EGU24-12428, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ESA/NASA Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation Products

Samuel Hunt1, Clément Albinet2, Jaime Nickeson3, Batuhan Osmanoglu3, Alfreda Hall3, Guoqing Lin3, Leonardo De Laurentiis2, Philippe Goryl2, Frederick Policelli3, Dana Ostrenga3, and Nigel Fox1
Samuel Hunt et al.
  • 1National Physical Laboratory, UK
  • 2European Space Agency, Italy
  • 3National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA

Across the broad potential user base for Earth Observation (EO) data, confidence in the quality of the available products is vital, particularly for users requiring quantitative measured outputs they can rely on. Particularly as the commercial EO sector rapidly expands, however, it is an increasing challenge for the user community to discern between the wide variety of product offerings in a reliable manner, especially in terms of product quality.


In response to this ESA and NASA, through their Joint Program Planning Group (JPPG) Subgroup, have developed a common EO product Quality Assurance (QA) Framework to provide comprehensive assessments of product quality. The evaluation is primarily aimed at verifying that the data has achieved its claimed performance levels, and, reviews the extent to which the products have been prepared following community best practice in a manner that is “fit for purpose”. A Cal/Val maturity matrix provides a high-level colour-coded a simple summary of the quality assessment results for users. The matrix contains a column for each section of analysis (e.g., metrology), and cells for each subsection of analysis (e.g., sensor calibration). Subsection grades are indicated by the colour of the respective grid cell, which are defined in the key.


Both ESA and NASA have on-going activities supporting the procurement of commercial EO data that make use of the joint QA Framework – to ensure decisions on data acquisition are made with confidence. On the ESA side, the Earthnet Data Assessment Project (EDAP) project performs data assessments on EO missions in optical, atmospheric and SAR domains. Similarly, the NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program, completed a pilot study in 2020, and has since entered sustainment use phase for some of the commercial data sets.


In this presentation the joint ESA/NASA QA Framework is described, with some examples of its application to commercial EO products.

How to cite: Hunt, S., Albinet, C., Nickeson, J., Osmanoglu, B., Hall, A., Lin, G., De Laurentiis, L., Goryl, P., Policelli, F., Ostrenga, D., and Fox, N.: ESA/NASA Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation Products, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12428,, 2024.