The Covid 19 pandemic is slithering the world towards a stagnation.
How does COVID 19 affect the food sector/agriculture?
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns the world of a food crisis scenario if the countries do not pursue a prevention measure. Also, the FAO predicts severance/disruption in food supply chains. FAO will consider various business strategies to ensure the well-being of people and the battle against hunger.
What do we propose?
We propose, a microwave-assisted, microstrip patch antenna based in-home hydroponic farming technology that enables indoor, warehouse-based farming, food production to uplift a high-density in-home lifestyle and food security despite having a future consisting of unstable climate changes and frangibility. The insight behind this technology is working towards an agricultural system that is independent of weather, transportation and various other dependencies ensuring people a certain level of food security and self-dependency.
Our system is composed of four major segments; a microwave-assisted heating system, sensors/data logger system, temperature and LED control system and hydroponic cultivation system.
In the microwave-assisted heating system, a signal generator generates microwaves of 2.45GHz. Those microwaves are amplified up to 50 Watt by an amplifier. Amplified microwaves are radiated to the target plans by a microstrip patch antenna. We have prepared the simulation at Simulink, MATLAB software and designed a microstrip patch antenna using Ansys software. Also, LED illumination is required for the growth of the plants. A combination of 30% blue LED and 70% red LED is provided at the target plants. Sensors as Adafruit TSL2591 (illuminometer), DHT11 and LM35 (humidity and temperature measurement) are connected to the ATmega2560, Arduino Mega for the data logger system.
In hydroponic cultivation system, there exists an automated system that will regulate the parameters and replenish the requirement of the solution more accurately.
The nutrient solution that is to be supplied has to contain a definite proportion of NPK ( i.e Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium ) along with secondary important nutrients of calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. The appropriate ratio of NPK, that is 2:1:1 is to maintained otherwise this may lead to deficiency or toxicity of plants. 0.819gm per litre is the required dosage.
Also, the current agriculture system is not entirely sustainable. Scenarios such as soil erosion, losing land for development, hybridised crops, and shortage of water.
• Heating greenhouse crops which involve microwaves has shown an increase in efficiency at least by 50%.
• Uniformity in heating can be highly increased by the usage of circularly polarized incident electromagnetic fields.
• In comparison with conventional and ultrasonic heating, microwave heating proves to have very short processing time, no or low chances of solvent reactions, low energy consumption and highest product quality.
ansys, arduino, simulink