Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD)

Imagine an alternative satellite vegetation index where cloud cover is not a problem, one you can always rely on, anywhere in the world. With Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) we have developed a microwave-based vegetation parameter that captures vegetation water content.

VOD gives you key input for analysing crop growth (invaluable for farmers and digital farming platforms), yield prediction (invaluable for commodity traders) and drought proxies.

Low High

Our satellite microwave measurements give you a continuous insight into your crops, even in conditions where other satellites do not always have a clear view. Our long time series enables you to put events in perspective, and is therefore ideal for analytics. VOD gives sound readings for vegetation biomass through the entire canopy column, not just the leaves.

Our observations go beyond anything you have seen before.

Cloud and darkness proof

See through clouds and darkness, at an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

Near real-time & archive

Available within six hours of satellite overpass. High resolution data from 2002 onwards.


Deeper signal penetration than optical vegetation indices (e.g. NDVI), consistent and weather independent.

Accurate and reliable

Data on soil moisture, soil temperature, vegetation optical depth (VOD) and biomass are retrieved by VanderSat from satellite microwave measurements in the frequency range of 1.4 to 36.5 GHz. An important property of microwave data is its insensitivity to cloud cover, enabling the provision of daily global data coverage. In 2016, VanderSat patented its own downscaling technique for application to passive microwave observations with a typical spatial resolution of 25×25 km. VanderSat reconstructs the antenna footprints for each individual observation and uses the abundant overlaps to downscale to a product resolution of 100×100 m.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in our VOD products, contact me directly and let’s have a chat.

Dr. Richard de Jeu
founder & CTO
+31 233 87 878