WG3 – Reflectance and Fluorescence

In this working group we exchange knowledge on measuring reflectance and solar-induced fluorescence at flux tower sites. The remote sensing of chlorophyll fluorescence has taken a big step in the last 5 years due to improvements in sensors. This, together with increasing computing power and UAV technology, creates great opportunities for using new remotely sensed vegetation indicators in Earth System Models. We want to catalyze this development by providing training and by sharing expertise in short term scientific missions. The ultimate aim is to support a ground validation network for satellite observations for Sentinel 1, 2 and 3 and the recently approved FLuorescence Explorer mission FLEX.


Our activities include:

  1. Comparison between different methods to estimate solar-induced fluorescence from passive remote measurements.
  2. Formulation of specific technical requirements for fluorescence and reflectance measurements from ground and UAV-installed instruments.
  3. Listing existing fluorescence datasets coupled with hyperspectral reflectance and photosynthesis/productivity measurements will be compiled.
  4. Integrating fluorescence, spectral reflectance and productivity data with a multiple scale approach from plant/canopy level to regional scale, using field, tower, UAV, airborne and spaceborne instruments to measure all the different components and their uncertainty.

Our deliverables will be:

  1. Review and report on the methods and instruments used to estimate the solar-induced fluorescence from passive remote measurements
  2. Definition of the technical requirements and acquisition protocols for reflectance and fluorescence measurements from UAV and ground-based instruments
  3. Database of reflectance, fluorescence and productivity data for later use in models and applications
  4. Integration of ground and UAV measurements with biochemical model outputs to better understand the links between photosynthesis, plant stress, growth and physiology with the temporal dynamics of reflectance and fluorescence.

Useful links:

  • We carried out a questionnaire at the start of the project to find what instruments the members of the group use, for what purpose, and how to process the data. The outcome of the questionnaire can be found here.
  • We carried out two training schools in which measurements and models have been taught to early stage researchers, see our newsletter.
  • A figure with graphical definitions of chlorophyll fluorescence nomenclature
  • An online course on reflectance and fluorescence modelling, send an e-mail to c.vandertolATutwente.nl to view the study material.


Link to current WG3 members: WG3 Contact List April 17