Designing your project

Well before you start building your first AstroPlant kit(s), you can start thinking about the research you want to conduct. It's important to know what can be done, and what cannot be done.

General scientific goal of AstroPlant

AstroPlant has the objective of providing plant scientists with data about plant behaviour in a variety of circumstances. Because AstroPlant kits will be placed in many different environments, we can see how the same plant (cultivar) behaves in these different circumstances. You can participate in the research, not just by growing a plant, but also by downloading data from other plants and comparing their growth data.

Astroplant: what can you do?

  1. Follow our default scientific protocol see AstroPlant Growth Protocol.

  2. Run experiments using the custom LED system that allows you to control for the LED spectrum and intensity: will they survive on just 5 hours of light per day? What effect does far-red have on plant growth?

  3. Experiment with nutrition: how do plants grow when given certain food? Will they still grow when you directly add urine?

  4. Experiment with taste: how do different growth recipes (the light, nutrition you provide the plant) influence the taste of the plant?

  5. Experiment with different plants or cultivars: can a cactus grow hydroponically?

  6. Multiple kits: if you really want to do interesting experiments, you can use multiple kits, connect them (see the Water Farm hydroponics system we use)

  7. Develop new features: are you really up for a challenge? Check out this example from students in Gent who designed a temperature control system. For example: can you develop algorithms that automatically detect plant leaves and estimate their size (and growth over time)?

  8. Develop a new kit, based on your own requirements and ideas (check out these students at AVANS university of applied sciences) - AstroPlant is an open source project, so you can modify the kit in any way you like.

Relevant literature and documents

This list is by definition limited and incomplete, and only has the purpose to provide some ideas and directions for research.

To be developed.