Field Enhanced Capacitive Transducers for Greenhouse Environmental Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2003-33610-13047
Agency Tracking Number: 2003-00134
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2432 Tran Road, New Bern, NC, 28562
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert McIntosh
 (252) 636-1010
Business Contact
 Robert McIntosh
Title: President
Phone: () -
Research Institution
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The horticulture industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Humidity is the most important and difficult to control environmental parameter in greenhouses. It affects the quality, yield and health of plants. Environmental control systems with distributed humidity and condensation sensors are desired to manage dynamic environments to enhance crop yield, prevent disease, and conserve energy. Psychrometers are too complex to be deployed in the numbers necessary for multi-zone climate control. At high relative humidity (RH), electrical hygrometers have problems with accuracy, stability, hysteresis, slow response, and limited life. The proposed research could save growers millions of dollars annually by enhancing the efficiency of greenhouse management. Larger numbers of affordable, chemically resistant, and rapidly responding hygrometers and condensation sensors integrated with distributed computer control systems can provide optimum multi-zone climates to specific plants at different locations. Substantial savings can be realized by low maintenance hygrometers that don't degrade or fail when exposed to common sources of contamination and condensates. More accurate hygrometers would assist researchers to optimize the conflicting objectives to enhance crop yield, minimize disease, and conserve energy.

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

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