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Development of an Industrial On-line Sensor


The need for economical on line sensors in the food industry is clear. Discussions with the food industry have led us to conclude that existing sensors do not meet their needs in terms of price and accuracy. Such a sensor must be non-contact and sufficiently rugged to withstand the industrial environment. Most important, it must be robust enough to accurately measure one component (i.e. salinity) despite changes in other components of conditions (i.e. pH or temperature). The proposed research is directed at developing an economical and accurate sensor using broadband microwave spectroscopy.

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Broadband microwave spectroscopy measures the electromagnetic energy frequency response to properties of the product being tested. Due to the nature of our industrial contacts, our research has focused on tomato-based products. Recent results have shown extraordinary promise as we have made a major breakthrough in the solution of the multivariate problem described earlier. Representatives of companies such as Campbell Soup and Heinz have shown great interest. Last year, we submitted a similar proposal. With the solution of the multivariate problem, we are now able to expand our research beyond the measurement of salinity. We can now demonstrate accurate measurements of several components and conditions simultaneously.
Our research will lead to a commercial on-line sensor with the following features: Ability to measure multiple components simultaneously, Rugged, Economical (approximately $15,000). Please note that our experiments have shown that our sensor is capable of measuring a variety of components, including salinity, pH, temperature, sugar, and vinegar. These sensors could be used throughout the food industry.

Bradley, Matthew
Bradley Experimentation Software Technologies, Inc
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