PROBA-V: 7 years in service of the Earth

#PROBA-V, #STEREO, #Webstory

Published on 7 May 2020

We can be proud of our small PROBA-V satellite. Launched exactly 7 years ago today, this microsatellite, developed by ESA on the initiative of Belgium, brilliantly ensured the mission entrusted to it: guaranteeing the scientific community the provision of daily data on the state of vegetation at the global scale.

In between Spot and Sentinel

The data collected by the VEGETATION sensor aboard PROBA-V thus continued to enrich the heritage accumulated over the past 15 years by its predecessors on board the Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites.

The future is now assured, thanks to data provided by the Sentinel-3 satellite of the European Copernicus programme. Researchers are also studying the possibility of the development of a demonstration nanosatellite of the CubeSat-type carrying an instrument identical to PROBA-V. The development of a CubeSat-type demonstration nanosatellite carrying an instrument identical to that of PROBA-V is also being studied.

Made in Belgium, a safe bet

Faithful to the reputation of longevity of the Belgian PROBA family of satellites, the operating life of PROBA-V, initially fixed at 2.5 years has practically been tripled. The supply of daily and decadal products will indeed be ensured in almost real time until June 30. After this date, due to orbital drift, the mission will go into experimental mode and will provide, on a less regular basis, data mainly focusing on Europe and Africa.

1 petabyte of free data

During these 7 years, the satellite has enabled more than 4,000 users, from 120 countries around the planet and representing around 1,300 different organizations or companies, to download some 600,000 products corresponding to 1 petabyte (1015 bytes or 1 million gigabytes) of data. These data have been and will continue to be used for many applications in the future, such as climate change impact assessments, water resource management, deforestation, agricultural control or food security.

All of the archives will remain available free of charge to everyone after the end of the operational mission, as will all the functionalities of the operating platform.

To celebrate this exceptional journey, the VITO Remote Sensing team, in charge of processing and distributing PROBA-V images, offers you a selection of fascinating images captured all around the globe by our little hero. These beautiful images are accompanied by numerous testimonies from key people in the program and from users of SPOT VEGETATION and PROBA-V data.

More information

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