SP 6 - ConnectivitySystem

Subproject 6



The TP6 (connectivity system) is responsible for connecting the three production units (vegetables, fish, insects). Conceptual considerations and calculations must be made on how the energy flows, the water and nutrient flows as well as the gas components (CO2) can be connected. Storage possibilities must be developed for each energy and material flow in order to compensate the different course of the production and load curves. The management of surplus and deficiency situations must be organized. It is the concept for the exchange of information that has to be developed. The existing greenhouse test facility in Berlin-Dahlem (closed solar collector greenhouse) is to be expanded so that additional thermal energy and process water can be decoupled for the CUBES components. The automation of this greenhouse plant is to be extended to the control of the plant cube.

The connectivity system will also be responsible for establishing and operating the sensor network and feeding the measurement information into the joint databases.


Prof. Dr. Uwe Schmidt an engineering scientist, is the head of the Division Biosystems Engineering at the Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin. This Division works on research projects dealing with the coupling of biological and technical systems. The main focus is on innovations in sensor and automation technology for intensive crop cultivation in greenhouses as well as on software development such as phytocontrol technology. Using plant monitoring systems developed by the Department, technical processes in greenhouses can be carried out according to plant signals - a novelty. In recent years, Prof. Dr. Schmidt has increasingly focused on the management of recirculating water and nutrient cycles and the development of closed greenhouses with cooling and storage for the bivalent use of greenhouses as plant production sites and thermal solar collectors. Several patented innovations for cooling and heat storage as well as for automation of solar collector greenhouses software have emerged from cooperation in the national joint project Future Initiative for Low Energy Greenhouses (ZINEG) . The joint project was awarded the BMBF Sustainability Prize in 2014. Prof. Dr. Schmidt was active as a consultant in the Aquaponics-EU project INAPRO and was able to gain experience with the technology and control of coupled agricultural systems, which are to be used and expanded in the CUBES Circle project.

Contact: u.schmidt(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de


Dr. Dennis Dannehl has worked at different research centers in Germany and New Zealand and is currently employed as postdoc at Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin. He is an expert in controlled environment horticulture and especially focused on the development of technical systems and control methods applied in greenhouses to optimise plant growth and health related plant compounds in vegetables.

During the project CUBES Circle, he will develop and proof a hybrid aeroponic/nutrient film technique system for cultivation of vegetables. The research is mainly focused on the reliability of the hybrid system in order to produce vegetables in a sustainable way. This means with fish waste water and without additional substrates to reduce the fresh water consumption and CO2-emissions and. Effects on phenotypic changes caused by this new system will be examined.

Contact: dennis.dannehl(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de


Harald Braungardt is CEO of STEP Systems GmbH.

Contact: hb(at)stepsystems.de


Dr. Thorsten Rocksch works at the Department of Biosystems Engineering and develops phytocontrol strategies for greenhouses using plant signals. Furthermore, he deals with the management of recirculating water and nutrient cycles, sensor development and crop cultivation systems.

Within the CUBES Circle project, he is involved in the development of an ion-selective nutrient solution management system, in which adapted nutrient solutions are mixed fully automatically in recirculating circuits, taking into account the drain quantities and the drain composition.

Contact: t.rocksch(at)agrar.hu-berlin.de


Mareike Mauerer is a research assistant at the Division of Biosystems Engineering at Humboldt-University zu Berlin. The subject of her PhD is the integration of nitrified human urine as a fertilizer in recirculating nutrient solutions for greenhouse vegetable production.

In the project CUBES Circle she will be responsible for supporting data management, information exchange and optimization of technical processes at the interface of the different cubes. She will also be contributing to the project with her expertise in closing nutrient cycles and usage of recycled nutrients in closed vegetable production systems.

Contact: mareike.mauerer(at)hu-berlin.de

Other employees (cooperating or former): Luis Miranda and Ingo Schuch