Proba-V is flying a lighter but fully functional redesign of the ‘Vegetation’ imaging instruments previously flown aboard France’s full-sized Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites, which have been observing Earth since 1998.
The minisatellite will provide data to the instrument’s worldwide user community of scientists and service providers as soon as its orbital commissioning – including cross-checks with Spot-5’s Vegetation instrument – is complete and the mission is turned over to ESA’s Earth Observation Programme.
Vital uses of Proba-V Vegetation data include 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.
Proba-V is the latest addition to the Proba family of small, low-cost space missions, giving flight experience to promising European technologies. So along with hosting its main instrument, Proba-V also provides early test flights for a variety of advanced ‘guest payloads’.