VITO Remote Sensing @ Living Planet Symposium 2016

VITO Remote Sensing @ Living Planet Symposium 2016

From 9-13 May 2016 VITO Remote Sensing was present at the Living Planet Symposium 2016, one of the biggest Earth observation conferences in the world. More then three thousand of scientists and EO users from around the world gathered in Prague, Czech Republic to present their latest findings on the use of Earth observation to monitor our changing environment.

Space activities and EO help achieve the UN sustainable development goals

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Bohuslav Sobotka, and ESA Director General, Mr Jan Woerner, officially opened the symposium. They noted how important space activities are to the future of the EU’s competitiveness and how EO missions and data can  help to achieve the UN sustainable development goals. ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Mr Volker Liebig, pointed out the access and use of EO data has evolved rapidly the last few years. Thanks to cloud-computing, big data analytics, exploitation platforms, … end users can nowadays access and analyse a huge amount of EO data without the need to invest in local storage and processing power.

VITO Remote Sensing, expert in EO missions, technology and data

After welcoming more the numerous participants the programme and exhibition were kicked-of. Time for VITO Remote Sensing to present its expertise in EO missions and technology, image quality,operational processing, and decision making support for various applications/markets: land use, agriculture, water, security and infrastructure. With 5 presentations, 7 posters and an exhibition participation, VITO was able to show a variety of services and projectes supporting the end-to-end remote sensing value chain.

LPS16, home for PROBA-V and its Mission Exploitation Platform

Main topics at the Living Planet Symposium were PROBA-V and its Mission Exploitation Platform. PROBA-V, the small satellite for global vegetation monitoring, is already 3 years operational and monitors our Earth’s surface every day at spatial resolution of 1 km, 300 m and 100 m. The Mission Exploitation Platform (MEP) is a virtual research environment bringing the users closer to the data. The platform provides various tools for users to visualize and analyze large amounts of data, on-demand processing services and a development environment for application engineers.


VITO Remote Sensing is responsible for the operations of the PROBA-V processing chain and the development and management of the PROBA-V MEP. Our colleague and PROBA-V operations manager Dennis Clarijs gave participants an update on the operational status of PROBA-V while PROBA-V MEP project manager Erwin Goor presented the tools and functionalities available in the operational exploitation platform. Image calibration expert, Sindy Sterckx, gave an overview of the radiometric stability of the PROBA-V instrument during its already 3 years in orbit.

From raw data to action and information maps

Besides data processing and dissemination, VITO has more than 18 years of knowledge and experience on extracting consumable information to support the end users’s decision making. Colleague Ruben Van De Kerchove, expert in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, presented his study on mapping the floristic composition and ecosystem conditions using a multi-sensor comparison. He explained how he analyzed the performance of the recently launched Sentinel-2 sensor, which has -thanks to its improved spatial and spectral resolution- a great potential for mapping plant communities and ecosystem conditions. Els Knaeps,  program manager of our water & coastal projects, showed a couple of services for inland and coastal water monitoring. From data collection to image processing to information extraction, VITO Remote Sensing has the right expertise and offers client-oriented services both for institutional and industrial players.

For more information on VITO Remote Sensing, please visit or contact us at Want to know more on about PROBA-V and MEP, check out our website and follow us on

Visit to see some pictures of the symposium.