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UK: Valoya drives Queen Mary University’s research into higher yields in collaboration with Microsoft

Valoya worked with Microsoft Corp. to create a next generation of state of the art lighting system, using Valoya’s advanced LED lights, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology.

The solution Valoya created, helped by the collaboration with Microsoft, is a novel solution for simulation of natural outdoor light. The system, called Valoya LightDNA Dynamic Light, enables accurate replication of outdoor light conditions over time, while matching the spectrum and intensity of constantly changing natural light. 

Research in this field is of utmost importance, as it will contribute to feeding the growing population of our planet, through accelerating the selection and breeding of new, more productive and light stress resistant plant varieties. Professor Alexander Ruban of Queen Mary University of London’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences explains, “The system by Valoya now enables us to do testing on plants and algae, which has been impossible before. Not only will we reach very high light intensities, but we can also match the spectral conditions of different locations in the world. The flexibility of the system also allows us to do simulations on sunflecks in shade situations, all downstairs in our lab and anytime of the year. This will massively speed up our research and opens up completely new avenues for the future.”

The easy to use system, uses advanced optimization algorithms, to constantly match the target spectrum generated by the system for any location or time in the world, or to match a past or future light conditions or manually created spectral conditions. The system relies on Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform for data analytics plus remote control and maintenance of the light control and data pre-processing hardware deployed to Queen Mary University of London’s research lab. The system architecture provides design flexibility and ease of system administration for varying configurations and scale of light units plus local and remote data collection sensors. 

Lars Aikala, the CEO of Valoya comments: “The solution opens up completely new opportunities, not only in plant research, but in any testing or other applications where solar or outdoor light conditions are critical or of high value. We are very grateful for Microsoft’s contribution and the way they smoothly enabled linking our LED lights with the easy to use, easy to access user interface and all the software in between. We are also thankful to our first customer of the system, Queen Mary University of London, who gave us great input from the end user perspective.” 

“Our collaboration with Valoya and Queen Mary University of London brings together IoT, big data and cloud technologies in a way that is both advanced and relevant for agricultural researchers and businesses,” said Petro Soininen, Principal Software Development Engineer, Technology Evangelism and Development, Partner Catalyst team at Microsoft. “Through this novel project, we have been able to validate and evolve some of our latest technology and architecture, combining the power and flexibility of Azure with select open source components.”

For more information 
Valoya Oy
Lars Aikala (Mr.), CEO
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