Our grand challenge is to evaluate whether or not emerging satellite remote sensing tools can be used to infer plant function, particularly with respect to plant water content. We studied patterns of plant water content inferred by Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) from NASA’s SMAP mission and plant water use inferred by Evapotranspiration (ET) using NASA’s ECOSTRESS mission. If VOD can accurately capture plant water content over time, then there would be an alternative method for estimating the water found within plants, which has historically been hard to directly measure. To perform the comparison, we extracted both VOD and ET data, then converted them into applicable formats using Python and R programs, before graphing the data and comparing the results.

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