As humanity seeks to tackle the double challenge of rising global famine and extreme climate conditions, food security as well as sustainable and weather-independent farming are becoming vital issues for policy makers, researchers and ordinary citizens all around the world. Solutions developed by corporations like Hungary’s Tungsram Operations Kft. that aim to facilitate plant cultivation and farming research promise to deliver efficient solutions answers to these pressing questions.
A major report issued earlier this month by the United Nations found that almost 690 million people went hungry in 2019 – up by nearly 60 million in five years. The data for that report is from before the COVID-19 pandemic, which the UN earlier this year estimated could double the number of hungry people in the world. To make matters worse, unpredictable weather conditions attributed to global warming are having a disastrous impact on crop yields, animal health and farmers’ ability to do business. Placing the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss at the core of agriculture’s recovery from the economic and social effects of the Covid-19 restrictions is of utmost importance.
The unparalleled technological developments of our times are coming to the rescue as the IT and agricultural industries join forces to come up with solutions for green and sustainable plant cultivation. Hungary’s Tungsram Group, which has built a reputation for itself as a premium European lighting technology brand, is contributing to this process with its own means. Relying on its lighting technology expertise accumulated over the past century, the company’s Agritech division is dedicated to developing LED-based products and solutions that support precision farming such as greenhouses and vertical farms. Indoor farming is a rapidly growing sector supported by artificial intelligence in which machines are taught to manage day to day horticultural tasks. The industry is set to grow annually by 21 percent till 2025, according to a 2019 forecast by Grand View Research.
Helping farming research with cutting-edge solutions
Tungsram’s toplight research module is a prime example of an in-house development that offers world-class quality LED lighting and smart-solutions to scientists involved in plant cultivation research. The module is a lighting system with variable spectrum and controllable light levels allowing users to experiment with different wavelengths and light intensity to define the most optimal lighting spectrum for the given phenophases of all kinds of plants.
The 4- to 5-channel research module, which has a light output of up to 1183 µmol/s and a rated life of 50,000 hours, provides all-around spectral variations to fine-tune light settings for optimal plant growth. Used primarily for R&D purposes by universities and research institutes, the module is equipped with fully dimmable color and UV LED chips tailored to the user’s needs to achieve the most versatile spectrums in line with the research objectives. Adjusting the light spectrum and intensity guarantees that the module provides ideal lighting conditions for each phase of the plant’s life. In the case of research projects using more than one module, the wireless or manual control system ensures that the lamps can be adjusted individually or in group.
Professionals at Tungsram Agritech are working on further developing the software used in the research module. They want to apply AI and machine learning solutions to use the data collected by sensors monitoring specific conditions related to the plants and their environment. The objective is to draft ‘recipes’ that guarantee an optimal nutrient content and yield while enhancing chemical and resource use efficiency.
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This article is also published on Hortidaily.