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Space : Proba V

After a long and successful career as Europe's first truly operational satellite system for global monitoring of vegetation, the SPOT4 and SPOT5 missions are nearing the end of their life cycle.

The Vegetation-1 and Vegetation-2 instruments onboard the SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 satellites will only be available until May 2014. For more than 15 years, these instruments have been monitoring the worldwide vegetation; providing essential information on crop yields, droughts, desertification, changes in the type of vegetation, deforestation, etc.

Driven by the success of SPOT-VEGETATION, Belgium decided to build a new satellite mission, PROBA-V, which will act as the successor of SPOT-VEGETATION. Despite being 10 times smaller and lighter than SPOT-VEGETATION, the micro-satellite Proba-V will monitor the earth surface at a much higher spatial resolution (the pixel resolution improves from 1km to 1/3km daily global coverage and 100m global coverage every 5 days). The continuation of the time series of environmental data is essential to study environmental processes on our changing planet.

PROBA-V is designed under the authority of ESA by a full Belgian consortium. QinetiQ Space NV is the prime contractor, OIP developed the instrument which is composed of a combination of three small TMA telescopes, while VITO developed the user segment (i.e., the processing chain) and acts as Principal Investigator for the mission. Once in operation, VITO will be responsible for the processing, archiving and dissemination of the data. Every day images will be taken and processed of the entire planet.

PROBA-V is the first mission for global environmental monitoring entirely built by Belgian industry. Hence, it can be considered as a milestone in our national space activities.

On March 6, 2013, the satellite has left the clean room of QinetiQ Space NV to be shipped to the European launch base in Kourou (French Guyana). There, PROBA-V will be launched with ESA's new VEGA launcher. If everything occurs according to plan PROBA-V starts its journey in space on April 19, 2013.

For more information on Proba-V and our upcoming conference "Probing VEGETATION", please check: (new window) .