Spire’s Earth observation contract includes GNSS-RO, GNSS-R data

July 15, 2021  - By

New task order continues delivery of comprehensive space data and opens availability to all U.S. government-funded researchers and federal agencies

Image: Just_Super/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: Just_Super/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Spire Global,  a global provider of space-based data and analytics, has announced the continuation of its participation in NASA’s Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program with a $6 million contract extension.

The contract continuation, Task Order 6 (TO6), is a subscription data solution that includes radio occultation (RO) data, grazing angle GNSS-RO, total electron content (TEC) data, precise orbit determination (POD) data, soil moisture and ocean surface wind speed GNSS reflectometry (GNSS-R) data and magnetometer data.

This data will be available to all federal agencies, NASA-funded researchers and, more broadly, to all U.S. government-funded researchers for scientific purposes.

Under CSDA Program TO6, Spire will deliver a comprehensive catalog of data, associated metadata and ancillary information from its Earth-orbiting small-satellite constellation. The company operates its constellation in low Earth orbit and collects upwards of 10,000 radio occultations per day with consistent global coverage.

For TO6, Spire will provide rolling access to 12 months of radio occultation data with a 30-day latency. This data will be archived and maintained by NASA under the CSDA Program’s SmallSat Data Explorer (SDX) database.

“Programs like CSDA highlight the incredible potential of private-public partnerships in the federal government to drastically accelerate our ability to confront some of the greatest challenges of our time, such as climate change,” said Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire. “With the end-user license agreements, our data is now available to all federal agencies and the larger NASA scientific community to help support Earth observation research across fields.”

The program includes end-user license agreements (EULAs) to enable broad levels of dissemination and shareability. All federal agencies and U.S. government-funded researchers will have access to Spire’s data for scientific purposes under TO6 and will be able to request access to the data via the CSDA Program’s Commercial Datasets webpage.

“At NASA, the CSDA Program has continued to blossom as a valuable resource to our team for our Earth observation research and analysis. We are committed to growing the program as well as continuing the work we have started,” said Will McCarty, project scientist at the CSDA Program and  research meteorologist at NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. “Spire has been a valued partner through CSDA’s development since its inception, and with this additional task order, we are excited about the new insights and results that will come not only from within NASA, but also through broader collaboration through the domestic government scientific community.”

NASA has used Spire data in its research on water and sea-ice levels in the polar regions, the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), and the day-to-day variability of thermospheric density at flight level.

NASA also noted that Spire data has shown positive benefit to its GEOS Atmospheric Data Assimilation System, which uses space-based data to analyze the Earth’s atmosphere and assimilate the data into its Earth observation systems.

As one of the original vendors for the CSDA Program, Spire provides NASA yearly updates to the scope of work under this agreement to ensure alignment of data to the agency’s needs.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.