Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Byard D. Wood


This thesis describes and documents the design and construction of a light source which is tunable and has the ability to mimic the spectral output of the sun in the photosynthetic active radiation range (400 - 700 nm). To adjust the spectral output at different wavelengths different types of LEDs were chosen and combined. This thesis describes the design, construction, testing, and suggestions for further improvements to this light source. The light source is comprised of 900 LEDs with 26 different peak wavelengths within the photosynthetically active radiation range. The light source is made tunable through the use of a control system utilizing pulse width modulation. This unique light source will allow studies to be performed to understand spectral influences on microalgae and lipid production as well as other photosynthetic organisms.


This work made publicly available electronically on December 21, 2012.