PROBA-V Preparatory Programme


Duration of the research: December 2010- December 2011
Budget: 1.000.000 EUR


The PROBA-V Preparatory Programme has been set up to prepare the exploitation of the images from the PROBA-V mission. which was conceived to ensure users data continuity of VEGETATION-like products.

The current Vegetation instruments onboard the French SPOT 4 and 5 satellites could only be available until 2013. For almost 15 years now, these instruments have daily monitored and mapped the worldwide vegetation, thus providing essential information on crop yields, droughts, desertification, changes in the type of vegetation, deforestation, etc. to an ever extending user community.
ESA is currently building the Sentinel 3 satellites in view of the European GMES programme. These satellites will contribute to the continuation of the availability of Vegetation type data but will not be operational in due time, thus creating a major time gap in the data continuity. Moreover, the Sentinel 3 satellites will not meet some essential requirements of the Vegetation user community.

Therefore, Belgium has decided to build a small satellite mission based on the successful PROBA expertise and using state of the art technology. This mission, called PROBA-V ("V" standing for Vegetation) will redress the data gap and will fulfil, - even on its own -, all of the specifications of the Vegetation user community. In that way, it will be a complement to the Sentinel 3 satellites to be launched after Proba-V.

While the spectral and radiometric characteristics of PROBA-V remain the same as those of the VEGETATION instruments, the mission will offer improved SNR, geolocation and spatial resolution. Data products will be made available at a resolution of 1000 m (VNIR and SWIR), 600 m (SWIR) and 300m (VNIR).

The main objectives of the PROBA-V Preparatory Programme are thus to get future users acquainted with these new data sets and their full characteristics and quality, as well as to prepare the full exploitation of Proba-V data sets with respect to the technical enhancements which are planned.


Spanning a 1-year period, the "PROBA-V Preparatory Programme" is funded by the Belgian federal government and managed by the Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and the Proba V International Users Committee

Research projects should concentrate on the evaluation of Proba-V specific characteristics and use any existing data set as simulation of real Proba-V data.

They must focus on one of the following areas:

  • Assessment of Proba-V mission as a continuity mission to VEGETATION 1 & 2: applied comparison of characteristics as well as combined use of both data sources for time series studies.
  • Impact of enhancements of Proba-V relatively to VEGETATION on the main uses of VEGETATION data sets. Application areas should concentrate on vegetation and land cover studies, extraction of biophysical surface parameters... Improvements due to enhancement of the spatial resolution to 1/3rd km should be discussed and evaluated.
  • Study of applications which were not feasible with the VEGETATION data.