EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SENSECO: Optical synergies for spatiotemporal sensing of scalable ecophysiological traits. (COST Action CA17134)

Javier Pacheco-Labrador1, Helge Aasen2, Agnieszka Bialek3, Marco Celesti4, Maria Pilar Cendrero-Mateo5, Andreas Hueni6, Lammert Kooistra7, Marlena Kycko8, Miriam Machwitz9, Laura Mihai10, Uwe Rascher11, Jean-Louis Roujean12, Enrico Tomelleri13, Christiaan van der Tol14, Shari Van Wittenberghe5,15, Alasdair MacArthur16, Jochem Verrelst5, and Martin Schlerf9
Javier Pacheco-Labrador et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Department of Biogeochemical Integration, Jena, Germany (
  • 2ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3National Physical Laboratory, Middlesex, United Kingdom
  • 4University of Milano - Bicocca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milan, Italy
  • 5University of Valencia, Image Processing Laboratory, Valencia, Spain
  • 6University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 7Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, Netherland
  • 8University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  • 9Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
  • 10National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Bucharest, Romania
  • 11Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany
  • 12Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère, Toulouse, France
  • 13Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • 14University of Twente, ITC-Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, Enschede, Netherlands
  • 15Helsingin Yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland
  • 16University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Vegetation in terrestrial ecosystems controls a significant part of the gas and energy exchanges at the atmosphere-biosphere-pedosphere interface. Continuous spatial information about vegetation status (biophysical properties) and photosynthetic rates are needed to understand and model the responses of terrestrial ecosystems to environmental changes induced by human activity. This information is therefore critical to climate change monitoring, adaptation and mitigation. 

Earth Observation (EO) allows the collection spatially continuous Earths surface reflectance at ecologically relevant scales. Recent advances in EO are bringing the chance to retrieve from space a subtle emission from vegetation originated at the core of the photosynthetic machinery of the plants: the chlorophyll sun-induced fluorescence (F). The upcoming Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) mission from the European Space Agency (ESA) will be the first EO mission dedicated to the exploitation of this signal for the study of vegetation photosynthetic activity. FLEX will fly in tandem with Sentinel-3 (S3). This multi-sensor approach brings new opportunities to test the potential of synergistic use of multi-source data to capture scalable ecophysiological traits. The information provided by FLEX-S3 tandem together with observations from other Copernicus missions will boost the development of novel data analytical techniques, still to be realized. The development of these techniques will requires the combination of EO data with drone-based proximal sensing and tower-based eddy covariance (EC) observations. Together with modeling, this approach will allow solving critical and still open spatiotemporal scaling questions. Recent advances allow nowadays the synergistic use, processing and interpretation of data provided by multiple optical sensors featuring different spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. The implementation of these techniques requires of the collaboration of the remote sensing, EC, and modeling communities; this need has motivated the development of a network within recently approved COST Action SENSECO. 

SENSECO aims to ensure the multi-scale compatibility of EO measurements and protocols dedicated to the study of ecophysiological properties. This is needed to enable the synergistic use of multi-sensor data, as well as to ensure the transfer and exchange of knowledge on scaling approaches within the European communities. SENSECO achieves his objectives via dedicated expert workshops, training schools and short term scientific missions.

How to cite: Pacheco-Labrador, J., Aasen, H., Bialek, A., Celesti, M., Cendrero-Mateo, M. P., Hueni, A., Kooistra, L., Kycko, M., Machwitz, M., Mihai, L., Rascher, U., Roujean, J.-L., Tomelleri, E., van der Tol, C., Van Wittenberghe, S., MacArthur, A., Verrelst, J., and Schlerf, M.: SENSECO: Optical synergies for spatiotemporal sensing of scalable ecophysiological traits. (COST Action CA17134), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17609,, 2020.


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