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ESA selects Fluorescence satellite for vegetation monitoring for its Earth Explorer 8 mission – Scientists from Jülich and the Transregio TR-32 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 (link to press release of ESA and FZJ). 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 within the TR-32 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).

 

Pictures

 

Selected References
Rascher U., Alonso L., Burkart A., Cilia C., Cogliati S., Colombo R., Damm A., Drusch M., Guanter L., Hanus J., Hyvärinen T., Julitta T., Jussila J., Kataja K., Kokkalis P., Kraft S., Kraska T., Matveeva M., Moreno J., Muller O., Panigada C., Pikl M., Pinto F., Prey L., Pude R., Rossini M., Schickling A., Schurr U., Schüttemeyer D., Verrelst J. & Zemek F. (2015) Sun-induced fluorescence - a new probe of photosynthesis: First maps from the imaging spectrometer HyPlant. Global Change Biology; doi: 10.1111/gcb.13017.

Rossini M., Nedbal L., Guanter L., Ač A., Alonso L., Burkart A., Cogliati S., Colombo R., Damm A., Drusch M., Hanus J., Janoutova R., Julitta T., Kokkalis P., Moreno J., Novotny J., Panigada C., Pinto F., Schickling A., Schüttemeyer D., Zemek F. & Rascher U. (2015) Red and far red Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence as a measure of plant photosynthesis. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 1632-1639.

 

FLEX in the news – selection (Nov 2015)

Online News Plattforms

Forschungszentrum Jülich

BBC

ESA

University Valencia

Science Magazin (already 21. Nov)

 

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