“The beginning of 2014 I received the opportunity to join the PROBA-V team as … I must admit I didn’t know much about the mission. At that time, I was focussing on remote sensing of Earth’s atmosphere. Global vegetation monitoring was a whole new topic. But the idea of moving to an optical imager intrigued me. I immediately started searching for more information and got convinced to move to this new adventure. Ensuring a long-term data set of land cover data and digging into a world where similar optical sensors that were getting ready for launch at ESA, namely Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3.
Starting my new position I was very eager to learn everything about radiometric and geometric processing, atmospheric correction, cloud masking, etc. Eventually, the day arrived to pay a first visit to Belgium for a meeting on PROBA-V 100 m data; strangely enough, it was my first time in this country. At that meeting I met many of the key persons of the PROBA-V community and most of the VITO people working on the mission.
I must say I was really excited by the vibrant atmosphere and the passion and competence of the team. I also started knowing Belgium and its treasures: the delicious food, in particular the carbonnade, and the great choice of all sorts of beers and chocolates, not to mention my favourite plate: French fries, or, better to say, the Belgian fries.
Since then, the PROBA-V mission has made a long journey full of success stories, ensuring continuity to the SPOT-VEGETATION long-term data series and largely exceeding the mission expectations, notably with the release of the 100 m data. It was a long journey also for me, I’ve learned a lot and (hopefully) I contributed to facilitate some of these success stories. Today, after about 7 years in space, PROBA-V mission will soon hand over its operational duties to Sentinel-3, but more exciting opportunities will be exploited in the future, during the so-called Experimental Phase. I’m looking forward to this new Phase, and I’m ready to tackle the challenges associated to its exploitation.”