Israel: Israel is planning to launch a satellite to monitor crops from outer space. The VENµS (Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro-Satellite) is a cooperation between Israel and France on a satellite using a super-spectral sensor (a sensor that can pick up images across wavelengths that are outside the visible range of the human eye) to monitor agricultural crops. The satellite is ultra-lightweight and, alongside communications satellite Amos 6, will be one of two Israeli civilian satellites to be launched into space in 2015.
While the French space agency CNES is providing the camera for the satellite, the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) is responsible for the spacecraft, the launcher interface and for the satellite control center. According to CNES, the satellite’s scientific objective is the provision of data for scientific studies dealing with the monitoring, analysis and modeling of land surface functioning under the influences of environmental factors as well as human activities. To fulfill this objective, VENµS will acquire high resolution and super-spectral images of predefined sites of interest all around the world. The satellite will be the first fully commercial spacecraft launched by Israel.