For most Earth-observing satellites, image acquisition is only a matter of opening a viewing aperture but Proba-1 is different. The satellite’s platform and payload work as one: spinning reaction wheels guided by a startracker roll it up to 25º side to side and 55º along its path. This helps Proba-1 compensate for its 7.5 km/s speed, like a photographer panning to snap a moving target.
In addition, Proba-1 can record up to five differently angled views of the same target, important for researchers investigating how vegetation changes appearance with shifts in view. Understanding 'Bi-Reflectance Distribution Function' has proved beneficial for mapping and classifying land cover, from forest monitoring in Canada to crop yield predictions in Europe, Australia and China.