P19762: Agriculture Value Chain

Subsystem Build & Test

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Subsystem Level Build & Test Phase

This phase we started to refine our designs for each subsystem through testing. The pump, filter and sensor system have been the main focuses. We have started measuring and marking out the structure to be built and cut. For the next phase we hope to start building the structure.

Visit to Webster High School Aquaponics

On Sunday February 10th, our team visited the Webster high school aquaponics system. We talked with the manager of the system, Mark Balfour, and he taught us how his system works. He also answered our many our questions (such as amount of grow lights needed, how to regulate pH, whether we could buy fish from him, etc.) Below are photos taken during our visit.


The image above shows Mark's plant bed layout where he grows lettuce.


The image above shows the different stages of lettuce growth.


The image above shows media bed plant growth.


The image above shows nutrient film technique plant growth.


The image above shows the pumping system that rotates water between the fish tanks and the plant beds.


The image above shows the viewing window for the tilipia in their grow tanks.


The image above shows a top view for the tilipia grow tanks.

Subsytem Build


Below shows the assembled hand pump to move water in our system.



Below shows the construction of our filter using foam dimensioned to the inner diameter of the pvc pipe.

public/SubsystemBuildandTest/Filter 1.jpg public/SubsystemBuildandTest/Filter 2.jpg


The drain subsystem was built.



All structure materials were dimensioned. Two boards need to be replaced and another 2"x2" board is needed so the wood has not yet been cut. Foam boards were cut to size as seen below.

public/BuildandTestPrep/Pics/CutFoamBoard.jpg public/BuildandTestPrep/Pics/CutFoamRafts.jpg

Subsystem Testing

Pump Test

We tested the pump for its flow rate. We timed 20 strokes (up and down) and measured the volume that was moved in that time. From that, we determined the minimum time to move half the water in system would be about 15 minutes. We would not expect someone to be able to keep a constant pace for 15 minutes so our recommendation would be for the user to pump the system from 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening.


Filter Test

We tried out the new filter design, this design features a larger section of pipe filled with filter foam than can be pulled out easily to be cleaned. We determined that the filter did clean the water pretty well, but could become clogged easily.

public/BuildandTestPrep/Pics/FilterTestPrep.jpg public/BuildandTestPrep/Pics/FilterTest.jpg

Sensor Test

We will borrow an oxygen and pH sensor from a department on campus and compare the values obtained to the values obtained from our sensor system.

User Interface Test

The mobile app and user interface on the LCD display will be tested by letting other members of the team who did not develop it, test the functionality if and make sure that it is user friendly. Feedback will be collected from those testing it and corresponding updates (if any) will be made.

Power Test

The output of the solar panels will be measured. The solar panels will then be connected to the solar charge controller to charge the battery. The load output of the solar charge controller will be measured, connected to the Vin pin on the DFRobot Bluno Mega and the 5V rail will be measured. If the 5V rail has noise on it, filtering will be added before the Vin pin.

Imagine RIT Poster

We have created the initial template for the Imagine RIT poster. Other posters are being analyzed to determine our layout. Relevant pictures are being collected. Below is the current template:


Risk and Problem Tracking

public/Photos/Problem Tracking 2.jpg

Plans for next phase

Our plan for next phase is to have a full system built and test as a whole.

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