The Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) facilities are located at the Campus Agricultural Center, just three miles north of the University of Arizona campus. The CEAC includes advanced technology greenhouses and growth chambers, as well as office, laboratory, and teaching facilities.
A computer-controlled greenhouse became operational at the CEAC in August 2000. The greenhouse is primarily dedicated to classroom teaching and demonstration, but several research projects remain in progress there throughout the academic year. The facility is capable of producing roughly 1,200 tomato, pepper, or cucumber plants within 5,200 square feet, with irrigation handled by an automated watering and nutrient proportioning system.
Additionally, at the CEAC, a team of UA researchers has spent several years building and maintaining a fully functional prototype lunar and Martian greenhouse. The project, a NASA Steckler Space Grant collaboration, brings together some 20 researchers from different disciplines to grow crops that could grow on Mars and the moon, all inside of one big aluminum-framed, plastic-covered cylinder.
Through all of its research, instruction, and programming, the CEAC expands knowledge on producing crops efficiently and sustainably.