INDOOR GROWING SYSTEM FOR CEA WITHIN ARTIFICIALLY LIGHTED STRUCTURES
To feed the rapidly increasing population while protecting the environment, improving people’s health, and driving economic growth, a need exists for innovative agricultural systems. Indoor growing systems hold vision for future community centers, restaurants, office buildings, schools, and as components for re-using/re-cycling urban resources. This urban agriculture research, education and outreach program addresses the challenges of water, energy, and labor resources with new technologies, production and practice.
AUTONOMOUS CROP SENSING & PHENOTYPING
Greenhouse systems are more resource-use efficient when environmental control systems use plant responses measured in real-time for grower decision making. Computer vision guided crop diagnostics and phenotyping systems provide timely identification of crop status, stress areas, and specific ways to improve resource use.
CONTROL STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
Proper climate control strategies maintain desired climatic conditions and provide uniform environments in year-round, high-quality crop production. Greenhouse and crop energy balance analyses create a detailed understanding of crop and greenhouse system interactions. Climate control algorithms and strategies optimize environments.
COMPUTATIONAL & EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES FOR IMPROVED AERODYNAMICS AND DESIGN
Comprehensive 3-D CFD models allow simulations that virtually determine the effects of hardware design and operational strategies within the crop canopies of CEA systems. Core research is developing aerodynamic models of greenhouse and indoor plant production systems and is developing and is improving design recommendations for system manufacturers, growers and operators.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY FOR CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE
Innovative technology goes beyond increasing crop yields. CEAC offers viable responses by researching systems and strategies to recycle resources and integrate alternative energy for CEA food production systems. Communities all over the world are interested in growing safe, local and fresh food. The challenge is to succeed where energy resources are strained and limited. Resource conserving CEA systems alleviate food and energy problems. Solar powered off-grid greenhouse systems have production capabilities without connecting to the grid. At CEAC, applications are targeted using emerging technologies such as agrivoltaics, photovoltaic integrated semi-transparent systems, and solar spectral selective glazing.