EDEN ISS is an example of a controlled environment plant growth facility in an extreme weather location. Utilizing the latest controls and lighting technology, the objective of the €4.5 million project is to help achieve safe food production on board the ISS, future human space exploration vehicles and planetary outposts.
In this, the second part of our feature on the EDEN ISS project, German Aerospace DLR researcher Paul Zabel explains directly from Antarctica the technology they are using in this remote controlled environment:
William O. Dawson, Eminent Scholar from the Citrus Research and Education Center at the University of Florida, shared in an interview with Plant Growth Chambers dot com on how chambers purchased 45 years ago are still a key element to the research he has been conducting throughout the years.
In 1973, as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology of the Riverside campus of the University of California, Dr. Dawson participated in the challenge of looking for a plant growth chamber to help with their research efforts. From all the alternatives, there was only one manufacturer that provided a cost-effective option with mechanical engineering “designed like a Swiss clock” -Dr. Dawson considers this attribute could be one of the reasons why the chambers have performed so well for so many years.
EDEN ISS is a consortium of private and public organizations from around the globe that have teamed up to advance controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technologies. The objective of the €4.5 million project is to help achieve safe food production on board the ISS, future human space exploration vehicles and planetary outposts.
Comprised of leading experts from Europe, Canada and the USA in human spaceflight and CEA technology, researchers aim to address the supply of food for long-term missions to outer space by performing an Antarctic ground demonstration of plant cultivation technologies in controlled environments.
Few users of plant growth chambers are familiar with the fresh air intake and exhaust ports. Identified below, the fresh air intake allows the operator to manually adjust the rate at which fresh air is introduced into the chamber. The threaded collar is often located on the front of the chamber’s machine compartment and can be adjusted from fully closed (no fresh air) to fully open to allow maximum air exchange. See image below, left:
Air exchange is important in growth chambers to avoid CO2 deficits:
If you intend to use your plant growth chambers or rooms for tissue culture research, it is important to note that your chamber may not be well suited for tissue culture experiments in petri dishes. Should you place petri dishes in your plant growth chamber or room that features either a horizontal or downward airflow design - you may experience condensation on the underside of the lid of the petri dish. Below is a photograph of a plant growth chamber with horizontal airflow that is improperly being used for tissue culture research:
The Agiculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research and Development Centre in Morden, Manitoba leads research in six areas:
A distinctive feature of the Morden facility is that it is a state-of-the-art Plant Pest Containment (PPC 3) facility, which is the highest quarantine level for virulent diseases.
On June 21, 2017 delegates from the International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) toured the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) in St. Louis.
Founded in 1998, the DDPSC is a world class facility home to 175 scientists and 20 Principal Investigators. Major research areas include:
Studying Epiphyte Contribution to Global Transpiration in Controlled Environments at University College Dublin
Dr. Sven P. Batke, IRC Research Fellow at the School of Biology and Environmental Science is utilising University College Dublin's plant growth chambers and plant sensory technologies to test how environmental variables such as temperature, light and CO2 impact the transpiration of tropical epiphytic plants. Below are several photos of epiphytes in growth chambers being exposed to different climate regimes as well as sensory devices used for the research investigation:
The objective of this blog is to provide insight on the technologies associated with plant growth chambers around the world by showcasing their usage in universities, institutes and other research centers of excellence.
The blog draws upon the work of clients and other users of controlled environment equipment, Conviron subject matter experts and Conviron’s long history as the world’s leading manufacturer of controlled environments.