Principles for microwave moisture and density measurement in grain and seed.

The Journal of microwave power and electromagnetic energy : a publication of the International Microwave Power Institute

PubMedID: 15719909

Nelson SO, Trabelsi S. Principles for microwave moisture and density measurement in grain and seed. J Microw Power Electromagn Energy. 2005;.
The importance of cereal grain moisture content in determining time of harvest and in preserving grain quality is described. Techniques for moisture measurement, including electronic moisture meters, are also discussed briefly, and the need for better moisture sensing techniques for modern agricultural on-line moisture monitoring is described. Principles of microwave free-space measurements involving attenuation and phase-shift determination are explained, and density-independent functions of the grain permittivity are presented that permit reliable moisture sensing applicable to moving grain in which bulk density variation occurs. Three different approaches are discussed for determining moisture content and bulk density of grain from microwave measurement of the dielectric properties. A new moisture calibration function, based on complex-plane plots of dielectric constant and loss factor, each divided by bulk density, is described, which promises a universal calibration for different types of grain and seed. This important advantage should encourage commercial development for practical use.