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      Microwave Moisture Sensing of Seedcotton: Part 1: Seedcotton Microwave Material Properties

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          Abstract

          Moisture content at harvest is a key parameter that impacts quality and how well the cotton crop can be stored without degrading before processing. It is also a key parameter of interest for harvest time field trials as it can directly influence the quality of the harvested crop as well as skew the results of in-field yield and quality assessments. Microwave sensing of moisture has several unique advantages over lower frequency sensing approaches. The first is that microwaves are insensitive to variations in conductivity, due to presence of salts or minerals. The second advantage is that microwaves can peer deep inside large bulk packaging to assess the internal moisture content without performing a destructive tear down of the package. To help facilitate the development of a microwave moisture sensor for seedcotton; research was performed to determine the basic microwave properties of seedcotton. The research was performed on 110 kg micro-modules, which are of direct interest to research teams for use in ongoing field-based research projects. It should also prove useful for the enhancement of existing and future yield monitor designs. Experimental data was gathered on the basic relations between microwave material properties and seedcotton over the range from 1.0 GHz to 2.5 GHz and is reported on herein. This research is part one of a two-part series that reports on the fundamental microwave properties of seedcotton as moisture and density vary naturally during the course of typical harvesting operations; part two will utilize this data to formulate a prediction algorithm to form the basis for a prototype microwave moisture sensor.

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          Most cited references 32

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              Microwave Engineering

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services; Cotton Production & Processing Research Unit, Lubbock, TX 79403, USA; John.Wanjura@ 123456ars.usda.gov (J.D.W.); Greg.Holt@ 123456ars.usda.gov (G.A.H.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: Mathew.Pelletier@ 123456ars.usda.gov ; Tel.: +1-806-746-5353
                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Sensors (Basel)
                Sensors (Basel)
                sensors
                Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
                MDPI
                1424-8220
                02 November 2016
                November 2016
                : 16
                : 11
                sensors-16-01843
                10.3390/s16111843
                5134502
                27827857
                © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Article

                Biomedical engineering

                density independent, microwave, moisture, cotton, seedcotton, seed

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