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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Frequency Domain Impedance Sensor with a Perforated Cylinder Coaxial Design for In-Situ Measuring Soil Matric Potential

1
College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2626; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112626
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture 2019)
Soil matric potential is an important parameter for agricultural and environmental research and applications. In this study, we developed a novel sensor to determine fast and in-situ the soil matric potential. The probe of the soil matric potential sensor comprises a perforated coaxial stainless steel cylinder filled with a porous material (gypsum). With a pre-determined gypsum water retention curve, the probe can determine the gypsum matric potential through measuring its water content. The matric potential of soil surrounding the probe is inferred by the reading of the sensor after the soil reaches a hydraulic equilibrium with the gypsum. The sensor was calibrated by determining the gypsum water retention curve using a pressure plate method and tested in three soil samples with different textures. The results showed that the novel sensor can determine the water retention curves of the three soil samples from saturated to dry when combined with a soil water content sensor. The novel sensor can respond fast to the changes of the soil matric potential due to its small volume. Future research could explore the application for agriculture field crop irrigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil matric potential; frequency domain; perforated coaxial cylinder; in-situ measurement soil matric potential; frequency domain; perforated coaxial cylinder; in-situ measurement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, C.; Yan, X.; Xu, Q.; Yu, S.; Ma, Y.; Cheng, X.; Wang, Z.; Cheng, Q. A Novel Frequency Domain Impedance Sensor with a Perforated Cylinder Coaxial Design for In-Situ Measuring Soil Matric Potential. Sensors 2019, 19, 2626.

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