The common practice to determine bunch ripeness in oil palm plantation based on the number of detached fruits per bunch may not be accurate because ripening within a bunch is not uniform.
This problem can be overcome using our simple, fast and accurate digital meter. The complete measurement setup of the digital meter consists of a personal computer, microstrip coupler, diode detectors, signal generator and data acquisition system.
A software has been developed using Agilent VEE to control and acquire data. The built-in MATLAB Scripts of the VEE was used to implement all the calculations. The microstrip reflectometer was designed using Microwave Office 2002. The incident and reflected voltage of the reflectometer were detected using diode detectors with its outputs connected to the PCI-024E DAQ card.
The digital ripeness meter for oil palm fruits is accurate within 5 % when compared to the standard oven drying method for the determination of moisture content in oil palm fruits.