The global population is approaching 8 billion people. Agriculture accounts for 70% of global fresh water usage. Agricultural technologies must be developed to accommodate for the increase to meet the..
The global population is approaching 8 billion people. Agriculture accounts for 70% of global fresh water usage. Agricultural technologies must be developed to accommodate for the increase to meet the demand of the growing global population and the resultant increase of water used in agriculture. Aeroponic systems, which reduce water usage by over 90%, can supply an increasing quantity of crops while demanding less water. The objective of this study is to determine the optimal droplet size for absorption of the nutrient solution to the roots of lettuce in an aeroponic system and how effectively the optimal conditions for one variety of lettuce can be applied to grow other varieties of lettuce. The impacts of this research will promote a sustainable agricultural technique that can compete with the demand from a growing global population and more efficiently use water, and also has the potential to be a sustainable technology utilized in future space exploration. Three aeroponic chambers within a controlled environment test the nutrient solution atomized into four different droplet sizes per chamber. A microcontroller commands the system, regulating the intervals to supply water to the roots, and communicating the real time status of the system, including sensor data from the aeroponic chambers, to an online monitoring platform. The impacts of this research will advance the implementation of a more efficient and sustainable methodology for using water in agriculture as well as developing potential food sources in arid regions and future space applications.