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.