Completed Proba-V satellite

Testing time for Proba-V, ESA’s global vegetation tracker

14 January 2013

ESA’s Proba-V microsatellite is now assembled and midway through testing to ensure it is fully spaceworthy. The miniature Earth-observer, designed to chart global vegetation every two days, will be launched in April.

The testing at the specialised Intespace facility in Toulouse, France, includes rigorous simulations of Proba-V’s take-off conditions and the hard vacuum and temperature extremes it must endure in orbit.

It comes after Proba-V’s assembly was completed by prime contractor QinetiQ Space at its facility in Kruibeke, Belgium last month.

Building it was a complex operation. Although smaller than a cubic metre, the satellites carries a wide-angle telescope for its main Earth-monitoring instrument, a pair of radiation sensors, a fibre optic connector experiment, a prototype radio transmitter based on the semiconductor gallium nitride, and a test receiver to track aircraft in flight all around the globe.

Read more: Testing time for Proba-V, ESA’s global vegetation tracker / Proba Missions / Technology / Our Activities / ESA.

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