Navy

Conformal Broadband Dielectric Measurement Probe

Field portable and ruggedized broadband dielectric measurement device

Photonics
The US Navy has developed a field portable, broadband probe that measures permittivity to identify or quantify materials. The device, which can conform to a variety of flat and curved surfaces, measures phase and magnitude over a range of frequencies.

The US Navy has developed a field portable, broadband probe that measures permittivity to identify or quantify materials. The device, which can conform to a variety of flat and curved surfaces, measures phase and magnitude over a range of frequencies.

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport (NUWC Newport) has designed, tested, and patented a novel dielectric measurement device that operates over a broad range of frequencies to identify materials and material dielectric and magnetic properties. A patent-pending improvement adds conformal capabilities to take measurements on curved surfaces. The device functions by simultaneously measuring the complex scattering of s11 (reflection) and s21 (transmission). Reflection is measured in magnitude and phase over various frequencies, creating a chart unique to each specific material. Material characteristics can be computed from the measurements by a network analyzer or other analyzer devices.

Existing devices, such as parallel plates and waveguides, suffer from narrow bandwidth, poor performance on lossy materials such as biological materials high in water or fat, and typically require a specific shape in order to accurately measure a sample. The Navy’s device has been operated from 30 MHz to 600 MHz. Labview software has been developed to conduct the patented data calculations. The device is field portable and rugged.

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