The design of a hard rock permittivity and loss sensor to be integrated with borehole radar

Kotze, Beukes (2004-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.


The use of ground penetrating radar, and especially borehole radar in underground mines, is becoming increasingly attractive. This is due to the improvements in the user friendliness of this system. Borehole radar is able to sense accurately geological faults and structures hidden inside the rock body and this information is of value to geologists. In the quest to increase the accuracy of the radar, it was realized that the borehole trajectory and surrounding rock properties are needed. This thesis discusses a rock permittivity and loss sensor which is designed to be deployed in cylindrical hard rock boreholes with diameter of about 50 mm. The sensor consists of electrodes to produce capacitance that is dependant on the rock properties, and electronics to measure this dependency. The biggest problem foreseen is that the probe will not be in direct contact with the rock body. Cylindrical Electrodes were designed using numerical simulations and physical models. Sensitivity and noise attributes received attention. Electronic components were used to sense the small capacitance produced by the electrodes. The resulting signals are slow changing "DC• voltages from which an indication of the needed properties could be extracted. The system was integrated and tested in both laboratory and mine conditions. Test-result-b,ased improvements were introduced and led to satisfactory working of the probe. However, the deployment method will need attention before this probe can be used in field conditions.

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