This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Design Guidelines for Aeroponic Plant Growth Systems with Varying Degrees of Complexity, Autonomy, and Performance Capability




Murphy, Justin

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Industrial and Graphic Design


A continuously increasing world population coupled with a rise in the average global standard of living has resulted in an expanded global economic output that is putting an unsustainable demand on many of the Earth’s finite resources. Trees cannot regenerate to meet their rate of harvest. Rivers are being drained from over-pumped aquifers, and soil erosion of cropland exceeds new soil formation while the demand for food continues to rise. Increasing food production while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources exemplifies the challenges associated with sustainable development. Technological advances in recent decades have allowed for industrial-scale pesticide-free food production using techniques that are independent from environmental factors and more efficient than soil-based agriculture. However, until small-scale systems are developed in order to validate crop growth potential and procedures these solutions cannot be integrated into a new sustainable model of agricultural production. As with any maturing field, practices and guidelines need to be developed and tested for efficacy. Aeroponic systems represent a relatively new approach to growing crops; therefore, there is a paucity of published practices and guidelines that may be used to inform their design (Januszkiewicz and Jarmusz, 2018). The value of this thesis is in the guidelines that were developed in order to inform the creation of aeroponic systems with varying degrees of complexity, autonomy, and performance capability.