In addition to its regular meetings, the NCR-101 committee has developed activities to provide information to aid all controlled environment researchers. Some of these activities are highlighted below.
Measurement and Reporting Guidelines
International Controlled Environment guidelines provide recommendations on what should be measured, units to utilize, where to measure, when to measure, and what to report in research articles. Interaction with controlled environment groups in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand led to the development of internationally accepted guidelines for conducting growth chamber and greenhouse research as well as tissue culture research.
Growth Chamber Manuals
An earlier effort of members of the committee was directed toward helping new growth chamber users grow plants effectively. The group published the Plant Growth Chamber Manual, Langhans & Tibbitts, (1997), with chapters on Light, Temperature, Humidity, Carbon Dioxide, Air Movement, Air Contaminants, Physiological Disorders, Pests & Diseases, Plant Culture in Solid Media & Hydroponics, Experimental Design, Chamber Specifications, Special Use Chambers, Measurement & Reporting Guidelines, and Crop Growth Requirements. The 1997 publication can no longer be ordered, but is available in PDF format on this web site. [View PDF files]
Controlled Environment Instruments
A considerable amount of the committee’s efforts have been directed toward ensuring accurate and effective measurement of the environment to which the plant is exposed during its growth in the chamber.
Standardized Instrument Package
A package of instruments obtained through a grant from NSF funds has been maintained and continuously updated as new instrumentation has become available. Of particular interest and emphasis has been the accurate measurement of radiation in the chambers, including the photosynthetic wavelengths, long wave intensity, and most recently ultraviolet wavelengths. This instrument package is maintained by one laboratory with regular auditing of the instruments and is forwarded to anyone requesting it for a 2 week period of use with payment of a fee. The fee provides funds for instrument maintenance and purchase of new instruments that become available. Some instruments have been provided at no or reduced cost by the instrument companies. A list of packages and information about renting a package can be found on the Instrument Package page.
Evaluation of Instruments
A significant effort of the committee has been the evaluation of instruments for environmental measurement. Information is shared with the group and at times instruments are added to the Instrument Packages.
Quality Assurance Recommendations
Recommendations for environmental measurement were developed to outline types of sensors to use, accuracy in sensors desired, and procedures for calibration of sensors. Sager et al 2005