NASA STTR 2021-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Number:          21-1- T6.07-2266
Subtopic Title:
      Space Exploration Plant Growth
Proposal Title:
      A Smart Spectral Polarimetric Imager for Autonomous Plant Health Monitoring

Small Business Concern

Space Lab Technologies, LLC
5455 Spine Road, Suite ME, Boulder, CO 80301 - 3312
(720) 745-9321                                                                                                                                                                                

Research Institution:

University of Florida
207 Grinter Hall, PO Box 115500, FL 32611 - 5500
(352) 392-9267                                                                                                                                                                                

Principal Investigator:

Adam Escobar
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME, CO 80301 - 3312
(720) 309-8475                                                                                                                                                                                

Business Official:

Christine Escobar
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME, CO 80301 - 3312
(720) 309-8475                                                                                                                                                                                

Summary Details:

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 2
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

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.  Current and future infrastructure for plant growth include chambers with controlled environments.  To ensure optimal growing conditions in these chambers, the plants will require precise monitoring of health throughout the plant life cycle.  These monitoring systems will need to operate autonomously with little crew involvement.  Current plant monitoring instruments include multispectral and hyperspectral sensing that require post-process algorithms to detect physiological phenomena.  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.  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.  The polarization information conveys electric field direction of the reflected light.  Spectral polarization studies of plants are an emerging method for plant health monitoring with related published works within the past few years.  The proposed innovation expands upon this current research, where the biological and physical science for plant spectral polarimetry is still being researched.  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.  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.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
  • Plant Health Monitoring in Space Habitats
  • Space Crops Food Safety
  • Spacecraft Structural Stress or Fracture Detection
  • Remote Sensing of Earth
  • Planetary Science
  • Photosynthetic Microbe Detection
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):
  • Agriculture - Crop Health
  • Controlled Environment Agriculture
  • Food Processing and Safety
  • Mechanical Stress and Fracture Detection
  • Industrial Process Monitoring
  • Photosynthetic Microbe Life Detection
  • Research Polarized Spectrometer
Duration:     13

Form Generated on 03/23/2021 10:52:33