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Satellite to track plant health using fluorescence

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 18:59

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: It`s not just us `humans`, but plants also glow when they are well. Radiant skin is considered a sign of good health in humans and now plants too.

A potential new ESA satellite could use this fluorescence to track the health and productivity of vegetation worldwide.
The Florescence Explorer, or FLEX, is a candidate for ESA`s eighth Earth Explorer. It aims to provide global maps of vegetation fluorescence, which can be used to work out actual photosynthetic activity.

FLEX would include a three-instrument array for measurement of the interrelated features of fluorescence, hyperspectral reflectance, and canopy temperature.

This information would improve our understanding of the way carbon moves between plants and the atmosphere and how it affects the carbon and water cycles. FLEX could also improve agricultural productivity.
After the absorption of sunlight by chlorophyll in a plant, fluorescence (a near-infrared light) is emitted from the core of the photosynthetic machinery. This reflects the efficiency of photosynthesis and the health of vegetation.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 18:59

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