Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS)

Science Center Objects

The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is a consortium of 61 agencies operating 172 satellites worldwide working together to ensure international coordination of civil, space-based, Earth observation programs for the benefit of all.

As a long-term member of the consortium, the USGS is involved in a variety of CEOS Working Groups, Virtual Constellations, and Ad Hoc Teams.

Visit the CEOS website to learn more about the mission, meetings, data and tools and to access other helpful resources. 


Working Groups

CEOS Working Groups address topics such as calibration/validation, data portals, capacity building, disaster management, climate, and common data processing standards shared across a wide range of Earth observation domains. The USGS are currently actively involved in the following working groups:

  • Capacity Building & Data Democracy (WGCapD)
    Mission: WGCapD builds upon the CEOS Data Democracy Initiative in an effort to increase the capacity of institutions in less developed countries for effective use of Earth observation data for the benefit of society and to achieve sustainable development.
  • Climate (WGClimate)
    Mission: WGClimate coordinates and encourages collaborative activities between the world’s major space agencies in the area of climate monitoring with the overarching goal to improve the systematic availability of Climate Data Records through the coordinated implementation and further development of a global architecture for climate monitoring from space.
  • Calibration & Validation (WGCV)
    Mission: WGCV ensures long-term confidence in the accuracy and quality of Earth Observation data and products and to provide a forum for the exchange of information about calibration and validation, including the coordination of cooperative activities.
  • Information Systems & Services (WGISS)
    Mission: WGISS promotes collaboration in the development of systems and services that manage and supply Earth observation data.

Virtual Constellations

The CEOS Virtual Constellations coordinate space-based, ground-based, and/or data delivery systems to meet a common set of requirements within a specific domain. The USGS are currently actively involved in the following virtual constellation:

Ad Hoc Teams

CEOS has the ability to create an Ad Hoc Team in the event that permanent mechanisms (Working Groups and Virtual Constellations) are insufficient for CEOS to undertake a particular activity. The USGS are currently actively involved in the following ad hoc team:

  • Sustainable Development Goals (AHT-SDG)
    Objective: AHT-SDG helps organize and realize the potential for Earth observation data to support a set of 17 SDGs to end poverty, fight inequality, and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.


USGS EROS Center and Landsat Play Major Roles in CEOS Analysis Ready Data for Land

CEOS CARD4L Compliance Stamp Logo

Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Analysis Ready Data for Land (CARD4L) compliance stamp logo. This internationally-recognized certification recognizes satellite data that have been processed to a minimum set of requirements and organized into a structure that allows for immediate analysis with minimum user effort and interoperability both through time and with other datasets.  

(Used with permission by CEOS.)

The efforts of the CEOS Land Surface Imaging Virtual Constellation (LSI-VC) to bring CEOS Analysis Ready Data for Land (CARD4L) products quickly and easily to countries and international organizations continues to receive important support from USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

CEOS CARD4L are satellite data that have been processed to a minimum set of requirements and organized into a form that allows for immediate analysis with minimal additional user effort and facilitates interoperability both through time and with other datasets. As part of its engagement with CARD4L, the USGS worked to address specific threshold (minimum) and target (optimal) requirements for its Landsat Collection 2 Level-2 products (i.e., surface reflectance and surface temperature), which includes general metadata, per-pixel metadata, as well as radiometric, geometric and atmospheric corrections. In July 2020, the USGS were the first-ever recipient of CEOS endorsement for CARD4L-compliant products for the Landsat Collection 2 surface reflectance and surface temperature products. This internationally recognized certification ensures that Landsat Collection 2 products are more interoperable with other Earth observing platforms, such as Europe’s Sentinel-2 satellite, as they too work towards CARD4L-compliant products. Despite this momentous achievement, an EROS Calibration/Validation working group continues to perform internal assessments on Collection 2 to determine how to maintain 100 percent threshold requirement compliance as well as achieve more target CARD4L requirement compliance in future Landsat Collections. These assessments are also intended to provide feedback and inform LSI-VC regarding future CARD4L specification refinements. 

To view upcoming CEOS meetings or to review presentation materials from past meetings, please visit the CEOS Meetings web page.