High Efficiency Lighting with Integrated Adaptive Control (HELIAC)
The innovation of the proposed project is the development of High Efficiency Lighting with Integrated Adaptive Control (HELIAC) systems to drive plant growth. Solar radiation is not a viable option for growing plants on the moon or on Mars for multiple reasons. On the other hand, lighting plants with electric lamps and rejecting the associated waste heat has energy costs that have driven NASA toward other options to provide food and fresh air to future Mars crews. The solution offered by this project improves upon the efficiency of a novel new light-distribution technology involving low-power, solid-state sources that emit specific-wavelength photons to match plant photoreceptors. The HELIAC lighting system consists of small individual "light engines" that provide a level of control precision far in excess of standard lamps. This precision enables lamp configuration to be adapted to species specific growth habits so that photons can be absorbed efficiently by all available photosynthetic tissues. HELIAC will also provide the capability to adapt spectral balance automatically to plant development stage. Finally, it will have the capability to automatically detect the proximity of plant tissue and power only adjacent light engines, thereby greatly decreasing power requirements, particularly during early plant development.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717
Number of Employees: