Microsatellite PROBA-V zooms in to 100 metres

Near the end of 2013, less than a year after its launch, the Belgian microsatellite PROBA-V was already fully operational. PROBA-V has already succeeded in taking images at a resolution of 100 metres.

On May 6, 2013, microsatellite PROBA-V became the successor of the SPOT-VEGETATION satellites. It is meant primarily for monitoring vegetation and farmland through multispectral satellite images. PROBA-V is equipped with three cameras that monitor the Earth's surface over a total distance of 2,250 km. Initially, the objective was just to make images at a resolution of 300 m, but the quality of the images proved so good that photographs at a resolution of 100 m also turned out to be a possibility, albeit only in the central 500 km of the recording perimeter. To record the entire Earth's surface at a resolution of 100 m takes only five days.

Thanks to the extremely sharp pictures, scientists can monitor crops and vegetation more accurately. There is only one disadvantage: because each region can only be photographed once every five days, it may take considerable time for cloud-free images to be recorded. However, the consortium behind PROBA-V is working on a successor that will record the entire Earth's surface at a resolution of
100 m daily.

VITO's role

VITO processes and distributes all the data generated by PROBA-V. It developed a specific processing chain that translates multispectral camera images from the sensor into images that can be used for vegetation and agricultural monitoring.

PROBA-V in figures
  • Microsatellite developed by a Belgian consortium, commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Start activities: December 2013
To record the entire Earth's surface at a resolution of 100 m takes only five days.
Andrew M. Davidson

Check out the Proba-V Gallery. A small satellite for vegetation monitoring. ow.ly/FdDLz @ESA @VITObelgium