Triana is an Earth remote sensing satellite to be located at the distant Langrange Point L-1, the gravity-neutral point between the Earth and the Sun. It will provide continuous fill disk images of the entire sunlit side of the Earth with 8 km pixel resolution. The primary remote sensing instrument on Triana is a calibrated multispectral imager with 10 spectral channels in the UV, VIS, and NIR between 317 and 870 nm (reflected solar radiation). Due to its unique location at the Lagrange L-1 point, in the direct line-of-sight between Earth and Sun, Triana will view the Earth always in and near the solar retro-reflection direction which is also known as the hotspot direction. The canopy hotspot effect has rich information content for vegetation characterization, especially indications of canopy structure and vegetation health and stress situations. Primary vegetation-related data are the hotspot angular width W, and a hotspot factor C that quantifies the magnitude of the hotspot effect. Both quantities are related to the structural parameters of canopy height, foliage size, shape, and leaf area index (LAI). The continuous observations by Triana will allow us to establish time-series of these ecological parameters for all land biomes by longitude, latitude, and wavelength, that form the basis data set for a new global hotspot land vegetation ecology. The hotspot factor C will allow the determination of the enhanced radiant flux reflected from the Earth into space due to the hotspot effect. The hotspot flux enhancement due to the vegetation hotspot effect is estimated to account for about 1% of the entire Earth radiative energy balance.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.