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ESA Fluorescence satellite

ESA selects Fluorescence satellite for vegetation monitoring for its Earth Explorer 8 mission.  

Jülich scientists fundamentally involved in the preparation of this mission

The European Space Agency has just announced that the next Earth Explorer (EE8) will be the FLEX satellite. FLEX (FLuoresence Explorer) will measure the red and far-red fluorescence signal that is emitted by photosynthetic active plants. Stress and unfavourable environmental conditions modulate the fluorescence signal, thus fluorescence is a novel indicator for actual plant photosynthesis and vegetation health. Scientists from the IBG-2, Forschungszentrum Jülich were greatly involved in the preparation of this satellite mission. The IBG-2 operates the unique airborne sensor HyPlant, which uses the same measurement principle as the FLEX satellite mission. HyPlant was extensively used in several field campaigns across Europe and the USA and IBG-2 scientists could show that the fluorescence signal that was recorded from the aircraft in deed is a sensitive indicator for the actual status of vegetation functioning (see image and references to scientific articles below).

The picture shows a map of fluorescence emissionsMap of sun-induced fluorescence that was derived from the high resolution airborne sensor HyPlant. HyPlant is operated by the Research Centre Jülich and measures surface reflectance with high spectral resolution in the red and far-red region. This allows to retreive the weak fluorescence signal, the glow that is emitted from the core oft he photosynthetic machinery.
Copyright: Forschungszentrum

Prof. Dr. Uwe Rascher
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften
IBG-2: Pflanzenwissenschaften
D-52425 Jülich
Tel: +49 2461 61-2638
Fax: +49 2461 61-2492
Mobil: +49 170 2219199

Press release of FZJ
Press release of ESA

The ESA FLEX_concept (Some more images)

FLEX-Project at the IBG-2

>> ESA (Homepage) Activities FLEX