Millimeter-Wave Interferometry for Opaque Particle-Laden Flows

Nicolas Rasmont, Hussein Tatal Al-Rashdan, Gregory Elliott, Joshua Lucas Rovey, Laura Villafañe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel method to measure the concentration of particles in optically opaque particle-laden flows is presented. This method is based on the principle of millimeter wave interferometry, using a fully-integrated frequency modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar operating between 77 and 81 GHz to measure path-integrated particle concentrations between the radar and a reflector. The instrument is capable of quantitative, high-speed (20 kHz) path-integrated concentration measurements in dispersed multiphase flows with concentrations one to two orders of magnitude higher than those at reach with state-of-the-art optical methods. The interferometer was demonstrated and calibrated for path-integrated number concentrations up to (4.36 ± 0.24) × 108 m-2 using glass microspheres with a mean diameter of 109.2 μm. Two independent measurements of particle size distribution (PSD) were performed using X-ray microtomography and dry sieving. The calibration setup relied on high-resolution particle shadowgraphy applied to individual thin particle streams and used multistreams superposition to reproduce large optical depths in a controlled particle-air mixture. The instrument exhibited excellent linearity and low error during the calibration, with a phase shift-to-number concentration slope of (1.378 ± 0.043) × 10-7 m2, validating the measurement concept and paving the way for practical applications. The leading uncertainties are discussed, providing guidelines for exploiting the measurement concept without necessarily performing a direct calibration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4893-4905
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023


  • Interferometry
  • millimeter-wave (mm-Wave)
  • multiphase flow
  • permittivity
  • radar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Radiation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Millimeter-Wave Interferometry for Opaque Particle-Laden Flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this