U of A

The UA RAFT testbed, located in Tucson, AZ is equipped with a set of three 600-L open raceway growth systems for small scale cultivation experimentation and two larger scale Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID) raceway cultivation systems for large scale experiments. The  ARID design allows for mixing by low heat solar powered pumping and gravity flow over channel baffles for mixing. In addition, these systems have sumps to store cultures at night to conserve heat and increase winter productivity. The UA RAFT testbed also has production and processing capabilities to harvest biomass and recycle media. In addition, UA has specialized capabilities in molecular monitoring and real time monitoring and control of controlled agricultural systems that will be applied as part of their R&D efforts.

             Experimental 8,000L ARID testbed



Technical and Management Expertise of Project Team                                 

Kim Ogden
PI-RAFT Executive Lead


  • Professor, Chemical & Environmental Engineering - Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
  • NAABB Engineering Director
  • Expertise in algal cultivation, processing and techno-economic analysis

Peter Waller
Testbed Lead


  • Associate Professor of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering
  • NAABB ARID testbed design and optimization (Patent application submitted)
  • Expertise in irrigation design, fluid flow, pump optimization

Judith Brown


  • Professor of Plant Science
  • Genetic and adaptive engineering of microalgae
  • Molecular diagnostics for alga/bacterial community monitoring
  • Biomarker development to understand culture health

Murat Kacira


  • Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
  • Advanced sensing and climate control in sustainable controlled environment agricultural systems

Randy Ryan


  • Assistant Director of the Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Large scale cultivation in the Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID) system