A vertical smooth blade with an array of strain gauges was designed to continuously measure mechanical resistance of soil at multiple depths. As the blade (tapered cantilevered beam) cuts through the soil, strain gauges detect deformation caused by varying soil resistance. Recorded strain data was used to estimate resistance pressure at different depths that cause the same deformation of the blade with known geometry and material properties. Verification of the analytical solution was performed in the laboratory by applying varying combinations of static loads, and numerically by finite element modeling. Field tests involved on-the-go measurement of integrated resistance pressures that were compared to cone penetrometer readings obtained from corresponding spots within the field.

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