Proba-V, the miniature satellite was launched on May 7, 2013 from French Guiana. The “V” in the name stands for vegetation as Proba-V’s role is to capture imagery about the world’s vegetation to be used, for example, for day-by-day tracking of extreme weather, alerting authorities to crop failures, monitoring inland water resources, and tracing the steady spread of deserts and deforestation.
Sized a bit larger than the average household washing machine, the roughly one cubic meter Proba-V will officially replace the aging Spot-5 satellite, which is nearing its end of life, on May 30, 2014. The one year overlap between the two satellites allows scientists the ability to cross calibrate data collection and provide a consistent time series on vegetation analysis for researchers.
Fully operational since December 2013, Proba-V delivers vegetation products with a spatial resolution of 300 meters (100 meters in the central swath). Products from Proba-V are available for users via the VITO Earth Observation portal. Proba-V was launched as a stopgap measure while the Sentinel 3 satellite is being built.