Data Access

The DESI data are accessible through several means:


SPectra Analysis & Retrievable Catalog Lab (SPARCL) at NOIRLab's Astro Data Lab provides flexible access to spectra from large optical and near-infrared surveys. SPARCL has been designed and tested to support spectra from DESI. The SPARCL client package is pre-installed in Data Lab and can also be installed in a user’s local computing environment. See the How to Use SPARCL Jupyter Notebook.

Data Lab Table Access Protocol (TAP) service

TAP provides a convenient access layer for the DESI catalog database tables. TAP-aware clients (such as TOPCAT) can point to, select the desi_edr database, and see the database tables and descriptions. Descriptions of the associated tables can also be found in the Data Lab table browser. The primary spectroscopic measurements are contained in the desi_edr.zpix table (grouped and coadded by HEALPixel).

Data Lab Query Client

The Query Client is available as part of the Data Lab software distribution. The Query Client provides a Python API to Data Lab database services. These services include anonymous and authenticated access through synchronous or asynchronous queries of the catalog made directly to the database. Additional Data Lab services for registered users include personal database storage and storage through the Data Lab VOSpace.

The Query Client can be called from a Jupyter Notebook on the Data Lab Notebook server. Example notebooks are provided to users upon creation of their user account (register here), and are also available to browse on GitHub at

Jupyter Notebook Server

The Data Lab Jupyter Notebook server (authenticated service) contains examples of how to access and visualize the DESI catalogs. View our science example notebooks using DESI data here.

Bulk File Access

To download catalog files and/or spectra files from the public data releases NERSC or for bulk transfer using Globus see the Data Access page from the DESI Data Documentation website.