From monitoring single plants to remote management of entire greenhouses, 30MHz has taken its plant-led focus a long way since its first appearance in the Innovation Hub in 2018.
Steven Archer of 30MHz explains that its wireless sensors are able to do an analysis of crop level environmental conditions, including measurement of actual leaf and stem metrics, to more closely assess how “happy” the crop is. The data is collated into the 30MHz platform for analysis and models are created to enable the development of the optimal growing environment.
The company recently reached the finals of the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, which aimed to grow healthy cherry tomatoes remotely. Within six months the multidisciplinary team of horticultural experts and computer scientists were able to develop the system and models needed to control a greenhouse autonomously.
Steven explains that this is just one of the applications for the technology: “30MHz provides a data platform for horticulture that collates data from a range of wireless sensors and data sources, analyses and stores the data and then makes it available for many applications. These applications can be simple analysis of a plant or soil moisture or indeed control of an entire controlled environments such as the recent Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge.
“The data is owned by the user and can be utilised in any way they see fit including being sent into other platforms via our API or it can be sent into climate computers for control.”
The platform supports the integration of other sensors such as 2Grow, Sendot and Paskal, with many more coming, and the data is displayed through a fully customisable dashboard accessible on smartphone, putting decision support directly into the hands of the user.
Steven continues: “As it is customisable the data can be displayed in many different ways depending on how the grower wishes to analyse the particular metric in order to make decisions.
“For example, continuous data on substrate or soil conditions can show when sufficient dry back has happened and when irrigation needs to begin. This is particularly important in controlled environments where climate control – particularly managing humidity – is energy intensive.
“Certainly, the optimisation of various metrics has led to less water use, less heat use and in some cases less CO2 pumping.”