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Improving a Dual-Probe Heat Pulse based soil moisture sensor using insulated nichrome wire

TitleImproving a Dual-Probe Heat Pulse based soil moisture sensor using insulated nichrome wire
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRaman, A, Ananthasuresh, GK
Conference NamePhysics and Technology of Sensors (ISPTS), 2015 2nd International Symposium on
Date PublishedMarch
Keywordscalibration, ceramic tube, ceramics, coatings, Dual-Probe Heat-Pulse, dual-probe heat-pulse technique, heat distribution, Heating, insulated nichrome wire, insulated wires, longitudinal hole, Low power, material selection method, moisture measurement, nichrome sensor, Nichrome Wire, packaging, packaging method, Parylene, parylene-coated nichrome wire, power 165 mW, power 350 mW, Probes, Resistance, soil, soil moisture sensor, temperature 1 K to 6.2 K, temperature measurement, Temperature sensors, wires

The Dual-Probe Heat-Pulse technique has been widely used for in-situ moisture sensing. In the heater probe described in our earlier work the power consumption was 350 mW-the lowest in this category of sensors. In this paper, by employing a material selection method, we further improve the performance of the sensor by employing Parylene-coated nichrome wire and different packaging methods. The power consumption is reduced to 165 mW with a temperature rise between 1 K to 6.2 K degrees in 34% wet and dry red soils, respectively. A variant of the nichrome sensor was one that employed a ceramic tube with four longitudinal holes that eliminated the need for Parylene coating. The sensor was verified in agar agar solution and calibrated with 1200 kg/m2 red field soil. The compact packaging of the nichrome heater allowed us to provide a heat distribution of 3267 J/m on the probe surface which is two times more than the earlier attempts.