Comparison of time domain reflectometry performance factors for several dielectric geometries: Theory and experiments

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We propose three nontraditional dielectric geometries and present an experimental and theoretical analysis and comparison of time domain reflectometry (TDR) performances for them. The traditional geometry (the probes inserted in material of essentially infinite extent) is compared to three nontraditional geometries where the probes are affixed outside of a core sample, inside of a bore, or flat on the surface of a semi‐infinite solid. Our derivation relates the velocity of electromagnetic wave propagation to the complex permittivities and permeabilities of the media and the geometry for the three nontraditional configurations. Experimental results for air, styrofoam, dry sand, wet sand of varying water content, nylon, dry wood, and ferromagnetic steel are obtained for the three proposed configurations and are in fair agreement with the literature within the experimental uncertainties. Through experiments and theoretical analysis, the TDR performance is found to be the same within the experimental uncertainties for the three nontraditional geometries. The proposed geometries yield slightly lower sensitivities compared to the traditional geometry. Advantages and disadvantages of the geometries compared to the traditional geometry are also discussed.


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