Experimental study on a feasibility of using electromagnetic wave cylindrical cavity sensor to monitor the percentage of water fraction in a two phase system

C. S. Oon, M. Ateeq, A. Shaw, A. Al-Shamma'A, S. N. Kazi, A. Badarudin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposed a microwave sensor system to monitor single and two phase flow systems. The microwave sensing technology in this study utilises the resonant frequencies that occur in a cylindrical cavity and monitor the changes in the permittivity of the measured phases to differentiate between the volume fractions of air, water and oil. The sensor system used two port configuration S21 (acted as transmitter and receiver) to detect the fluids inside the pipe. In principle, the strong polarity of water molecules results in higher permittivity in comparison to other materials. A tiny change of water fraction will cause a significant frequency shift. Electromagnetic waves in the range of 5-5.7 GHz have been used to analyse a two phase air-water and oil-water stratified flow in a pipeline. The results demonstrated the potential of a microwave sensing technique to be used for the two phase systems monitoring. A significant shift in the frequency and change in the amplitude clearly shows the percentage fraction change of water in the pipe. The temperature study of water also demonstrated the independence of microwave analysis technique to the temperature change. This is accounted to overlapping modes negating the affect. Statistical analysis of the amplitude data for two phase systems shows a linear relationship of the change in water percentage to the amplitude. The electromagnetic wave cavity sensor successfully detected the change in the water fraction inside the pipe between 0 and 100%. The results show that the technique can be developed further to reduce the anomalies in the existing microwave sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Microwave sensor
  • Multiphase flow meter
  • Non-invasive monitoring
  • Resonant cavity sensor
  • Water fraction monitoring

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