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Osram’s LEDs for NASA’s food production research

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Research focused on production of salad-type crops for crews during space travel. All software, hardware and LEDs in Phytofy were developed by Osram.
Phytofy features a UV channel which provides researchers with the ability to add a brief UV light to see how plants react and change. It delivers a high Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF), an important metric for plant researchers so they can determine the most efficient and effective light recipes. Researchers can see the irradiance using Osram software, so there is no need for them to measure irradiance separately before changing the light setting. The smart horticulture lighting system is being piloted through a series of collaborations with universities and research labs around the world that are using the technologies and sharing insights.

At NASA, Phytofy RL will allow researchers to easily adjust lighting conditions to optimize plant growth in various conditions and then replicate those settings in the Advanced Plant Habitat on the International Space Station, meeting the sophisticated needs of space food production. Installation of Phytofy RL within a growth chamber at Kennedy Space Center in Florida was completed recently, with plans to move the configuration to one or more of the Center’s walk-in plant grow rooms.


Via radiation with light of different wavelengths, the growth cycles of plants can be controlled and accelerated, allowing the plants to be harvested either more often or as required. Special light recipes optimize not only yield and growing time but also can increase the amount of vitamins and nutrients in the plant, and can enhance certain tastes and flavours. LEDs not only provide tailor-made bioactive lighting, but are also very efficient.

NASA was introduced to Osram through Hort Americas, which works closely with leading manufacturers to provide North American greenhouse growers, vertical farmers and researchers with the most technically advanced and cost-effective products to help them reach their yield, quality and project goals. Members of NASA’s food production research team presented Hort Americas with a list of features they wanted from a lighting fixture, Hort Americas then used its network to help NASA team up with Osram to learn more about the Phytofy RL horticulture lighting technology, which is unlike anything commercially available.

Osram – www.osram.com


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