Proba is the name of a satellite of ESA. The small satellite was put into operation on 25 October 2001, after its launch on 22 October 2001 in India as a secondary payload of a PSLV rocket. It weighs 94 kg and has the shape of a parallelepiped with 60, 60 and 80 cm on a side

Actually, it was used by ESA for showcasing new technologies and should be switched off again after a year. Since there but to date, no major problems, the satellite is still active.

The special feature of this satellite is that it largely operates independently. Proba is an acronym that means " Project for On-Board Autonomy " (Project for on-board autonomy) and, according to the ESA also lived up to this name. Proba can perform tasks such as flight control, target detection in the flyby and image capture independently. From the earth only the latitude and longitude of the target area to be photographed must be specified. The rest can Proba coordinate independently.

An industrial consortium led by the Belgian company Verhaert built the satellite. The use of conventional components helped reduce costs.

An ESA ground station in Belgium controls the satellites. From 600 kilometers above he takes each month to about 300 images of 60 different areas. To date, the satellite has delivered (High Resolution Camera ) over 10,000 pictures with his two cameras CHRIS (Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) and the black and white HRC. The maximum resolution of the color camera CHRIS is 18 m. The resolution of the compact camera HRC even just five meters. The shot of her pictures in black and white to show an area of ​​25 square kilometers.


The satellite is not only the achievement of research objectives of the ESA for the International Charter for Space and Major Disasters.

Follow-up missions

The launch of the successor Proba -2, which is to test new spectrometer for solar observation, took place on November 2, 2009.

There are tentative plans for Proba -3 to perform formation flying experiments in space.

Together with ESA support Belgium 's mission Proba V. about 1 m³ large sun-synchronous satellite orbits the Earth at an altitude of 880 km. The satellite bus weighs 150 kg, and provides an electrical output of 250 W. The maximum load capacity is 25 kg. A mulitspektrale optical camera examines the vegetation on Earth with a spatial resolution of about 100 m. Proba V continues the tasks of the French satellite Spot 4 and Spot 5, which were at the start of Proba V 7 May 2013 already 15 and 11 years old.