Project Summaries

06-854  Project Manager: E. M. Barnes

WIDE-BAND PERMITTIVITY SENSOR FOR MOISTURE MEASUREMENT

Mathew G. Pelletier, USDA-ARS

Quantitative prediction of lint moisture through non-destructive interrogation of the microwave electrical properties of lint is a promising technique of moisture determination. Unfortunately there are many other factors that can impact a fiber's electrical properties, but a measure in the microwave region appears most closely tied to moisture content. This project seeks to develop a dependable, accurate moisture probe that can provide ginners with real-time feedback on the moisture status of cotton leaving the bale press, and also provide a means to estimate seed cotton moisture content.

In 2012 this project has focused on the development of a frequency domain sensing probe for use in obtaining measurements of over a wide range of permittivities - a measure of how much electrical charge a material can hold. Due to such a wide range of permittivities, however, a completely physical probe was impossible to design, so algorithms were developed to correct for the impedance mismatches along with calibration techniques to obtain an accurate measurement of material that is independent from the probe design.

The design was found to provide the ability to work at higher microwave frequencies so this probe can be used in materials that have a very small change in permittivity across their moisture range of interest such as seedcotton or cotton lint. The success of the probe design brings the project one step closer to the delivery of a very accurate cotton moisture sensing system.

 

Project Year: 2012
 

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