The aim of the project is to facilitate agriculture anywhere from extreme earth to space conditions by creating suitable environment simulated by micro embedded systems. The growth in population and the food markets are increasing the deforestation for increasing agricultural land to meet the demand. Moreover the lands cultivated from centuries to decades are losing their fertility and prompting excessive use of fertilizers.
In short it is a plant hack system where the minerals and water absorbed from soil are fed through Nano/Micro systems stented into Xylem tissue. The possibility of root simulated approach became practical due to MEMS/NEMS technologies since the plant tissues and structures are few micro/nano meters which are primary for plant transport and metabolic mechanisms. The anatomy of root system is replaced by micro embedded systems of actuators and sensors which hack physiological process where we supply the necessary minerals and water just as the root absorbs from soil. The physiological process of root system, root pressure, sensor systems are modeled and designed by MEMES. Micro-physiological systems(organ on chip) are already trending in human anatomy replication, to take plant study and controllability to higher level similar systems are to be modeled for plant. Biomechanical models of xylem (axial) are designed in meter scale and are well mathematically modelled, which are to be adapted for micro scale. The xylem terminus is the main poi which decides the position of implant, which also anatomically varies for species. The root to stem RS junction of tomato in various stages of growth are being studied currently and xylem terminus is expected to be isolated. The hydraulic system of plant is based on pressure gradient and cohesion theories which have effects of gravity, which also plays significant role in osmosis and diffusion process, which are to be studied and implemented in micro gravity conditions. The compensation of hydrostatic pressure induced by gravity is done using Darcy’s law and implemented by the MEMS actuator.
The micro/nano sensors and tubes are implanted and connected to supplies and water hub and an automatic controlling system is designed to create a farm. The root system to stele transitions are studied and with the help of nano tubes and engineered hydraulic system. The temperature, moisture, mineral contents of plant are monitored by creating a centralized network system. The project is designed not only to farm anywhere from space to roof top but also accumulate the plant data for further research and optimize use of water resources for agriculture. The vision of customized farming of controlling nutrients composition by hacking the phloem part also drives the research. The main challenges would be temperature, implanting ,structuring and culturing the plant for terrestrial applications, gravity effects on transport system, sunlight, gases availability for extraterrestrial culture. The deficits in space like gases, humid etc are anticipated to be solved by experimenting to feed in a water dissolved manner through an engineered system. The project aims to provide better sustainability, eco balance on earth and promote from rooftop to space farming.