Efficiency of end effect probes for in-situ permittivity measurements in the 0.5–6GHz frequency range and their application for organic soil horizons study

Research paper by François Demontoux, Stephen Razafindratsima; Simone Bircher; Gilles Ruffié; Fabrice Bonnaudin; François Jonard; Jean-Pierre Wigneron; Mehdi Sbartaï; Yann Kerr

Indexed on: 14 Dec '16Published on: 11 Dec '16Published in: Sensors and Actuators A: Physical


Publication date: Available online 9 December 2016 Source:Sensors and Actuators A: Physical Author(s): François Demontoux, Stephen Razafindratsima, Simone Bircher, Gilles Ruffié, Fabrice Bonnaudin, François Jonard, Jean-Pierre Wigneron, Mehdi Sbartaï, Yann Kerr The remote signatures measured at microwave frequency above land surfaces are strongly dependent on the permittivity of the soil, which is linked to its moisture content. Thus, soil permittivity is a key parameter when algorithms are developed for the retrieval of hydrologic parameters from remote sensing data. Soil permittivity measurements are generally carried out in the laboratory because in-situ measurements are more difficult to obtain. The study presents the development of two probes (N and SMA probes) for in situ soil permittivity measurements (i.e. measurements of dielectric properties). They are based on the end effect phenomenon of a coaxial waveguide and so are called end effect probes in this paper. Results obtained on well-known materials (water and polytetrafluoroethene) are compared with corresponding data obtained by laboratory approaches (Von Hippel’s method and resonant cavity) and show good agreement from 0.5GHz up to ∼3.5GHz and 6GHz for N and SMA probes respectively. Then measurements made on concrete and mineral soil are reported to underline the efficiency of end effect probes for in-situ dielectric measurements. Finally, through work undertaken in the framework of the European Space Agency’s SMOSHiLat project, we demonstrate the applicability of the two probes for measurements performed within these frequency ranges in complex material such as organic soil horizons.