Global plant phenotyping specialist LemnaTec Corporation, issued a news release from Germany that announced it secured the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Award for Advanced Field Phenotyping System, which will enable the company “to build and install the largest and most sophisticated field phenotyping system on the planet.”

Dedicated to measuring bioenergy crops, the Scanalyzer Field System will be installed in Maricopa, Ariz., in time for the 2016 growing season. Advances in genomic research have already delivered vast amounts of data for plant research; however, to progress this, automated high-throughput measurement of crops under field conditions, known as phenotyping, is also required, the company noted.

“The Scanalyzer Field System agreement with ARPA-E is the first of what I hope will be many projects in the rapidly-developing North America phenotyping sector,” said Dirk Vandenhirtz, LemnaTec CEO. “LemnaTec is ready to meet the demand with a local presence to provide sales, service and support.”

The system is part of the Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) program, which arose from an ARPA-E workshop last year to develop tools that support genetic improvement of the yield of bioenergy crops grown in the field. LemnaTec claims it is the only company with the expertise and track record to integrate hardware, sensors and data analysis software on such a scale with the field phenotyping system.

“As a plant physiologist, I am very excited about the Scanalyzer Field system,” said Edwin Reidel, Ph.D., North America business manager for LemnaTec. “Operating day and night, the giant portal crane will move advanced cameras and sensors across a research plot measuring over one acre in area, generating arguably the most detailed measurements ever recorded on crop growth, size, health, photosynthetic performance and more.”

Other information about the Scanalyzer Field System and more about LemnaTec’s other research and innovations in agricultural phenotyping are available at  www.lemnatec.com. The company says that since 1998, it has led development of digital phenotyping systems and now has more than 1,000 users around the globe.