Time-Domain Transmission Sensor System for On-site Dielectric Permittivity Measurements in Soil: A Compact, Low-cost and Stand-alone Solution
Dielectric-based measurement techniques have been shown to be very effective in determining the properties of various materials. These techniques have been widely used in a variety of fields and applications. Time Domain Transmission (TDT) techniques have grown in popularity because they are practical, non-destructive, provide measurements in real time and produce accurate measurements that are independent of multiple reflections. TDT techniques, on the other hand, are mostly performed with specialized, bulky laboratory equipment, such as a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) which makes TDT measurements prohibitively costly and unpractical. In fact, few works in the literature have reported portable on-site TDT systems. The aim of this paper is to design and implement a dedicated, compact, and low-cost microwave Time Domain Transmission (TDT) sensor for measuring superficial soil dielectric properties on-site. Our sensor uses a time-delay measurement technique over a microstrip transmission line to estimate the dielectric properties of the soil under test. Measurement results show that the computed mean absolute error (MAE) is less than 1.2 when compared to a calibrated dielectric assessment kit (DAK) with soils containing less than 20 % of water (εr<5.0), implying that our TDT sensor system can obtain on-site measurements in relatively dry soils with acceptable accuracy.
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana