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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436448

Research Project: Hyperspectral Imaging for Health and Food Safety in Cislunar Salad Crop Production

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-42000-020-53-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Objective:
Construct a miniature hyperspectral imager, validate its performance, develop vegetation indices for autonomous measurements of plant health needed to ensure food safety of salad crops used to supplement crew diets in near-term Cis-Lunar space missions. Construct a flight ready food production system that incorporates imaging systems for nondestructive measurements of plant health/food safety during Cis-Lunar missions.

Approach:
Monitoring plant growth and health during the entire life cycle of a crop is needed for ensuring food safety of salad crops fed to astronauts during Cis-Lunar missions. Hyperspectral imaging provides non-destructive and autonomous estimates of plant health. The purpose of this project is to develop a miniature hyperspectral imaging system for monitoring plant health remotely in spacecraft such as ISS, Gateway and Deep Space Transport. The imager will be used to collect relevant spectral data for developing suitable vegetation indices for monitoring plant health and monitoring nominal crop growth rates in remote spacecraft with minimal crew time.