Aeroponic systems design: considerations and challenges

Submitted: 19 February 2022
Accepted: 30 June 2022
Published: 15 September 2022
Abstract Views: 3500
PDF: 822
Appendix: 96
HTML: 1233
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Controlled Environment Agriculture holds promise as a way to intensify current agricultural production systems while limiting pressures on land, water, and energy resources. However, its use has not yet been widely adopted, partly because the engineering design considerations and associated challenges are not well known. This is even more apparent for aeroponics, where the addi-tional cost and complexities in controlling atomisation have yet to establish an advantage in scale over simpler hydroponic systems. To shed light on these considerations and challenges, an instrumented aeroponic system was prototyped to create a quanti-tative growth model for various species of leafy greens. As the first consideration, pressure swirl atomisers were paired with a diaphragm-type pressure tank to supply the necessary pressures needed for effective atomisation. Secondly, the nutrient solution was mixed on demand from Reverse Osmosis water, and the con-centrated nutrient stock was then pumped into the pressure tank using a positive displacement pump. A bamboo-based substrate that allowed germination and extended vegetative growth was supported on a stainless-steel mesh and PVC frame acting as a grow tray. Finally, a camera microservice platform was developed using a computer vision pixel-based segmentation method to quantify plant growth.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Aluminum chemical compatibility. CP Lab Safety. Available from:
Benke K., Tomkins B. 2017. Future food-production systems: vertical farming and controlled-environment agriculture. Sustain.: Sci. Pract. Policy. 13:13-26.
BETE 1218USA catalog. BETE. 2019. Available from: Carbon steel chemical compatibility chart. CP Lab Safety.
Clawson J., Hoehn A., Stodieck L., Todd P., Stoner R. 2000. Re-
examining aeroponics for spaceflight plant growth. SAE. Technical. Papers.
Colmer T. 2003. Long-distance transport of gases in plants: a perspective on internal aeration and radial oxygen loss from roots. Plant. Cell. Environ. 26:17-36.
Despommier D. 2011. The vertical farm: controlled environment agriculture carried out in tall buildings would create greater food safety and security for large urban populations. JVL. 6:233-6.
Dhingra G., Kumar V., Joshi H.D. 2019. A novel computer vision
based neutrosophic approach for leaf disease identification and classification. Measurement. 135:782-94.
Eldridge B., Manzoni L., Graham C., Rodgers B., Farmer J., Dodd A. 2020. Getting to the roots of aeroponic indoor farming. New. Phytol. 228:1183-92.
Gajjar R., Gajjar N., Thakor V.J., Patel N.P., and Ruparelia S. 2021. Real-time detection and identification of plant leaf diseases using convolutional neural networks on an embedded platform. Visual. Comput. 38:2923-38.
Geetharamani G., Arun Pandian J. 2019. Identification of plant leaf diseases using a nine-layer deep convolutional neural network. Comput. Elect. Eng. 76:323-38.
Guo W., Zheng B., Duan, T., Fukatsu T., Chapman S., Ninomiya S. 2017. EasyPCC: benchmark datasets and tools for high-throughput measurement of the plant canopy coverage ratio under field conditions. Sensors. 17:798.
Hassan SK.M., Maji A.K., Jasiński M., Leonowicz Z., Jasińska E. 2021. Identification of plant-leaf diseases using CNN and trans-fer-learning approach. Electronics. 10:1388.
Kozai. T. 2018. Smart plant factory: the next generation indoor vertical farms. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Lakhiar I.A., Gao J., Syed T.N, Chandio F.A., Buttar N.A. 2018. Modern plant cultivation technologies in agriculture under con-trolled environment: a review on aeroponics. J. Plant. Interact. 13:338-52.
Laugerette T., Stöckel F. 2016. From Agriculture to AgTech - an industry transformed beyond molecules and chemicals. Deloitte, 8. Available from:
Lefebvre A., McDonell, V. 2017. Atomization and sprays, Second
edition. ed. (Combustion: an international series). Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, CRC Press.
Li Q., Li X., Tang B., Gu M. 2018. Growth responses and root characteristics of lettuce grown in aeroponics, hydroponics, and substrate culture. Horticulturae. 4:35.
Montagnoli A., Terzaghi M., Fulgaro N., Stoew B., Wipenmyr J., Ilver D., Rusu C., Scippa, G.S., Chiatante, D. 2016. Non-destructive phenotypic analysis of early stage tree seedling growth using an automated stereovision imaging method. Front. Plant. Sci. 7:1644.
Nanehkaran Y.A., Zhang D., Chen J., Tian Y., Al-Nabhan N. 2020.
Recognition of plant leaf diseases based on computer vision. J AMB INTEL HUM COMP J. Amb. Intel. Hum. Comp. 1-18 Pittman R. 2016. Regulation of tissue oxygenation, 2nd ed. (Colloquium series on integrated systems physiology, # 65). San Rafael, CA: Morgan and Claypool Life Sciences.
Pumps, spray nozzles, and accessories. Pentair. 2018. Available from:
PVC chemical compatibility. CP Lab Safety. Available from:
Sladojevic S., Arsenovic M., Anderla A., Culibrk D., Stefanovic D. 2016. Deep neural networks based recognition of plant diseases by leaf image classification. Comput. Intel. Neurosc. 2016:3289801-11.
Specht K., Siebert R., Hartmann I., Freisinger U.B., Sawicka M., Werner A., Thomaier S., Henckel D., Walk H., Dierich A. 2014. Urban agriculture of the future: an overview of sustainability aspects of food production in and on buildings. Agr. Hum. Values. 31:33-51.
Stainless steel chemical compatibility chart. CP Lab Safety. Available from:
Thakur K., Partap M., Kumar D., Warghat A.R. 2019. Enhancement of picrosides content in Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth. mediated through nutrient feeding approach under aeroponic and hydroponic system. Ind. Crop. Prod. 133:160-7.
Wyslouzil B.E., Whipple M., Chatterjee C., Walcerz, D.B., Weathers P.J., Hart D.P. 1997. Mist deposition onto hairy root cultures: aerosol modeling and experiments. Biotechnol. Progr. 13:185-94.
Zhao F., Repo E., Yin D., Meng Y., Jafari S., Sillanpää M. 2015. EDTA-Cross-Linked β-Cyclodextrin: an environmentally friendly bifunctional adsorbent for simultaneous adsorption of metals and cationic dyes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49: 10570-80.

How to Cite

Min, A., Nguyen, N., Howatt, L., Tavares, M. and Seo, J. . (2022) “Aeroponic systems design: considerations and challenges”, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 54(1). doi: 10.4081/jae.2022.1387.