Feasibility of soil moisture monitoring with heated fiber optics
|Resource type:||Composite Resource|
|Created:||Apr 01, 2018 at 7:06 p.m.|
|Last updated:||Apr 09, 2018 at 6:09 p.m. by CTEMPs OSU-UNR|
Accurate methods are needed to measure changing soil water content from meter to kilometer scales. Laboratory results demonstrate the feasibility of the heat pulse method implemented with fiber optic temperature sensing to obtain accurate distributed measurements of soil water content. A fiber optic cable with an electrically conductive armoring was buried in variably saturated sand and heated via electrical resistance to create thermal pulses monitored by observing the distributed Raman backscatter. A new and simple interpretation of heat data that takes advantage of the characteristics of fiber optic temperature measurements is presented. The accuracy of the soil water content measurements varied approximately linearly with water content. At volumetric moisture content of 0.05 m3/m3 the standard deviation of the readings was 0.001 m3/m3, and at 0.41 m3/m3 volumetric moisture content the standard deviation was 0.046 m3/m3. This uncertainty could be further reduced by averaging several heat pulse interrogations and through use of a higher‐performance fiber optic sensing system.
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