Vol. 29

Front:[PDF file] Back:[PDF file]
Latest Volume
All Volumes
All Issues

Epsimu, a Tool for Dielectric Properties Measurement of Porous Media: Application in Wet Granular Materials Characterization

By Pierre Sabouroux and Doudou Ba
Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 29, 191-207, 2011


The principal aim of this article is the presentation of EpsiMu, a tool for dielectric properties measurement. This general tool can be used to characterize all types of materials, but in this article we apply it to porous or granular materials. The tool consists of a coaxial cell and dedicated software that allow us to reconstruct the permittivity in almost real-time by a de-embedding process. Dielectric permittivity of soils sample was measured using this microwave tool. So, we can then determine the relationship between the dielectric properties and volumetric water content θ of Fontainebleau sand (center of France) and Dune of Pilat sand (Arcachon Bay area, France). The clay effect on Fontainebleau sand is also studied. We discuss the usefulness of several models that link the permittivity to volumetric water content of soil. It is shown that the soil permittivity model is not directly applicable to Fontainebleau sand and Dune of Pilat sand. We find a good match between our results representing the relative permittivity ε'r veversus the volumetric water content θ and the Complex Refractive Index model (CRIM) between 600 MHz and 1 GHz. Alternative regression formulae are proposed. The implication of the determination of volumetric water content, θ, is discussed. A linear relation between the dielectric loss tangent and volumetric water content θ of soils is established.


Pierre Sabouroux and Doudou Ba, "Epsimu, a Tool for Dielectric Properties Measurement of Porous Media: Application in Wet Granular Materials Characterization," Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 29, 191-207, 2011.


    1. Behari, J., Microwave Dielectric Behavior of Wet Soils, Vol. 8, Springer, 2005.

    2. Njoku, E. G. and D. Entekhabi, "Passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture," Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 184, 101-129, 1996.

    3. Njoku, E. G. and P. E. O'Neill, "Multifrequency microwave radiometer measurements of soil moisture," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. GE-20, No. 4, 468-475, 1982.

    4. Daniels, D. J., Ground Pentrating Radar, 2nd Ed., IEE Radar, Sonar and Navigation, Series, 2004.

    5. Van Overmeeran, R. A., J. C. Gehrels, and S. V. Sariowa, "Ground penetrating radar for determining volumetric soil water content: Results of comparative measurements at two test sites," J. Hydrol., Vol. 197, 316-338, 1997.

    6. Topp, G. C., J. L. Davis, and A. P. Annan, "Electromagnetic determination of soil water content: Measurements in coaxial transmission lines," Water Resources Research, Vol. 16, No. 3, 574-582, 1980.

    7. Peplinski, N. R., F. T. Ulaby, and M. C. Dobson, "Dielectric properties of soils in the 0.3--1.3 GHz range," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 33, No. 3, 803-807, 1995.

    8. Wang, J. R. and T. J. Schmugge, "An empirical model for the complex permittivity of soil as a function of water content," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. GE-18, 288-295, 1980.

    9. Sabburg, J., J. A. R. Ball, and N. H. Hancock, "Dielectric behavior of moist swelling clay soils at microwave frequencies," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 35, No. 3, 784-787, 1997.

    10. Sakaki, T., K. Sugihara, T. Adachi, K. Nishida, and W. Lin, "Application of time domain reflectometry to determinations of volumetric water content in rock," Water Resources Research, Vol. 34, No. 10, 2631-2632, 1998.

    11. West, L. J., K. Handley, Y. Huang, and M. Pokar, "Radar frequency dispersion in sandstone: Implication for determination of moisture and clay content," Water Resources Research, Vol. 39, 1026, 2003.

    12. Persson, R., M. Berndtsson, and B. Sivakumar, "Using neural networks for calibration of time domain reflectometry measurements," Hydrological Sciences Journal, Vol. 46, No. 3, 389-398, 2001.

    13. Ba, D. and P. Sabouroux, "EpsiMu a tool for permittivity and permeability measurement in microwave domain at real time of all materials, application to solid and semi-solid materials," Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, Vol. 52, No. 12, 2643-2648, 2010.

    14. Perdok, U. D., B. Kroesbergen, and M. A. Hilhorst, "Influence of gravimetric water content and bulk density on the dielectric properties of soil," European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 47, 367-371, 1996.

    15. Guéguen, Y. and V. Palciauskas, Introduction to the Physics of Rocks, Princeton University Press, 1994.

    16. Zakri, T., J. P. Laurent, and M. Vauclin, "Theoritical evidence for `Lichtenecker's mixture formulae,' based on effective medium theory ," Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 31, 1589-1594, 1998.

    17. Brovelli, A. and G. Cassiani, "Effective permittivity of porous media: A critical analysis of the complex refractive index model," Geophysical Prospecting, Vol. 56, 715-727, 2008.

    18. Birchak, J. R., C. G. Gardner, J. E. Hipp, and J. M. Victor, "High dielectric constant microwave probes for sensing soil moisture," Proceeding of the IEEE, Vol. 62, 93-98, 1974.

    19. Roth, K., R. Schulin, H. Fluher, and W. Attinger, "Calibration of time-domain reflectometry for water content measurement using a composite dielectric approach," Water Resources Research, Vol. 26, No. 10, 2267-2273, 1990.

    20. HalliKainen, M. T., F. T. Ulaby, M. C. Dobson, M. A. ElRayes, and L. Wu, "Microwave dielectric behaviour of wet soil Part 1: Empirical models and experimental observations," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 55, No. 1, 218-222, 1985.

    21. Agilent, Agilent de-embedding and embedding S-parameter networks using a vector network analyzer, Technical Report, Agilent Technologies, 2000.

    22. Nicolson, A. M. and G. F. Ross, "Measurement of the intrinsic materials by time domain techniques," IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 19, No. 4, 377-382, 1970.

    23. Weir, W. B., "Automatic measurement of complex dielectric constant and permeability at microwave frequencies," Proceeding of the IEEE, Vol. 62, No. 1, 33-36, 1974.

    24. Baker-Jarvis, J., E. J. Vanzura, and W. A. Kissick, "Improved technique for determining complex permittivity with the transmission/reflection method ," IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 38, No. 8, 1096-1103, 1990.

    25. Williams, T. C., M. A. Stuchly, and P. Saville, "Modified transmission-reflection method for measuring constitutive parameters of thin flexible high-loss materials," IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol. 51, No. 5, 1560-1566, 2003.

    26. Trabelsi, S., A. Krazewski, and S. O. Nelson, "New density-independent calibration function for microwave sensing of moisture content in particulate materials," IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, Vol. 47, 613-622, 1998.

    27. Nelson, S. O., "Density-permittivity relationships for powdered and granular materials," IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 2005.

    28. Kupfer, K., Electromagnetic Aquametry, Springer, 2004.

    29. Sarrenketo, T., "Electrical properties of water in clay and silty soils," Journal of Applied Geophysics, Vol. 40, 73-88, 1998.

    30. Scott, W. R. and G. S. Smith, "Measured electrical constituve parameters of soil as functions of frequency and moisture content," IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Vol. 30, No. 3, 621-623, 1992.