Microwave reflectometric systems and monitoring apparatus for diffused-sensing applications

Andrea Cataldo, Egidio De Benedetto, Raissa Schiavoni, Annarita Tedesco, Antonio Masciullo, Giuseppe Cannazza


Most sensing networks rely on punctual/local sensors; they thus lack the ability to spatially resolve the quantity to be monitored (e.g. a temperature or humidity profile) without relying on the deployment of numerous inline sensors. Currently, most quasi-distributed or distributed sensing technologies rely on the use of optical fibre systems. However, these are generally expensive, which limits their large-scale adoption. Recently, elongated sensing elements have been successfully used with time-domain reflectometry (TDR) to implement diffused monitoring solutions. The advantage of TDR is that it is a relatively low-cost technology, with adequate measurement accuracy and the potential to be customised to suit the specific needs of different application contexts in the 4.0 era. Based on these considerations, this paper addresses the design, implementation and experimental validation of a novel generation of elongated sensing element networks, which can be permanently installed in the systems that need to be monitored and used for obtaining the diffused profile of the quantity to be monitored. Three applications are considered as case studies: monitoring the irrigation process in agriculture, leak detection in underground pipes and the monitoring of building structures.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21014/acta_imeko.v10i3.1143