The European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Training Network “Smart tomographic sensors for advanced industrial process control (TOMOCON)” joins 12 international academic institutions and 15 industry partners, who work together in the emerging field of industrial process control using smart tomographic sensors. The network shall lay the scientific and technological fundamentals of integrating imaging sensors into industrial processes and will demonstrate its functional feasibility on lab and pilot-scale applications.

4 doctoral researchers at 3 European academic institutes (the Chalmers University of Technology, University of Eastern Finland, and KIT), are engaged in the development of microwave and electrical capacitance tomography (MWT and ECT), respectively, and its application in microwave drying of porous materials. Those are applied to detect the moisture distribution in a porous material and to provide information to get feedback for the process control. The technology finally is planned to be demonstrated on an industrial scale conveyor belt system for microwave-assisted drying of polymer foams. In a first approach, a virtual demonstration based on Simulink software has been developed, including process simulation, forward and inverse problem-solvers for the ECT and MWT tomographic sensors as well as algorithms for process control.

During the drying process of polymer foam, the problem of non-uniform heating and drying has to be solved by optimized control of the microwave power distribution, which will allow time and energy saving in the process. Such a precise microwave power control requires non-invasive in-situ measurement of the unknown distribution of moisture inside the material. Thus, microwave tomography and electrical capacitance tomography sensors will be developed and installed to estimate the moisture distribution inside the foam. This information will further be used by the controller to achieve maximum efficiency.

The first approach of microwave tomography measurement set-up is illustrated in Fig. 1 (left). X-band (8.2-12.4 GHz) open waveguide antennas are used for transmitting/receiving the electromagnetic waves. This kind of antenna is chosen to avoid electromagnetic interferences with 2.45 GHz from the high power microwave oven. A 40% (wet-basis) moisture is located in the dry foam. Fig. 1(right) shows the reconstructed image using the multistatic uniform diffraction tomography (MUDT) imaging algorithm.


Figure: Reconstructed image using MWT

Kontakt: Adel Omrani Hamzekalaei

Finanzierung: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017; Grant agreement 764902;

Duration: 2017 - 2022

Tomocon IHM
Microwave tomography measurement set-up