Standards and Requirements


Airborne and Satellite Mission Data Systems Requirements

The Airborne Mission Data System Requirements and Satellite Mission Data Requirements from NASA Headquarter's Earth Science Division include Mission Requirements from NASA's Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project as well as the approved list of standards shown below. These Mission Requirements are managed through the ESDIS configuration control process involving review and comments from all affected organizations. Additional standards and conventions approved for use in NASA Earth science data systems are managed by NASA's ESDIS Standards Office (ESO). ESDIS Mission Requirements include:

Note that for newer missions, starting with Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) in 2015, the above requirements have been included in the mission Program Level Requirements. For earlier missions, the above requirements should be applied on a best effort basis. The PCS requirements ensure that all the artifacts needed for users to understand and use the data products are preserved and are accessible in the long-term future. NASA's Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) that are responsible for the data products from the missions store these artifacts along with the products. In some cases, the necessary artifacts may be held by another organization committed to their long-term storage and the DAACs shall have the ability to access the artifacts when requested by users.

For the full list of ESD-approved standards, as well as best practices and lessons learned, please see the Standards and Practices section.

Standards and Practices

ESO coordinates standards policy and activities within ESDIS. ESO follows a Standards Process for identification of appropriate standards and practices and their subsequent adoption for use in NASA Earth science data systems.

NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) Approved Standards for use in NASA Earth Science Data Systems

Data Format


Discovery and Access


ASCII Data Formats

Under Development or Review

Document Lists


  • NASA Earth system science remote sensors: An overview and listing of Remote sensing instruments (active and passive).
  • Processing levels: EOSDIS data products are processed at various levels ranging from Level 0 to Level 4. Read through the definitions of each level.
  • Earth science disciplines: A list of the various Earth science disciplines served by NASA's DAACs with various data products, data information services, and tools unique to a particular user community.
  • ESDIS acronym list: A comprehensive listing of acronyms used within EOSDIS.
  • EOSDIS Glossary: A glossary of phrases with their definition, context, and usage within EOSDIS.

Page Last Updated: May 2, 2019 at 1:58 PM EDT