Sentinel-2a will monitor global food crops
Sentinel-2a will monitor global food crops

The European Space Agency is gearing up for some large-scale experiment. The agency has been pioneer in the launching many interplanetary space probes. The Earth Observation Program’s lead spacecraft was recently placed into the orbit. A Vega rocket carried the spacecraft Named as Sentinel-2a from French Guiana based Kourou. 

Visible and infrared light images of the Earth will be relayed back by the spacecraft.  Everything from the growth of megacities to destructive nature of natural calamities will be tracked by the spacecraft. The amount of data obtained would useful in disaster management like earthquakes. World’s food crops are going to be the focal points of the mission.

World population is exploding but food production rates are not growing at the same pace. The time when droughts are becoming frequent, the data from the Sentinel-2a will provide better understanding of the problem. The health of the plants will be known used special sensor which catches very particular wavelengths. 

Poor harvest projections and upcoming famines can be easily predicted by international agriculture and food agencies now. Professor Volker Liebig gave more information about the project to the press. The plants and chlorophyll, a green element present in them emit that certain type of wavelengths known as red edge. The sensor onboard is capable of detecting such 13 spectral bands. Four of them are from plants and crops. 

The European Space Agency’s Earth observation director explained food security aspects of the project. The project is a perfect application of the space technology in solving crucial human problems.