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Measurement of soil moisture content and salinity in field conditions is typically performed by means of non-invasive electromagnetic methods. These methods rely on models linking the soil complex dielectric-spectrum and soil physical and chemical properties. To develop such models, characterization of reference soil samples with known properties is required. The state-of-the-art approach for such characterization employs broadband vector-network-analyzer (VNA) scattering-parameters measurement of a soil sample inserted into a large-diameter coaxial-transmission-line cell. The complex dielectric spectrum is then determined from scattering parameters based on modeling the cell as a transmission-line section filled with an unknown dielectric. An alternative narrowband measurement method is based on the determination of a resonant frequency and quality factor of split-post resonator partially filled with the soil material. From these two parameters the soil dielectric permittivity at the resonant frequency can be calculated. This method is commonly considered more accurate than the coaxial-cell method, however, it can measure soil dielectric properties only at a single frequency.
In this work, we present measurements of soil dielectric permittivity obtained with the split-post resonator is used at frequencies 1 GHz and 2.45 GHz. Measurements are performed for three different soil types under variable moisture content. Results we obtained demonstrate good agreement with theory.