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Automating the High Tunnel Environment

The EMS is an inexpensive climate control system designed specifically for high tunnels.  The system relays environmental data collected by sensors to a touch screen Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), which then interfaces wirelessly with a remote PC or hand-held device.  Through a web-based portal, the grower is able to automate and monitor a wide range of processes–from ventilation and circulation to irrigation and fertilization.  The processes associated with each high tunnel in a multiple high tunnel commercial operation can then be individually monitored, controlled and managed. 

In the event of a malfunction, such as excessive heat build-up in the tunnel, the system will notify the registered users by email or text message.   The EMS also gives growers the ability to store the sensor data for later graphical presentation.  The graphing feature allows growers to determine when high tunnel sides were opened, ventilation fans activated, and analyze temperature data. 

All these features, along with others, allow precision control of the high tunnel environment from just about any internet accessible location.

The funds to develop the EMS were awarded through the Small Business Innovation Research program.  The SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Development  that has the potential for commercialization.

Environmental Management System