Initial Exploration of a Root Suction Irrigation System

Initial Exploration of a Root Suction Irrigation System
Amos Winter, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Xuanhe Zhao, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Period of performance: 

September 2016 to December 2016

Abstract: 

This proposal presents a fundamentally different means of irrigating crops by using the suction pressure developed by plant roots to convey water, rather than relying on a pump and power system.  We will build a proof-of-concept root suction irrigation system that allows seeds to germinate within hydrogel modules, extend roots within the gel and into the irrigation lines, and use root suction to drive the water flow in the irrigation system.