Microgravity Test of Autonomous Multiple Cycle Farming System

PI: Hamidreza Najafi, Markus Wilde (Co-I), Florida Institute of Technology Inc.

The Microgravity Test of Autonomous Multiple Cycle Farming (AMFC) Systemdemonstration will evaluate theoperation of the system’s components in microgravity. The AMCF incorporatesa growing system, software, and graphical user interface to growplants with little human interventionover multiple cycles. It delivers seeds through a robotic arm and usescapillary forces to supply a hydrating nutrient solution to the seeds. Data will be collected on multiple parabolic flight teststo validate the mechanical system and offer a pathway toward scaling the technology for large-scalein-situ spacefarming.

Technology Areas (?)
  • NA
Problem Statement

As space exploration missions increase in duration, solutions for growing food autonomously and reliably in microgravitybecome increasingly important. Food growth systems need to also operate without compromising valuable time or energy from other spacecraft functions in order to maximize efficiency.

Technology Maturation

The AMCF has already successfully completed ground testing. Parabolic flight testingwill demonstrate the capabilities of the seed tray, effector, and water delivery system in microgravity. It will also provide data to scale the system for future use on the Moon. The technology will be at TRL 8 after testing.

Future Customers

•Future NASA missions such as the Artemis program
•Extended stays on the Moon and aboard the International Space Station
•Commercial space industry

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    TechFlights20 (Sep 2020)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 1 Parabolic

Development Team

  • PI
    Hamidreza Najafi
  • PI Organization
    Florida Institute of Technology Inc.
  • Co-I
    Markus Wilde
  • Co-I Organization
    Florida Institute of Technology Inc.
  • Sponsor

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