Automated calibration of electrochemical oxygen sensors for use in compost bedded pack barns

J. T. Evans, M. P. Sama, J. L. Taraba, G. B. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to develop an automated calibration process for a galvanic cell type oxygen sensor. The manufacturer recommended a two-point calibration at room temperature; however, testing revealed that the response was not linear when both the temperature and oxygen concentrations varied. Thus, additional points were needed to generate a representative calibration equation and to reduce the sensor prediction interval. The calibration process needed to be capable of automatically recording sensor response (voltage) at an array of temperatures and oxygen concentrations. Calibration gases were used to precisely control the oxygen concentration inside a small manifold, and an electronically controlled water bath was used to regulate the sensor and gas temperature. A custom computer program controlled the sampling order and the data collection process. The responses for three sensors were recorded at six temperature (10°C, 20°C, 30°C, 40°C, 50°C, and 60°C) and five oxygen concentration (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% O2 absolute) combinations, for a total of 30 measurements per calibration. Calibration data were used to create a second-degree polynomial model with oxygen sensor voltage and temperature as input parameters, which reduced the prediction interval by over 1% O2 for each of the three sensors tested. The resulting prediction intervals ranged between 0.75% and 0.95% O2. Three sensors were mounted in a prototype oxygen probe and tested under controlled conditions to demonstrate the ability to measure oxygen concentration versus depth in a composting environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-962
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.


  • Aeration
  • Calibration
  • Compost
  • Dairy
  • Housing
  • Oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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