Development of acoustic sensors to assess soil characteristics and state-variables
2 year Postdoc funded by Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (May 2013-May 2015)

Jeanne Luong Segarel (j.luong.segarel@gmail.com)
Benoit Mercatoris (benoit.mercatoris@ulg.ac.be)

The project aims at developing micro-sensors to measure ultrasound wave propagation in order to characterise the structural state of agricultural soils at a fine scale in a rapid way. The research work mainly consists in (i) the selection of piezoelectric transducers generating and measuring appropriate signals to take into account the strong soil attenuation, (ii) the signal treatment to extract the indicators characterising the soil as compressible porous media, (iii) the correlation between the ultrasound signature and conventional measurements performed in laboratory. The numerical tool will help the identification of these correlations. This innovative instrumentation will be used to study the behaviour of loaded soils and to measure in an efficient way the soil compaction phenomenon which is one of the main degradation processes of agricultural soils.