Application of a Monopole Antenna Probe with an Optimized Flange Diameter for TDR Soil Moisture Measurement

Jacek Majcher , M. Kafarski , A. Wilczek , Aleksandra Woszczyk , A. Szypłowska , Arkadiusz Lewandowski , J. Szerement , W. Skierucha

Abstract

Soil volumetric water content (θ) is a parameter describing one of the most important factors conditioning proper plant growth. Monitoring soil moisture is of particular importance in the rational use of water resources for irrigation, especially during periods of water scarcity. This paper presents a method of measuring soil moisture in the vicinity of the plant root system by means of a probe designed to be mounted on a mobile device used for precise plant irrigation. Due to the specific field conditions of the measurement, the design of the probe was proposed as a monopole antenna. Electromagnetic simulations of the probe were carried out with Ansys HFSS software to optimise its dimensions. Then a prototype of the probe was manufactured to conduct laboratory measurements with the use of a vector network analyser (VNA) working in the 20 kHz to 8 GHz frequency range. The VNA analyser was configured to work in the time-domain reflectometry (TDR) mode. From measurements of the time distance between reflections from the probe’s elements it is possible to calculate the bulk dielectric permittivity of the soil surrounding the probe. Next, based on commonly used soil moisture dielectric calibrations one can determine θ of the soil sample. The paper presents simulation results and laboratory tests of an antenna probe. Due to its tough and durable design, this type of probe gives the possibility of easy application in field conditions, which makes it especially suitable for mechanically demanding measurement systems. As the sensitivity zone is comparatively large, this probe is well-suited to measuring soil moisture in the vicinity of the plant root system.
Author Jacek Majcher
Jacek Majcher,,
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, M. Kafarski
M. Kafarski,,
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, A. Wilczek
A. Wilczek,,
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, Aleksandra Woszczyk
Aleksandra Woszczyk,,
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, A. Szypłowska
A. Szypłowska,,
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, Arkadiusz Lewandowski (FEIT / PE)
Arkadiusz Lewandowski,,
- The Institute of Electronic Systems
, J. Szerement
J. Szerement,,
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, W. Skierucha
W. Skierucha,,
-
Journal seriesSensors, [SENSORS-BASEL], ISSN 1424-8220, e-ISSN 1424-3210
Issue year2020
Vol20
No8
Pages1 - 13
Publication size in sheets118.7
Keywords in Englishantenna probe; dielectric permittivity; TDR; soil moisture; measurement techniques
ASJC Classification1303 Biochemistry; 1602 Analytical Chemistry; 2208 Electrical and Electronic Engineering; 3107 Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
DOIDOI:10.3390/s20082374
URL https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/20/8/2374
Languageen angielski
File
sensors-20-02374-v2.pdf 5.53 MB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 100.0, 27-06-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 0; WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.393; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 3.031 (2) - 2018=3.302 (5)
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