Precision Agriculture using Networks of Degradable Analytical Sensors (PANDAS)

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OPEN 2018
Boulder, Colorado
Project Term:
04/01/2019 - 03/31/2023

Technology Description:

The University of Colorado Boulder will develop 3D-printed, biodegradable soil sensor nodes to enable farmers to precisely assess soil moisture and nitrogen levels, which will provide insight into crop water and fertilizer needs. These low cost nodes can be embedded in a field to accurately and continuously monitor soil health for an entire season before degrading completely and harmlessly into the soil. This approach could enable real-time soil monitoring by farmers, enabling them to reduce agriculture’s energy footprint and water needs and increase soil carbon.

Potential Impact:

This project’s primary goal is to demonstrate the use concept for degradable soil sensors in agriculture.


Increasing agricultural production efficiency is important in promoting a robust and sustainable bioeconomy as well as avoiding hunger and political instability in many regions of the world. The technology will position the U.S. as a research leader in a critical arena and maintain U.S. leadership in the bioeconomy.


The technology will decrease energy demands and climate emissions for producing food and feed crops as well as bioeconomy feedstocks.


The technology will enhance input use efficiency, crop yield, and farm profitability.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Marina Sofos
Project Contact:
Dr. Gregory Whiting
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Colorado State University
University of California, Berkeley

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