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Presentation of a Complex Permittivity-Meter with Applications for Sensing the Moisture and Salinity of a Porous Media

Abstract : This paper describes a sensor dedicated to measuring the vertical profile of the complex permittivity and the temperature of any medium in which sensor electrodes are inserted. Potential applications are the estimate of the humidity and salinity in a porous medium, such as a soil. It consists of vertically-stacked capacitors along two conductive parallel cylinders of 5 cm in diameter and at a 10-cm distance to scan a significant volume of the medium (∼1 L). It measures their admittances owing to a self-balanced impedance bridge operating at a frequency in the range of 1-20 MHz, possibly 30 MHz. Thanks to accurate design and electronic circuit theory-based modeling, the determination of the admittances takes into account all distortions due to lead and bridge electromagnetic effects inside the sensor when working at high frequencies. Calibration procedures and uncertainties are presented. The article also describes developments to make the present sensor autonomous on digital acquisition, basic data treatment and energy, as well as able to transfer stored data by a radio link. These steps in progress are prerequisites for a wireless network of sensors.
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Xavier Chavanne, Jean-Pierre Frangi. Presentation of a Complex Permittivity-Meter with Applications for Sensing the Moisture and Salinity of a Porous Media. Sensors, MDPI, 2014, 14 (9), pp.15815 - 15835. ⟨10.3390/s140915815⟩. ⟨insu-02920616⟩

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