Osram's LEDs for NASA's food production research

June 06, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Osram has provided the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with a customized version of its proprietary connected horticulture research lighting system, Phytofy RL. The smart lighting software, coupled with a unique setup of connected grow light fixtures, has been designed to supplement the lighting technology used in NASA’s Food Production.

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.


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