Effect of Cold Temperature on the Dielectric Constant of Soil

Report No. ARL-TN-0479
Authors: Gregory J. Mazzaro, Gregory D. Smith, Getachew Kirose, and Kelly D. Sherbondy
Date/Pages: April 2012; 28 pages
Abstract: The effect of cold temperature on the dielectric constant of moist soil is studied. Three soil samples are measured at three moisture levels, at temperatures between -30 and +30 °C, and at seven frequencies relevant to ground-penetrating radar. It is found that for dry soil, cold temperatures have little effect on the dielectric constant. Further, for soils with medium-to-high moisture content, there is a downward trend in both the real and the imaginary parts of the dielectric constant with colder temperatures. For dry soils, the performance of radar sensors is expected to remain steady at cold temperatures. For medium and high moisture content soils, an increase in soil-to-target contrast as well as radar penetration into the soil is expected.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2012