At the Novoportovskoye oil and gas field (Yamal Peninsula), the first Arctic crop of vegetables was harvested, grown using the Spektr 2.0 special autonomous vegetation complex developed and assembled at JSC VNIIKhT, which combines elements of hydro- and aeroponics, with growing crops in the substrate.
Betal Beshtoev, director of JSC VNIIKhT, said that the technology underlying the work of the vegetation complex is intended for growing any plants in automated modular installations. At the same time, the Spektr technology does not require glazing of structures and protected ground. The module itself or a “cluster” of modules can be placed in any premises – workshops, mines, hangars, utility rooms, on underwater and surface ships, at research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic, on space habitable objects and other autonomous sites.
To feed the grown crops, solutions filled with macro- and microelements, vitamins and minerals are used. The substrate with the established concentration of the necessary salts and the acidity of the solution is developed for each specific plant species. Food and lighting is carried out according to the developed “individual” programs in accordance with the actinorhythms of the grown crops.
As Beshtoev noted, the modules developed at JSC VNIIKhT make it possible to obtain year-round harvests of rare or especially useful plant species in regions where their cultivation in open and protected ground is impossible. “What is especially important,” Betal Zaurbekovich emphasized, “Spektr modules provide higher yields and germination rates compared to traditional hydro- and aeroponic technologies. The number of harvests per year on the Spektr 2.0 vegetative module on greens and salads reaches 12-25, vegetables – 4-6, seedlings – 18 harvests, while in the greenhouse 7-12 on greens, 2-3 on vegetables, and outdoors maximum 2 crops. At the same time, our technologies allow us to grow 100% environmentally friendly plant cultures, which is confirmed by the Declaration of Conformity of Products with the Requirements of the EEC.”
The agro-complex at the Novoportovskoye field is so far the only one beyond the Arctic Circle that allows growing vegetables and herbs regardless of harsh climatic conditions. The complex belongs to Gazprom Neft, and negotiations are already underway with JSC VNIIHT on the supply of at least 150 more modules.
“We are capable of solving the above tasks,” assures Andrei Makarkin, project manager at JSC VNIIKhT. – Work with the Arctic is developing, work is underway with representatives of law enforcement agencies to provide vitamin nutrition to remote and isolated garrisons, the Far East and Kamchatka are next in line. The project team is working on the creation of a “vitamin menu” for preventive nutrition from plants grown at our facilities for nuclear power plant workers, people working in special, harmful, climatically difficult conditions. There are many interesting directions for the development of our complexes ahead – this is the accelerated cultivation of specified seedlings of fruit trees and material for landscaping settlements, the restoration of the “livestock” of plants listed in the Red Book, the cultivation of rare exotic and medicinal plants, the introduction of microcloning elements into the technical process.