Aeroponics

Roger’s Garden Aeroponics Project

About

Recognizing the global need for more efficient methods of agriculture in order to meet the ever rising demands of our increasing population, a group of our students decided to take on the challenge of designing an efficient Aeroponics System during their 2017-18 school year. With this end in mind a design for an outdoor aeroponics system was drawn up followed by rapid prototyping to demonstrate the proof of concept. Once completed, we hope that the feasibility of our design is such that the procedure may be followed by anyone, and built anywhere in the world. As such we have used simple materials found in our local workspace, Roger’s Garden.

Aeroponics is a system, much like the now prevalent system of hydroponics, where crops are grown without any soil. For hydroponics - growing plants directly in nutrient rich water greatly reduces the threat of pests, eliminates field fallowing, and allows for a much greater density of crop yield as well as increasing general control over the plant environment. Unlike hydroponics however, aeroponics foregoes even the suspension in water - instead opting to water and fertilize crops via a nutrient-rich, highly pressurized mist of water applied directly to the roots of plants. Eliminating soil and a suspension of water allows for a more lightweight and efficient system, and the outdoor design allows for greater accessibility.

Why Aeroponics?

1. Apply an engineering mindset on efficient food production

2. Contributes to the development and further sustainability of Roger’s Community Garden at UCSD (located near Playhouse in Revelle)

3. Efficiency of system allows us to use solar power as a sustainable source of power

How you can help...

If you are interested in using some of your engineering skills to help complete this project, please consider filling out the sign-up form to get more information on when and where to attend meetings. In addition, feel free to tell your friends about the project and encourage them to join too!


Sunday: Building Days

The Aeroponics team meets every week to build or work on more parts of their system. The project combines hardware and software (in terms of coding and sensors). This is a picture of the macrolevel building that takes place.

The Pump

The pump and its attachments are arguably the most important part of the system. If any part of the pump system leaks or does not function correctly, the entire system will fail. This picture is of the team working on the pump.

Safety First

Here the team is working on more of the hardware. They protect themselves with masks (and the walls with newspapers) from the chemicals and parts they are working with. The parts depicted here are part of the pump as well.