Important European and international initiatives (SPECNET, BIOSPEC and COST Action ES0903) explored the use of proximal optical sensing of ecosystem where carbon and water vapor flux is estimated by eddy covariance techniques. Such optical observations provide data at the high spectral, temporal and spatial resolutions necessary to more fully comprehend the links between light use, plant physiology and ecosystem functioning and provide key validation datasets for satellite remote sensing, such as the Sentinel missions, and the flux communities.
The recent advances in UAV platforms and optical sensors provide unprecedented opportunities for high spatial, spectral and multi-angular near-ground Earth observations. This will enable scientists to answer ecological and physiological questions at multiple scales through integrated empirical and modeling methods. Important progress is also being made in remote sensing of steady-state fluorescence, the most direct proxy for photosynthesis. The FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) mission, selected for further studies, will also benefit as this Action will support FLEX validation and calibrations campaigns. Furthermore, scientists have recognized the need to develop a ‘smart’ on-line platform to process and analyses optical data along with biophysical and water/carbon flux measurements and share these with other scientific communities and stakeholders which will also be addressed in this Action.
The official information on the COST website can be found here.
The grant holder is Aberystwyth University (Dr Mark NEAL).