My name is Chris Regini and I am an engineering teacher in Half Hollow Hills CSD in Dix Hills, NY. I am currently constructing an AgriTech lab for our high school in which students will learn about CEA, research practices, automation, robotics, and scientific computing. One of the highlights of our space is the deployment of 24 MV1 units as well as 10 GBE units. They will serve as research and instruction modules within which students will learn about various cultivars of plants. They will then have the opportunity to grow their crops at scale within a number of vertical hydroponic systems within the lab. As they tend to their crops, they will also learn about, design, and construct automation systems to maintain and extract data from our farm. I intend to update this thread with pictures and progress once we begin assembly.
We have been working with the NASA HUNCH design and prototyping program for three years and have come upon an incredible use case four our new setup. Students are charged with designing an enclosure that provides bamboo crops with optimal growing conditions while maximizing output within a 20 foot diameter inflatable dome. This dome will serve as a greenhouse module that is part of a lunar habitat. Harvests will be used as both a food source as well as sustainable building materials.
Students will use the MV1s to design recipes that test across a number of parameters including light spectra, ambient temperature, humidity, and watering schedules within various samples of remediated lunar regolith simulant. Some units will also be converted for hydroponic growth without the use of any growing medium. They will observe the growth of the root and shoot systems as they investigate optimal growing conditions. Carbon dioxide levels within the MV1s will also be monitored to account for bamboo’s renowned affinity for carbon dioxide consumption.
Upon completion of their trials, design teams will then render and construct a scale model for the greenhouse itself. They will need to propose how they will implement a plan for providing the resources from their MV1 trials while accommodating for space and preventing the rapid growth of the crop from potentially damaging its enclosure.
As you might imagine, growing this particular cultivar under these types of spacial constraints will be quite challenging. I welcome the feedback of our community for suggestions on sourcing plants, best practices for propagation, general care for bamboo, and recommendations on soil preparation.