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A Smart Spectral Polarimetric Imager for Autonomous Plant Health Monitoring

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC21C0123
Agency Tracking Number: 212266
Amount: $131,495.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T6
Solicitation Number: STTR_21_P1
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-12
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-06-19
Small Business Information
5455 Spine Road, Suite ME
Boulder, CO 80301-3312
United States
DUNS: 080138735
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Adam Escobar
 (720) 309-8475
Business Contact
 Christine Escobar
Phone: (720) 309-8475
Research Institution
 University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0000
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

For future long-duration space exploration missions, NASA expressed the need for plant systems that may provide a nutrient dense supplement to crew diet and possibly other life support functions, such as CO2 removal, O2 production, water recovery, and waste recycling.nbsp; Current and future infrastructure for plant growth include chambers with controlled environments.nbsp; To ensure optimal growing conditions in these chambers, the plants will require precise monitoring of health throughout the plant life cycle.nbsp; These monitoring systems will need to operate autonomously with little crew involvement.nbsp; Current plant monitoring instruments include multispectral and hyperspectral sensing that require post-process algorithms to detect physiological phenomena.nbsp; Space Lab Technologies (Space Lab) and the Space Plants Lab at the University of Florida (UF) propose an improved approach for monitoring space plant health using a smart spectral polarimetric imager to monitor morphological features and stresses.nbsp; The Phase I work investigates not only sensing bandlimited reflectance as do current space plant imagers, but also study the polarization flux reflected from the plant surfaces.nbsp; The polarization information conveys electric field direction of the reflected light.nbsp; Spectral polarization studies of plants are an emerging method for plant health monitoring with related published works within the past few years.nbsp; The proposed innovation expands upon this current research, where the biological and physical science for plant spectral polarimetry is still being researched.nbsp; In addition to spectral polarization imaging, real-time image processing using digital signal processing techniques within the on-board FPGA provide autonomous plant health monitoring.nbsp; Combining the use of spectrum, polarization, and real-time image processing in instrumentation enables optimal control for producing healthy plants or crops for space exploration.

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

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