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Mission | Programs

These data resources provide information related to a suite of NASA missions, Distributed Active Archive Center tools and knowledge base, capacity building, and educational training that can provide information to support resource management challenges.

NASA Missions & DAAC Resources

Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP). The SMAP mission launched on January 31, 2015. Although SMAP’s primary 3-year science mission ended in June 2018, SMAP is currently in extended mission operations. The mission provides direct sensing of soil moisture globally in the top 5 cm of the soil column. In addition, SMAP provides model-derived root-zone soil moisture in the top 1 m of the soil column, as well as net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide with the atmosphere over global vegetated land areas (with an emphasis on boreal areas north of 45N latitude). SMAP-derived soil moisture can provide critical information for wildfire, drought, and flood risk assessments and early warning, and ecological, weather, and hydrological forecasting.


SMAP Datasets
All SMAP Datasets are available via the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC:


SMAP Tools

SMAP Tools are available at[OPE(1]

Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2).  The ICESat-2 mission launched on September 15, 2018. Its global geodetic measurements, including estimates of canopy height, canopy cover, and terrain height, will help improve biomass estimations, forest structural mapping, and global digital terrain models. ICESat-2 provides densely spaced global vegetation canopy height information at higher spatial resolution than previously afforded by other space-borne sensors.

ICESat-2 Datasets
All ICESat-2 Datasets are available via the NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC:

ICESat-2 Tools and Services
The following provides a list of the tools and services available for ICESat-2 data:


Applied Users Program

Unique opportunity to partner with ICESat-2 mission scientists in their discovery of the data. Learn more:

NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS).  The goal of NASA's CMS Initiative is to prototype the development of capabilities necessary to support stakeholder needs for the Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of carbon stocks and fluxes. The CMS Initiative uses the full range of NASA satellite observations, modeling/analysis capabilities, and commercial off-the-shelf technologies to establish the accuracy, quantitative uncertainties, and utility of products for supporting national and international policy, regulatory, and management activities.

Environmental Research Letters Focus Collection on Carbon Monitoring Systems Research and Applications:

Archived CMS Data Products:


NASA Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI). With a launch in December 2018, GEDI is a full-waveform lidar instrument that will provide precise measurements of forest canopy height, canopy vertical structure, and surface elevation. GEDI will advance applications in a number of domains including forest management and carbon cycling, where its high resolution and very dense spatial sampling will enhance our knowledge of forest height and a vertical structure, habitat quality, and biodiversity, forest carbon sinks, and source areas, among other areas.

GEDI Datasets
All GEDI Datasets are available for download at


NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). The NISAR mission, expected to launch in early 2023, will provide a variety of information to contribute to sustainable development and management of ecosystem goods and services. NISAR will monitor global forest extent and quality by providing a time series of global radar imagery with a 12-day repeat cycle, which will provide regular observations of forests even in regions where cloud cover has been a challenge for other remote sensing observations. NISAR data can be used to generate time series information on forest biomass, disturbance detection, and inundation. NISAR data can also be used to classify disturbance and estimate vegetation/soil water content, which is key for monitoring fire hazards and wetland ecosystems. After launch in early 2023, NISAR data will be available for public download at the NASA DAAC at the Alaska Satellite Facility:

NISAR Publications:

SAR Education Resources:



Landsat satellites have been collecting information about Earth’s landmasses and coastal regions for over 50 years. NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) jointly manage the Landsat Program. The entire archive is freely available from USGS as are higher-order Landsat-derived science data products including surface reflectance, surface temperature, spectral indices, dynamic surface water extent, fractional snow-covered area, a burned area, and provisional evapotranspiration and aquatic reflectance products. Landsat's well-calibrated data enables multi-decadal change studies; Landsat-derived information is routinely used for water, fire, food, and carbon management across the globe.


Landsat Data

All Landsat datasets are available from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center:


Data-finding tools include:




NASA Applied Sciences provide many resources for learning to use Earth Observation data including Landsat:


Find out how others are using Landsat data:

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