About vDec

The International Monitoring System (IMS) is a global network that uses state-of-the-art seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide facilities to monitor the Earth, oceans and atmosphere 24/7 for signs of nuclear explosions.

The data recorded by the system are widely considered to be unique and a treasure trove of knowledge with a broad range of civil and scientific applications. Today, CTBTO data are not only being used to detect nuclear explosions but also to investigate the impact of climate change, warn about tsunamis or to track radiation on a global scale.

The virtual Data Exploitation Centre (vDEC) provides scientists and researchers from many different disciplines and from around the globe with access to our data to conduct research and to publish new findings. Scientists have the opportunity to meet and exchange knowledge and information at a range of fora, including the CTBTO’s Science and Technology Conference series, workshops and technical meetings, or via this dedicated vDEC page.

The strong relationship between the scientific and technological community and the CTBTO helps to ensure that the IMS remains at the forefront of technological innovation and that no nuclear explosion goes undetected.

Requesting data

Requests for data can be made by filling in and submitted the request webform. An email describing the research project must be completed and a legal data confidentiality contract must be signed with the CTBTO and by all research participants involved.

Data are freely available – there is no charge. Acknowledgement of the CTBTO as the data source is kindly requested.

Scientific organizations must submit a proposal to gain access to the data. Please specify for what purpose(s) the data are needed by filling out the web form and by providing a description of your scientific research project.

Data are only provided within temporal and geographical boundaries and for scientific projects which are deemed viable by the CTBTO. Requests for data for other purposes will not be considered.

Procedures for access

  • Access to IMS data for research or scientific studies is provided under contract within the terms of the policy approved by CTBTO Member States. Read the
  • Access is given only to the IMS data necessary for your study.
  • The data are provided “as is” and no responsibility for the quality, quantity, suitability, reliability or timeliness is assumed.
  • IMS data can only be used for research associated with the development of the IMS and International Data Centre or for the purposes stated in the contract.
  • Data can only be used for the purposes stated in the contract.
  • Data shall not be redistributed to third parties.
  • The data cannot be published in their raw form. However, publication of research outcomes is permitted.