Sandia National Labs’ Plant Productivity Sensor Technology R&D

Sandia National Laboratories is developing novel, field-deployable sensor technologies for monitoring soil, root, and plant systems. First, the team will adapt microneedles, originally developed for painless monitoring of soldier health. The minimally invasive needles will be used to report on real-time chemical concentrations in plants. The second key technology is miniature gas chromatographs deployed in the soil and near plants to monitor volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Plants synthesize and release VOCs that act as chemical signals, such as when they are responding to stress like that caused by insects, drought or extreme temperatures. 

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC (NTESS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Major research and development responsibilities include nuclear deterrence, national security, defense nuclear nonproliferation, energy technologies, and advanced science and technology. The main facilities are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.

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