ESA releases new and improved version of SNAP

30 June 2022

SNAP Toolbox

The latest update of an open-access online tool that enables people to realise the enormous potential of data delivered by remote sensing satellites has launched.

ESA’s Sentinel Applications Platform (SNAP) has been accelerating Earth observation innovation since 2014 by helping the growing global community of data users to process and analyse imagery from numerous international missions.

The latest iteration of the freely available tool – called SNAP 9.0 – contains many new functions, as well bug fixes, and usability and performance improvements.

The platform provides access to imagery from Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 of the European Union’s Copernicus Programme, as well as ESA Earth Explorer missions, such as SMOS.

It also incorporates data delivered by numerous satellites that are operated by international partners, known as Third Party Missions.

SNAP includes an easy-to-use graphical interface and can also be operated from the command line. As a result, it is accessible to people with little experience of coding and programming, as well as experts in data analysis.

These features support a wide variety of analysis and processing activities, facilitating scientific research, education and training, and the development of innovative applications across society.

The tool’s popularity has continued to expand since it was created eight years ago, reflecting the increasing demand for open-access Earth observation data and processing tools.

SNAP downloads until 22 May

SNAP has now been downloaded more than 1 million times, a milestone that was reached during last month’s Living Planet Symposium in Bonn, Germany. Its user base comprises students, early-career researchers, experienced scientists and professionals from across the Earth observation industry.

This community includes Quentin Glaude, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Liège, who said: “SNAP is a great piece of software that has done so much to make Earth observation data and processing tools more accessible. The tool has contributed a lot to PhD students achieving their degrees.”

SNAP 9.0 is the result of ESA’s continued efforts to improve and enhance the tool, to meet the evolving needs of the user community.

SNAP and other ESA toolboxes can be accessed via the Science Toolbox Exploitation Platform (STEP) website, which also hosts the SNAP discussion forum with more than 10 000 registered users, as well as documentation, tutorials, third-party plugins.

SNAP is currently developed by a consortium that includes Brockmann Consult GmbH (DE), CS France (FR), CS Romania (RO), SenSar (NL) and SkyWatch (CA).

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