Satellites Observing Lakes and Vegetation Environments (SOLVE)


Logo of SOLVE mission



The main goal of the Satellites Observing Lakes and Vegetation Environments (SOLVE) mission is hyperspectral remote sensing observations of Earth to understand and monitor our changing environment. Today, the next frontier for innovation is a system allowing the understanding of the dynamic changes observed in land and water at hourly time scales.

The SOLVE study will design a constellation of small satellites, carrying innovative hyperspectral camera to study these processes at hourly timescales. These measurements will be supported by in-situ monitoring from aerial platforms (e.g. UAV or high altitude platforms).


SOLVE will contribute to the excellent reputation of Switzerland in the area of remote sensing. The unprecedented temporal resolution will provide new perspectives for scientists of all horizons and will offer almost real time information to help coordinated emergency and disaster response teams. The private sector will also benefit from the mission with commercial applications, such as precision farming. The assessment of water quality is extremely important in today’s world. In this view, water monitoring on a hourly basis in remote regions and underdeveloped countries may provide considerable improvements to citizens’ life.

The SOLVE mission study is funded by the the Swiss Space Office of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation (SERI/SSO) in the framework of “Call for ideas for small missions” 2015 with support from the Swiss Space Center. The study is managed by Space Engineering Center (eSpace) of EPFL. Science team is lead by APHYS and EPSL labs of EPFL. Small companies are heavily involved in this study with Gamaya in charge of the payload design and ELSE SA supporting the study with their expertise in space systems engineering.