PROBA-V Preparatory Programme (PROBA-V)


The current Vegetation-1 and Vegetation-2 instruments onboard the French SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 satellites will 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 being designed as a continuity mission to the SPOT VEGETATION series, Proba-V will provide some different characteristics, either through the technology used to collect data or through the enhancements in spatial resolution.

The main objectives of the Preparatory Programme are:

  1. to get future users acquainted with these new data sets and their full characteristics and quality;
  2. to prepare the full exploitation of Proba-V data sets with respect to the technical enhancements which are planned (spatial resolution in particular)

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. Simulation techniques should be presented as well as justification of representativeness. Some limited data sets could be provided by the programme: their size and location should be described in the declaration of interest before a proposal can be based on such data sets.

Proposals should 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.
  • Some project dealing with non-vegetation applications could be selected: they should put forward the interest of the new characteristics for applications which were not feasible with the VEGETATION series
Start-End 01/12/2010 -  31/12/2011
Organisation Belspo - Space Research and Applications Division
Budget (€) 1,000,000.00
Projects PROBASIM-LUC - Effectiveness for Land Use Change Detection based on Proba V Simulated Data
PEACHZ - PROBA-V Evaluation of Accuracy Characteristics in Heterogeneous Zones
FIRE PROBA - Burned area mapping and post-fire monitoring of Mediterranean ecosystems using Proba-V imagery
PROBA-VET - Application of high spatial resolution vegetation information for large scale evapotranspiration monitoring
FM@PROBA-V - Forest Cover change monitoring with PROBA-V: Potentials and limitations on European Terrain