Sensors 2012, 12(10), 13349-13392; doi:10.3390/s121013349
Review

Ion-Specific Nutrient Management in Closed Systems: The Necessity for Ion-Selective Sensors in Terrestrial and Space-Based Agriculture and Water Management Systems

1 Canadian Space Agency, Space Science and Technology, 6767 route de l’aéroport, Longueuil, QC J3Y 8Y9, Canada 2 Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada 3 COM DEV Ltd., 303 Terry Fox Dr., Suite 100, Ottawa, ON K2K 3J1, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2012; in revised form: 3 September 2012 / Accepted: 10 September 2012 / Published: 1 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
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Abstract: The ability to monitor and control plant nutrient ions in fertigation solutions, on an ion-specific basis, is critical to the future of controlled environment agriculture crop production, be it in traditional terrestrial settings (e.g., greenhouse crop production) or as a component of bioregenerative life support systems for long duration space exploration. Several technologies are currently available that can provide the required measurement of ion-specific activities in solution. The greenhouse sector has invested in research examining the potential of a number of these technologies to meet the industry’s demanding requirements, and although no ideal solution yet exists for on-line measurement, growers do utilize technologies such as high-performance liquid chromatography to provide off-line measurements. An analogous situation exists on the International Space Station where, technological solutions are sought, but currently on-orbit water quality monitoring is considerably restricted. This paper examines the specific advantages that on-line ion-selective sensors could provide to plant production systems both terrestrially and when utilized in space-based biological life support systems and how similar technologies could be applied to nominal on-orbit water quality monitoring. A historical development and technical review of the various ion-selective monitoring technologies is provided.
Keywords: ion-selective sensors; water quality; inorganic ion monitoring; space exploration; bioregenerative life support; hydroponics

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bamsey, M.; Graham, T.; Thompson, C.; Berinstain, A.; Scott, A.; Dixon, M. Ion-Specific Nutrient Management in Closed Systems: The Necessity for Ion-Selective Sensors in Terrestrial and Space-Based Agriculture and Water Management Systems. Sensors 2012, 12, 13349-13392.

AMA Style

Bamsey M, Graham T, Thompson C, Berinstain A, Scott A, Dixon M. Ion-Specific Nutrient Management in Closed Systems: The Necessity for Ion-Selective Sensors in Terrestrial and Space-Based Agriculture and Water Management Systems. Sensors. 2012; 12(10):13349-13392.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bamsey, Matthew; Graham, Thomas; Thompson, Cody; Berinstain, Alain; Scott, Alan; Dixon, Michael. 2012. "Ion-Specific Nutrient Management in Closed Systems: The Necessity for Ion-Selective Sensors in Terrestrial and Space-Based Agriculture and Water Management Systems." Sensors 12, no. 10: 13349-13392.

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