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Research Internship (Forschungspraxis): Development of a Nonlinear Observer for a Crop Model

13.01.2022, Diplomarbeiten, Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten

At the Chair of Automatic Control Engineering (LSR) we are currently looking for a student who is interested in working at the interface of control theory and agriculture. The aim of this research internship is to design a nonlinear state observer for a dynamical plant growth model.

Problem description

With the ever-increasing global population, and the effects of climate change, the question of how cities can be used for local cultivation, urban gardening, and vertical farms is becoming increasingly important. Vertical farms in particular are a promising approach to address these issues but they bring several problems, the most important of which is energy consumption. For this reason, optimal control of crops to minimize energy costs and maximize yield in a closed environment is beneficial.

For this purpose, the crop growth has been modelled in several different models, for example the SIMPLE model. It is a nonlinear discrete-time state-space model of a plant, where the states are the current biomass, the cumulative temperature and the leaf senescence. All of this states are difficult to measure, therefore a method is sought to simplify the measurement.

From pictures of the crop, the biomass could be estimated with machine learning. However, the cumulative temperature and the senescence of the leaves are still unknown. If the system is observable, the unknown states can be estimated. The goal of this project is to find an observer to estimate the unknown states.


  • Knowledge in nonlinear control
  • Interest in mathematical methods


Annalena Daniels (a.daniels@tum.de), Michael Fink (michael.fink@tum.de)

Kontakt: a.daniels@tum.de

More Information

TaskDescription Development of a Nonlinear Observer for a Crop Model, (Type: application/pdf, Size: 58.6 kB) Save attachment