There are free Sentinel Hub accounts and commercial data packages available for research purposes and pre-commercial exploitation and validation, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA)! It's easy to apply; just follow the step by step guide below, which will guide you through first, requesting sponsored Sentinel Hub and Commercial data packages on the Network of Resources (NoR) website, and second, submitting your proposal to let ESA know why you need the sponsorship. Please read the steps below carefully so you don't miss anything. Estimated time to complete the submission is about 10-30 minutes.

Check also our Webinar on Commercial data (at 39:46), where you can see the main steps of the process.

If you get stuck or encounter issues with your submission, there is a Network of Resources helpdesk available for you here.

Read the NoR (Network of Resources) Sponsorship website for additional information and evaluation criteria. The submission guidelines, objectives and additional information are available here.

Step By Step Guide

1. Request a Free Sentinel Hub Account and Commercial Data

To request a free Sentinel Hub account and (optional) commercial data, you will need to add the packages to your cart on the NoR website, fill in what data you need and confirm your cart by requesting ESA sponsorship for its content. Follow the steps below carefully.

1.1. Login and Search the NoR website

  • First, go to the NoR website and login. Create an account if you don’t have one yet. Then click on the Shop tab in the top navigation bar.

  • Choose your desired EO Mission or data provider. To get a free Sentinel Hub account, expand the Provider dropdown menu, select Sentinel Hub VAS and click Apply.

  • After clicking Apply, you will see the following 3 options:
    • EDC Sentinel Hub - Subscription - for a Sentinel Hub account
    • EDC Sentinel Hub - Prepaid - for a chosen amount of processing units
    • EDC Sentinel Hub - Commercial data - for using SPOT, Pleiades and PlanetScope data. One of the above packages is required.

    • Be careful! If you're interested in commercial data, you will need to request one of the other two packages as well. Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

1.2. Add Sentinel Hub and Commercial data packages to your Shopping Cart

  • First, select either an EDC Sentinel Hub - Subscription or EDC Sentinel Hub - Prepaid package. We recommend you to select the EDC Sentinel Hub - Subscription, so that you get the full Sentinel Hub account.
  • After selecting the EDC Sentinel Hub – Subscription package, you will be asked to provide the package type (e.g. Exploration (non- commercial/research) package), specify the desired starting date, how long you need the subscription (e.g. for 3 months) and specify the project name.

  • When you're done filling in the information, click ADD TO CART. When you click on ADD TO CART, your cart information will appear, and it will contain the EDC Sentinel Hub – Subscription package.
  • If you would like to request commercial data, click on continue shopping and add the EDC Sentinel Hub - Commercial Data package to your cart as well. NOTE: To get the commercial data package, you first need to have a subscription or a prepaid package; if you only add EDC Sentinel Hub - Commercial data package to your cart, you will get an error after requesting ESA sponsorship.
  • After selecting a Commercial data package, you will be asked to specify how much of each available data collection (SPOT, Pleiades and PlanetScope) you need. When done, click ADD QUOTE TO CART.

1.3. Review Your Cart and Request ESA Sponsorship

  • Your cart should now include the following packages:
    • REQUIRED: EDC Sentinel Hub - Subscription (RECOMMENDED) OR EDC Sentinel Hub - Prepaid
    • OPTIONAL: EDC Sentinel Hub - Commercial data
  • After reviewing your cart, click on the REQUEST ESA SPONSORSHIP button below.

  • A window with additional information will open. To confirm that you want ESA sponsorship, click on the Request ESA sponsorship button again.

  • You will receive an email from ESA with a couple of useful links related to your cart. From the email, save the link, that opens your order details, as you will need to copy it into your proposal later. Then continue reading this tutorial.

2. Submit a Research Proposal on ESA Portal

To get ESA sponsorship for the packages you chose on the NoR website, you need to let ESA know about your reseach. To do so, you will submit a research proposal, which will be reviewed by ESA.

2.1. Login to ESA Portal

  • Go the NoR sponsorship portal and click on Submit a request to receive sponsorship for a Platform Service.
  • The following window will appear. To proceed, you will need to be logged in. Click on Login My Earthnet button on top. If you don't have an account yet, click on Register first and create one. After entering your information, you will get a confirmation email, which can take a while (it took 30 minutes for us).

  • When you're logged in, the same link will display the Main Submission Area, where you will be able fill in your proposal. It should look like this:

2.2. Fill in and Submit your Research Proposal

  • First, only the Cover page option will be available (in green color). Click on it and fill in the required information (Title, application domain, project summary, etc.).
  • When you're done, click next. You will be asked to review your cover page and personal information and add another researcher's personal information, if you'd like.
  • When you finish filling in the Cover page information and click Continue, other parts of the proposal will also become available for you to fill in (Experience and Contribution, Request Details and Other information). Fill them in.
  • Make sure you include the most relevant information:
    • Which services you need (e.g. EDC Sentinel Hub, EDC Batch Processing, etc.).
    • In case access to commercial data is needed (EDC PlanetScope, EDC Airbus Pleiades or EDC Airbus SPOT), state the desired volume.
    • The planned volume of data uptake (best to reference processing units or sq. km).
    • Desired duration of the access (up to 12 months).
    • Scientifically relevant results planned to result from the exercise.
    • In case of business exploration activities some plans for long-term sustainability.
    • Do not forget to add the link to the order details into your proposal.
  • After you finish with the proposal, don't forget to click the Submit button below.
  • After submitting your proposal, you will receive a confirmation email including a link about the status of your request. If your request is accepted, you will receive an email with a voucher and information about completing your order. If your request is rejected, you will receive an email with the reason for rejection.