Published on 21 April 2020
ESA’s cubic-metre-sized PROBA-V minisatellite will soon end its nearly seven-year global mission to monitor the daily growth of all Earth’s vegetation. As Copernicus Sentinel-3 takes on this task instead, PROBA-V will be free to perform experimental monitoring over Europe and Africa – including co-observations with new companion missions.
Despite its small size, PROBA-V maintains a continent-spanning perspective: its main VEGETATION imager has a 2250-km wide swath. This enables it to cover nearly the entire vegetated surface of the globe every day. Allowing for cloud cover, the mission builds up a complete snapshot of global plant growth every 10 days. Overall, the mission has acquired more than a petabyte of environmental data during its time in orbit.
PROBA-V's extremely wide view comes about because VEGETATION is made up of three separate imaging telescopes, possessing 300 m spatial resolution, which rises to 100 m resolution in the central telescope – a marked improvement on the previous generation of VEGETATION instruments.