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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Electrotechnologies, Lublin University of Technology, Nadbystrzycka 38A, 20-618 Lublin, Poland
2
Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
3
Institute of Electronic Systems, Warsaw University of Technology, Nowowiejska 15/19, 00-665 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(8), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082374
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 18 April 2020 / Accepted: 19 April 2020 / Published: 22 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: antenna probe; dielectric permittivity; TDR; soil moisture; measurement techniques antenna probe; dielectric permittivity; TDR; soil moisture; measurement techniques
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MDPI and ACS Style

Majcher, J.; Kafarski, M.; Wilczek, A.; Woszczyk, A.; Szypłowska, A.; Lewandowski, A.; Szerement, J.; Skierucha, W. Application of a Monopole Antenna Probe with an Optimized Flange Diameter for TDR Soil Moisture Measurement. Sensors 2020, 20, 2374. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082374

AMA Style

Majcher J, Kafarski M, Wilczek A, Woszczyk A, Szypłowska A, Lewandowski A, Szerement J, Skierucha W. Application of a Monopole Antenna Probe with an Optimized Flange Diameter for TDR Soil Moisture Measurement. Sensors. 2020; 20(8):2374. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082374

Chicago/Turabian Style

Majcher, Jacek; Kafarski, Marcin; Wilczek, Andrzej; Woszczyk, Aleksandra; Szypłowska, Agnieszka; Lewandowski, Arkadiusz; Szerement, Justyna; Skierucha, Wojciech. 2020. "Application of a Monopole Antenna Probe with an Optimized Flange Diameter for TDR Soil Moisture Measurement" Sensors 20, no. 8: 2374. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082374

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