Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and Aquaculture are industries growing exponentially, accelerated by the pandemic. Increased food security, continuous (24/7) all-weather production, reduced water/land/CO2/Greenhouse-Gas footprint/fertiliser-or-pesticidal requirements and provision of better taste, with accelerated growth of produce ensuring 6-8 fold increased yield against conventional agricultural systems. All of this is achievable only if systems are properly monitored and controlled. Agro-theranostics has been termed for simultaneous diagnostics and therapeutics/control in agriculture. Currently implemented technologies focus on one-sensor–single-readout and simplistic measurements with expensive instrumentation -Light,temperature, humidity, and conductivity whilst SMART Agro-Theranostics aims to have significant understanding of the measurements, monitoring and control strategies for optimal production, which doubles vertical farming yield as described below. Hence resulting in 15- 20-fold increased production compared to conventional agriculture whilst using one-sensor-multiple-readouts using a combination of mutually dependent readouts and heuristic algorithms.These control systems ensure that the taste is significantly better which is much better for the end-consumer whilst the producer has a stronger pricing power and greater-profitability due to concomitant increased yield. This also increases energy-efficiency(increased-yield means reduced-energy-per-kg-of-produce generated).
Terabithia’s SMART system has advanced insights into control/monitoring and strategies for light (wavelength, intensity, and temporal-specific),low-power LEDs, inexpensive cooling-and-heating with development of passive-systems, advanced-image-processing with inexpensive hardware ensuring quick-diagnosis and correction-basis for minor issues (e.g. yellowing-of-leaves), and yield-calculation using foliage and root-zone development, automated-controlled liquid-flow, specific growth-strategies developed for different crops, electronic-nose for monitoring flavour-profiles which will then be used to develop strategies for stronger produce flavours for individual crops and a database. All of these systems are using state-of-the-art sensors and cheap-technologies using advanced-interference and inferred-methods rather than direct-measurements, bringing sensor-numbers and costs down whilst reducing failure modes/rates(one-sensor-multiple-readout approach).Continuous monitoring with automated or manual control ensures versatility. A central-node repository for data-collation and inference is available for reference/feedback. A combination of meta-heuristics and machine-learning-algorithms ensure continual-development of the system and ever-expanding database. Thus, even the naïve can run high-yielding indoor-farms/greenhouses i.e.CEA. Similar strategies developed for the aquaculture sector with the obvious changes in the metrics.
Using robust low-cost low-power modular limited-number sensors ensures high-fidelity with low-maintenance costs and covered in the recurring-revenue. The environmental-impact of using less light (with greater efficiency) resulting in reduced-time for crop-growth, can reduce the CO2/Energy footprint by over 70% which mitigates against the biggest anticipated problem of indoor-farming globally and provides accessibility to developing-nations as well as developed ones.
The SMART System is being developed/has-been-developed(and partially implemented) as the new generation AIOT Controlled Environment Farming/Husbandry solutions. SMART is easily mass-manufacturable and reduces the production-footprint and specific-sensor requirement. The global IoT sensor market is expected to be $240Bn by 2022. It is anticipated that due to climate-change, sensing/monitoring/control is going to be imperative in agriculture:CEA and conventional, so has a large anticipated market penetration with specific-solutions for individual crops.The system has been tested for several crops with wireless/RF capabilities with development of GUI/interface level. On-going tests demonstrate system-robustness including development of specific flavour-profiles to increase crop-flavour-profiles automatically. Tests are being conducted with funded R&D for a large vertical-farming entity as well as a series of aquaculture-projects.