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How to access satellite images?

There are a number of ways to access satellite images, depending on the specific satellite mission and the corresponding data policy. In general, the policy defines three classes of satellite images:

  1. Free satellite images, including the collections available on-line (see Links below). Sometimes it requires a minimal registration through the specific website.
  2. Restrained satellite images, including images not available on-line – on demand products, on-demand image acquisition, some archived images etc. The images are provided free of charge, but requires in most cases the submission of a project proposal (1-2 pages).
  3. Commercial satellite images, provided by private companies.


The acquisition and distribution of satellite images of class 1. and 2. is mainly organized by space agency’s (e.g. ESA or NASA) and/or national institutions (e.g. DLR), running the satellite missions. Satellite images of those two classes mainly contain low to high resolution images without space for user-specific modifications.

Satellite images of class 3. mainly contain very high resolution images with user-specific possibilities for adaption. For access to commercial satellite images and to check the data coverage of commercial satellite missions, please contact the NPOC (