According to NOAA research in 2013 that was led by Joanna Joiner, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., demonstrated that fluorescence from plants could be teased out of data from existing satellites.
How cool is that!
These satellites were designed and built for other purposes, but have now been discovered to serve a dual purpose.
The new research led by Luis Guanter of the Freie Universität Berlin.
According to co-author Christian Frankenberg of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., "The paper shows that fluorescence is a much better proxy for agricultural productivity than anything we've had before. This can go a long way regarding monitoring – and maybe even predicting – regional crop yields."
For the full story by NOAA: http://goo.gl/vIIM3c