Earth Observation Mission News
New satellite to measure plant health
19 November 2015
ESA plans to track the health of the world's vegetation by detecting and measuring the faint glow that plants give off as they convert sunlight and the atmosphere's carbon dioxide into energy.
Yielding information about the health and stress of the planet's vegetation is important as the growing global population places increasing demands on the production of food and animal feed.
Following a rigorous selection process, the satellite will be ESA's eighth Earth Explorer, planned for launch by 2022.
As well as yielding important information about plant health, the Fluorescence Explorer - FLEX - satellite will improve our understanding of the way carbon moves between plants and the atmosphere and how photosynthesis affects the carbon and water cycles.
Source: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/ATG medialab - Artist's concept of FLEX