The upcoming Fluorescence Explorer mission (FLEX) by the European Space Agency (ESA) highlights the importance of understanding sun-induced fluorescence (SIF) emission and its applications in terrestrial and aquatic environments. SIF is of particular interest for researchers, since fluorescence emissions can be exploited to obtain information about biomass and photosynthetic processes. For optically complex waters (i.e. lakes and coastal areas), remote sensing of SIF is challenging because it requires disentangling the relatively weak fluorescence signal from elastic reflectance.
The project therefore aims to develop and improve SIF retrieval methods by using hyperspectral instruments with specifications comparable to the FLEX fluorescence module. Comparison of different techniques is done by utilizing a unique dataset acquired at different spatial scales (i.e. in-situ, airborne and spaceborne measurements). Our findings will be further applied in several pertinent research fields such as phytoplankton functional type characterization, harmful algal bloom detection, and primary production studies.