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Quasi-Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature and Humidity Sensor System for Monitoring of Grain Storage in Granaries

Zhao, L., Wang, J., Li, Z. , Hou, M., Dong, G., Liu, T., Sun, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-3861-8933 & Grattan, K. T. V. ORCID: 0000-0003-2250-3832 (2020). Quasi-Distributed Fiber Optic Temperature and Humidity Sensor System for Monitoring of Grain Storage in Granaries. IEEE Sensors Journal, 20(16), pp. 9226-9233. doi: 10.1109/JSEN.2020.2989163


Mildew is an important issue in grain storage, due to the very expensive losses that can arise due to grain spoilage by mildew. Monitoring the conditions which allow mildew to develop is important and current monitoring technology cannot readily, or safely, be used for internal humidity monitoring of the very large quantities of grain kept in storage. In this work, a quasi-distributed, tailored fiber optic temperature and humidity sensor system suitable for use in the large granaries has been developed. Dust from the grain is a major issue and the sensor system copes well with this. Various sensor designs have been evaluated and building on prior work, a design with a humidity sensitivity of 5.8pm/%RH, a measurement error of 2%RH, and response time of 4.3 minutes, which is more than adequate for the applications discussed has been developed. Field-testing of the sensor system was carried out at a major storage facility in China, monitoring over an extended period of 4 months, giving results consistent with the outputs from other point sensors currently used in the granary. The fiber optic sensor system developed shows the additional advantages that as a quasi-distributed system, it can be used to record the temperature and humidity distribution across a longitudinal section of the large size of the grain pile, in real time, reflecting the changes in the internal moisture content. The results obtained showed the sensor system has broad market application prospects in this and other important areas of agricultural and food storage.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Publisher Keywords: grain storage safety, fiber optic sensors, temperature and humidity monitoring, distributed fiber optic sensing
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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