A sensor system is provided that measures water content or other detectable properties in a medium along the entire length of the sensor at any point in time. The sensor system includes an electromagnetic signal generator and a transmission line disposed in a medium to be monitored. Alternatively, the transmission line can be configured for movement across a medium to be monitored, or the transmission line can be fixed relative to a moving medium being monitored. A signal is transmitted along the transmission line at predetermined frequencies, and the signal is returned back along the transmission line and/or into an optional receive line in proximity to the transmission line. The returned signal is processed to generate a one-dimensional data output profile that is a function of a detectable property of the medium. The data output profile can be mapped onto a physical system to generate a two-dimensional or three-dimensional profile if desired. The sensor system is useful in a variety of different applications such as agriculture, horticulture, biofiltration systems for industrial offgases, leak detection in landfills or drum storage facilities at buried waste sites, and in many other applications.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company and The United States Department of Energy.