May 03, 2013

LAUNCH of PROBA-V satellite « Made in Belgium » on VEGA Putting SPACEBEL in the Spotlight Twice

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It is in the night from May 3rd – 4th, , that the small PROBA-V satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) will fly off into Space aboard the European VEGA launcher from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. A lift-off that the Belgian company SPACEBEL will follow very closely, as the SME has contributed significantly to the implementation both of the satellite and of the launcher’s flight software.

Part of the PROBA (Project for on-board Autonomy) mini-satellites’ family of ESA, and third of the name, PROBA-V will ensure the continuation of the ‘Vegetation’ images taken over more than 10 years by the instruments on board of the French SPOT-4 and SPOT-5 satellites, arriving at the end of their operational lifetime. With a weight of 160 kg and a volume of less than one cubic metre, this miniature observatory will deliver every 2 days a complete vision of the vegetation on Earth. The data collected will not only allow to monitor agricultural and vegetal resources on our planet, they will also contribute to the study of climate changes.

In this project led by QinetiQ Space, SPACEBEL has developed all software: on-board software of the satellite, ground control software, simulation software.

On the other hand, SPACEBEL is present on VEGA, the new ESA launcher developed by Prime contractor ELV headquartered in Rome. This launcher can carry into orbit several satellites up to 1.5 tons.

For several years, SPACEBEL has been bringing its know-how and support to ELV in the development of the on-board software as well as software engineering activities related to guidance, navigation and control of VEGA. SPACEBEL is also in charge of the simulation software meant to check and validate the various functions of the on-board software.

With the PROBA-V and VEGA projects, SPACEBEL confirms, once more, its expertise in the field of Earth observation and launchers.


  • Belgian company established in 1988
  • Active in the space and geomanagement sector : Design and realisation of « tailor made » software for the space industry ; analysis and definition of space missions based upon minisatellites ; valorisation of satellite images through the development of decision support systems for territory and environment management
  • 50 people in Belgium (Angleur & Hoeilaart) ; a subsidiary in France (Toulouse – 15 P)
  • Turnover in 2012 : 8.300.000 €