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Tailoring the Solar Spectrum for Enhanced Crop Yield for Space Missions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0024
Agency Tracking Number: 188052
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T7
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-01-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-01-09
Small Business Information
134 Eastgate Drive, Los Alamos, NM, 87544-3336
DUNS: 079401962
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Bergren
 (505) 310-6766
 matt@ubiqd.com
Business Contact
 Matthew Bergren
Phone: (505) 310-6766
Email: matt@ubiqd.com
Research Institution
 University of Arizona
 1177 E. 4th Street, Shantz Building
Tucson, AZ, 85721-0038
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
Abstract
UbiQD, Inc,nbsp;has partnered with the University of Arizona, Controlled Environment Agriculture Center, to enhance the lighting component of the Mars-Lunar Greenhouse prototype to improve the food production of the system. Ultimately, the goals are for UbiQD to install a down-conversion film composed of quantum dots (QDs) into a solar collecting/fiber optic system to not only provide higher quality PAR spectrum than currently using, but by converting the high concentration of UV photons to visible photons, UbiQD would be able to dramatically increase the intensity of the PAR spectrum and provided to the plants and the quality of the spectrum will also enhance the efficiency of crop growth.In this Phase II project, we will build on the successful phase I results and develop new light recipes for the QD-films to find the optimal spectra for lettuce and tomatoes, with a final goal to enhance biomass production for controlled environment growing on space missions. The optimal spectrum will be developed by testing different QD light recipes in a custom-built plant growth test stand to quantify biomass production enhancement for lettuce and tomatoes. From the small-scale plant studies, the two leading light recipes for the QD-filmsnbsp;will be used in commercial greenhouse studies on lettuce and tomatoes and crop yield improvements will be quantified.nbsp;Thenbsp;optimal light recipes will also be incorporated into novelnbsp;fiber-coupled luminescent concentrators (FC-LCs) that cannbsp;convert sunlight delivered to the MLGH by a solar collector and fiber optic system, to an ideal spectrum for the plants grown in the greenhouse. A portion of the light that is converted by the QDsnbsp;will be coupled to a second set of fiber optics that cannbsp;provide inter-canopy lighting to the crops grown. A larger FC-LC prototype will also be developed to be deployed on the surface of the moon or mars and convert and deliver modified sunlight to the greenhouse with fiber optics.nbsp;

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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