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Sensors 2011, 11(4), 4073-4085; doi:10.3390/s110404073
Article

Determination of Moisture Content in Oil Palm Fruits Using a Five-Port Reflectometer

1
, 2,* , 2
, 3
 and 4
1 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, 53300 Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2 Department of Physics, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 3 Radio Communication Engineering Department (RaCED), Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia 4 School of Mechatronic Engineering, University Malaysia Perlis, Ulu Pauh Campus, 02600 Arau, Perlis, Malaysia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 March 2011 / Revised: 5 April 2011 / Accepted: 5 April 2011 / Published: 6 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Abstract

This paper presents the development of a PC-based microwave five-port reflectometer for the determination of moisture content in oil palm fruits. The reflectometer was designed to measure both the magnitude and phase of the reflection coefficient of any passive microwave device. The stand-alone reflectometer consists of a PC, a microwave source, diode detectors and an analog to digital converter. All the measurement and data acquisition were done using Agilent VEE graphical programming software. The relectometer can be used with any reflection based microwave sensor. In this work, the application of the reflectometer as a useful instrument to determine the moisture content in oil palm fruits using monopole and coaxial sensors was demonstrated. Calibration equations between reflection coefficients and moisture content have been established for both sensors. The equation based on phase measurement of monopole sensor was found to be accurate within 5% in predicting moisture content in the fruits when compared to the conventional oven drying method.
Keywords: five-port reflectometer; coaxial sensor; monopole sensor; graphical programming; moisture; data acquisition five-port reflectometer; coaxial sensor; monopole sensor; graphical programming; moisture; data acquisition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yee, L.K.; Abbas, Z.; Jusoh, M.A.; Yeow, Y.K.; Meng, C.E. Determination of Moisture Content in Oil Palm Fruits Using a Five-Port Reflectometer. Sensors 2011, 11, 4073-4085.

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