The FLuorescence EXplorer Mission Concept-ESA’s Earth Explorer 8

In November 2015, the FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) was selected as the eighth Earth Explorer mission of the European Space Agency. The tandem mission concept will provide measurements at a spectral and spatial resolution enabling the retrieval and interpretation of the full chlorophyll fluorescence spectrum emitted by the terrestrial vegetation. This paper provides a mission concept overview of the scientific goals, the key objectives related to fluorescence, and the requirements guaranteeing the fitness for purpose of the resulting scientific data set. We present the mission design at the time of selection, i.e., at the end of project phase Phase A/B1, as developed by two independent industrial consortia. The mission concepts both rely on a single payload Fluorescence Imaging Spectrometer, covering the spectral range from 500 to 780 nm. In the oxygen absorption bands, its spectral resolution will be 0.3 nm with a spectral sampling interval of 0.1 nm. The swath width of the spectrometer is 150 km and the spatial resolution will be 300 × 300 m -2 . The satellite will fly in tandem with Sentinel-3 providing different and complementary measurements with a temporal collocation of 6 to 15 s. The FLEX launch is scheduled for 2022.
Drusch, M.; Moreno, J.; Del Bello, U.; Franco, R.; Goulas, Y.; Huth, A.; Kraft, S.; Middleton, E.M.; Miglietta, F.; Mohammed, G.; Nedbal, L.; Rascher, U.; Schuttemeyer, D.; Verhoef, W.
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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
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