Pennsylvania State University’s Forest Resources Laboratory, (FRL) evaluates the effects of air pollution on plant life in thier greenhouse test facility. Plants are placed into each of 16 continuously stirred reactor chambers and environmental conditions are monitored while controlled amounts of air pollutants are injected into the chambers. Tests are conducted over several months in order to observe the effects of pollution on the plant growth.
The original control and data acquisition systems could no longer meet the needs of the researchers conducting experiments within the greenhouse. The amount of pollutants introduced into the chambers was poorly regulated, the data acquisition was split between two systems, sensors were not reliable and the system did not provide the flexibility that the researchers needed in order to conduct multiple experiments simultaneously.