This article presents a low-cost and portable phase-variation planar microwave sensor operating in reflective mode, where the output variable, the phase of the reflection coefficient of the one-port sensing element, is retrieved by means of a distributed circuit based on a pair of rat-race hybrid couplers and the associated electronics. This includes a microcontroller, a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and an RF/microwave gain/phase detector. By this means, vector network analyzers (VNAs), i.e., high-cost instruments typically used for obtaining the reflection coefficient in one-port structures or circulators (microwave components able to separate the injected signal from the reflected signal in any one-port network) are avoided. Indeed, the presented architecture (including the microwave rat-race hybrid configuration and the associated electronics) can be adapted to other one-port reflective-mode phase-variation microwave sensors. A prototype example, where the sensing element is a one-port step-impedance open-ended transmission line, is reported. The device provides the phase of the reflection coefficient of the sensing element as a function of the dielectric constant of the material under test (MUT) with a maximum sensitivity of -65.7° and a relative error of less than 8% in all the measurements.

Portable Reflective-Mode Phase-Variation Microwave Sensor Based on a Rat-Race Coupler Pair and Gain/Phase Detector for Dielectric Characterization

Elgeziry M.;Costa F.;Genovesi S.
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

This article presents a low-cost and portable phase-variation planar microwave sensor operating in reflective mode, where the output variable, the phase of the reflection coefficient of the one-port sensing element, is retrieved by means of a distributed circuit based on a pair of rat-race hybrid couplers and the associated electronics. This includes a microcontroller, a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and an RF/microwave gain/phase detector. By this means, vector network analyzers (VNAs), i.e., high-cost instruments typically used for obtaining the reflection coefficient in one-port structures or circulators (microwave components able to separate the injected signal from the reflected signal in any one-port network) are avoided. Indeed, the presented architecture (including the microwave rat-race hybrid configuration and the associated electronics) can be adapted to other one-port reflective-mode phase-variation microwave sensors. A prototype example, where the sensing element is a one-port step-impedance open-ended transmission line, is reported. The device provides the phase of the reflection coefficient of the sensing element as a function of the dielectric constant of the material under test (MUT) with a maximum sensitivity of -65.7° and a relative error of less than 8% in all the measurements.
2023
Velez, P.; Paredes, F.; Casacuberta, P.; Elgeziry, M.; Su, L.; Munoz-Enano, J.; Costa, F.; Genovesi, S.; Martin, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1188527
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