Microwave measurement of electron density and collision frequency of a pine fire

Mphale, Kgakgamatso, and Heron, Mal (2007) Microwave measurement of electron density and collision frequency of a pine fire. Journal of Physics D: applied physics, 40 (9). pp. 2818-2825.

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Pinus caribea (pine) litter flame is a weakly ionized medium. Electron–neutral collisions are a dominant form of particle interaction in the flame. Assuming flame electrons to be in thermal equilibrium with neutrals and average electron–neutral collision frequency to be much higher than the plasma frequency, the propagation of microwaves through the flame is predicted to suffer signal intensity loss. A controlled fire burner was constructed where various natural vegetation species could be used as fuel. The burner was equipped with thermocouples and used as a cavity for microwaves with a laboratory quality network analyser to measure wave attenuation. Electron density and collision frequency were then calculated from the measured attenuation. The parameters are important for numerical prediction of electromagnetic wave propagation in wildfire environments. A controlled pine litter fire with a maximum flame temperature of 1080 K was set in the burner and microwaves (8–10.5 GHz) were caused to propagate through the flame. A microwave signal loss of 1.6–5.8 dB was measured within the frequency range. Based on the measured attenuation, electron density and electron–neutral collision frequency in pine fire were calculated to range from 0.51–1.35 × 1016 m−3 and 3.43–5.97 × 1010 s−1, respectively.

Item ID: 2587
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1361-6463
Date Deposited: 06 May 2009 23:32
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100505 Microwave and Millimetrewave Theory and Technology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8799 Other Construction > 879999 Construction not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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