We have completed the first stage of our project, which is to establish an urban greenhouse capable of producing food using hydroponic methods. Equipped with a sensor array recording and transmitting wirelessly all the relevant parameters, we have reached a very important milestone in the miniponics development program.
We harvested our first test lettuces on Sep 6, 2017, using a substrate system with non-recirculating nutrient feed. We plan on testing three hydroponic systems and test at least 5 plant varieties.
The information architecture for all variables to be registered is conceptualized and the database was designed to be able to handle the many different parameters at play. We are recording temperature, humidity and light intensity at several places inside and outside of the greenhouse. The quality and quantity of the nutrient bath is also monitored, as well as the moisture level of the plants substrate. A webcam is located inside the greenhouse and pictures are taken at periodical interval to monitor the plant growth and health.
The parameters are sent wirelessly to a mini computer located at the greenhouse, in charge of controlling the heating/cooling devices and uploading the data to the web for online visualization and further post-processing.
We are currently building a system of tubes designed by our team, capable of supporting 40-60 plants over an area of just 0.5m2. Preliminar tests are underway.