This study presents a simple and powerful technique for multichannel measurements of the density profile in laboratory plasmas by microwave interferometry. This technique uses electromechanical microwave switches to temporally switch the connection between multiple receiver antennas and one phase-detection circuit. Using this method, the phase information detected at different positions is rearranged into a time series that can be acquired from a minimum number of data acquisition channels (e.g., two channels in the case of quadrature detection). Our successfully developed multichannel microwave interferometer that uses the antenna switching method was applied to measure the radial electron density profiles in a magnetized plasma experiment. The advantage of the proposed method is its compactness and scalability to multidimensional measurement systems at low cost.
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