • Map products such as NDVI, geologic maps, etc.
  • Media releases about your work

Planet imagery cannot be used for any commercial applications under this license. If you require additional imagery access or commercial license terms for your research, please contact us for additional information, access options, and pricing.

What is a “derived product”?

A “derived product” is anything where the pixel values of the original source data cannot be extracted or reverse engineered. The GeoTIFF files that you download from Planet cannot be shared with any non-CSDA-approved parties. Archiving the original imagery in forms such as the supplemental online material of journal articles or with github repositories is not permitted. (If you need to include information on data used for reproducibility in a journal article, we suggest that you include either a list of Planet image IDs used.)

How should Planet data be cited in journal articles or other applications?

For journal articles, use the following citation:

Planet Team (2017). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://api.planet.com.

For figure captions, use “Image ©Planet Labs.”

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