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Evaluation of a Microwave Sensor for Powder Process Control

by Ning, Tong

Abstract (Summary)
In this thesis work, a free space microwave sensing technique to be used for power process control was investigated. Evaluation of the possibility to apply this sensing technique for determination of permittivity properties is the primary objective. Further these properties could be related to the material physical properties such as moisture content and density. Due to the fact that the permittivity properties of the material under measurement determine its measured S-parameters, such were performed throughout the whole work for the calculation of materials properties. Free space type of measurements were the primary focus of this work. Some uncertainties of free space measurement resulting from limitations in the measurement setups, instrumentation, algorithm were explored and methods to secure our measurement results to be within a specified confidence level are also discussed.Based on the configuration of the measurement setup, two types of free space measurement were carried out. One was the reflection method where a perfect conducting metal plate is inserted between two antennas for calibration purposes and the material is placed above the plate. Only one reflection coefficient was then measured. The other was the transmission method where the measured material as placed between two antennas and all S-parameters measured. In both cases the amplitude and the phase of the S-parameters were recorded.Three models, Debye, Cole-Cole, and Cole-Davidson have been also tested in this work to model permittivity properties of materials. Used test materials were air, plastic plate, water and icrocrystalline cellulose(MCC). Different methods using measured S-parameters for permittivity reconstruction that have been explored in previous work also were utilized in this work for same purpose. The validity of this sensing technique is determined by checking out the deviation of the recovered dielectric constant. The investigation demonstrated that the transmission method works well for reconstruction of permittivity properties as long as the material under test is low-loss. The results of the reflection method were not as satisfactory as we expected. The method was insitive to the sample thickness and shape. Also very precise measurements of the S-parameters were necessary for the correct inversion to dielectric properties, which is generally difficult due to complex measurements environment(multipath). Some of the above could be compensated with good calibration method, but it is not enough, at least with the currently existing approaches. Precise sample preparation and some improvement on the antenna should be further carried out for the reflection method to be performed better.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Gävle

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:microwave sensing technique free space measurement permittivity properties

ISBN:

Date of Publication:09/18/2008

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