PROBA-V Level-3 TOA Data

PROBA-V Collection 2 Level-3 data are global composites on daily (S1) and five-daily (S5, only for 100 m products) basis. The aim is to optimally combine multiple observations into a single and cloud-free global synthesis image. Atmospherically uncorrected (Level-2A) data are the basis for the TOA synthesis products. The PROBA-V L3 products are available in 3 resolutions 1km, 300m and 100m.

Level-3 Data access

Level-3 algorithm and data compositing

The processing descriptions of Level-1 and Level-2A are also applicable. The compositing into synthesis images is performed by the Level 3 Processor. The aim is to optimally combine multiple observations into a single and cloud-free global synthesis image. Atmospherically uncorrected (Level 2A) are the basis for the TOA synthesis products. Cloud coverage is minimized through discarding pixels that were labelled as cloudy by the cloud detection algorithm. In addition, angular variations are minimized, while global coverage is maximized. The S10 compositing is applied to avoid spatial coverage gaps resulting from clouds and the non-global daily swath coverage for the 100 m data. L2A data are combined into a global Level-3 synthesis through application of a Maximum Value Composite (MVC) technique (see among others Holben, 1986 and Tarpley et al., 1984). This technique selects the maximum TOA NDVI (which is additionally calculated within the compositing algorithm) pixel values. The following TOA synthesis products are generated:

  • S1 (1-day syntheses)
  • For the 100 m product, also S5 TOA data files are available. PROBA-V 100 m S5 products are comparable with full-coverage 300 m S1 products and are not real syntheses. Due to the narrow swath of the 100 m camera, there is only overlap in observations for latitudes > ~40° . This means that only poleward of this latitude compositing rules can be applied and that within ~40° S – 40° N the reflectances observed at one of the five days are given.

The layers include: 

  • TOA reflectance for bands Blue, Red, NIR and SWIR 


  • Angular information: solar and viewing zenith and azimuth angles 

  • Status map information 

  • TIME grid 

The TIME grid dataset in the S5 files provides per pixel information at which day the observations were taken. This information is provided in minutes since the start of the synthesis period (day 1, 00:00 UTC). Check the Products User Manual for more detailed information.

Level-3 Quality assurance

In the Level 3 TOA S1 and S5 product files, the quality indicator is located in the SM (Status Map) Dataset within the QUALITY Group. The SM Dataset contains a quality state indicator per pixel, consisting of an observation indicator (clear, cloud, ice, shadow, undefined), a land/sea flag, and a radiometric quality indicator. Check the Products User Manual for a list of the various quality bit values and how to read them. The Status Map information can be easily read in most programming languages.

A Quality Webpage is available and provides information on the Quality Assessment and the various methods applied to maintain PROBA-V’s data quality at the highest possible level, from the raw satellite observations through the value-added products available at the PROBA-V Data Portal.

Dataset Specifications 
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

European Space Agency, 2023, PROBA-V Level-3 TOA reflectance Data (S1, S5) Collection 2,

Spatial coverage: 75°N, 56°S, 180°W, 180°E
Temporal coverage:

  • 2013-10-16 – 2020-06-30 (for 1 km and 300 m)  

  • 2014-03-12 – 2020-06-30 (for 100 m) 

Mission status: Complete 
Orbit type: Sun-synchronous 

Data Citation
European Space Agency, 2023, PROBA-V Level-3 TOA reflectance Data (S1, S5), Collection 2  

Our Applications and Help

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For years, global food security has been at the forefront as one of the most pressing development targets. According to the FAO, food production around the world has to grow by more than 70% if we want to achieve food for all in 2050. Both public and private organizations bear a huge responsibility to raise food production in a sustainable way. Remote Sensing and especially satellite missions delivering daily global observations, like PROBA-V, are crucial to monitor the status of crops worldwide and predict yields.

Land Use / Land Cover

Land is an essential natural resource - for humanity and all terrestrial ecosystems. But while resources are strictly finite, human demands are not. Today, this leads to events such as deforestation, soil degradation and the loss of wildlife. PROBA-V, the small satellite for global observations, helps monitor and map the extent and dynamics of land cover and land use.


Global daily satellite observations are indispensable to monitor the driving forces of climate change, arguably the largest and most challenging problem our society is facing. Additionally, remote sensing serves to monitor the effects of climate change, e.g. changes in land cover and land use. Hereto PROBA-V satellite imagery with low spatial resolution but delivering daily global coverage is invaluable.


Although PROBA-V is designed as a land mission, the good image quality provides opportunities to extend its applications to coastal waters.  By applying a dedicated atmospheric correction above water  we can derive information on the turbidity of the water and the suspended sediment concentration. Combining these turbidity and suspended sediment products from PROBA-V with products from other typical Ocean Colour sensors allows for better monitoring of turbidity in dynamic near shore areas and it increases the chance to detect short term events in particular for areas with rapid changing cloud cover.

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Collection 2 Products User Manual

Deprecated Collection 1 Products User Manual

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the SNAP PROBA-V Toolbox

consists of a rich set of visualisation, analysis and processing tools for the exploitation of the VEGETATION instrument. As a multi-mission remote sensing toolbox, it also supports the Sentinel missions, Envisat (MERIS & AATSR), ERS (ATSR), SMOS as well as third party data from MODIS (Aqua and Terra), Landsat (TM), ALOS (AVNIR & PRISM) and others. The various tools can be run from an intuitive desktop application or via a command-line interface. A rich application programming interface allows for development of plugins using Java or Python.