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Submersible LED Lighting for Photobioreactors (SLLP)

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITE
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Submersible LED Lighting for Photobioreactors (SLLP)
Agency: USDA
Contract: 2006-33610-16785
Award Amount: $80,000.00


The economic potential of photosynthetic species as sources of pigments, gelling agents, medicinal compounds, specialty foods, and biofilters will be more fully exploited in the next few decades through the use of bioreactors. However, a major bottleneck in photobioreactor productivity has been the attenuation of light as population densities become large. Several strategies have been used to increase light levels in photobioreactors, but submerged lighting has yet to be fully explored. Other evidence suggests that selective use of wavelength may be able to optimize growth of photosynthetic cultures by mimicking the native light environment of a given species. LED lighting systems can be used to generate light efficiently and with low heat output, reducing energy costs and improving control over culture temperature. LED systems may be tuned to the user's needs, with control over intensity, photoperiod, and spectral distribution. The purpose of this study is to design a submersible LED lighting system for photobioreactors that can have the spectral distribution tuned selectively by the user to mimic the native light environment or optimize photosynthesis or metabolism of the species to be cultured.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Morrow
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

Thomas Crabb
Vice President/CFO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No