NovaSAR-1 Imaging Request Guide 


1. Imaging request guidelines

2. Submitting Image Requests

3. Feasibility assessment by the CCEO

4. Image delivery and missed acquisitions

5. Publications and acknowledgements

1. Imaging request guidelines

CSIRO NovaSAR-1 imaging requests are open to Australian research and industry, international applicants who have partnered with an Australia-based organisation and applicants with a study over Australia or a topic of global importance.

Before applying, proposers should first familiarise themselves with the following resources:

Last updated: June 2023

2. Submitting Image Requests

The image request form contains general information about the applicant and the proposal. During the creation of an imaging request, you will be asked to provide the following information:

Personal Details

These details are collected to allow us to contact you regarding your imaging request.

  1. First name
  2. Surname
  3. Email

Imaging Details

  1. Request title
    • Give your request an appropriate, short title that addresses the area of study.
  2. Area of interest
    • For the best chance of getting your proposal accepted without modifications, we recommend that your AOIs are:
      • No wider than the swath width of your selected mode (we are unable to accept wide AOIs which require days of consecutive imaging as this will use a disproportionate part of the CSIRO capacity share)
      • Aligned to the pass direction selected (if applicable) so that full coverage of the AOI can be achieved OR a priority region defined to focus on when the AOI is not fully covered
      • AOI length guidelines:
        • A maximum length of 240kms for all Maritime mode requests
        • Maximum of 400 kms in length for recurring projects in all other modes
        • One-off requests in other modes can be up to 840 km long 
      • We accept standard georeferenced file types including: .zip .xls .shp .kml .kmz .mif .tab .gml .wkt .eof .eef .xml .gpx .json and .geojson
      • If you have additional files that will not upload, please mention this in 11. Additional information and we will ask you for these files in our reply. 
  3. Imaging start date (UTC)
    • Enter the start and end dates so that the date range covers the full temporal extent of all the acquisitions you are requesting
    • More specific dates can be entered in the Additional Information field
    • If unknown at this stage, this can be amended before acquisitions start
  4. Imaging end date (UTC)
    • Enter the start and end dates so that the date range covers the full temporal extent of all the acquisitions you are requesting
    • More specific dates can be entered in the Additional Information field
    • If unknown at this stage, this can be amended once acquisitions have started
  5. Imaging Mode
    • More information on the imaging modes available for NovaSAR-1 is available here
    • The imaging modes are subject to change and additional imaging modes may be added in the future
    • We strongly suggest you check the archive before selecting a mode as you may want to keep the imaging mode consistent with previous images 
    • If you require additional modes over the same AOI please note this in 11. Additional information
    • Multiple AOIs with different modes can be specified in 11. Additional information or entered as seperate requests
  6. Look direction/Antenna pointing 
    • NovaSAR-1 imagery can be acquired with either Left or Right pointing
    • Indicate the preferred antenna pointing of your acquisitions or select not to specify.
    • More information is available here.
  7. Pass direction
    • NovaSAR-1 imagery can be acquired on both Ascending (South-to-North) and Descending (North-to-South) passes
    • Indicate the preferred direction of your acquisitions or select not to specify a pass direction.
    • More information is available here.
  8. Additional information
    • We recommend including any of the following relevant information:
      • The frequency of acquisitions (Note: The most frequently we can offer images for long-term projects is once per month to allow opportunities for all users.) e.g. monthly/every 6 months
      • If requesting acquisitions at irregular intervals (e.g. to coincide with fieldwork campaigns), the number of occurrences and the date(s) (if known)
      • Any image refinements such as incidence angle limits
      • Additional mode requirements
      • If you have additional AOIs that are not included in the submission 
      • Emails of other people to include on communications regarding the request
      • A brief overview of the project considering the following: 
        • A summary of the project and any related work or previous acquisitions (including from other satellites).
        • Specific project goals e.g. test a particular hypothesis, develop a particular method.
        • An explicit statement about how the proposed NovaSAR-1 acquisitions will address the project goal(s).

3. Feasibility assessment by the CCEO

When an image request is submitted to the CCEO it is assigned a reference number. Please use this in any communications.

Once an imaging request has been received, the CCEO will initially review the AOI, the requested imaging frequency and any further imaging refinements to determine the:

  • Capacity share usage
    • if your project will use up too large a share of the CSIRO Capacity then we will contact you to see how this can be refined before passing it on for technical review
    • does the project conflict with other mission partners’ priority AOIs? If so we cannot accept the project. If we are unsure of the likelihood of success we may propose some test images to assess the situation. .
  • Ease of implementation
    • how specific are the requirements – are they broad enough to allow for the requested volume and/or frequency of images to be acquired and are they narrow enough to reasonably include in the acquisition plan
    • are there clashes with existing or other submitted projects and can these clashes be managed
  • Appropriate choice of imaging constraints
    • does the chosen mode offer the right coverage for the size of the AOI?
    • does the chosen pass direction best suit the shape of the AOI?
  • Proposers are reminded that higher priority will be assigned to studies where AOIs are within Australia. 

The CCEO will email you to confirm your imaging request is planned, discuss refinements or let you know if the request is not possible.

3.3 Acquisition scheduling

Once your project has been accepted for tasking we will require you to address the following questions. This helps us with our reporting and allows us to ensure funding to keep the NovaSAR-1 National Facilty Operational.

  • Technical feasibility:
    • Why is the project feasible given the amount of data available, the type of data (including acquisition mode) and the characteristics of NovaSAR-1, plus the capabilities of the project team.
  • Science excellence or potential for commercialisation
    • Does the project demonstrate the potential for scientific excellence, for example, a step-change in the application of SAR data or scientific understanding, or potential for commercialisation?
    • Explain how the project exploits the unique capabilities of NovaSAR-1.
  • Science impact:
    • Will the project impact upon the Science and Research Priorities identified by the Australian Government (Food, Soil and Water, Transport, Cybersecurity, Energy, Resources, Advanced Manufacturing, Environmental Change, Health) and what are the intended benefits.
  • Value for building the Australian SAR community/capability:
    • How will the project contribute to strengthening and the growth of the Australian SAR community/capability, for example leading to new partnerships with other organisations or providing new opportunities for researchers that do not primarily work with SAR data.

Note that all projects, especially those requesting imagery for more than one year, will be subject to review as the CCEO see fit, to ensure that projects are best aligned with the objectives of Australia’s NovaSAR-1 capacity share.

The CCEO’s ability to fulfil NovaSAR-1 image requests is dependent upon prioritisation with other NovaSAR-1 capacity share partners. There may be instances where, due to existing imaging commitments or restrictions on Australia’s NovaSAR-1 capacity share, proposers are asked to adjust their imaging requirements. Resolutions will be sought on a case-by-case basis and the proposer may be asked if it is possible to postpone or reduce the scope of the study.

4. Image delivery and missed acquisitions

All CSIRO NovaSAR-1 imagery is made available to download via the NovaSAR-1 National Facility Datahub. To access the Datahub you must register. By registering, users agree to the NovaSAR-1 National Facility Datahub Terms and Conditions and the End User Licence Agreement.

Imagery is uploaded to the Datahub as soon as it is received at the groundstation and processed by CSIRO. Data is not subject to proprietary periods.

Whilst the CCEO will do everything possible to ensure that all required images are acquired for successful proposals. However, there are a number of circumstances outside our control that may prevent this such as:

  • temporary satellite failure
  • image-processing failure
  • satellite unavailability due to firings
  • higher priority requests from another mission partner

The CCEO also reserve the right to use Australia’s NovaSAR-1 capacity share for high-priority applications, such as for natural disasters, when deemed necessary.

The CCEO will endeavour to avoid clashes between planned observations and emergency or opportunistic image requests. The CCEO accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from images that are not collected or delivered.

However, if planned acquisitions are displaced under any of the above circumstances, a reasonable attempt will be made to replace the acquisitions lost.

The following guidelines apply:

  • where there are extra imaging opportunities within the specified timeframe i.e month, these will be tasked if the capacity allows
  • if no opportunities remain in the specified timeframe we can extend the imaging period if compatible with the project requirements
  • replacement time cannot displace other scheduled observations that have no alternative date in the timeframe
  • once allocated, a replacement slot will take the status of a normal observation and may still be displaced by another request

5. Publications and acknowledgements

When registering as a user of the NovaSAR-1 National Facility Datahub, users agree to the NovaSAR-1 National Facility Datahub Terms and Conditions and the End User Licence Agreement.

Users who obtain NovaSAR-1 data via the CCEO must acknowledge CSIRO and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), who operate the NovaSAR-1 satellite, in any publications.

The following text should be used:

© SSTL 2023 (or another year of production) NovaSAR-1™ Level 1 Data 

The Data used to produce this [insert name of report/product/service as appropriate] was generated by the NovaSAR-1™ satellite owned and operated by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited and provided by CSIRO as an authorised licensor of the SSTL Data” 

Please email with the details of any publications that include NovaSAR-1 data obtained via the CCEO.

The NovaSAR-1 National Facility Data Policy provides information on reporting requirements for projects that are allocated satellite image tasking. For all projects, a report on the project must be submitted via the NovaSAR-1 Project Submission Report upon project completion.