© 2019 by Box Farm, a Senior Design Project at the University of Hawaii

THE SOLUTION TO TERRESTRIAL AND EXTRATERRESTRIAL FOOD SECURITY

MISSION

BOX FARM IS AN INDOOR SEMI-AUTONOMOUS HYDROPONICS GARDEN THAT USES A ROBOTIC SYSTEM TO PLANT, WATER TRANSFER, MONITOR AND HARVEST VEGETABLES IN AN INFLATABLE LUNAR MARS HABITAT CREATED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA.
 
IT WILL REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF MAN HOURS SPENT TENDING TO THE GREENHOUSE BY MAINTAINING A STEADY SUPPLY OF VEGETABLES.  

VISION

 

OBJECTIVES

The Box Farm team will create a working prototype of an autonomous hydroponic system to reduce human labor. A graphical interface will be developed in order to allow the user to monitor and control the system when needed. The flagship system currently being created will be easily integrated into the University of North Dakota's Inflatable Lunar Mars Analog Habitat Greenhouse.  

 Ground Communications

Mission Operations & Controls

General Mission Architecture

Data

Controls

Box Farm is a team of 12 Mechanical Engineering and 1 Biology Undergraduate candidates at the University of Hawaii Manoa advised by Dr. Trevor Sorensen, mission manager of NASA's Clementine mission. The project has designed and built the first aerospace application of an indoor automated hydroponic garden that uses a robotic system to plant, transfer, monitor, and harvest vegetables. The project is to be demonstrated to the world by May 2019.

 

Shown by previous Martian analog missions, crew members spent 2.5 hours a day tending to plants. When extrapolated for the duration of a Hohmann Transfer Window (26 months), this results in 86 total days spent on maintenance.

 

Automating the process allows for more valuable time spent on research, saving cost, and maintaining psychological health. 

 

Box Farm is being implemented for the Inflatable Lunar Mars Habitat (ILMH) at the University of North Dakota. Due to Box Farm’s compact and scalable design, the system is  a perfect fit for the home, ready to grow fresh vegetables and plants to liven any atmosphere.

ABOUT BOX FARM

August

2018

April 10

Alpha

Year Established
Recent Milestone

May 3

Final Hardware Demo
Upcoming Milestone

May

2019

Date to Completion

TECHNOLOGIES

ROBOTICS

HYDROPONICS

Box Farm utilizes a robotic system which monitors the produce and tends to the system. 

 

The robotic system traverses the face of the shelf, transporting the arm, allowing for harvesting, transplanting, and visual monitoring of the produce. 

Ebb and Flow hydroponic system reduces plant maturation times allowing for quicker yields.

 

The Box Farm system is fitted with sensors that allow  precise watering of plants and nutrient delivery.

IMAGE PROCESSING

Visual analyses provide Box Farm the ability to determine actions to take within the system; recording plant size, health, and disease.

 
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