One of the most important achievements of Belgium in the space domain concerns the PROBA series of satellites, which are in charge of validating new space technology and demonstrating progressive space instrumentation.
Since the launch on 22 October 2001 of the PROBA-1 satellite, Belgium successfully demonstrated mastering the design, production and integration of a complete satellite system. The PROBA platform has been developed in an ESA framework in collaboration with a long list of prominent Belgian space actors which have taken the responsibility of crucial work packages for what concerns the platform, electronics, on-board software, instrumentation and subsystems.
PROBA-1 is still operational today and has become the record holder at ESA as its earth observation mission with the longest operational lifetime since the creation of the Agency.
After this first success, PROBA-2 was launched on 2 November 2009 and is dedicated to research of our sun and the space environment
The third satellite in the series is PROBA-V (VEGETATION), launched on 7 may 2013, in charge of the daily acquisition of essential information regarding crop yields, drought, desert formation, changes in the nature of vegetation, deforestation, etc..
After a successful decommissioning phase, all three satellites have been integrated within the corresponding operational ESA programmes, Earth observation for PROBA-1 and PROBA-V and Science for PROBA-2.
Today our actors continue their work, in cooperation with their international partners, towards new PROBA missions. Notably PROBA-3, which trough precise formation flying of two satellites will form an unprecedented 144 meter long space-based solar coronagraph. As well as PROBA-ALTIUS with the task to monitor the distribution and evolution of stratospheric ozone.
The artificial solar eclipse created by the precise formation flying of both PROBA 3 satellites.
The PROBA-V Instrument.