Module 7 – Data
Within NPEC, each module is outfitted with advanced imaging and sensor systems, initially storing acquired data on the local hard drives of individual PCs. NPEC has implemented a data framework to ensure automatic synchronization of this data from local PCs to either Microsoft Azure or high-end local network storage solutions. This synchronized data, referred to as 'hot', remains available on these systems for several months after the experiments have been ended.
Users can securely access this data through MS Azure, even daily during their ongoing experiment, allowing researchers to monitor the progress of the experiments from commencement to conclusion. The NPEC data module has been developed to refine raw sensor data into coherent and usable information for every imaging system and sensor in each module. NPEC is storing data according to the FAIR principles, and to enable re-usability extensive metadata information is stored with the phenotypic data, where the guidelines of MIAPPE are followed. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other sophisticated data processing tools, using automated Python scripts and VM technologies, the module handles complex tasks such as the bulk processing of UAV/ drone images, sensor fusion of multiple imaging systems and extraction of phenotypic traits from 3D point clouds with precision and reliability.
For long-term preservation, the data is subsequently transferred to iRODS and is archived on tape. Medio 2023, NPEC already collected and archived 1.000’s of terabytes.
NPEC’s Ecotron facility at Utrecht University consists of a range of 36 fully closed and controlled mesocosm systems that allow for real-life plant (agro-) ecosystem analyses in real time.
Plant-Microbe Interaction Phenotyping
The Plant-Microbe-Interaction Phenotyping Module consists of two independent phenotyping installations designed for high-throughput phenotyping of the plant shoot (Helios) and in-vitro root system (Hades).
Multi-Environment Climate Chambers
NPEC’s Multi-Environment Climate Chambers Module will host a series of 15 small climate chambers with the highest level of homogeneity in temperature, humidity, and light intensity available.
High-Throughput Phenotyping Climate Chamber
The climate cells in this research module can be used to analyse thousands of plants in a single experiment.
The fully automated NPEC greenhouse is equipped with conveyors and gantries to collect large scale phenotypic data.
The NPEC Open Field module consists of one easily transportable vehicle, the TraitSeeker and three UAVs, all equipped with state-of-the-art sensors.