Autonomous Sensors for Measuring Continuously the Moisture and Salinity of a Porous Medium
The article describes a new ﬁeld sensor to monitor continuously in situ moisture and salinity of a porous medium via measurements of its dielectric permittivity, conductivity and temperature. It intends to overcome difﬁculties and biases encountered with sensors based on the same sensitivity principle. Permittivity and conductivity are determined simultaneously by a self-balanced bridge, which measures directly the admittance of sensor electrodes in medium. All electric biases are reduced and their residuals taken into account by a physical model of the instrument, calibrated against reference ﬂuids. Geometry electrode is optimized to obtain a well representative sample of the medium. The sensor also permits acquiring a large amount of data at high frequency (six points every hour, and even more) and to access it rapidly, even in real time, owing to autonomy capabilities and wireless communication. Ongoing developments intend to simplify and standardize present sensors. Results of ﬁeld trials of prototypes in different environments are presented.
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