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NASA Data Purchase Program Offers No-cost Acquisition of Remote Sensing Data

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Spring 2001

- Greg Hoch, Konza Prairie

The Scientific Data Purchase (SDP) program was initiated in 1997 and managed by NASA's Commercial Remote Sensing Program (CRSP) at the Stennis Space Center. Through this program NASA purchases image data from 5 private contractors and distributes the data to it's users. These data range from historic ortho-rectified Landsat products, radar (IFSARE) data, and 1 to 4 m multi-spectral imagery. The goal of this program is to provide NASA affiliated researchers with imagery to address questions involving land cover and land cover change, interannual climate variability, and long-term climate change. The website for ordering data ( requires that you register but is relatively user friendly. Data requests are submitted 4 times a year and reviewed by committee. The status of your request can be checked on the SDP website.

To date, Konza Prairie has acquired 4 IKONOS images from the 2000 growing season as well as a 4 m resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generated from stereo-pairs of IKONOS imagery. These data are currently being used to map the locations of shrub islands on Konza and relate the spatial patterns of these islands to burn frequency. Konza also has 5 Landsat and 2 SPOT images from summer 2000 that were acquired independently and we are currently comparing a suite of spatial statistics for individual watersheds from these sensors across a range of pixel sizes, or spatial resolutions. We are also using the IKONOS imagery to examine spatial and temporal patterns related to grazing from our bison herd. The DEM is being used for a host of geomorphology as well as ecological projects. The NASA SDP program has provided over $45,000 worth of remote sensing data to Konza Prairie so far and has significantly enhanced our research program.