Choosing the sites observed for SPOT4 (Take5) was not easy. The schedule was very tight, we felt that demand would be strong and we did not want to be blamed for favoritism or cronyism (and we did not even accept gifts (1)).
We processed differently for sites for French laboratories and organizations on the one hand, and sites for other space agencies on the other hand.
For the French sites, we launched a call for proposals for sites, with a very short notice (one month), and CNES TOSCA committee made the selection. This call was a great success : 20 proposals were received, with the participation of 81 laboratories and agencies.
For international sites, we contacted space and research agencies involved in Sentinel-2 project, namely ESA, JRC, NASA or the CSRC. Here, the charge of favoritism could be retained (but we have not received gifts),as we did not have time to issue a call for proposals and set up a jury for selection. However, the participation of these agencies implies their financial contribution to purchase Level 1A images from Astrium Geo (formerly Spot Image).
Of course, we hope that the acquired images for SPOT4 (Take5) experiment will be widely distributed. The images will be made available to anyone upon request, for non-commercial use in the framework of Sentinel-2 preparation. Please send your requests to the Land Thematic Data Center (or Pôle Thématique Surfaces Continentales (PTSC).)
(1) But now that the sites are chosen...