Physics:FLEX (satellite)

From HandWiki
Mission typeEarth observing satellite
Mission duration3.5 years (planned)[1]
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerThales Alenia Space
Launch mass460 kilograms (1,010 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateOctober 2024 (planned)[2]
Launch siteKourou ELV
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Altitude814 km
Repeat interval27 days
Living Planet Programme

The FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) is a planned mission by the European Space Agency to launch a satellite to monitor the global steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence in terrestrial vegetation.[3] FLEX was selected for funding on 19 November 2015[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] and will be launched on a Vega C rocket from Guiana Space Centre in October 2024.[1][2]


The FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) mission is the eighth mission in the Earth Explorer programme, (part of ESA's Living Planet Programme). It comprises a satellite for the global monitoring of steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence in terrestrial vegetation. Leaf photosynthesis releases energy not required in the biochemical process in the form of light in wavelength between 640 and 800 nanometres.[3]

After more than 70 years of basic and applied research in chlorophyll fluorescence, it is now established that fluorescence is a sensitive indicator of photosynthesis in both healthy and physiologically perturbed vegetation that can be used to monitor croplands and forests.[3]

Fluorescence is a powerful non-invasive tool to track the status, resilience, and recovery of photochemical processes, and provides important information on overall photosynthetic performance with implications for related carbon sequestration. The early responsiveness of fluorescence to atmospheric, soil and plant water balance, as well as to atmospheric chemistry and human intervention in land usage, makes it a useful biological indicator in improving the understanding of Earth system dynamics.

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

The program will involve a space and ground-measurement program of 3-years duration and will provide data formats for research and applied science.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) – Facts and Figures". ESA. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Status of the Current and Future ESA Earth Observation Missions and Programmes". CGMS-49. 14 May 2021. pp. 34. Retrieved 27 August 2021. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Amos, Jonathan (19 November 2015). "Flex satellite will map Earth's plant glow". BBC News. 
  4. de Selding, Peter B. (25 September 2015). "Panel Endorses Vegetation Fluorescence Mapper for ESA's Earth Explorer Program". Spacenews. 
  5. Kraft, S; Del Bello, U; Bouvet, M; Drusch, M; Moreno, J (2012). "FLEX: ESA's Earth Explorer 8 candidate mission". 2012 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. pp. 7125–7128. doi:10.1109/IGARSS.2012.6352020. ISBN 978-1-4673-1159-5. 
  6. Kraft, S; Bézy, J.-L; Del Bello, U; Berlich, R; Drusch, M; Franco, R; Gabriele, A; Harnisch, B et al. (2013). "FLORIS: Phase a status of the fluorescence imaging spectrometer of the Earth Explorer mission candidate FLEX". Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVII. Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XVII. 8889. pp. 88890T. doi:10.1117/12.2032060. 
  7. Drusch, Matthias; Moreno, Jose; Del Bello, Umberto; Franco, Raffaella; Goulas, Yves; Huth, Andreas; Kraft, Stefan; Middleton, Elizabeth M et al. (2017). "The FLuorescence EXplorer Mission Concept—ESA's Earth Explorer 8". IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 55 (3): 1273–1284. doi:10.1109/TGRS.2016.2621820. Bibcode2017ITGRS..55.1273D. 
  8. Stoll, M.P; Buschmann, C; Court, A; Laurila, T; Moreno, J; Moya, I (2003). "The FLEX-Fluorescence Explorer mission project: Motivations and present status of preparatory activities". IGARSS 2003. 2003 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Proceedings (IEEE Cat. No.03CH37477). 1. pp. 585–587. doi:10.1109/IGARSS.2003.1293850. ISBN 978-0-7803-7929-9. 
  9. Rascher, Uwe; Gioli, Beniamino; Miglietta, Franco (2008). "FLEX — Fluorescence Explorer: A Remote Sensing Approach to Quantify Spatio-Temporal Variations of Photosynthetic Efficiency from Space". Photosynthesis. Energy from the Sun. pp. 1387–1390. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-6709-9_299. ISBN 978-1-4020-6707-5. 
  10. Harnisch, Bernd; Kraft, Stefan; Bézy, Jean-Loup; Drusch, Matthias; Bouvet, Marc; Del Bello, Umberto (2017). "Fluorescence imaging spectrometer concepts for the Earth explorer mission candidate flex". International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2012. pp. 72. doi:10.1117/12.2309086. ISBN 9781510616172. 

External links