Controlled Environment Horticultural Systems
The HORTSYS.2 research group develops resource-optimised production systems for controlled cultivation such as greenhouses and indoor farms; and extends these systems with co-production and recirculation systems such as fish and plants in aquaponics.
Here we work with solutions that combine models and sensors to create so-called soft sensors. These systems are eventually used in DSS and for climate control. We create DSS systems and develop background knowledge for climate-controlled low- and high-tech cultivation systems.
We build and improve predictive models in greenhouse crops and use models for system understanding and plant behaviour in controlled environments. Understanding is gained through experimental work combined with modelling studies. However, our focus is broadened to include vertical production systems and synergistic and co-cultivation productions with closed nutrient cycles, such as aquaponics.
In general, we research and develop up to proof-of-concept and move up to TRL 6, i.e. innovations are tested in relevant environments; in our understanding, systems are validated with sensors, models and algorithms. In addition, however, we also participate in prototype development and in model and demonstration projects.
The main research questions of HORTSYS.2 cover all aspects of modelling, sensing, IT and plant / crop physiology through 1) early detection / active stress to influence plant quality / triggering of active components, 2) use of phenotyping techniques and soft sensors; 3) optimisation and control of co-cultivation productions such as aquaponics; 4) microclimate optimisation for sustainable production in greenhouse and indoor.