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Title: AUTONOMOUS ROBOTIC GREENHOUSE WORKSHOP


1
AUTONOMOUS ROBOTIC GREENHOUSE WORKSHOP
  • October 15, 2004
  • Toronto Congress Centre

2
TOGA WORKSHOP March 5, 2004
  • Toga The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance
  • First Workshop held in London, Ontario
  • Results identified that TOGA had many research
    priorities and that all could not be addressed by
    CRESTech

3
TOGA WORKSHOP March 5, 2004
  • Focus was directed at two activities
  • Development of a Roadmap to determine the order
    of the priorities
  • The Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse was a priority
    and was well enough advanced that it could be
    separated out of the list and work begun
    immediately to develop a program

4
RESULTS OF TOGA WORKSHOP
  • CRESTech funded a Roadmap Study to determine the
    Research Priorities for the Greenhouse Industry
    and to identify the research directions for a
    Agriculture Bioproducts Initiative and,
  • A workshop to be held October 15 to lay out the
    requirements for a potential initiative regarding
    an Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse

5
AUTONOMOUS ROBOTIC GREENHOUSE WORKSHOP
  • The purpose of to-days workshop is to start the
    development of a process that will identify the
    requirements of an autonomous robotic greenhouse
    and identify potential sources of collaborative
    participation and funding.

6
Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse Phase III of a
Controlled Environment Research and Technology
Development Initiative
7
Phase I CESRF
  • Biological life support in space
  • Hypobaric plant growth chambers
  • High quality analytical systems
  • Industry collaborations technology
    transfer

8
Areas of Research
Atmosphere Management Biodegradable Plant Growth
Media Attributes of Candidate Crops Ozone
Sterilization Root Zone Oxygenation Recycling
Nutrients Sensor Requirements Supplementary
Lighting Systems Hypobaric Plant Growth
Chambers Mars Analog Studies (Devon Island)
9
Phase II BIOTRON
  • Climate change and biotechnology research
  • Laboratory and CE facilities at UWO
  • Mini ecosystem/biome scale
  • Ultra low temperature growth chambers
  • Molecular farming in medicine and agriculture
  • Environmental risk assessment

10
Phase III Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse
  • Research venue at University of Guelph
  • Integration of robotic systems
  • Integration of imaging technology
  • Next generation environment control technology
  • Final scope determined by industry and
  • international collaborations

11
Research Collaboration
  • Industry partners
  • Government Agencies
  • Space Agencies
  • Universities

12
The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance
  • TOGA

www.theontariogreenhousealliance.com
Dr. Irwin Smith, Flowers Canada (ON)
13
TOGAs Partners
  • Flowers Canada (Ontario)
  • Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
  • Ontario Greenhouse Pepper Growers Association

14
  • THE PARTNERS IN TOGA INCLUDE FLOWER GROWERS,
    GREENHOUSE TOMATO AND CUCUMBER GROWERS, AND
    GREENHOUSE PEPPER GROWERS IN ONTARIO

15
TOGAs Vision
  • Is to provide an infrastructure and approach that
    will integrate all the current resources and
    future potential of the Ontario Greenhouse
    stakeholders into a community and international
    marketplace presence, with the synergy and
    standards to be a world leader in Greenhouse
    operations.

16
  • TOGAS VISION IS TO BE A WORLD LEADER IN
    GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION IN ONTARIO
  • IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS THERE NEEDS TO BE A
    COMPREHENSIVE FORWARD VISION OF RESEARCH AND
    TECHNOLOGY NEEDS
  • TOGAS PARTICIPATION WITH CRESTECH IN DVELOPING
    THE AUTONOMOUS GREENHOUSE PROPOSAL IS AIMED AT
    CREATING A MEETING PLACE WHERE SPACE TECHNOLOGY
    AND GREENHOUSE PRODUCTION CAN COME TOGETHER FOR
    THE BENFIT OF ALL

17
1.25 BILLION
18
  • IS THE FARM GATE OF THE GREENHOUSE INDUSTRY IN
    ONTARIO
  • THIS MAKES THE GREENHOUSE INDUSTRY A GREATER
    CONTRIBUTOR TO THE ECONOMY THAN MOST AGRICULTURAL
    COMMODITIES EXCEPT DAIRY

19
4 BILLION
20
  • IS THE INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE BY THE
    GREENHOUSE INDSUTRY IN ONTARIO
  • THIS INCLUDES GREENHOUSE MANUFACTURING, HEATING
    SYSTEMS, TECHNOLOGY
  • IN ADDITION ADD ON TRUCKING, WAREHOUSES,
    SHIPPING FACILITES, PACKAGING MATERIALS AND
    SUPPLY COMPANIES TO THE INDUSTRY

21
65 per cent
22
  • REPRESENTS THE EXPORT PER CENTAGE OF CROPS
    GROWN IN GREENHOUSES IN ONTARIO
  • THE INDUSTRY IS GLOBAL IN NATURE BUT CRITICALLY
    DEPENDENT ON GAS PRICES AND THE DOLLAR EXCHANGE
    RATE.
  • LABOUR AND ENRGY ARE THE TWO HIGHEST INPUT
    COSTS
  • ACTIVITIES SURROUNDING BORDER ISSUES ARE THE
    BIGGEST THREAT TO THE INDUSTRY, INCLUDING PLANT
    HEALTH ISSUES WHICH ARE CREATING MAJOR CONCERNS
    IN THE FLORICULTURE INDUSTRY
  • IN ADDITION CANADA IMPORTS 70 OF ITS CUT
    FLOWER REQUIREMENTS, MAINLY FROM SOUTH AMERICA

23
1 MILLION
24
  • REPRESENTS THE INDUSTRY INPUT INTO RESEARCH AT
    THE UNIV OF GUELPH IN 2003 / 2004
  • THIS INCLUDES PROJECTS SPONSORED BY COMPANIES,
    DOLLARS DERIVED FROM A VOLUNTARY INDUSTRY LEVY
  • THIS IS MATCHED BY UNIVERSITY SOURCES LIKE
    CRESTECH, NSERC, OMAF, AAFC TO RESULT IN 10
    MILLION WORTH OF GREENHOUSE RESEARCH ANNUALLY AT
    THE UNIV OF GUELPH, AND THE GREENHOUSE RESEARCH
    FACILITY AT AAFC, HARROW

25
TOGA
  • CAN CRESTECH TAKE US INTO SPACE?
  • CAN CRESTECH TAKE US TO THE MOON?
  • CAN CRESTECH HELP GROW TOMATOS ON MARS?

26
The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouseon Devon Island
  • Alain Berinstain
  • Tom Graham, Mike Dixon,
  • Steve Braham, Pascal Lee

27
Where is Devon Island?
  • Devon Island is in the Canadian territory of
    Nunavut
  • largest uninhabited island on Earth
  • Polar Desert

28
Why Devon Island?
  • Devon Island is the site of a 23-million-year-old
    impact crater
  • 20 km in diameter
  • located at approx. 75 deg N, 90 deg W

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The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse
  • A collaborative project
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • University of Guelph
  • Simon Fraser University
  • SETI Institute
  • Sponsors
  • SpaceRef Interactive, CRESTech, MDRobotics
  • Goal
  • To create an autonomous, remotely-controlled
    greenhouse in the harsh environment of the
    Canadian high Arctic

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Lessons Learned from 2003-2004 season
  • Comms was an issue dropouts of data
  • Need to homogenize, both spatially and
    temporally, the environment inside the greenhouse
  • Make the system more robust and redundant
  • Power and comms
  • Since no comms were available after September
    2004 status of greenhouse was unknown
  • Mounted a "rescue mission" in May 2004
  • Main lesson We need more redundancy!

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Modifications in 2004
  • Added solar panel, wind generator, doubled the
    battery capacity, added a redundant power
    distribution box, better heat recovery system
  • Re-wired the greenhouse more reliably
  • New plant growth system
  • No upgrade to the comms system (a mistake!)

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Issues in Fall 2004
  • Comms were lost (again), only about two weeks
    after leaving the research site
  • The MSAT providers did much work to understand
    the situation we know it was not caused by a
    loss of power
  • After a month, they actually fixed the situation
    (but the plants were dead)
  • We are back on line, controlling the greenhouse,
    and we are probably fine for next spring. We
    will get winter data, just no crop for the fall
  • We are having issues with crashes of the main
    controller but we are OK if we maintain comms

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What's next?
  • Highest priority modifications to be made are in
    redundancy in comms
  • Power is always limiting
  • We will implement increased power and redundant
    comms
  • But we are also at the limit of the current main
    processor architecture
  • We need to go to more distributed processing

77
What's next?
  • We do a lot of testing in the lab before going up
    North, but the real first deployment is in the
    greenhouse, and we only have a few weeks. Always
    surprises.
  • Solution build a development greenhouse in
    St-Hubert. We'll be able to deploy and test
    properly before deploying in the Arctic.
  • New research staff at CSA

78
How this fits
  • Roadmaps to be developed today
  • Heritage at UoGuelph (incl. reduced pressure
    work)
  • Phase II critical Biotron
  • The Arctic Greenhouse project has learned some
    important applicable lessons
  • Phase III Robotic Greenhouse will act as an
    important development testbed for a future space
    greenhouse
  • Suggestion A sealed, reduced pressure
    greenhouse as part of Phase 3 (input from CESRF
    heritage, Arctic greenhouse, Phases I and II)
  • Phase IV A remote sealed greenhouse on Earth, a
    space plant growth module
  • Phase V A greenhouse in space?

79
Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse WorkshopOctober
15th, 2004
Plant Biology in Space Initiative Paul
Fulford MD Robotics
80
When We Go, Plants Go Too
  • Plants are an integral part for planned planetary
    ALS systems
  • Plants cope with stress by adaptation in situ
  • Plants lend themselves well to metabolic and
    genetic engineering

81
Introduction
  • Partners
  • University of Florida
  • Rob Ferl, Anna-Lisa Paul and Andrew Schuerger
  • University of Guelph
  • Mike Dixon
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Chris McKay
  • MD Robotics
  • Paul Fulford

82
Background/History
  • University of Florida
  • Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering
  • Extensive ALS research using Arabidopsis
  • Genome fully sequenced
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Introduce genes that are capable of reporting on
    how a plant perceives its environment.

83
Background/History
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Extensive Astrobiology capability and research in
    the Arctic and Antarctica life contained in
    permafrost
  • The overarching goal of their program is to
    answer the question, Did life ever exist on
    Mars?.
  • Active in plant growth module mission designs for
    the Moon and Mars

84
Background/History
  • University of Guelph
  • World-class ALS research facilities for planetary
    plant growth
  • 2004 - Hosted University of Florida Hypobaric ALS
    genome reporter research
  • Advocate for robotic greenhouse research and
    development

85
Background/History
  • MD Robotics
  • Planetary Exploration missions are a major focus
  • Space qualified robotics systems
  • Hardware, Software
  • Lidar
  • Vision
  • Algorithms
  • Active in plant growth module mission designs for
    the Moon and Mars

86
Why Moon/Mars?Why Now?
  • MEPAG Investigation Demonstrate plant growth in
    the Martian environment.
  • Demonstrate the ability of the Martian
    environment (soil, solar flux, radiation, etc.)
    to support life, such as plant growth, to support
    future human missions. Validation requires
    in-situ measurements and process verification.
  • October 2004 NASA RFI - Robotic Lunar
    Exploration Program, Radiation/Biology Surface
    Demonstration
  • Preparation for human landing on Moon between
    2015-2020
  • Missions will not be driven by science but rather
    We are going to the Moon to prepare to go to
    Mars, Ed Weiler (2/5/04)

87
Underlying Premise
  • that plants are appropriate organisms to test the
    biological impacts of extraterrestrial
    environments (transit, Lunar and Martian) on
    terrestrial life forms,
  • that there are crucial life support and mission
    design decisions that require results from plant
    research in exploration environments and,
  • that plants are critical and fundamental
    components of advanced life support systems.
    (we are not leaving Earth without genetically
    modified plants M. Dixon, Oct 15, 2004)

88
Plants As Sensors
  • Plants are
  • highly responsive to gravity, radiation,
    temperature, and pressure
  • responses are fundamental in biological nature
    and can be directly extrapolated to human models.
  • sensitive to the environment and undergo
    recognizable and quantifiable changes through
    biological processes
  • amenable to genetic engineering and can be
    developed into highly sensitive indicators of
    radiation damage and other environmental
    stresses,

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Introduction
  • ff

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Introduction
92
Introduction
  • ff

93
Small Steps
94
MELiSSA Higher Plant Activities Overview
Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse WorkshopToronto
Congress Center, 15th October, 2004
95
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to MELiSSA
  • Higher Plant Activities within ESA
  • Robotic Greenhouse in space
  • Conclusion

96
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to MELiSSA
  • Higher Plant Activities within ESA
  • Robotic Greenhouse in space
  • Conclusion

97
MELiSSA concept
  • Stands for Micro-Ecological Life Support System
    Alternative
  • It is a closed ecosystem intended as a tool to
    gain understanding of artificial ecosystems and
    to develop new technologies for a long term
    manned mission life support system
  • To facilitate the study, the system is divided in
    five compartments three bacteria compartments,
    the photosynthetic compartment and the crew
    compartment
  • The photosynthetic compartment is as well divided
    in two photo-autotrophic bacteria and higher
    plants

98
MELiSSA project
  • International project, collaboration established
    through a Memorandum of Understanding managed by
    ESA
  • Several independent organizations
  • Belgium RUG, EPAS, VITO, SCK
  • Canada UoG
  • France Sherpa, UBP
  • Spain UAB
  • Co-funded by ESA, MELiSSA partners, Spanish,
    Belgian and Canadian (CSA, CRESTech) authorities

99
MELiSSA objectives
  • Research and development focused on technologies
    for manned exploration
  • Preliminary flight experiments for science
    acquisition and to demonstrate and adapt the
    technologies to space environment
  • Prove the MELiSSA concept on ground (Pilot Plant
    in Barcelona, Antarctic Polar Station
    Concordia, BIOS facilities in Krasnoyarsk)
  • Identify potential terrestrial applications for
    technology transfer
  • Educate, and attract interest of the public about
    the life support domain

100
Phase 1 RD
  • Mainly focused on the research and development of
    the different compartments and related
    technologies
  • Some of the topics
  • Biological strains identification
  • Crop Selection
  • Kinetics studies
  • Waste degradation
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Control and automation
  • Optimization and design

101
Phase 2 Preliminary Flight Experiments
  • BIORAT Connection between compartments IVa and V
    (rats)
  • MESSAGE Gene expression in micro gravity
    Oct-02, Nov-03
  • MASKcompartment IVa kinetics in micro gravity
  • FEMME Connection between compartments II and IVa
  • Bio-utilisation Prototype of the compartment I

102
Phase 3 Demonstration
  • Pilot Plant at Barcelona
  • Integrate the five MELiSSA compartments
  • Test alternative and complementary technologies
  • Antarctic Polar Station Concordia
  • Isolation campaigns
  • Human in the loop tests
  • BIOS Facility at Krasnoyarsk

103
Phase 4 Technology Transfer
  • Creation of a MELISSA Spin-off company
  • Water Recycling- Biostyr gt1.5 m3 water daily
  • Study with TNO for pharmaceutical industry (one
    patent for cholesterol treatment)
  • Study for Humidity Control in China
  • Consultancy for Agro/Food Industry (one patent)
  • Development of biomass sensor for sparkling wine
    and beer industry

104
Phase 5 Education and Communications
  • More than 90 Scientific publications
  • 155 Technical Notes
  • More than 70 students
  • 5 TV presentations
  • MELiSSA web page
  • http//www.estec.esa.int/ecls/melissa/newmelissalo
    op.html
  • Numerous Exhibitions (Turin, Helsinki, London,
    Paris, Ostende, Liege, Barcelona,)

105
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to MELiSSA
  • Higher Plant Activities within ESA
  • Robotic Greenhouse in space
  • Conclusion

106
Pilot Plant HPC
107
Space Food Preparation
  • In the framework of the Exploration Program
    (former Aurora), a feasibility study on food
    preparation related technologies was performed
  • The main outputs were
  • Basic requirements characterization nutritional,
    psychological, sensorial and cost
  • Definition of a roadmap to fill the technological
    gaps for food preparation
  • Database for menu design (including associated
    equipment)
  • Bed rest 2005 (Toulouse)

108
STEP (Closed Loop Food System)
  • Feasibility of a Food Production Unit to provide
    supplementary dietary needs for a crew of 6
    members in LEO environment and up to 40 of the
    dietary needs for a Mars surface crew
  • Preliminary design (conceptual, equipment and
    structure)
  • Harmonisation with Exploration programme i.e.
    prospective for a transit to Mars and a Mars
    surface scenarios

109
Plant Health Monitoring
  • Activity to be started in collaboration with
    University of Gent (RUG)
  • The objective is to monitor plant health and to
    test plant health monitoring equipment
  • Pathogen infection and mineral deficiency (i.e.
    magnesium) will be studied using imaging
    techniques

110
Control and Mathematical Modeling (UoG)
  • Objectives
  • Characterization of plant growth (gas exchange,
    nutrient uptake, water uptake) under varying
    environmental conditions
  • Development of a predictive control algorithm for
    optimization of Compartment IVb of MELiSSA
  • Strategy
  • Culture trials with beet, lettuce and wheat
    monitoring nutrient, carbon, and water uptake
  • Development of a global dynamic model for plant
    growth

111
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to MELiSSA
  • Higher Plant Activities within ESA
  • Robotic Greenhouse in space
  • Conclusion

112
Autonomous Robotic greenhouse in space -
advantages
  • Saves crew time (harvesting, spraying)
  • Plant health can be monitored without needing an
    expert
  • Softens the requirements of an eventual
    greenhouse module (human access not needed ?
    higher CO2 concentrations and lower pressure are
    allowed)
  • Avoids cross-contamination
  • Can be used to prepare the ground before human
    arrival

113
Autonomous Robotic greenhouse in space open
questions
  • Interfaces greenhouse crew quarters exchange
    of the harvest, nutrients, seeds
  • Adaptation to micro gravity of the robotic
    devices might be needed
  • Less flexibility of the design?
  • Crop-specific robots vs. multi-crop robots
  • Less psychological impact?
  • Reliable design (contingency ? human intervention)

114
Presentation Overview
  • Introduction to MELiSSA
  • Higher Plant Activities within ESA
  • Robotic Greenhouse
  • Conclusion

115
Conclusion
  • Higher plants chambers are envisaged as one of
    the key developments for long-term space
    exploration
  • ESA is conducting a number of studies focused on
    several aspects of plants cultivation
  • Although basic research has still to be performed
    to characterize higher plants, the parallel
    development of robotic technologies can have a
    direct impact on the overall system size

116
MELISSA Pilot Plant Higher Plants
CompartmentOverview of requirements and design
  • Masot A. Albiol J. Gòdia F. (Univ. Autònoma
    Barcelona)
  • Waters G. Dixon M. (Univ. of Guelph)
  • Presented by Luis Ordoñez (ESA)

117
MELiSSA Project
  • Tool for the study and development of Biological
    Life Support systems for Space Applications
  • Funded and coordinated by the European Space
    agency
  • Developed by an international team The MELISSA
    Partners including UAB and OoG.
  • Microbial
  • Ecological
  • Life
  • Support
  • System
  • Alternative

118
MELISSA project
  • MELiSSA Partners
  • ESA-ESTEC, NL
  • UBP, Clermont-Ferrand, F
  • U of Ghent, B
  • U of Guelph, CA
  • U Autonoma Barcelona, E
  • SHERPA Eng. Paleseau, P
  • EPAS, Ghent, B
  • VITO, Mol, B
  • SCK, Mol, B
  • IBP, Paris, F
  • Funding Entities
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • MCYT (Plan Nacional del Espacio)
  • CIRIT (Generalitat de Catalunya)
  • UAB
  • Canadian Space Agency (CSA)

119
MELiSSA long term objectives
  • Recycle crew organic wastes and CO2 into food and
    O2 using biological compartments.
  • Assure human life for extended periods of time.
  • Target complete material closure.

120
MELiSSA Concept
  • Loop of interconnected compartments inspired on a
    lake ecosystem.

121
Pilot Plant objectives
  • Mid-term objectives (bench scale)
  • Study and develop the compartments independently
  • Develop compartment interfaces and interconnect
    compartments
  • Long-term objective (pilot scale)
  • Terrestrial demonstration of the feasibility and
    controllability of an artificial closed
    biological system ? Achieve closure of the loop

122
MELiSSA Pilot Plant at present
  • Compartments II, III and IVa interconnected
    operation at bench scale. (Input medium from C-I
    operated in Gent)

123
MELiSSA Pilot Plant at present
  • Compartments III and IVa interconnected at Pilot
    Scale

124
MELiSSA Pilot Plant at present
  • Central control system in development.
  • In operation for compartments III and IVa.

125
Next Steps at the MELiSSA Pilot Plant
  • Expand laboratory facilities
  • Incorporate 100 liters C-I reactor and accessory
    equipment developed in Gent (Belgium)
  • Scale up bioreactor for compartment II (under
    design)
  • Design, build and incorporate higher plant
    chambers (in development with Univ. Guelph.
    Operation expected in 2007)

126
Higher plants compartmentGeneral design
requirements
  • Produce about 20 of the edible biomass required
    by one person
  • And/or able to produce/consume daily the O2/CO2
    equivalent to the requirements of one human
  • Allow Pilot Plant closed gas loop operation
  • Use the resources provided by the other MELISSA
    compartments. (But also be able to operate
    isolated)
  • Be integrated with and respond to the Pilot Plant
    central control system

127
Higher plants chamber design criteria
  • Biomass production 20 of diet. (1 human 27
    plants)
  • 3 plants selected for integration tests (wheat,
    beet, lettuce)
  • Sealed chamber with gas/liquid/solid connections
    with the MELISSA loop.
  • Staggered plantation system
  • Higher plant requirements
  • Lighting
  • Spectrum (PAR400-700nm)
  • Intensity (PPFD)
  • Photoperiod
  • Nutrients
  • Macronutrients C, H, O, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S
  • Micronutrients Fe, Zn, B, Cu, Cl, Mn i Mo
  • Atmospheric Conditions
  • Temperature (15-28 ºC)
  • Humidity (60-80)
  • Ventilation
  • CO2
  • VOCs

128
Selected design concept
  • Cultivation area 5 m2
  • 3 units in operation. Alternating light/dark
    cycles. (1 chamber in service)

129
HPC design details
  • Gas recirculation system

Side view
Top view
130
HPC design details
Gas analysis system
  • Multiple point sampling
  • Gas analysis
  • O2
  • CO2
  • GC (Volatile compounds)
  • Temperature
  • Humidity

131
HPC design details
  • Illumination system
  • Lamps
  • Combination of Metal Halide and HPS.
  • Cooling
  • External air circulation system.
  • Double glass wall. Possibility of liquid
    refrigeration.

132
HPC design details
Liquid circulation system
  • Nutrient Tank (T201)
  • V300L
  • Sensors
  • pH
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Level control
  • dissolved O2

133
HPC design details
Local control system
  • Programmable Controllers (PLC)
  • Schneider - Quantum
  • Interface software
  • iFix from Intellution
  • Minimum control loops required
  • Gas phase
  • Temperature 20-40 ºC
  • Humidity 60-90
  • Atmospheric composition CO2 500-1500ppm
  • Pressure 1 atm
  • Liquid phase
  • Input-output flows
  • Tank level (evapotranspiration collection)
  • pH
  • Nitrogen source level

134
HPC possible improvements (under consideration)
  • Alternative illumination systems to decrease
    power requirements.
  • Increase automation to extend periods of
    unattended operation.
  • Automatic seeding/collection of individual plants
  • Image detection techniques
  • Pathogen detection
  • Mineral deficiencies detection
  • Automatic removal of infected specimens

135
Conclusions
  • Application of biological life support systems
    for space applications requires the use of higher
    plants for food generation and atmosphere
    regeneration.
  • Growing higher plants for that purpose requires
    to develop a new generation of higher plant
    chambers with space qualified levels of
    reliability (assure human life) and automation
    (reduce crew labor).
  • U. of Guelph, UAB and the MELiSSA partners have
    started to follow this development path in view
    of its incorporation at the MELiSSA test bench
    namely the MELiSSA Pilot Plant at UAB.

136
Advanced Life Support and Robotic Higher Plant
Chambers Economic Tradeoffs and the
Requirements for Space Exploration
Dr. Geoffrey Waters NSERC and CSA Post Doctoral
Fellow Controlled Environment Systems Research
Facility (CESRF) Department of Environmental
Biology University of Guelph, CANADA
137
Objective
  • By way of a cost analysis of a mission scenario
  • Determine the relative potential magnitude in the
    reduction of mission cost using robotic
    greenhouses
  • Illustrate some constraints in achieving autonomy
    in greenhouses
  • Provide a theoretical rationale for the inclusion
    of a robotic greenhouse

138
Mission to Mars Assumptions Crew Size 6 Transit
Time (d) 180 Surface Stay (yrs) 5
95 CO2
1 kPa
0.38 g
What are the options for life support ?
Distance 54.7 x 106 km
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Physico-Chemical Life Support
  • Mission objectives dictate a need for crew
  • Crew dictates the need for a life support system
  • The mission therefore drives the need for a life
    support system
  • The life support system needs to be
  • Mission enabling
  • Safe and Reliable
  • Not distracting from mission objectives
  • Inexpensive (ESM)

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Bioregenerative Life Support
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Optimized Menus
  • Begin with vegetarian diet
  • Select cheapest 10 day menu
  • Back out biomass requirements
  • Determine plant production areas
  • Determine Cost

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Which Life Support Option is Cheaper ?
  • Trade-off studies may be conducted using the
    Equivalent System Mass (ESM) metric
  • ESM is a proximate measure of cost
  • Systems level analysis
  • Mission specific

Cost Components are Mass 1 Kg 1 Kg
ESM Volume 0.48 m3 1 Kg ESM Power 32.7
W 1 Kg ESM Logistics 1 Kg / yr 1 Kg
ESM/yr Thermal Regulation 15 W 1 Kg
ESM Labour 0.5 hrs 1 Kg ESM
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Estimating ESM Cost
  • Calculate the mass, power, volume, cooling
    requirement, logistics and labour requirements
    for a given mission including the components of
    the life support system

BVAD (1999)
Based on ISS food system (13.8 kg ESM
day-1) Time-dependent cost includes logistic and
labour costs of PC equipment for air
revitalization
H time required for plant husbandry and chamber
maintenance
6 crew,1800 day mission,No end effects,5.7 labour
hours per day ,3000 kcal
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What if H (time required for plant husbandry) is
equal to zero ?
The case of a Bioregenerative System with an
Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse
What is involved in H ?
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Typical Responsibilities
Plant Husbandry Sowing, transfer to hydroponics system, watering, hydroponics maintenance, plant scouting
Equipment Scouting Pump operation, mass flow controller operation, sensor operation
Regular Maintenance Sensor calibration, lamp replacement, consumable replacement
Irregular Maintenance Replacements, malfunction
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Plant Cultivation
Task Time Required
Seeding (s m-2) 30 (6)
Watering Seedlings (s m-2) 10 (3)
Examination of Plants (s m-2) 11 (1)
Transplant to Rafts (s m-2) 205 (9)
Harvest (s m-2) (includes separation) 1068 (196)
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Maintenance of Plant Production
Task Time Required
Environmental Condition Check (s camber-1) 111
Equipment Check (s chamber-1) (sensors and actuators) 106
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Plant Production Labour Requirement
  • 3 hrs per day
  • For 94 food closure

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Final Message
  • Autonomy can result in profound cost savings
  • Autonomy must not be achieved at the expense of
    other cost components volume, power, mass,
    thermal reg., logistics,

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Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse Workshop(Break out
sessions)
  • RESULTS

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Structures
  • Technical issues
  • Technology transfer potential
  • Collaborations
  • Potential funding sources

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Systems ( e.g., power, robotics, controls, growth
techniques)
  • Technical issues
  • Technology transfer potential
  • Collaborations
  • Potential funding sources

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Control interfaces, sensors
  • Technical issues
  • Technology transfer potential
  • Collaborations
  • Potential funding sources

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Communications remote controls
  • Technical issues
  • Technology transfer potential
  • Collaborations
  • Potential funding sources

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Autonomous Robotic GreenhouseSystemsi.e.,
Everything
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Technical Issues
  • Environment control
  • Nutrient control
  • Pest control
  • PMAD
  • Growth medium
  • Structural systems
  • Lighting systems
  • Robotic systems
  • Sensors/actuators
  • Autonomy
  • Communications

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Top 3 Issues
  • Robotic technology
  • Power energy
  • Plant biotechnology

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Robotic Technology
Critical!
  • Harvesting
  • Pruning
  • Sowing
  • Transplanting
  • Plant training
  • Sensing

Critical!
Critical!
Critical!
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Power Energy
  • Lighting
  • Environment control
  • PMAD

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Plant Biotechnology
  • Design for robotics
  • Genetically modified foods crops

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Technology Transfer
  • To Greenhouse industry
  • For harsh environments (e.g., the north, desert,
    extreme climates, short-growing season climates,
    even Ontario)
  • For increased productivity (e.g., food,
    ornamental industries)
  • To Agricultural industry
  • For precision farming (robotically intensive)

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Technology Transfercontd
  • To Food industry
  • For food processing
  • For food inspection
  • For food tracking
  • To Space industry
  • For interfaces and operations
  • For sensing and autonomy

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Technology Transfercontd
  • To Manufacturing industry
  • For micro/nanotechnology
  • To Waste-handling industries
  • For waste disposal
  • For water purification
  • To These and other industries
  • By collaboration

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Collaboration Potential Funding
  • Greenhouse industry
  • Power/energy suppliers
  • Space agencies
  • Agricultural industry
  • The usual suspects (universities, government)

Industry
Top 3 Issues
University
Stakeholders
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Collaboration Potential Funding contd
  • Other funding agencies (e.g., Precarn, IRAP)
  • Regulatory agencies
  • International aid agencies

Industry
University
Stakeholders
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Sensors and Sensor Systems Breakout Session
  • The breakout group comprised Andrew Bell, Ian
    Christie, Paul Thomas, Bernie Grodzinski, Ignace
    Krizancic (scribe).

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  • There was general recognition that there were
    many types of specialized sensors required in an
    autonomous greenhouse to monitor the following
    greenhouse system parameters
  • Above-ground environment including temperature,
    carbon dioxide concentration, humidity, photon
    flux (light) at various wavelengths, density of
    insect pests, plant structures (leaves, stems,
    blooms, etc),
  • Below ground environment including soil and root
    temperature, presence of bacterial species at
    root, moisture content of soil, physico-chemical
    attributes of growing medium including
    concentration of nutrients at root zone and in
    effluents,
  • Electro-mechanical sensors and vision/imaging
    systems to control system for transport of plants
    around greenhouse and robotic manipulation,
  • Sensors to support energy control subsystems
    including heating, cooling, ventilation, photon
    flux, electrical power, irrigation, etc.

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  • It was agreed even though much scientific
    knowledge exists about various types of sensors
    that commercial development of sensor systems for
    greenhouse operations requires significant
    development effort and resources.
  • In sensor development it is critical to
    demonstrate the benefit of the sensor/sensor
    system over human-in-the-loop.
  • Before commercial development of sensor system it
    is critical to develop a business model to
    justify the project.

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  • Non-invasive imaging sensors are critical to
    development of autonomous robotic greenhouse.
    Such systems include
  • Conventional vision systems
  • Scanners
  • Spectroscopic and hyperspectral sensors for
    selected wavelengths not accessible to human
    vision.

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  • Imaging sensors must be capable of characterizing
    growth rate, shape, size, colour as well as
    spectral monitoring in selected wavelengths
  • It was suggested that the growing plant itself
    could be a multi-factor sensor to monitor the
    local population of plants within which it is
    growing. The plant would be observed by a vision
    system. It was recognized that the plant as
    sensor might lag specific changes in the overall
    plant environment and, therefore, be less useful
    than specific sensors. That is by the time the
    plant as sensor shows structural changes it may
    be too late the effectively alter the
    environmental variables. It might take too long
    for an important environmental change to
    propagate through the plant structure into
    observable changes in the plant.

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  • Need two types of sensors and control systems
  • Sensors for routine control and crop management,
    and
  • Sensors to detect catastrophic events in the
    greenhouse.
  • There is a need to have sufficient sensors to
    cover the entire growing area to avoid dead
    spots in the greenhouse.
  • There is an economic trade-off between having few
    or many sensors i.e., having a set of sensors
    for every individual plant versus having few
    sensors which sample large areas of the
    greenhouse.

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  • Frequency (temporal) and spatial sampling of the
    greenhouse environment is critical. Mobile
    robots may be needed but not tracked
    self-propelled robots, which are very expensive.
    Robots will likely ride the rails along
    existing greenhouse infrastructure.
  • Establish clear link between potential increase
    in greenhouse productivity and cost of sensor
    systems.
  • The greenhouse is a high cost, highly controlled
    growing environment, which must be utilized all
    year and dedicated to high valued-added crops.
  • Existing scientific data from exterior field
    crops (i.e., remote sensing data) should be
    extended and adapted to the greenhouse
    environment.

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  • Consider greenhouse environment for growth of
    medicinal plants for production of high value
    biopharmaceuticals

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Communications
  • Problem Statement
  • missing
  • Data Flow
  • Viewing System?
  • 100 acres of greenhouse no human

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  • generation at the source
  • State of the art technology for greenhouse that
    will be operating in the future
  • A vision for the greenhouse industry for a 10
    15 year timeframe is needed to be able to address
    the majors drivers
  • Automation (gathering data und a machine that
    evaluates data and directs action)
  • Traceability capability back to the origin
  • Service to greenhouses that are customized to
    greenhouses (sat, )

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FCO
  • Info system that captures info and transfers info
    to satisfy safety concerns
  • Can technology around boilers be transferred to
    Candian environment (show that is safes energy)
  • Demo facility for state of the art technology
  • With regards to sensors (CO2, O2 RH,
    ISFETs.temp) to generate feedback systems
  • Minimization of nutrients
  • Decrease labor but large amounts of data will
    results i.e. future will provide data management
    and organization and action (Interpretaive
    Systems)

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  • Energy balance
  • Biological control of disease
  • Security issue for food (worldwide) GM is another
    issue
  • Pest and disease free and barcode id for several
    different flower
  • Contamination and containment

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