March 31, 2019

Progress on the Smart Nutrient Additive System has been steady, but, as is all too well-known to inventors, there was bound to be a hiccup or two along the way. A week ago, we noticed that the ion readings from the nitrate probes in our nutrient solution reservoir were fluctuating far more than they should have. As it turns out, these probes cannot be immersed in solution for longer than 24 hours at a time, and doing so resulted in the inaccurate readings that we were seeing. Consequently, our plan for a perpetually submerged probe was no longer feasible. Nevertheless, we got to work on brainstorming about how we would overcome this obstacle. Eventually the team decided that the best way to surmount this challenge was to build a robotic arm that would submerge the probe at certain times throughout the day to acquire data, and then remove the probe from the water and store it in a moist sponge. With the help of our digital electronics teachers Mr. Kophazi and Mr. Wilson, our team quickly built this robotic arm, and we have noticed exceptional improvements in the accuracy of our nitrate concentration readings since its implementation!