Smart Farming: Monitoring Techniques in Indoor Grow Environments

Following the article “Smart Farming: Technologies Applied in Indoor Grow Environments”, let’s now discuss what are the basic needs of an indoor grow environment and how to add smart monitoring techniques to make the grow environment work from beginnings as a seedling to flowering.

GROWING BASICS – 101

Lights
Use of lights and especially LED lights are becoming the new way in which the right amount of light is provided at the various stages of growth. LED Lights and the efficiencies now achieved by LED lights has proven to be an efficient way to create the growing environment for the plants life cycle. The lighting spectrum of what can be used in the growth environment is to use a mixture of red/blue lights in order to properly illuminate the plant at certain growth stages. Wavelength of light can be considered in nm (nanometers). For most parts of a plant life, the control of and use of Blue at 460nm and Red at 660nm wavelengths helps with the growth of the plant.

Air/Water
Provides for the basic needs of hydrating and also keeping air circulation surrounding the plants and with the right amount of stimulus such as use of fans to circulate around the plant it is like exercising the plant to keep on growing stronger as the plant gets bigger.

In an indoor environment, you also have to consider the various temperature and humidity levels that are best for the plants as they are growing. Using smart farming techniques by monitoring all of these basic needs such as temperature, humidity and density is when using smart monitoring devices all these can be controlled with precision and give great results.

Nutrients
Nutrients are the heart of the plant and three essential Nutrients are needed to do this. NPK which simply stated is referred to as fertilizer. As a plant goes through its’ lifecycle the control of the mixture of the NPK is very important and like anything the amounts of the mixture of these three elements are based upon what stages they are in their cycle of their plant life.

The use of NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium

END RESULTS OF SMART TECHNOLOGY APPLIED TO INDOOR GROW ENVIRONMENTS

Listing the benefits of applying smart farming techniques and for our purpose of discussion using Fogponics results in these distinctive advantages:

• Microprocessor based environmental control
o Temperature/Humidity
o Dew point
o Air Circulation
o Control for mold, mildew, algae, etc.

• The mixture of NPK is precisely delivered and digested by the plant through monitoring the feeding
o Fogponics provides this down to 5 microns
o 5 microns means the plant will basically feed itself easily literally absorbing the NPK mixtures
o With the right formulas of NPK during the cycle of the plant this will ensure maximum growth

• Microprocessor control and monitoring based on filtration, circulation and ventilation systems

• Self-cleaning cycle, self-cleaning solution consumables and self-cleaning reminders

• Total system is sealed for pest control

• Programmable blue/red ratios at nm wavelengths for plant growth

• Blue/Red recommended LED light exposures and ratios by plant type and growth stage
o Pre-set, pre-programmed profiles built-in designed and automated
o Full lighting spectrum capability 8 bit color or 16.7 million colors to be chosen from.

• Wavelength fine tuning based on the growth stage of the plant.

• IC based system to change lighting between Grow, Veg and Flowering stages

• Vertical LED lighting rods in close proximity to the plants leaves without burning
o Will optimize the growing while using very low cost and power efficient LED lighting techniques

• LED Light designs that provide for proprietary light guide rod (LGR) technology
o High efficacy PAR/W (Photosynthetically Active Radiation/watt)

Designing and developing IoT device(s) and with it being Wi-Fi enabled will allow it all information to be shared with the cloud community
• Allow for the communication of the growth environment to other to expand the creation and use of smart farming.
• Essentially sharing their growing environment recipes is what smart farming can become.
• Creating a community of users that can share and continual tune their systems to optimize the smart environments.
• Personally input user determined profiles and share this with community of people

TechDesign can provide all of these building blocks for your interest in smart farming and other devices that will be part of such a growing industry and booming community. From design to production TechDesign can take you step by step in fulfilling all your needs. If you’d like to start a smart farming project, we are here at TechDesign to provide professional and sophisticated consultancy and support for you.

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