“The beginning of 2014 I started my career at VITO as team lead of the image processing operations including PROBA-V. After 6 years of monitoring all PROBA-V Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS) operations I can describe the mission as a success story. The consistent output of the satellite and the geometric and radiometric stability that exceeded the requirements made processing a breeze over time.
The data is actively distributed to more than 1.800 direct users, exceeding 6.500 indirect users of derived PROBA-V data, mainly in the scientific and governmental community. The PROBA-V symposium held in 2016 and 2018 proved the usefulness of the data with a plethora of use cases and services built up on top.
I will always remember Christmas evening 2018 as we received a near-collision warning. PROBA-V has no option to avoid space debris to keep the platform as light and compact as possible so these kind of warning are always tense. Near-collision warning occurred in the past, but only this time we did not receive any more data after the first pass. We feared for the worst, only to learn on the 26th that the platform could be made operational again after some CPR procedures of the Redu ground segment. Luckily the platform was only in Safe Mode and not hit by some space debris. This was literally the loneliest Christmas ever for our quality operator on duty that day.”