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CA COST Action CA17134
Optical synergies for spatiotemporal sensing of scalable ecophysiological traits

Vegetated ecosystems largely mediate terrestrial gas and energy exchange at the atmosphere-biosphere-pedosphere interface. The spatial and temporal acquisition of information on vegetation status, health and photosynthetic functioning is fundamental to model the dynamic response of vegetation to changing environmental conditions, necessary for climate change and food security studies. Satellite or airborne Earth Observation (EO) provides the opportunity to collect spatially continuous information of vegetation reflectance globally and at ecologically relevant scales. Optical EO is now advancing towards measuring a signal that is emitted by vegetation (sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence: SIF). By flying in tandem with Sentinel-3 (S3), ESA’s forthcoming FLEX mission will observe SIF, which can, in combination with reflectance, provide an indicator of actual photosynthetic activity. The FLEX-S3 multi-sensor concept exemplifies the synergistic use of multi-source data to capture scalable ecophysiological traits. This, in combination with other Copernicus missions will allow novel data analytical techniques to be realised. Then, by combining these data with proximal sensing from drones and flux towers it becomes possible to address critical open spatiotemporal scaling questions. The synergistic use, processing and interpretation of data from multiple optical instruments at multiple scales have matured to a stage where harmonization across Europe is now possible. This will be achieved by forming the network proposed in this Action and bringing together the Sentinel-2, S3 and FLEX passive EO communities. This Action will therefore develop and further the capabilities for the interpretation of multi-sensor and multi-scale optical measurements and develop common protocols for community use.

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Proposer of the Action:

Dr Martin Schlerf

Science officer of the Action:


Administrative officer of the Action:



Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF


Last updated: 03 May 2018 top of page