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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 96: Digital Generator Control Unit Design for a Variable Frequency Synchronous Generator in MEA Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010096 Authors: Weilin Li Yang Yang Xiaobin Zhang Variable frequency power generation systems have been adopted for modern aircraft power systems, thus, a new generator control unit (GCU) must be designed to regulate the output voltage and obtain high quality power supply under a wide frequency range from 360 Hz to 800 Hz. In this paper, a dual digital signal processor (DSP) structure-based GCU was proposed. Multi-loop control structure was adopted with the controller parameters varying adaptively at different working conditions to obtain better performance. Different root-mean-square (RMS) calculation algorithms have been compared and the final RMS calculation scheme was determined to realize the trade-off between accuracy and computing efficiency. Experimental results show considerable performance improvements of the generator output voltage under various operating conditions with the proposed GCU.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 100: Circuit Breaker Rate-of-Rise Recovery Voltage in Ultra-High Voltage Lines with Hybrid Reactive Power Compensation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010100 Authors: Hongshun Liu Zhen Wang Jingjing Yang Bin Li Ang Ren With the development of ultra-high voltage (UHV) technology, hybrid reactive power compensation (HRPC) will be widely applied in the future. To study the mechanism by which HRPC influences the characteristics of circuit breakers in UHV transmission lines, this paper establishes an improved electromagnetic coupling transmission line model for out-of-phase and short-line faults. Based on the HRPC equivalent model, a simulation analysis was performed on the characteristics of the circuit breaker when a fault occurs. Using an equivalent lumped parameter circuit, the rate-of-rise of recovery voltage (RRRV) computational formula was deduced and computed. The RRRV variation in the circuit breakers in the system, with and without HRPC, was obtained. Given the circuit breaker interruption characteristics, the research results provide an analysis foundation and a theoretical basis for optimizing the HRPC parameters and selecting the arrangements of circuit breakers in an UHV transmission line.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 97: The Multi-Objective Optimization Algorithm Based on Sperm Fertilization Procedure (MOSFP) Method for Solving Wireless Sensor Networks Optimization Problems in Smart Grid Applications Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010097 Authors: Hisham Shehadeh Mohd Idna Idris Ismail Ahmedy Roziana Ramli Noorzaily Mohamed Noor Prior studies in Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) optimization mostly concentrate on maximizing network coverage and minimizing network energy consumption. However, there are other factors that could affect the WSN Quality of Service (QoS). In this paper, four objective functions that affect WSN QoS, namely end-to-end delay, end-to-end latency, network throughput and energy efficiency are studied. Optimal value of packet payload size that is able to minimize the end-to-end delay and end-to-end latency, while also maximizing the network throughput and energy efficiency is sought. To do this, a smart grid application case study together with a WSN QoS model is used to find the optimal value of the packet payload size. Our proposed method, named Multi-Objective Optimization Algorithm Based on Sperm Fertilization Procedure (MOSFP), along with other three state-of-the-art multi-objective optimization algorithms known as OMOPSO, NSGA-II and SPEA2, are utilized in this study. Different packet payload sizes are supplied to the algorithms and their optimal value is derived. From the experiments, the knee point and the intersection point of all the obtained Pareto fronts for all the algorithms show that the optimal packet payload size that manages the trade-offs between the four objective functions is equal to 45 bytes. The results also show that the performance of our proposed MOSFP method is highly competitive and found to have the best average value compared to the other three algorithms. Furthermore, the overall performance of MOSFP on four objective functions outperformed OMOPSO, NSGA-II and SPEA2 by 3%, 6% and 51%, respectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 94: Heating and Cooling Degree-Days Maps of Pakistan Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010094 Authors: Khuram Amber Muhammad Aslam Faraz Ikram Anila Kousar Hafiz Ali Naveed Akram Kamran Afzal Haroon Mushtaq The building sector consumes about 40% of the world’s primary energy. Seasonal climatic conditions have a significant effect on the energy consumption in buildings. One of the famous methods used for decoding this seasonal variation in buildings energy consumption is the “Degree Days Method”. Data has been widely published for the heating and cooling degree days of different countries. Unfortunately, there is very limited and outdated published data for the heating and cooling degree-days of Pakistan. In this study, yearly average heating and cooling degree-days for different regions of Pakistan are established by using 30 year long-term measured data for different base temperatures. The data is presented in tables and figures whereas heating and cooling degree-day maps of Pakistan have been developed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 7: Information Theoretic Approaches for Motor-Imagery BCI Systems: Review and Experimental Comparison Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010007 Authors: Rubén Martín-Clemente Javier Olias Deepa Thiyam Andrzej Cichocki Sergio Cruces Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) have been attracting a great interest in recent years. The common spatial patterns (CSP) technique is a well-established approach to the spatial filtering of the electroencephalogram (EEG) data in BCI applications. Even though CSP was originally proposed from a heuristic viewpoint, it can be also built on very strong foundations using information theory. This paper reviews the relationship between CSP and several information-theoretic approaches, including the Kullback–Leibler divergence, the Beta divergence and the Alpha-Beta log-det (AB-LD)divergence. We also revise other approaches based on the idea of selecting those features that are maximally informative about the class labels. The performance of all the methods will be also compared via experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 19: Thermodynamics-Based Evaluation of Various Improved Shannon Entropies for Configurational Information of Gray-Level Images Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010019 Authors: Peichao Gao Zhilin Li Hong Zhang The quality of an image affects its utility and image quality assessment has been a hot research topic for many years. One widely used measure for image quality assessment is Shannon entropy, which has a well-established information-theoretic basis. The value of this entropy can be interpreted as the amount of information. However, Shannon entropy is badly adapted to information measurement in images, because it captures only the compositional information of an image and ignores the configurational aspect. To fix this problem, improved Shannon entropies have been actively proposed in the last few decades, but a thorough evaluation of their performance is still lacking. This study presents such an evaluation, involving twenty-three improved Shannon entropies based on various tools such as gray-level co-occurrence matrices and local binary patterns. For the evaluation, we proposed: (a) a strategy to generate testing (gray-level) images by simulating the mixing of ideal gases in thermodynamics; (b) three criteria consisting of validity, reliability, and ability to capture configurational disorder; and (c) three measures to assess the fulfillment of each criterion. The evaluation results show only the improved entropies based on local binary patterns are invalid for use in quantifying the configurational information of images, and the best variant of Shannon entropy in terms of reliability and ability is the one based on the average distance between same/different-value pixels. These conclusions are theoretically important in setting a direction for the future research on improving entropy and are practically useful in selecting an effective entropy for various image processing applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 93: On the Evolution of the Integral Time Scale within Wind Farms Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010093 Authors: Huiwen Liu Imran Hayat Yaqing Jin Leonardo Chamorro A wind-tunnel investigation was carried out to characterize the spatial distribution of the integral time scale ( T u ) within, and in the vicinity of, two model wind farms. The turbine arrays were placed over a rough wall and operated under high turbulence. The two layouts consisted of aligned units distinguished only by the streamwise spacing ( Δ x T ) between the devices, set at five and ten rotor diameters d T (or S x = Δ x T / d T = 5 and 10). They shared the same spanwise spacing between turbines of 2.5 d T ; this resulted in arrays of 8 × 3 and 5 × 3 horizontal-axis turbines. Hotwire anemometry was used to characterize the instantaneous velocity at various vertical and transverse locations along the central column of the wind farms. Results show that T u was modulated by the wind farm layout. It was significantly reduced within the wind farms and right above them, where the internal boundary layer develops. The undisturbed levels above the wind farms were recovered only at ≈ d T / 2 above the top tip. This quantity appeared to reach adjusted values starting the fifth row of turbines in the S x = 5 wind farm, and earlier in the S x = 10 counterpart. Within the adjusted zone, the distribution of T u at hub height exhibited a negligible growth in the S x = 5 case; whereas it underwent a mild growth in the S x = 10 wind farm. In addition, the flow impinging the inner turbines exhibited T u / T i n c u < 1 , where T i n c u is the integral time scale of the overall incoming flow. Specifically, T u → β T i n c u at z = z h u b , where β < 1 within standard layouts of wind farms, in particular β ≈ 0.5 and 0.7 for S x = 5 and 10.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 44: Transient Stability Analysis of Islanded AC Microgrids with a Significant Share of Virtual Synchronous Generators Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010044 Authors: Chang Yuan Peilin Xie Dan Yang Xiangning Xiao As an advanced control method that could bring extra inertia and damping characteristics to inverter-based distributed generators, the virtual synchronous generator (VSG) has recently drawn considerable attention. VSGs are expected to enhance the frequency regulation capability of the local power grid, especially the AC microgrid in island mode. However, the cost of that performance promotion is potential instability. In this paper, the unstable phenomena of the islanded microgrid dominated by SGs and distributed generators (DSs) are addressed after mathematical modeling and detailed eigenvalue analyses respectively. The influence of VSG key parameters, e.g., virtual inertia, damping factor, and droop coefficient on system stability is investigated, and the corresponding mathematical calculation method of unstable region is obtained. The theoretical analysis is well supported by time domain simulation results. The predicted frequency oscillation suggests the consideration of stability constrain during the VSG parameters design procedure.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 73: Thermodynamic and Environmental Analysis of Scaling up Cogeneration Units Driven by Sugarcane Biomass to Enhance Power Exports Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010073 Authors: João Guerra Fernando Cardoso Alex Nogueira Luiz Kulay When manual harvesting of sugarcane was discontinued in many regions of Brazil, interest in power generation by burning the bagasse and straw in cogeneration units rose. Exergy analysis is often applied to increase the thermodynamic yield of these plants by identifying irreversibility and work availability. Conversely, pressure for adopting clean energy requires these systems to be evaluated for suitable environmental performance. This study identified and discussed the thermodynamic and environmental effects of scaling up systems that operate according Rankine cycle with reheating. Ten scenarios have been designed considering different levels of steam pressure and addition rates of straw remaining in the sugarcane cultivation. The thermodynamic analysis revealed a 37% improvement in the exergy efficiency and 63% of increasing in power generation to raise the steam pressure from 20 to 100 bar. Moreover, the use of 50% of residual straw into units operating at 100 bar can more than double the amount of electricity exported. If addressed considering a life cycle perspective, the use of straw improves the environmental performance of the cogeneration for Climate Change and Particle Matter Formation but provides additional impacts in terms of Water and Fossil resources depletions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 61: Performance Investigation and Optimization of a Novel Hybrid Saturated-Core Fault-Current Limiter Considering the Leakage Effect Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010061 Authors: Liangliang Wei Baichao Chen Yushun Liu Cuihua Tian Jiaxin Yuan Yuxin Bu Tianan Zhu To reduce the requirement of DC-biasing capacity and improve the biasing ability of a permanent magnet (PM), a novel hybrid saturated-core fault-current limiter (HSCFCL) is proposed in this paper. Compared with traditional saturated-core fault-current limiter (SCFCL), the HSCFCL has the advantages of small size, low DC-biasing capacity, a high biasing ability of the PM and excellent limiting performance. Firstly, the principle and the magnetic circuit model of the HSCFCL are introduced. Then, the improvement of DC-biasing capacity with a PM is analyzed. In addition, the influence of the leakage-flux effect on the biasing ability of the PM is presented in detail, and a small-section optimal structure is proposed to improve the biasing ability of the PM. Finally, to validate the principle and performance of the HSCFCL, various electromagnetic simulations, optimization studies and experiments are carried out. The simulation and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 32: High-Precision Speed Control Based on Multiple Phase-Shift Resonant Controllers for Gimbal System in MSCMG Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010032 Authors: Jian Feng Qing Wang Kun Liu The high precision speed control of gimbal servo system in magnetically suspended control moment gyro (MSCMG) suffers from periodic torque disturbances, which lead to periodic fluctuations in speed control. This paper proposes a novel multiple phase-shift resonant controller (MPRC) for a gimbal servo system to suppress the periodic torque ripples whose frequencies vary with the operational speed of the gimbal servo motor and high-speed motor. First, the periodic torque ripples caused by cogging torque, flux harmonics and the dynamic unbalance of the high speed rotor are analyzed. Second, the principle and structure of MPRC parallel with proportional integral (PI) controllers are discussed. The design and stability analysis of the proposed MPRC plus PI control scheme are given both for the current loop and speed loop. The closed-loop stability is ensured by adjusting the phase in the entire operational speed range. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed control method is verified through simulation and experimental results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 67: Combined Supporting Technology with Bolt-Grouting and Floor Pressure-Relief for Deep Chamber: An Underground Coal Mine Case Study Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010067 Authors: Xinxian Zhai Guangshuai Huang Chengyu Chen Rubo Li Based on the engineering geological conditions of the Number 2 chamber in the slope at Xinzhuang coal mine, which is located in the eastern part of Yongcheng City, Henan Province, China, the authors conducted a systematic research on the anchoring-grouting and the floor pressure-relief supporting technology by using theoretical analysis, numerical calculation and field industrial test. Results showed that: (1) the lithology of the surrounding rock was poor, and the stress and effective loading coefficient on the chamber surrounding rock were high due to the abutment pressure that was induced by the shaft protective pillar. Both of them resulted in the floor heave and the surrounding rock deformation damage of the chamber; (2) The numerical calculation showed that, after the floor pressure-relief slot was excavated in the head chamber, the vertical stress of the floor surrounding rock of chamber and the horizontal stress of the side surrounding rock were significantly reduced when compared with the stress before the pressure-relief, and the floor vertical displacement basically remained unchanged. So the floor pressure-relief slot could effectively control the chamber floor heave and was helpful for the long-term stability of the chamber. After the severe deformation chamber was renovated by using a combined support with bolt-mesh-shotcreting and anchor cables, several other techniques were also applied to ensure the stability of the chamber. The floor pressure-relief slot was excavated, both the roof and the sides surrounding rock of chamber were grouted with grouting bolt, and both sides and the floor (including pressure-relief slot) of the chamber were grouted with anchor cable bundles. After implementation of above systematic techniques, the surrounding rock of chamber is in a stable state, which demonstrated that the field test is successful. The combined supporting technology with the anchoring-grouting and the floor pressure-relief has an important practical significance for the long-term stability of the chamber to ensure the safe and efficient production of the mine.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 2: An Anonymous Offline RFID Grouping-Proof Protocol Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10010002 Authors: Zhibin Zhou Pin Liu Qin Liu Guojun Wang As more and more items are tagged with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, grouping-proof technology is widely utilized to provide a coexistence evidence for a group of related items. Due to the wireless channel used in RFID systems, a security risk exists in the communication between the reader and tags. How to ensure the tag’s information security and to generate reliable grouping-proof becomes a hot research topic. To protect the privacy of tags, the verification of grouping-proof is traditionally executed by the verifier, and the reader is only used to collect the proof data. This approach can cause the reader to submit invalid proof data to the verifier in the event of DoP (Deny of Proof) attack. In this paper, an ECC-based, off-line anonymous grouping-proof protocol (EAGP) is proposed. The protocol authorizes the reader to examine the validity of grouping-proof without knowing the identities of tags. From the security and performance analysis, the EAGP can protect the security and privacy of RFID tags, and defence impersonation and replay attacks. Furthermore, it has the ability to reduce the system overhead caused by the invalid submission of grouping-proofs. As a result, the proposed EAGP equips practical application values.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 54: Favourable Perceptions of Electronic Cigarettes Relative to Cigarettes and the Associations with Susceptibility to Electronic Cigarette Use in Hong Kong Chinese Adolescents International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010054 Authors: Lok Leung Sai Ho Jianjiu Chen Man Wang Tai Lam We investigated favourable perceptions of electronic cigarettes (ECs) relative to cigarettes and their associations with EC use susceptibility in adolescents. Hong Kong Chinese Secondary 1–6 (U.S. grade 7–12) students (n = 40,202) were surveyed in 2014/2015 on EC use, cigarette smoking, favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes, EC use susceptibility, family smoking, and socio-demographic characteristics. Cox regression yielded adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) of EC use susceptibility in never users, excluding those unaware of ECs. In all students, 8.9% were ever EC users, 47.2% reported favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes, such as less likely to cause accidents (25.2%) and less harmful to users (24.5%), and 28.9% did not know ECs. Among never EC users who were aware of ECs (n = 24,663), EC use susceptibility was associated with each of the favourable perceptions, especially greater attractiveness (APR 2.84, 95% CI 2.53–3.19), and better parental (2.75, 2.41–3.15) and school acceptability (2.56, 2.15–3.05). An increased number of favourable perceptions of ECs relative to cigarettes was associated more strongly with the susceptibility (p for trend < 0.001). Our findings inform strategies to reduce unwarranted favourable perceptions and prevent adolescent EC use.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 10: Spatial Data Structure and Functionalities for 3D Land Management System Implementation: Israel Case Study ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010010 Authors: Ruba Jaljolie Peter van Oosterom Sagi Dalyot With the existence of mature technologies and modern urban planning necessities, there is a growing public demand to improve the efficiency and transparency of government administrations. This includes the formation of a comprehensive modern spatial land management (cadastre) system having the capacity to handle various types of data in a uniform way—above-terrain and below-terrain—enabling the utilization of land and space for various complex entities. To utilize existing knowledge and systems, an adaptive approach suggests extending and augmenting the existing 2D cadastre systems to facilitate 3D land management capabilities. Following a comprehensive examination of the Survey of Israel’s operative cadastral system that supports 2D land administration, it turned out that it is crucial to outline new concepts, modify existing terms and define specification guidelines. That is, to augment and provide full 3D support to the current operative cadastral system, and to create a common and uniform language for the various parties involved in the preparation of 2D and 3D mutation plans required for modern urban planning needs. This study refers to the legal and technical aspects of Survey of Israel’s CHANIT, which is the legal set of cadastral work processes specifications, focusing on database, data structure, functionality, and regulation gaps while emphasizing on 3D cadastral processes. The outcome is recommendations concerning data structure and functionalities needed to be addressed for the facilitation and implementation of an operative 3D land management system in Israel.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 8: Cartographic Redundancy in Reducing Change Blindness in Detecting Extreme Values in Spatio-Temporal Maps ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010008 Authors: Paweł Cybulski Beata Medyńska-Gulij The article investigates the possibility of using cartographic redundancy to reduce the change blindness effect on spatio-temporal maps. Unlike in the case of previous research, the authors take a look at various methods of cartographic presentation and modify the visual variables in order to see how those modifications affect the user’s perception of changes on spatio-temporal maps. The study described in the following article was the first attempt at minimizing the change blindness phenomenon by manipulating graphical parameters of cartographic visualization and using various quantitative mapping methods. Research shows that cartographic redundancy is not enough to completely resolve the problem of change blindness; however, it might help reduce it.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 7: Exploring Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Urban Fires: A Case of Nanjing, China ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010007 Authors: Xiaoxiang Zhang Jing Yao Katarzyna Sila-Nowicka Urban fire occurs within the built environment, usually involving casualties and economic losses, and affects individuals and socioeconomic activities in the surrounding neighborhoods. A good understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of fire incidents can offer insights into potential determinants of various fire events, therefore enabling better fire risk estimation which can assist with future allocation of prevention resources and strategic planning of mitigation programs. Using a twelve-year (2002–2013) dataset containing the urban fire events in Nanjing, China, this research explores the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban fires using a range of exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) approaches. Of particular interest here are the fire incidents involving residential properties and local facilities due to their relatively higher occurrence frequencies. The results indicate that the overall amount of urban fires has greatly increased in the last decade and the spatiotemporal distribution of fire events varies among different incident types. The identified spatiotemporal patterns of urban fires in Nanjing can be linked to the urban development strategies and how they have been reflected in reality in recent years.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 18
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 61: Enhancing of Osseointegration with Propolis-Loaded TiO2 Nanotubes in Rat Mandible for Dental Implants Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010061 Authors: Nithideth Somsanith Yu-Kyoung Kim Young-Seok Jang Young-Hee Lee Ho-Keun Yi Jong-Hwa Jang Kyoung-A Kim Tae-Sung Bae Min-Ho Lee TiO2 nanotubes (TNT) formation is beneficial for improving bone cell–material interaction and drug delivery for Ti dental implants. Among the natural drugs to be installed in TNT, selected propolis has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a resinous natural product which is collected by the honeybees from the various types of plants with their salivary enzymes. This study concludes that TNT loaded with a propolis (PL-TNT-Ti) dental implant has the ability to improve osseointegration. The propolis particles were embedded within the TNT or adhered to the top. In a cytotoxicity test using osteoblast, PL-TNT-Ti group exhibited an increased cell proliferation and differentiation. A Sprague Dawley rat mandibular model was used to evaluate the osseointegration and bone bonding of TNT or PL-TNT-Ti. From the µ-CT and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) histological results after implantation at 1 and 4 weeks to rat mandibular, an increase in the extent of new bone formation and mineral density around the PL-TNT-Ti implant was confirmed. The Masson’s trichrome staining showed the expression of well-formed collagenous for bone formation on the PL-TNT-Ti. Immunohistochemistry staining indicate that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP-2 and BMP-7) around the PL-TNT-Ti increased the expression of collagen fibers and of osteogenic differentiation whereas the expression of inflammatory cytokine such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1ß) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is decreased.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 19
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 104: A Fully Integrated Paper-Microfluidic Electrochemical Device for Simultaneous Analysis of Physiologic Blood Ions Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010104 Authors: Joon-Hyung Jin Joon Kim Sang Lee Sam Choi Chan Park Nam Min A fully integrated paper microfluidic electrochemical device equipped with three different cation permeable films is developed to determine blood ions (Cl−, Na+, K+, and Ca2+) at a time. These blood ions that are normally dissolved in the real human blood stream are essential for cell metabolisms and homeostasis in the human body. Abnormal concentration of blood ions causes many serious disorders. The optimized microfluidic device working without any external power source can directly and effectively separate human blood components, and subsequently detect a specific blood ion with minimized interference. The measured sensitivity to Cl−, K+, Na+, and Ca2+ are −47.71, 45.97, 51.06, and 19.46 in mV decade−1, respectively. Potentiometric responses of the microfluidic devices to blood serum samples are in the normal ranges of each cation, and comparable with responses from the commercial blood ion analyzer Abbott i-Stat.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 20
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-02
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 56: Sensitivity of BRDF, NDVI and Wind Speed to the Aerodynamic Roughness Length over Sparse Tamarix in the Downstream Heihe River Basin Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10010056 Authors: Qiang Xing Bingfang Wu Nana Yan Mingzhao Yu Weiwei Zhu The aerodynamic roughness length (z0m) is an important parameter that affects the momentum and energy exchange between the earth surface’s and the atmosphere. In this paper, the gradient wind speed data that were observed from May to October, 2014, at the Si Daoqiao station, which is located in an area of sparse Tamarix in the downstream region of the Heihe River Basin (HRB), are used to evaluate the sensitivity of the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) near-infrared (NIR) bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) R, the MODIS/LandSat8 normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and the wind speed at 5 m in comparison with the field-measured z0m. The results indicate that the NIR BRDF_R_MODIS and the NDVIMODIS/NDVILandsat8 are less sensitive indicators of the z0m over sparse Tamarix areas (R2: 0.0045 for NIR BRDF_RMODIS; R2: 0.0342 for NDVIMODIS; and, R2: 0.1646 for NDVILandsat8), which differs significantly from the results obtained by previous studies for farmlands and grasslands. However, there is a nearly linear correlation between the wind speed at 5 m and the z0m at the time scale of the NDVILandsat8 acquisitions (R2: 0.3696). Furthermore, the combination of the NDVI and wind speed at 5 m can significantly improve this correlation (R2: 0.7682 for NDVIMODIS; R2: 0.6304 for NDVILandsat8), whereas the combination of the NIR BRDF_RMODIS and wind speed at 5 m still has a low correlation (R2: 0.0886). Finally, the regional z0m of the oasis in the downstream region of the HRB was determined using Landsat8 surface reflectance data and the wind speed data at the Si Daoqiao station, which properly reflect the temporal evolution of the z0m in that region. The parameterization scheme proposed in this paper has great potential to be applied to evapotranspiration, land surface, and hydrologic model simulations of sparse Tamarix at Si Daoqiao site in the future.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 21
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 63: The Study on the Overall Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation for 6061–7075 Dissimilar Aluminum Alloy Welded Parts Based on the Dielectric Breakdown Theory Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010063 Authors: Yanfei Chen Xiaocun Song Jixue Zhou Hongtao Liu Yuansheng Yang Electrical connection of dissimilar metals will lead to galvanic corrosion. Therefore, overall surface treatment is necessary for the protection of dissimilar metal welded parts. However, serious unbalanced reactions may occur during overall surface treatment, which makes it difficult to prepare integral coating. In this paper, an overall ceramic coating was fabricated by plasma electrolytic oxidation to wrap the 6061–7075 welded part integrally. Moreover, the growth mechanism of the coating on different areas of the welded part was studied based on the dielectric breakdown theory. The reaction sequence of each area during the treatment was verified through specially designed dielectric breakdown tests. The results showed that the high impedance overall of ceramic coating can inhibit the galvanic corrosion of the 6061–7075 welded part effectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 22
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 113: Application of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for Rapid and Non-Destructive Discrimination of Hulled Barley, Naked Barley, and Wheat Contaminated with Fusarium Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010113 Authors: Jongguk Lim Giyoung Kim Changyeun Mo Kyoungmin Oh Geonseob Kim Hyeonheui Ham Seongmin Kim Moon Kim Fusarium is a common fungal disease in grains that reduces the yield of barley and wheat. In this study, a near infrared reflectance spectroscopic technique was used with a statistical prediction model to rapidly and non-destructively discriminate grain samples contaminated with Fusarium. Reflectance spectra were acquired from hulled barley, naked barley, and wheat samples contaminated with Fusarium using near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy with a wavelength range of 1175–2170 nm. After measurement, the samples were cultured in a medium to discriminate contaminated samples. A partial least square discrimination analysis (PLS-DA) prediction model was developed using the acquired reflectance spectra and the culture results. The correct classification rate (CCR) of Fusarium for the hulled barley, naked barley, and wheat samples developed using raw spectra was 98% or higher. The accuracy of discrimination prediction improved when second and third-order derivative pretreatments were applied. The grains contaminated with Fusarium could be rapidly discriminated using spectroscopy technology and a PLS-DA discrimination model, and the potential of the non-destructive discrimination method could be verified.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 23
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 111: A Tensor-Based Structural Damage Identification and Severity Assessment Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010111 Authors: Ali Anaissi Mehrisadat Makki Alamdari Thierry Rakotoarivelo Nguyen Khoa Early damage detection is critical for a large set of global ageing infrastructure. Structural Health Monitoring systems provide a sensor-based quantitative and objective approach to continuously monitor these structures, as opposed to traditional engineering visual inspection. Analysing these sensed data is one of the major Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) challenges. This paper presents a novel algorithm to detect and assess damage in structures such as bridges. This method applies tensor analysis for data fusion and feature extraction, and further uses one-class support vector machine on this feature to detect anomalies, i.e., structural damage. To evaluate this approach, we collected acceleration data from a sensor-based SHM system, which we deployed on a real bridge and on a laboratory specimen. The results show that our tensor method outperforms a state-of-the-art approach using the wavelet energy spectrum of the measured data. In the specimen case, our approach succeeded in detecting 92.5% of induced damage cases, as opposed to 61.1% for the wavelet-based approach. While our method was applied to bridges, its algorithm and computation can be used on other structures or sensor-data analysis problems, which involve large series of correlated data from multiple sensors.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 24
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 110: A Monolithic Multisensor Microchip with Complete On-Chip RF Front-End Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010110 Authors: Massimo Merenda Corrado Felini Francesco Della Corte In this paper, a new wireless sensor, designed for a 0.35 µm CMOS technology, is presented. The microchip was designed to be placed on an object for the continuous remote monitoring of its temperature and illumination state. The temperature sensor is based on the temperature dependence of the I-V characteristics of bipolar transistors available in CMOS technology, while the illumination sensor is an integrated p-n junction photodiode. An on-chip 2.5 GHz transmitter, coupled to a mm-sized dipole radiating element fabricated on the same microchip and made in the top metal layer of the same die, sends the collected data wirelessly to a radio receiver using an On-Off Keying (OOK) modulation pattern.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 45: Investment Promotion, Fiscal Competition and Economic Growth Sustainability Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010045 Authors: Bin Wu Xuefei Xu Zhenzhong Feng Local governments in China build development zones to attract investment. We develop a model of fiscal competition to examine investment promotion under centralization and decentralization. Our study shows that even when perfect information is not available, under the condition of an indivisible investment, a central government achieves the optimal investment in development zones and the best tax ratio for maximizing total welfare, whereas decentralized decision-making easily results in infrastructure overinvestment and tax erosion, which does harm to economic growth sustainability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 92: Non-Competitive and Competitive Adsorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ Ions onto SDS in Process of Micellar-Enhanced Ultrafiltration Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010092 Authors: Xue Li Songbao He Chongling Feng Yanke Zhu Ya Pang Juan Hou Kun Luo Xingsheng Liao Competitive adsorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions on sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in binary mixtures were investigated compared with non-competitive adsorption in the unitary metal solution in micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration at a temperature of 25 °C. Mutual interference effects were investigated based on the removal rate, the Langmuir Competitive Model (LCM) and equilibrium adsorption capacity ratios, qe/qm, which indicated the presence of other metal ions. The results indicated that the removal rate and adsorption capacity of Pb2+ were higher than that of the other metal ions in unitary and binary systems. The effects on SDS micelles for Cd-Pb and Zn-Pb combinations were found to be antagonistic. However, it was a favorable effect for the Cd-Zn combination, and the metal ions sorption followed the order: Pb2+ > Cd2+ > Zn2+. The behavior of non-competitive and competitive adsorption for Cd2+ and Zn2+ in a single system and in the presence of Pb2+ were well described by LCM. Moreover, the LCM showed poor fitting to non-competitive and competitive adsorption of Pb2+ in a single solution and in the presence of Cd2+ or Zn2+. In conclusion, the removal of Pb2+ in the presence of Zn2+ or Cd2+ showed greater efficacy than that of Cd2+ or Zn2+ in the presence of Pb2+.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 60: PLS and OPLS Discriminatory Analyses on Political Sustainability in Taiwan Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010060 Authors: Shianghau Wu Jiannjong Guo Political sustainability relates to successful governance. The general public’s satisfaction is vital to political sustainability. In this paper, we propose to use the general public’s satisfaction as the proxy and utilize the partial least squares discriminatory (PLS-DA) model and orthogonal partial least squares discriminatory (OPLS-DA) model to explore the factors that affect political sustainability in Taiwan. The results of the PLS-DA and OPLS-DA models vindicate that the satisfaction with the integrity performance of the central government, the satisfaction with the central government’s modus operandi on food safety, and the satisfaction with the central government’s policies on the twelve years primary education reform influence the Taiwanese civilians’ satisfaction with the central government, which is closely related to political sustainability. This offers us the insights on political sustainability in Taiwan.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 14: Secure Cyber Deception Architecture and Decoy Injection to Mitigate the Insider Threat Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10010014 Authors: Kyungmin Park Samuel Woo Daesung Moon Hoon Choi We propose a novel dynamic hos b t mutation (DHM) architecture based on moving target defense (MTD) that can actively cope with cyberattacks. The goal of the DHM is to break the cyber kill chain, expand the attack surface to increase the attacker’s target analysis cost, and disrupt the attacker’s fingerprinting to disable the server trace. We define the participating entities that share the MTD policy within the enterprise network or the critical infrastructure, and define functional modules of each entity for DHM enforcement. The threat model of this study is an insider threat of a type not considered in previous studies. We define an attack model considering an insider threat and propose a decoy injection mechanism to confuse the attacker. In addition, we analyze the security of the proposed structure and mechanism based on the security requirements and propose a trade-off considering security and availability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 29
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 28: Comparison of GCM Precipitation Predictions with Their RMSEs and Pattern Correlation Coefficients Water doi: 10.3390/w10010028 Authors: Chulsang Yoo Eunsaem Cho This study evaluated 20 general circulation models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which provide the prediction results for the period of 2006 to 2014, the period from which the observation data (the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) data) are available. Both the GCM predictions of precipitation and the GPCP data were compared for three data structures—the global, zonal, and grid mean—with conventional statistics like the root mean square error (RMSE) and the pattern correlation coefficient of the cyclostationary empirical orthogonal functions (CSEOFs). As a result, it was possible to select a GCM which showed the best performance among the 20 GCMs considered in this study. Overall, the NorSM1-M model was found to be the most similar to the GPCP data. Additionally, the IPSL-CM5A-LR, BCC-CSM, and GFDL-CMS models were also found to be quite similar to the GPCP data.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 31: Experimental Study on the Potential Use of Bundled Crop Straws as Subsurface Drainage Material in the Newly Reclaimed Coastal Land in Eastern China Water doi: 10.3390/w10010031 Authors: Peirong Lu Zhanyu Zhang Genxiang Feng Mingyi Huang Xufan Shi Initial land reclamation of the saline soils often requires higher drainage intensity for quick leaching of salts from the soil profile; however, drainage pipes placed at closer spacing may result in higher cost. Seeking an inexpensive degradable organic subsurface drainage material may satisfy such needs of initial drainage, low investment and a heathy soil environment. Crop straws are porous organic materials that have certain strength and endurance. In this research, we explored the potential of using bundled maize stalks and rice straws as subsurface drainage material in place of plastic pipes. Through an experimental study in large lysimeters that were filled with saline coastal soil and planted with maize, we examined the drainage performance of the two organic materials by comparing with the conventional plastic drainage pipes; soil moisture distribution, soil salinity changed with depth, and the crop information were monitored in the lysimeters during the maize growing period. The results showed that maize stalk drainage and the rice straw drainage were significantly (p < 0.05) more efficient in removing salt and water from the crop root zone than the plastic drainage pipes; they excelled in drainage rate, leaching fraction, and lowering water table; and their efficient drainage processes lowered salt stress in the crop root zone and resulted in a slightly higher level of biomass. The experimental results suggest that crop straws may be used as a good organic substitute for the plastic drainage pipes in the initial stage land reclamation of the saline coastal soils.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 29: Global Water Governance and Climate Change: Identifying Innovative Arrangements for Adaptive Transformation Water doi: 10.3390/w10010029 Authors: Maria Melo Zurita Dana Thomsen Neil Holbrook Timothy Smith Anna Lyth Paul Munro Annemarieke de Bruin Giovanna Seddaiu Pier Roggero Julia Baird Ryan Plummer Ryan Bullock Kevin Collins Neil Powell A convoluted network of different water governance systems exists around the world. Collectively, these systems provide insight into how to build sustainable regimes of water use and management. We argue that the challenge is not to make the system less convoluted, but rather to support positive and promising trends in governance, creating a vision for future environmental outcomes. In this paper, we analyse nine water case studies from around the world to help identify potential ‘innovative arrangements’ for addressing existing dilemmas. We argue that such arrangements can be used as a catalyst for crafting new global water governance futures. The nine case studies were selected for their diversity in terms of location, scale and water dilemma, and through an examination of their contexts, structures and processes we identify key themes to consider in the milieu of adaptive transformation. These themes include the importance of acknowledging socio-ecological entanglements, understanding the political dimensions of environmental dilemmas, the recognition of different constructions of the dillema, and the importance of democratized processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 30: Assessing the Coordinated Operation of Reservoirs and Weirs for Sustainable Water Management in the Geum River Basin under Climate Change Water doi: 10.3390/w10010030 Authors: Jung Ahn Deuk Yang Kang Jung Dong Shin In this study, an integrated system for the comprehensive analysis of climate change, runoff, reservoir operation, and power generation was developed. In order to apply reliable climate change scenarios to the Geum River Basin, we applied representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its fifth assessment report in 2014 to the streamflow synthesis and reservoir regulation model at a regional scale with 1-km spatial resolution to analyze future runoff. This analyzed future runoff was applied to the Hydrologic Engineering Center—Reservoir System Simulation to analyze the hydrological behavior caused by reservoir operation through flow duration analysis at each of several important points. The objective was to provide initial data suitable for future basin management through an examination of power generation. Applying the RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios showed that runoff would increase continuously compared with the past. However, in the RCP 8.5 scenario (where carbon reductions have not been achieved), runoff from flooding would be reduced considerably. It was found that power generation would be reduced compared with the past under the climate change scenarios, but additional power generation could be realized with the coordinated operation of reservoirs and weirs. These results suggest that, despite climate change, the risk to power generation could be reduced with the coordinated operation of reservoirs and weirs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 67: A Novel Manufacturing Process for Compact, Low-Weight and Flexible Ultra-Wideband Cavity Backed Textile Antennas Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010067 Authors: Dries Van Baelen Sam Lemey Jo Verhaevert Hendrik Rogier A novel manufacturing procedure for the fabrication of ultra-wideband cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antennas on textile substrates is proposed. The antenna cavity is constructed using a single laser-cut electrotextile patch, which is folded around the substrate. Electrotextile slabs protruding from the laser-cut patch are then vertically folded and glued to form the antenna cavity instead of rigid metal tubelets to implement the vertical cavity walls. This approach drastically improves mechanical flexibility, decreases the antenna weight to slightly more than 1 g and significantly reduces alignment errors. As a proof of concept, a cavity-backed substrate integrated waveguide antenna is designed and realized for ultra-wideband operation in the [5.15–5.85] GHz band. Antenna performance is validated in free space as well as in two on body measurement scenarios. Furthermore, the antenna’s figures of merit are characterized when the prototype is bent at different curvature radii, as commonly encountered during deployment on the human body. Also the effect of humidity content on antenna performance is studied. In all scenarios, the realized antenna covers the entire operating frequency band, meanwhile retaining a stable radiation pattern with a broadside gain above 5 dBi, and a radiation efficiency of at least 70%.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 34
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 66: Effects of T2 Heat Treatment on Microstructure and Properties of the Selective Laser Melted Aluminum Alloy Samples Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010066 Authors: Lianfeng Wang Jing Sun Xiaogang Zhu Lingyu Cheng Yun Shi Lijie Guo Biao Yan In this paper, aluminum alloy samples were fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) and subsequently T2 heat treatment was undertaken. In order to obtain comprehensive results, various experiments on densification, hardness, tensile strength, bending strength and microstructure characterization were carried out. The results show that densification of samples after T2 heat treatment does not vary very much from the SLMed ones, while the Brinell hardness and strength decreases to about 50%. Moreover, the plasticity and fracture deflection increases about 3 fold. The effects on the microstructure and the mechanical properties of the SLMed aluminum alloy samples and subsequent T2 heat treatment were studied.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 35
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 65: Photocatalytic Nanocomposites for the Protection of European Architectural Heritage Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010065 Authors: Francesca Gherardi Marco Roveri Sara Goidanich Lucia Toniolo In the field of stone protection, the introduction of inorganic nanoparticles, such as TiO2, ZnO, and Ag in polymeric blends can enhance the protective action of pristine treatments, as well as confer additional properties (photocatalytic, antifouling, and antibacterial). In the framework of the “Nano-Cathedral” European project, nanostructured photocatalytic protective treatments were formulated by using different TiO2 nanoparticles, solvents, and silane/siloxane systems in the blends. The results about the characterization and application of two promising nano-TiO2 based products applied on Apuan marble and Ajarte limestone are here reported, aiming at investigating the complex system “treatment/stone-substrate”. The nanocomposites show better performances when compared to a commercial reference siloxane based protective treatment, resulting in different performances once applied on different carbonatic substrates, with very low and high open porosity, confirming the necessity of correlating precisely the characteristics of the stone material to those of the protective formulations. In particular, the TiO2 photocatalytic behavior is strictly linked to the amount of available nanoparticles and to the active surface area. The alkyl silane oligomers of the water-based formulation have a good penetration into the microstructure of Ajarte limestone, whereas the solvent-based and small size monomeric formulation shows better results for Apuan marble, granting a good coverage of the pores. The encouraging results obtained so far in lab will be confirmed by monitoring tests aiming at assessing the effectiveness of the treatments applied in pilot sites of historical Gothic Cathedrals.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 12: Multilevel Visualization of Travelogue Trajectory Data ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010012 Authors: Yongsai Ma Yang Wang Guangluan Xu Xianqing Tai User-generated travelogues can generate much geographic data, containing abundant semantic and geographic information that reflects people’s movement patterns. The tourist movement patterns in travelogues can help others when planning trips, or understanding how people travel within certain regions. The trajectory data in travelogues might include tourist attractions, restaurants and other locations. In addition, all travelogues generate a trajectory, which has a large volume. The variety and volume of trajectory data make it very hard to directly find patterns contained within them. Moreover, existing work about movement patterns has only explored the simple semantic information, without considering using visualization to find hidden information. We propose a multilevel visual analytical method to help find movement patterns in travelogues. The data characteristic of a single travelogue are different from multiple travelogues. When exploring a single travelogue, the individual movement patterns comprise our main concern, like semantic information. While looking at many travelogues, we focus more on the patterns of population movement. In addition, when choosing the levels for multilevel aggregation, we apply an adaptive method. By combining the multilevel visualization in a single travelogue and multiple travelogues, we can better explore the movement patterns in travelogues.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 37
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 104: Harmonic Modelling of the Wind Turbine Induction Generator for Dynamic Analysis of Power Quality Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010104 Authors: Héctor García Juan Segundo Osvaldo Rodríguez-Hernández Rafael Campos-Amezcua Oscar Jaramillo Given the increasing integration of wind-based generation systems into the electric grid, efforts have been made to deal with the problem of power quality associated with the intermittent nature of these systems. This paper presents a new modelling approach oriented towards harmonic distortion analysis of the induction machine for wind power applications. The model is developed using companion harmonic circuit modelling, which is a natural approach for analysis of the adverse effects of harmonic distortion in electric power systems, and represents an easier solution method than the well known dynamic harmonic domain, since it solves algebraic equations instead of state-space differential equations. The structure of the companion circuits simplifies both the formulation and solution for power systems with wind-based generation systems. This approach is especially useful for analysis of the harmonic interaction in transient and steady states between the wind power generator and the power system, whose interconnection is made through electronic converters. The proposed model allows us to compute the dynamics of the wind turbine, which are influenced by disturbances such as changes in the wind velocity, voltage fluctuations, electric waveform distortion, and mechanical vibrations, among other factors. Moreover, the cross-coupling between harmonic components at different frequencies is considered. The proposed model represents an integral framework of the electrical and mechanical subsystems of a wind turbine, allowing for analysis of the interactions between them, and understanding power quality degradation behaviour as well as causes and consequences, while also giving useful information on the field of simulation and control. To test the performance of the proposed model, a test power system is used to obtain the behaviour of a wind turbine induction generator in response to typical power quality disturbances, i.e., harmonic distortion, and voltage sags and swells. Then, the dynamics of the variables considering their harmonic interactions are analysed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
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    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 9: Heap Leaching: Modelling and Forecasting Using CFD Technology Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8010009 Authors: Diane McBride James Gebhardt Nick Croft Mark Cross Heap leach operations typically employ some form of modelling and forecasting tools to predict cash flow margins and project viability. However, these vary from simple spreadsheets to phenomenological models, with more complex models not commonly employed as they require the greatest amount of time and effort. Yet, accurate production modelling and forecasting are essential for managing production and potentially critical for successful operation of a complex heap, time and effort spent in setting up modelling tools initially may increase profitability in the long term. A brief overview of various modelling approaches is presented, but this paper focuses on the capabilities of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. Advances in computational capability allow for complex CFD models, coupled with leach kinetic models, to be applied to complex ore bodies. In this paper a comprehensive hydrodynamic CFD model is described and applied to chalcopyrite dissolution under heap operating conditions. The model is parameterized against experimental data and validated against a range of experimental leach tests under different thermal conditions. A three-dimensional ‘virtual’ heap, under fluctuating meteorological conditions, is simulated. Continuous and intermittent irrigation is investigated, showing copper recovery per unit volume of applied leach solution to be slightly increased for pulse irrigation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 39
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 3: Review of Latest Advances in 3GPP Standardization: D2D Communication in 5G Systems and Its Energy Consumption Models Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10010003 Authors: Marko Höyhtyä Olli Apilo Mika Lasanen Device-to-device (D2D) communication is an essential part of the future fifth generation (5G) system that can be seen as a “network of networks,” consisting of multiple seamlessly-integrated radio access technologies (RATs). Public safety communications, autonomous driving, socially-aware networking, and infotainment services are example use cases of D2D technology. High data rate communications and use of several active air interfaces in the described network create energy consumption challenges for both base stations and the end user devices. In this paper, we review the status of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standardization, which is the most important standardization body for 5G systems. We define a set of application scenarios for D2D communications in 5G networks. We use the recent models of 3GPP long term evolution (LTE) and WiFi interfaces in analyzing the power consumption from both the infrastructure and user device perspectives. The results indicate that with the latest radio interfaces, the best option for energy saving is the minimization of active interfaces and sending the data with the best possible data rate. Multiple recommendations on how to exploit the results in future networks are given.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 40
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 4: A Virtual Learning Architecture Enhanced by Fog Computing and Big Data Streams Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10010004 Authors: Riccardo Pecori In recent years, virtual learning environments are gaining more and more momentum, considering both the technologies deployed in their support and the sheer number of terminals directly or indirectly interacting with them. This essentially means that every day, more and more smart devices play an active role in this exemplary Web of Things scenario. This digital revolution, affecting education, appears clearly intertwined with the earliest forecasts of the Internet of Things, envisioning around 50 billions heterogeneous devices and gadgets to be active by 2020, considering also the deployment of the fog computing paradigm, which moves part of the computational power to the edge of the network. Moreover, these interconnected objects are expected to produce more and more significant streams of data, themselves generated at unprecedented rates, sometimes to be analyzed almost in real time. Concerning educational environments, this translates to a new type of big data stream, which can be labeled as educational big data streams. Here, pieces of information coming from different sources (such as communications between students and instructors, as well as students’ tests, etc.) require accurate analysis and mining techniques in order to retrieve fruitful and well-timed insights from them. This article presents an overview of the current state of the art of virtual learning environments and their limitations; then, it explains the main ideas behind the paradigms of big data streams and of fog computing, in order to introduce an e-learning architecture integrating both of them. Such an action aims to enhance the ability of virtual learning environments to be closer to the needs of all the actors in an educational scenario, as demonstrated by a preliminary implementation of the envisioned architecture. We believe that the proposed big stream and fog-based educational framework may pave the way towards a better understanding of students’ educational behaviors and foster new research directions in the field.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 41
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 118: Design and Performance of a Pinned Photodiode CMOS Image Sensor Using Reverse Substrate Bias Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010118 Authors: Konstantin Stefanov Andrew Clarke James Ivory Andrew Holland A new pinned photodiode (PPD) CMOS image sensor with reverse biased p-type substrate has been developed and characterized. The sensor uses traditional PPDs with one additional deep implantation step to suppress the parasitic reverse currents, and can be fully depleted. The first prototypes have been manufactured on an 18 µm thick, 1000 Ω·cm epitaxial silicon wafers using 180 nm PPD image sensor process. Both front-side illuminated (FSI) and back-side illuminated (BSI) devices were manufactured in collaboration with Teledyne e2v. The characterization results from a number of arrays of 10 µm and 5.4 µm PPD pixels, with different shape, the size and the depth of the new implant are in good agreement with device simulations. The new pixels could be reverse-biased without parasitic leakage currents well beyond full depletion, and demonstrate nearly identical optical response to the reference non-modified pixels. The observed excessive charge sharing in some pixel variants is shown to not be a limiting factor in operation. This development promises to realize monolithic PPD CIS with large depleted thickness and correspondingly high quantum efficiency at near-infrared and soft X-ray wavelengths.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 42
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-04
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 115: HARE: Supporting Efficient Uplink Multi-Hop Communications in Self-Organizing LPWANs Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010115 Authors: Toni Adame Vázquez Sergio Barrachina-Muñoz Boris Bellalta Albert Bel The emergence of low-power wide area networks (LPWANs) as a new agent in the Internet of Things (IoT) will result in the incorporation into the digital world of low-automated processes from a wide variety of sectors. The single-hop conception of typical LPWAN deployments, though simple and robust, overlooks the self-organization capabilities of network devices, suffers from lack of scalability in crowded scenarios, and pays little attention to energy consumption. Aimed to take the most out of devices’ capabilities, the HARE protocol stack is proposed in this paper as a new LPWAN technology flexible enough to adopt uplink multi-hop communications when proving energetically more efficient. In this way, results from a real testbed show energy savings of up to 15% when using a multi-hop approach while keeping the same network reliability. System’s self-organizing capability and resilience have been also validated after performing numerous iterations of the association mechanism and deliberately switching off network devices.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 43
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 125: Cloud-Based Battery Condition Monitoring and Fault Diagnosis Platform for Large-Scale Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010125 Authors: Taesic Kim Darshan Makwana Amit Adhikaree Jitendra Vagdoda Young Lee Performance of the current battery management systems is limited by the on-board embedded systems as the number of battery cells increases in the large-scale lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery energy storage systems (BESSs). Moreover, an expensive supervisory control and data acquisition system is still required for maintenance of the large-scale BESSs. This paper proposes a new cloud-based battery condition monitoring and fault diagnosis platform for the large-scale Li-ion BESSs. The proposed cyber-physical platform incorporates the Internet of Things embedded in the battery modules and the cloud battery management platform. Multithreads of a condition monitoring algorithm and an outlier mining-based battery fault diagnosis algorithm are built in the cloud battery management platform (CBMP). The proposed cloud-based condition monitoring and fault diagnosis platform is validated by using a cyber-physical testbed and a computational cost analysis for the CBMP. Therefore, the proposed platform will support the on-board health monitoring and provide an intelligent and cost-effective maintenance of the large-scale Li-ion BESSs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 127: Numerical Simulations for a Partial Disk MHD Generator Performance Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010127 Authors: Lai Li Hu-lin Huang Gui-ping Zhu In this paper, numerical simulations are carried out to predict the performance of a new designed configuration of the disk magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator, which segments the generator into dozens of parts. The behaviors and characteristics of segments are mainly investigated with number of parts at 24, 36, 60, 72, 90 adopted Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The numerical results declared that these division generators approach more stable plasma ionization and better performance than that of the conventional disk MHD generator at the same working conditions. The optimal value can be reached when the angle is 5–10 degrees (36–72 parts). Due to the division of the generator, the internal resistance is larger than that of the conventional disk channel that causes the reduction of Faraday current, hence the Lorentz force, j θ B , decreased. Therefore, the radial velocity increased and static pressure decreased. Consequently, the reduction of static pressure contributes to improvement to the plasma uniformity and ionization stability. Those features reveal that the designed configuration has the obvious advantage on raising energy conversion efficiency and power output.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 45
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 126: A Novel Power Flow Algorithm for Traction Power Supply Systems Based on the Thévenin Equivalent Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010126 Authors: Junqi Zhang Mingli Wu Qiujiang Liu With the rapid development of high-speed and heavy-haul railways throughout China, modern large power locomotives and electric multiple units (EMUs) have been applied in main railway lines. The high power requirements have brought about the problem of insufficient power supply capacity (PSC) of traction power supply systems (TPSSs). Thus, a convenient method of PSC assessment is meaningful and urgently needed. In this paper, a novel algorithm is proposed based on the Thévenin equivalent in order to calculate the PSC. In this algorithm, node voltage equations are converted into port characteristic equations, and the Newton-Raphson method is exploited to solve them. Based on this algorithm, the PSC of a typical high-speed railway is calculated through the repeated power flow (RPF). Subsequently, the effects of an optimized organization of train operations are analyzed. Compared to conventional algorithms, the proposed one has the advantages of fast convergence and an easy approach to multiple solutions and PV curves, which show vivid and visual information to TPSS designers and operators. A numerical analysis and case studies validate the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed method, which can help to optimize the organization of train operations and design lines and enhance the reliability and safety of TPSSs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 123: Application of Predictive Feedforward Compensator to Microalgae Production in a Raceway Reactor: A Simulation Study Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010123 Authors: Andrzej Pawłowski José Guzmán Manuel Berenguel Francisco Acíen Sebastián Dormido In this work, the evaluation of a predictive feedforward compensator is provided in order to highlight its most important advantages and drawbacks. The analyzed technique has been applied to microalgae production process in a raceway photobioreactor. The evaluation of the analyzed disturbance rejection schemes were performed through simulation, considering a nonlinear process model, whereas all controllers were designed using linear model approximations resulting in a realistic evaluation scenario. The predictive feedforward disturbance compensator was coupled with two feedback control techniques, PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) and MPC (Model Predictive Control) that are widely used in industrial practice. Moreover, the classical feedforward approach has been used for the purpose of comparison. The performance of the tested technique is evaluated with different indexes that include control performance measurements as well as biomass production performance. The application of the analyzed compensator to microalgae production process allows us to improve the average photosynthesis rate about 6% simultaneously reducing the energy usage about 4%.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 70: Implicit Messages Regarding Unhealthy Foodstuffs in Chinese Television Advertisements: Increasing the Risk of Obesity International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010070 Authors: Angela Chang Peter Schulz Tony Schirato Brian Hall Previous studies indicated that television (TV) advertising is associated with higher rates of obesity. The rate of obesity and overweight continues to rise in mainland China, bringing into question whether TV advertising to young audiences might be partly to blame. This study investigated messaging delivered through TV advertisements regarding healthy and unhealthy foodstuffs. A total of 42 major food brands and 480 advertisements were analysed for content in this study. The results showed that the majority of TV spots advertised products with poor nutritional content and had a potential to mislead audiences concerning products’ actual nutritional value. The tactics of repetition and appeals of premium offerings on food brands have a potential to influence the purchase intentions. Additional qualitative observation involving the social bond, social context and cultural factors pertaining to mood alterations were highlighted. The discussion addressed product attributes reflected by culture and the implicit messages of marketing claims may increase the risk of obesity. Thus, public health policymakers and researchers were encouraged to act urgently to evaluate the obesity risks of unhealthy food advertised in the media and to support healthy foods.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 69: Dynamic Impact of Online Word-of-Mouth and Advertising on Supply Chain Performance International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010069 Authors: Jian Feng Bin Liu Cooperative (co-op) advertising investments benefit brand goodwill and further improve supply chain performance. Meanwhile, online word-of-mouth (OWOM) can also play an important role in supply chain performance. On the basis of co-op advertising, this paper considers a single supply chain structure led by a manufacturer and examines a fundamental issue concerning the impact of OWOM on supply chain performance. Firstly, by the method of differential game, this paper analyzes the dynamic impact of OWOM and advertising on supply chain performance (i.e., brand goodwill, sales, and profits) under three different supply chain decisions (i.e., only advertising, and manufacturers with and without sharing cost of OWOM with retailers). We compare and analyze the optimal strategies of advertising and OWOM under the above different supply chain decisions. Secondly, the system dynamics model is established to reflect the dynamic impact of OWOM and advertising on supply chain performance. Finally, three supply chain decisions under two scenarios, strong brand and weak brand, are analyzed through the system dynamics simulation. The results show that the input of OWOM can enhance brand goodwill and improve earnings. It further promotes the OWOM reputation and improves the supply chain performance if manufacturers share the cost of OWOM with retailers. Then, in order to eliminate the retailers from word-of-mouth fraud and establish a fair competition mechanism, the third parties (i.e., regulators or e-commerce platforms) should take appropriate punitive measures against retailers. Furthermore, the effect of OWOM on supply chain performance under a strong brand differed from those under a weak brand. Last but not least, if OWOM is improved, there would be more remarkable performance for the weak brand than that for the strong brand in the supply chain.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 71: The Effect of Protracted Exposure to Radiation on Liver Injury: A Cohort Study of Industrial Radiographers in Xinjiang, China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010071 Authors: Qing Sun Weiming Mao Haiyue Jiang Xiaoyue Zhang Jing Xiao Yulong Lian Background: At present, a large number of studies indicate that high dose ionizing radiation exposure is an important risk factor for liver damage. Whether protracted exposure to low external doses of ionizing radiation could induce liver injury is unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the risk of liver injury following protracted exposure to occupational radiation compared to a group of unexposed workers. Methods: A three-year cohort study was initiated in Xinjiang, China in 2010 and included 508 industrial radiographers and 2156 unexposed workers. The incidence of liver injury was assessed clinically based on the evaluation of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels. Logistic regression was used to examine whether radiation is a risk factor for liver injury. Results: Compared with the unexposed group, protracted radiation exposure was found to be a risk factor for liver injury. Sex, age at baseline and alcohol consumption were not associated with liver injury. However, hypertension was a risk factor for liver injury. The association between cumulative recorded radiation dose and liver injury was not found in this study. Conclusions: These findings indicate that protracted exposure to radiation is a risk factor for liver injury.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 66: The Human Exposure Potential from Propylene Releases to the Environment International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010066 Authors: David Morgott A detailed literature search was performed to assess the sources, magnitudes and extent of human inhalation exposure to propylene. Exposure evaluations were performed at both the community and occupational levels for those living or working in different environments. The results revealed a multitude of pyrogenic, biogenic and anthropogenic emission sources. Pyrogenic sources, including biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion, appear to be the primary contributors to atmospheric propylene. Despite a very short atmospheric lifetime, measurable levels could be detected in highly remote locations as a result of biogenic release. The indoor/outdoor ratio for propylene has been shown to range from about 2 to 3 in non-smoking homes, which indicates that residential sources may be the largest contributor to the overall exposure for those not occupationally exposed. In homes where smoking takes place, the levels may be up to thirty times higher than non-smoking residences. Atmospheric levels in most rural regions are typically below 2 ppbv, whereas the values in urban levels are much more variable ranging as high as 10 ppbv. Somewhat elevated propylene exposures may also occur in the workplace; especially for firefighters or refinery plant operators who may encounter levels up to about 10 ppmv.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 67: Risk Assessment for Children Exposed to Arsenic on Baseball Fields with Contaminated Fill Material International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010067 Authors: Alesia Ferguson Jennifer Black Isaac Sims Jennifer Welday Samir Elmir Kendra Goff J. Higginbotham Helena Solo-Gabriele Children can be exposed to arsenic through play areas which may have contaminated fill material from historic land use. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the risk to children who play and/or spend time at baseball fields with soils shown to have arsenic above background levels. Arsenic in soils at the study sites located in Miami, FL, USA showed distinct distributions between infield, outfield, and areas adjacent to the fields. Using best estimates of exposure factors for children baseball scenarios, results show that non-cancer risks depend most heavily upon the age of the person and the arsenic exposure level. For extreme exposure scenarios evaluated in this study, children from 1 to 2 years were at highest risk for non-cancer effects (Hazard Quotient, HQ > 2.4), and risks were higher for children exhibiting pica (HQ > 9.7) which shows the importance of testing fill for land use where children may play. At the study sites, concentration levels of arsenic resulted in a range of computed cancer risks that differed by a factor of 10. In these sites, the child’s play position also affected risk. Outfield players, with a lifetime exposure to these arsenic levels, could have 10 times more increased chance of experiencing cancers associated with arsenic (i.e., lung, bladder, skin) in comparison to infielders. The distinct concentration distributions observed between these portions of the baseball fields emphasize the need to delineate contaminated areas in public property where citizens may spend more free time. This study also showed a need for more tools to improve the risk estimates for child play activities. For instance, more refined measurements of exposure factors for intake (e.g., inhalation rates under rigorous play activities, hand to mouth rates), exposure frequency (i.e., time spent in various activities) and other exposure factors (e.g., soil particulate emission rates at baseball play fields) can help pinpoint risk on baseball fields where arsenic levels may be a concern.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 65: Systematic Screening for Occupational Exposures in Lung Cancer Patients: A Prospective French Cohort International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010065 Authors: Olivia Pérol Barbara Charbotel Lionel Perrier Sandrine Bonnand Elodie Belladame Virginie Avrillon Paul Rebattu Frédéric Gomez Géraldine Lauridant Maurice Pérol Beatrice Fervers Occupational lung cancers are under-reported and under-compensated worldwide. We assessed systematic screening for occupational exposure to carcinogens combining a self-administered questionnaire and an occupational consultation to improve the detection of occupational lung cancers and their compensation. Social deprivation and the costs of this investigation were estimated. Patients with lung cancer received a self-administered questionnaire to collect their job history, potential exposure to carcinogens and deprivation. A physician assessed the questionnaire and recommended an occupational consultation if necessary. During the consultation, a physician assessed if the lung cancer was work-related and, if it was, delivered a medical certificate to claim for compensation. Over 18 months, 440 patients received the self-administered questionnaire: 234 returned a completed questionnaire and a consultation was required for 120 patients. Compensation was judged possible for 41 patients. Among the 35 medical certificates delivered, 19 patients received compensation. Nearly half the patients (46%) were assessed as socially deprived and these patients took significantly longer to return the questionnaire compared with those who were not deprived. The mean cost of the process was €62.65 per patient. Our results showed a systematic self-administered questionnaire can be used to identify patients potentially exposed to carcinogens and to improve compensation.
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  • 53
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 68: Self-Medication Practice and Associated Factors among Residents in Wuhan, China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010068 Authors: Xiaosheng Lei Heng Jiang Chaojie Liu Adamm Ferrier Janette Mugavin Background: This study aims to examine the prevalence and predictors associated with self-medication, and related consequences in Wuhan, China. Methods: Two-hundred-sixty residents were interviewed from randomly selected four districts of Wuhan, China. A modified version of Anderson’s health behavioral model was used in the survey to collect information of self-medication behavior. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to measure correlates of the prevalence of self-medication. Results: Nearly half of the respondents would select self-medication, and 39.1% would see a doctor if they felt sick. The most common self-medicated illnesses were cold and cough, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disease. The main reasons for self-medication were that the illness was not severe (enough) to see the doctor (45%); the patient did not think that the trouble of seeing a doctor was worth the effort (23%); the patient had no time to see the doctor (12%), and the patient did not want to pay high medical costs (15%). Logistic regression results suggested that respondents tended to select self-medication if the illness was minor or short-term (less than seven days). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that more strict regulation on over-the-counter medicines may be required to reduce health risks related to self-medication. Targeted health education on the risks of self-medication should be considered.
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 64: Evaluation of Well Designs to Improve Access to Safe and Clean Water in Rural Tanzania International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010064 Authors: Aminata Kilungo Linda Powers Nathan Arnold Kelli Whelan Kurt Paterson Dale Young The objective of this study was to examine three well designs: drilled wells (20–30 m deep), closed dug wells (>5 m deep), and hand-dug open wells (<5 m deep), to determine the water quality for improving access to safe and clean water in rural communities. Heterotrophic plate count (HPC), total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and turbidity, were used to assess the water quality of 97 wells. Additionally, the study looked at the microflora diversity of the water, focusing on potential pathogens using outgrowth, PCR, and genome sequencing for 10 wells. Concentrations of TC for the open dug wells (4 × 104 CFU/100 mL) were higher than the drilled (2 × 103 CFU/100 mL) and closed dug wells (3 × 103 CFU/100 mL). E. coli concentration for drilled and closed dug wells was <22 MPN (most probable number)/100 mL, but higher for open wells (>154 MPN/100 mL). The drilled well turbidity (11 NTU) was within the standard deviation of the closed well (28 NTU) compared to open dug wells (49 NTU). Drilled and closed wells had similar microbial diversity. There were no significant differences between drilled and closed dug wells. The covering and lining of hand-dug wells should be considered as an alternative to improve access to safe and clean water in rural communities.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 14: A Geometric Framework for Detection of Critical Points in a Trajectory Using Convex Hulls ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010014 Authors: Amin Hosseinpoor Milaghardan Rahim Ali Abbaspour Christophe Claramunt Large volumes of trajectory-based data require development of appropriate data manipulation mechanisms that will offer efficient computational solutions. In particular, identification of meaningful geometric points of such trajectories is still an open research issue. Detection of these critical points implies to identify self-intersecting, turning and curvature points so that specific geometric characteristics that are worth identifying could be denoted. This research introduces an approach called Trajectory Critical Point detection using Convex Hull (TCP-CH) to identify a minimum number of critical points. The results can be applied to large trajectory data sets in order to reduce storage costs and complexity for further data mining and analysis. The main principles of the TCP-CH algorithm include computing: convex areas, convex hull curvatures, turning points, and intersecting points. The experimental validation applied to Geolife trajectory dataset reveals that the proposed framework can identify most of intersecting points in reasonable computing time. Finally, comparison of the proposed algorithm with other methods, such as turning function shows that our approach performs relatively well when considering the overall detection quality and computing time.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 56
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 15: Are We in Boswash Yet? A Multi-Source Geodata Approach to Spatially Delimit Urban Corridors ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7010015 Authors: Isabel Georg Thomas Blaschke Hannes Taubenböck The delimitation of urban space is conceptually elusive and fuzzy. Commonly, urban areas are delimited through administrative boundaries. These artificial, fixed boundaries, however, do not necessarily represent the actual built-up extent, the urban catchment, or the economic linkage within and across neighboring metropolitan regions. For an approach to spatially delimit an urban corridor—a generically defined concept of a massive urban area—we use the Boston to Washington (Boswash) region as an example. This area has been consistently conceptualized in literature as bounded urban space. We develop a method to spatially delimit the urban corridor using multi-source geodata (built-up extent, infrastructure and socioeconomic data) which are based on a grid rather than on administrative units. Threshold approaches for the input data serve to construct Boswash as varying connected territorial spaces, allowing us to investigate the variability of possible spatial forms of the area, i.e., to overcome the simple dichotomous classification in favor of a probability-based differentiation. Our transparent multi-layer approach, validated through income data, can easily be modified by using different input datasets while maintaining the underlying idea that the likelihood of an area being part of an urban corridor is flexible, i.e., in our case a factor of how many input layers return positive results.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
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  • 57
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 36: Uptake of Zn2+ and As3+ from Wastewater by Adsorption onto Imine Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles Water doi: 10.3390/w10010036 Authors: Mike Ojemaye Omobola Okoh Anthony Okoh In this paper, imine functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (MNP-Maph) were employed to aqueous solutions for the uptake of Zn(II) and As(III). Characterization of the material showed the successful synthesis of this material. Factors affecting the uptake of metal ions in aqueous solution such as change in pH, time, adsorbent dose, adsorbate concentration, and temperature were investigated and optimized to determine the best experimental conditions for the effective adsorption of Zn(II) and As(III) from wastewater samples. The adsorption capacity of MNP-Maph followed similar patterns as that of amine functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (MNP-NH2) for the uptake of both metal ions from aqueous solution when solution pH was varied. Higher pH values favored the uptake of Zn(II) and As(III) by using both adsorbents. Also, increasing the contact time and temperature yielded a higher uptake of Zn(II) and As(III). Both processes can best be described with a pseudo-second order kinetic model, while the Langmuir maximum adsorption capacity (qm) for Zn(II) increased from 35.83 to 54.53 mg g−1, and for As(III) from 50.08 to 57.60 mg g−1. Of note is that the qm of As(III) was higher than that of Zn(II) because of the lower concentration of As(III) in solution compared to that of Zn(II), and thermodynamic parameters indicated that the adsorption processes were heat absorbing and rapid in nature. Experiments to evaluate if the adsorbent could be recycled showed excellent recyclability capacity of MNP-Maph after seven runs. Lastly, application of MNP-Maph for the uptake of Zn(II) and As(III) from municipal wastewater samples showed remarkable sorption performance confirming the potential of imine functionalized magnetic nanoparticles as an excellent adsorbent for the uptake of metal ions from aqueous solutions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 2: Models for Multiple Attribute Decision-Making with Dual Generalized Single-Valued Neutrosophic Bonferroni Mean Operators Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11010002 Authors: Jie Wang Xiyue Tang Guiwu Wei In this article, we expand the dual generalized weighted BM (DGWBM) and dual generalized weighted geometric Bonferroni mean (DGWGBM) operator with single valued neutrosophic numbers (SVNNs) to propose the dual generalized single-valued neutrosophic number WBM (DGSVNNWBM) operator and dual generalized single-valued neutrosophic numbers WGBM (DGSVNNWGBM) operator. Then, the multiple attribute decision making (MADM) methods are proposed with these operators. In the end, we utilize an applicable example for strategic suppliers selection to prove the proposed methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 59
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 29: Influences of the Thomson Effect on the Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator-Driven Thermoelectric Heat Pump Combined Device Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20010029 Authors: Yuanli Feng Lingen Chen Fankai Meng Fengrui Sun A thermodynamic model of a thermoelectric generator-driven thermoelectric heat pump (TEG-TEH) combined device is established considering the Thomson effect and the temperature dependence of the thermoelectric properties based on non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Energy analysis and exergy analysis are performed. New expressions for heating load, maximum working temperature difference, coefficient of performance (COP), and exergy efficiency are obtained. The performance is analyzed and optimized using numerical calculations. The general performance, optimal performance, optimum variables, optimal performance ranges, and optimum variable ranges are obtained. The results show that the Thomson effect decreases the general performance and optimal performance, and narrows the optimal operating ranges and optimum variable ranges. Considering the Thomson effect, more thermoelectric elements should be allocated to the thermoelectric generator when designing the devices. The optimum design variables for the maximum exergy efficiency are different from those for the maximum COP. The results can provide more scientific guidelines for designing TEG-TEH devices.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 106: Smart Cities in Taiwan: A Perspective on Big Data Applications Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010106 Authors: Shiann Wu Tsung-chun Chen Yenchun Wu Miltiadis Lytras In this paper, we discuss the concept of a smart city based on information and communication technology (ICT), analyze the objectives of smart city development in Taiwan, and explain the supporting technologies that make such development possible. Subsequently, we propose a hierarchical structure framework of smart city systems with levels of complexity ranging from low to high and interconnections and interactive relationships in five dimensions: the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, Big Data, Mobile Network, and smart business. We integrate each key resource of the core operation systems of cities to promote the innovative operation of cities and further optimize city development. We then propose a Big Data platform data flow framework that uses information from ubiquitous sensor networks and information equipment to analyze the Big Data application process of smart cities and determine the resulting advantages and challenges. Additionally, we analyze the current state of development of smart cities in Taiwan. Finally, we discuss a new philosophy of smart city development and provide a practical blueprint for the formation, operation, and development of the smart cities with the aim of creating a bright future for the smart cities of Taiwan.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 105: Simulation Model for Productivity Analysis of External Insulated Precast Concrete Wall System Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010105 Authors: Ho Baik Minju Kim Sang-Heon Lee Hunhee Cho External Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) is recognized as a suitable method for attaining energy efficiency of buildings. However, conventional EIFS is not actively applied to building construction due to additional time and cost compared with interior insulation method. Therefore, as an alternative that can contribute to active utilization of the external insulation system, this study proposes an External Insulated Precast Concrete (PC) Wall System and its simulation for performing productivity analysis. Results of this study are as follows: (1) an external insulated PC-Wall system is developed of which its insulation performance is above 40% higher than that of the conventional EIFS; (2) performance of the developed system satisfied American Standards for Testing of Materials (ASTM) and American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) standards; (3) applicability of the developed system is verified via test-bed with construction time lapsing about 40 min for each PC-Wall; and (4) CYCLONE modeling methodology is employed to perform productivity analysis of the developed system compared with conventional EIFS.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-05
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 108: Transforming Municipal Services to Transform Cities: Understanding the Role and Influence of the Private Sector Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010108 Authors: Sara Hughes Jacqueline Peterson Municipal services—such as water, energy, and waste management—play a significant role in shaping the sustainability of cities. In many places, these services are also fully or partially delivered by the private sector, but we are only beginning to understand the implications this has for the politics and administration of urban sustainability initiatives. In this paper, we use the case of organics waste recycling in the Twin Cities, Minnesota to identify and discuss three ways private sector engagement can shift the political and administrative landscapes of municipal service delivery: through the presence and form of accountability mechanisms, norms and conditions for entrepreneurship, and the feasibility and appropriateness of traditional policy tools for achieving urban sustainability transformations. The analysis highlights the need to better understand best practices available to local governments for pursuing urban sustainability in the context of privatization, the importance of public sector capacity, and the potential for corporate social responsibility in municipal service delivery.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 76: Community Engaged Cumulative Risk Assessment of Exposure to Inorganic Well Water Contaminants, Crow Reservation, Montana International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010076 Authors: Margaret Eggers John Doyle Myra Lefthand Sara Young Anita Moore-Nall Larry Kindness Roberta Medicine Timothy Ford Eric Dietrich Albert Parker Joseph Hoover Anne Camper An estimated 11 million people in the US have home wells with unsafe levels of hazardous metals and nitrate. The national scope of the health risk from consuming this water has not been assessed as home wells are largely unregulated and data on well water treatment and consumption are lacking. Here, we assessed health risks from consumption of contaminated well water on the Crow Reservation by conducting a community-engaged, cumulative risk assessment. Well water testing, surveys and interviews were used to collect data on contaminant concentrations, water treatment methods, well water consumption, and well and septic system protection and maintenance practices. Additive Hazard Index calculations show that the water in more than 39% of wells is unsafe due to uranium, manganese, nitrate, zinc and/or arsenic. Most families’ financial resources are limited, and 95% of participants do not employ water treatment technologies. Despite widespread high total dissolved solids, poor taste and odor, 80% of families consume their well water. Lack of environmental health literacy about well water safety, pre-existing health conditions and limited environmental enforcement also contribute to vulnerability. Ensuring access to safe drinking water and providing accompanying education are urgent public health priorities for Crow and other rural US families with low environmental health literacy and limited financial resources.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 75: Safety Assessment of Electronic Cigarettes and Their Relationship with Cardiovascular Disease International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010075 Authors: Guangwei Zhang Zhangli Wang Kai Zhang Rui Hou Chunli Xing Qi Yu Enqi Liu Smoking leads to the occurrence and development of a variety of diseases. Most importantly, it is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular atherosclerosis. In recent years, electronic cigarettes have become a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes, since modern micro-electronic techniques provide the possibility of simulating the process of traditional smoking. Additionally, it is convenient and fashionable. Nevertheless, comments about the safety of electronic cigarettes remain controversial. Although the research about electronic cigarettes increased exponentially, there has been no systematic study of its safety. The aim of the current study is to review the literature reports about the safety of electronic cigarettes, and to understand their hazards and disadvantages. It was found that most of the current research about electronic cigarettes comprises short-term and in vitro studies. There are few reports of in vivo and long-term studies. Notably, the level of harmful components such as volatile organic compounds, tobacco-specific nitrosamines and heavy metals in electronic cigarettes are even higher than in traditional cigarettes. Therefore, the harm of electronic cigarettes should not be underestimated. In conclusion, the question of whether electronic cigarettes are a safe and sufficient substitute for traditional smoking needs further investigation.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 78: Environmental Risk Factors for Developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010078 Authors: Tashi Dendup Xiaoqi Feng Stephanie Clingan Thomas Astell-Burt Different elements of the environment have been posited to influence type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This systematic review summarizes evidence on the environmental determinants of T2DM identified in four databases. It proposes a theoretical framework illustrating the link between environment and T2DM, and briefly discusses some methodological challenges and potential solutions, and opportunities for future research. Walkability, air pollution, food and physical activity environment and roadways proximity were the most common environmental characteristics studied. Of the more than 200 reported and extracted relationships assessed in 60 studies, 82 showed significant association in the expected direction. In general, higher levels of walkability and green space were associated with lower T2DM risk, while increased levels of noise and air pollution were associated with greater risk. Current evidence is limited in terms of volume and study quality prohibiting causal inferences. However, the evidence suggests that environmental characteristics may influence T2DM prevention, and also provides a reasonable basis for further investigation with better quality data and longitudinal studies with policy-relevant environmental measures. This pursuit of better evidence is critical to support health-orientated urban design and city planning.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 77: Socio-Demographic and Mental Health Profile of Admitted Cases of Self-Inflicted Harm in the US Population International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010077 Authors: Chris Hanuscin Golara Zahmatkesh Anaheed Shirazi Deyu Pan Senait Teklehaimanot Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi Self-inflicted harm (SIH) has a substantial lifetime prevalence, it is associated with tremendous costs, and its rate is increasing on a national scale. To examine the characteristics of those admitted for SIH in the US and to investigate the factors that potentially modify the methods used for SIH. This was a retrospective analysis of admitted cases of SIH including suicide attempts between 2007 and 2012 using the National Trauma Data Bank. We included a total of 204,633 cases admitted for SIH. Our participants were 75.1% males. Those aged 15–24 (21%), 25–34 (22%), 35–44 (19%), 45–54 (19%), and 55–64 (10%) years comprised the largest age groups among our cases—70.8%, 11.5%, 11.1%, and 6.6% were, respectively, Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asian/Others. Analyses of the SIH methods revealed that Blacks were less likely to self-poison [Odds Ratio (OR): 0.78] compared to Whites, whereas individuals with psychiatric disorders or substance abuse carried 2.5 and 2.0-fold higher risk, respectively. Blacks were also less likely to use anoxic methods (OR: 0.69), whereas patients with psychiatric disorders or substance abuse carried 1.5-fold higher risk. Being Black, Hispanic, and Asian (OR: 0.58, 0.55, and 0.55, respectively) as well as having psychiatric disorders (OR: 0.80) were associated with lower risks of using firearms, whereas its risk was increased with increasing age. Blacks (OR: 0.77) were less likely to cut or pierce in contrast to Hispanics (OR: 1.4), Asians/Others (OR: 1.29), and those with psychiatric disorders (2.5-fold higher risk) or drug abuse (2-fold higher risk). Blacks (OR: 1.11), Hispanics (OR: 1.13), and Asians/Others (OR: 1.57) were more likely to jump from high places, whereas those with substance abuse were less likely (OR: 0.77). Among patients admitted for SIH, males, those aged 15–64 years, and Whites comprised the largest sex, age, and racial/ethnic groups, respectively. We also found that several factors including race/ethnicity, gender, age, and having concurrent psychiatric or drug abuse disorders can potentially influence the methods used for SIH.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 73: Workaholism as a Mediator between Work-Related Stressors and Health Outcomes International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010073 Authors: Cecilie Andreassen Ståle Pallesen Torbjørn Torsheim It is currently unknown if unfavorable working conditions, reflected by the demand–control–support model and the effort–reward imbalance model, directly influence health or if the effects may be mediated by work-related attitudes and behaviors such as workaholism. In the present study, 988 employees (55.6% males, mean age 36.09, SD = 9.23) from a large consultant firm participated in a cross-sectional survey assessing work variables such as job demands, job control, social support, effort, reward, and overcommitment. Workaholism was also assessed together with eight different health-related outcomes. Although direct effects of the work stressors on health were found on most health outcomes, the work-related stressors were overall strongly related to workaholism (R2 = 0.522), which, in turn, was positively related to four (anxiety/insomnia, somatic symptoms, emotional exhaustion, and social dysfunction) of the eight outcome variables. Of a total of 40 relationships between work-related stressors and health outcomes, workaholism fully mediated three of these, and partly mediated 12. Overall, the study suggests that the effects of work-related stressors on health in many cases may be mediated by workaholism.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 68
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 78: Novel Chemical Process for Producing Chrome Coated Metal Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11010078 Authors: Christopher Pelar Karima Greenaway Hugo Zea Chun-Hsien Wu Claudia Luhrs Jonathan Phillips This work demonstrates that a version of the Reduction Expansion Synthesis (RES) process, Cr-RES, can create a micron scale Cr coating on an iron wire. The process involves three steps. I. A paste consisting of a physical mix of urea, chrome nitrate or chrome oxide, and water is prepared. II. An iron wire is coated by dipping. III. The coated, and dried, wire is heated to ~800 °C for 10 min in a tube furnace under a slow flow of nitrogen gas. The processed wires were then polished and characterized, primarily with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). SEM indicates the chrome layer is uneven, but only on the scale of a fraction of a micron. The evidence of porosity is ambiguous. Elemental mapping using SEM electron microprobe that confirmed the process led to the formation of a chrome metal layer, with no evidence of alloy formation. Additionally, it was found that thickness of the final Cr layer correlated with the thickness of the precursor layer that was applied prior to the heating step. Potentially, this technique could replace electrolytic processing, a process that generates carcinogenic hexavalent chrome, but further study and development is needed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 69
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 137: Fast Alignment of SINS for Marching Vehicles Based on Multi-Vectors of Velocity Aided by GPS and Odometer Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010137 Authors: Chunxi Zhang Longjun Ran Lailiang Song In the strap-down inertial navigation system (SINS), the initial attitude matrix is acquired through alignment. Though there were multiple valid methods, alignment time and accuracy are still core issues, especially regarding the condition of the motion carrier. Inspired by the idea of constructing nonlinear vectors by velocity in a different coordinate frame, this paper proposes an innovative alignment method for a vehicle-mounted SINS in motion. In this method, the core issue of acquiring the attitude matrix is to calculate the matrix between the inertial frame and the initial body frame, which can be constructed through the nonlinear velocity vectors’ information from the GPS and the odometer at different moments, which denominate the multi-vector attitude determination. The possibility of collinearity can easily be avoided by a turning movement. The characteristic of propagation of error is analyzed in detail, based on which an improved method is put forward to depress the effect of random noise. Compared with the existing alignment methods, this method does not use the measurement information of accelerometers. In order to demonstrate its performance, the method is compared with the two-position alignment method and the traditional two-stage alignment method. Simulation and vehicle-based experiment results show that the proposed alignment method can establish an attitude reference in 100 s with an azimuth error of less than 0.06°, and that the accuracy does not have a strong correlation with the accelerometer.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 70
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 129: A Weld Position Recognition Method Based on Directional and Structured Light Information Fusion in Multi-Layer/Multi-Pass Welding Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010129 Authors: Jinle Zeng Baohua Chang Dong Du Li Wang Shuhe Chang Guodong Peng Wenzhu Wang Multi-layer/multi-pass welding (MLMPW) technology is widely used in the energy industry to join thick components. During automatic welding using robots or other actuators, it is very important to recognize the actual weld pass position using visual methods, which can then be used not only to perform reasonable path planning for actuators, but also to correct any deviations between the welding torch and the weld pass position in real time. However, due to the small geometrical differences between adjacent weld passes, existing weld position recognition technologies such as structured light methods are not suitable for weld position detection in MLMPW. This paper proposes a novel method for weld position detection, which fuses various kinds of information in MLMPW. First, a synchronous acquisition method is developed to obtain various kinds of visual information when directional light and structured light sources are on, respectively. Then, interferences are eliminated by fusing adjacent images. Finally, the information from directional and structured light images is fused to obtain the 3D positions of the weld passes. Experiment results show that each process can be done in 30 ms and the deviation is less than 0.6 mm. The proposed method can be used for automatic path planning and seam tracking in the robotic MLMPW process as well as electron beam freeform fabrication process.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 71
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 139: Study of the Weathering Process of Gasoline by eNose Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010139 Authors: María Aliaño-González Marta Ferreiro-González Gerardo Barbero Jesús Ayuso Miguel Palma Carmelo Barroso In a fire investigation the rapid detection of the presence of ignitable liquids like gasoline is of great importance as it allows appropriate treatment of the remains, the identification of prevention methods and detects the possible presence of an arsonist. In some cases, analysts cannot access the fire scene in the first few hours due to the dangers involved in the situation and, as a consequence, phenomena such as weathering start. Ignitable liquid weathering is an evaporation process that results in an increase in the abundance of non-volatile compounds relative to volatile compounds, and this process changes the chemical composition. In the present work, the weathering of samples of gasoline at different times (from 0 h to a month) has been studied using an electronic nose (eNose). The influence of the volume used (40 µL and 80 µL) and the type of support (cork, wood, paper and cotton sheet) has been studied. Chemometric tools have been used with the aim of ascertaining the weathering time for which the developed method is capable of detecting the presence of gasoline. The eNose was able to discriminate samples of weathered gasoline. The support used for the samples did not seem to have an influence on the detection and the system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 72
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 131: Genotyping of KRAS Mutational Status by the In-Check Lab-on-Chip Platform Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010131 Authors: Maria Guarnaccia Rosario Iemmolo Floriana San Biagio Enrico Alessi Sebastiano Cavallaro The KRAS oncogene is involved in the pathogenesis of several types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC). The most frequent mutations in this gene are associated with poor survival, increased tumor aggressiveness and resistance to therapy with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies. For this reason, KRAS mutation testing has become increasingly common in clinical practice for personalized cancer treatments of CRC patients. Detection methods for KRAS mutations are currently expensive, laborious, time-consuming and often lack of diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. In this study, we describe the development of a Lab-on-Chip assay for genotyping of KRAS mutational status. This assay, based on the In-Check platform, integrates microfluidic handling, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a low-density microarray. This integrated sample-to-result system enables the detection of KRAS point mutations, including those occurring in codons 12 and 13 of exon 2, 59 and 61 of exon 3, 117 and 146 of exon 4. Thanks to its miniaturization, automation, rapid analysis, minimal risk of sample contamination, increased accuracy and reproducibility of results, this Lab-on-Chip platform may offer immediate opportunities to simplify KRAS genotyping into clinical routine.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 73
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 138: Optical-Interferometry-Based CMOS-MEMS Sensor Transduced by Stress-Induced Nanomechanical Deflection Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010138 Authors: Satoshi Maruyama Takeshi Hizawa Kazuhiro Takahashi Kazuaki Sawada We developed a Fabry–Perot interferometer sensor with a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) circuit for chemical sensing. The novel signal transducing technique was performed in three steps: mechanical deflection, transmittance change, and photocurrent change. A small readout photocurrent was processed by an integrated source follower circuit. The movable film of the sensor was a 350-nm-thick polychloro-para-xylylene membrane with a diameter of 100 µm and an air gap of 300 nm. The linearity of the integrated source follower circuit was obtained. We demonstrated a gas response using 80-ppm ethanol detected by small membrane deformation of 50 nm, which resulted in an output-voltage change with the proposed high-efficiency transduction.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 74
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 135: Performance Analysis of Beidou-2/Beidou-3e Combined Solution with Emphasis on Precise Orbit Determination and Precise Point Positioning Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010135 Authors: Xiaolong Xu Min Li Wenwen Li Jingnan Liu In 2015, the plan for global coverage by the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was launched. Five global BeiDou experimental satellites (BeiDou-3e) are in orbit for testing. To analyze the performances of precise orbit determination (POD) and precise point positioning (PPP) of onboard BeiDou satellites, about two months of data from 24 tracking stations were used. According to quality analysis of BeiDou-2/BeiDou-3e data, there is no satellite-induced code bias in BeiDou-3e satellites, which has been found in BeiDou-2 satellites. This phenomenon indicates that the quality issues of pseudorange data in BeiDou satellites have been solved well. POD results indicate that the BeiDou-3e orbit precision is comparable to that of BeiDou-2 satellites. The ambiguity fixed solution improved the orbit consistency of inclined geosynchronous orbit satellites in along-track and cross-track directions, but had little effect in the radial direction. Satellite laser ranging of BeiDou-3e medium Earth orbit satellites (MEOs) achieved a standard deviation of about 4 cm. Differences in clock offset series after the removal of reference clock in overlapping arcs were used to assess clock quality, and standard deviation of clock offset could reach 0.18 ns on average, which was in agreement with the orbit precision. For static PPP, when BeiDou-3e satellites were included, the positioning performance for horizontal components was improved slightly. For kinematic PPP, when global positioning satellites (GPS) were combined with BeiDou-2 and BeiDou-3e satellites, the convergence time was 13.5 min with a precision of 2–3 cm for horizontal components, and 3–4 cm for the vertical component.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 75
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 133: A New Approach to Design Autonomous Wireless Sensor Node Based on RF Energy Harvesting System Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010133 Authors: Alex Mouapi Nadir Hakem Energy Harvesting techniques are increasingly seen as the solution for freeing the wireless sensor nodes from their battery dependency. However, it remains evident that network performance features, such as network size, packet length, and duty cycle, are influenced by the sum of recovered energy. This paper proposes a new approach to defining the specifications of a stand-alone wireless node based on a Radio-frequency Energy Harvesting System (REHS). To achieve adequate performance regarding the range of the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), techniques for minimizing the energy consumed by the sensor node are combined with methods for optimizing the performance of the REHS. For more rigor in the design of the autonomous node, a comprehensive energy model of the node in a wireless network is established. For an equitable distribution of network charges between the different nodes that compose it, the Low-Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy (LEACH) protocol is used for this purpose. The model considers five energy-consumption sources, most of which are ignored in recently used models. By using the hardware parameters of commercial off-the-shelf components (Mica2 Motes and CC2520 of Texas Instruments), the energy requirement of a sensor node is quantified. A miniature REHS based on a judicious choice of rectifying diodes is then designed and developed to achieve optimal performance in the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) band centralized at 2.45 GHz . Due to the mismatch between the REHS and the antenna, a band pass filter is designed to reduce reflection losses. A gradient method search is used to optimize the output characteristics of the adapted REHS. At 1 mW of input RF power, the REHS provides an output DC power of 0.57 mW and a comparison with the energy requirement of the node allows the Base Station (BS) to be located at 310 m from the wireless nodes when the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) has 100 nodes evenly spread over an area of 300 × 300 m 2 and when each round lasts 10 min . The result shows that the range of the autonomous WSN increases when the controlled physical phenomenon varies very slowly. Having taken into account all the dissipation sources coexisting in a sensor node and using actual measurements of an REHS, this work provides the guidelines for the design of autonomous nodes based on REHS.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 76
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 130: The Effect of the Accelerometer Operating Range on Biomechanical Parameters: Stride Length, Velocity, and Peak Tibial Acceleration during Running Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010130 Authors: Christian Mitschke Pierre Kiesewetter Thomas Milani Previous studies have used accelerometers with various operating ranges (ORs) when measuring biomechanical parameters. However, it is still unclear whether ORs influence the accuracy of running parameters, and whether the different stiffnesses of footwear midsoles influence this accuracy. The purpose of the present study was to systematically investigate the influence of OR on the accuracy of stride length, running velocity, and on peak tibial acceleration. Twenty-one recreational heel strike runners ran on a 15-m indoor track at self-selected running speeds in three footwear conditions (low to high midsole stiffness). Runners were equipped with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) affixed to the heel cup of the right shoe and with a uniaxial accelerometer at the right tibia. Accelerometers (at the tibia and included in the IMU) with a high OR of ±70 g were used as the reference and the data were cut at ±32, ±16, and at ±8 g in post-processing, before calculating parameters. The results show that the OR influenced the outcomes of all investigated parameters, which were not influenced by tested footwear conditions. The lower ORs were associated with an underestimation error for all biomechanical parameters, which increased noticeably with a decreasing OR. It can be concluded that accelerometers with a minimum OR of ±32 g should be used to avoid inaccurate measurements.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 77
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 128: Supervoxel Segmentation with Voxel-Related Gaussian Mixture Model Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010128 Authors: Zhihua Ban Zhong Chen Jianguo Liu Extended from superpixel segmentation by adding an additional constraint on temporal consistency, supervoxel segmentation is to partition video frames into atomic segments. In this work, we propose a novel scheme for supervoxel segmentation to address the problem of new and moving objects, where the segmentation is performed on every two consecutive frames and thus each internal frame has two valid superpixel segmentations. This scheme provides coarse-grained parallel ability, and subsequent algorithms can validate their result using two segmentations that will further improve robustness. To implement this scheme, a voxel-related Gaussian mixture model (GMM) is proposed, in which each supervoxel is assumed to be distributed in a local region and represented by two Gaussian distributions that share the same color parameters to capture temporal consistency. Our algorithm has a lower complexity with respect to frame size than the traditional GMM. According to our experiments, it also outperforms the state-of-the-art in accuracy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 132: Development of a Machine Vision Method for the Monitoring of Laying Hens and Detection of Multiple Nest Occupations Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010132 Authors: Mauro Zaninelli Veronica Redaelli Fabio Luzi Malcolm Mitchell Valentino Bontempo Donata Cattaneo Vittorio Dell’Orto Giovanni Savoini Free range systems can improve the welfare of laying hens. However, the access to environmental resources can be partially limited by social interactions, feeding of hens, and productivity, can be not stable and damaging behaviors, or negative events, can be observed more frequently than in conventional housing systems. In order to reach a real improvement of the hens’ welfare the study of their laying performances and behaviors is necessary. With this purpose, many systems have been developed. However, most of them do not detect a multiple occupation of the nest negatively affecting the accuracy of data collected. To overcome this issue, a new “nest-usage-sensor” was developed and tested. It was based on the evaluation of thermografic images, as acquired by a thermo-camera, and the performing of patter recognitions on images acquired from the nest interior. The sensor was setup with a “Multiple Nest Occupation Threshold” of 796 colored pixels and a template of triangular shape and sizes of 43 × 33 pixels (high per base). It was tested through an experimental nesting system where 10 hens were reared for a month. Results showed that the evaluation of thermografic images could increase the detection performance of a multiple occupation of the nest and to apply an image pattern recognition technique could allow for counting the number of hens in the nest in case of a multiple occupation. As a consequence, the accuracy of data collected in studies on laying performances and behaviors of hens, reared in a free-range housing system, could result to be improved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 136: Amperometric Detection of Conformational Change of Proteins Using Immobilized-Liposome Sensor System Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010136 Authors: Hyunjong Yu Young Son Hak-Jin Kim Keesung Kim Pahn-Shick Chang Ho-Sup Jung An immobilized liposome electrode (ILE)-based sensor was developed to quantify conformational changes of the proteins under various stress conditions. The ILE surface was characterized by using a tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (TM-AFM) to confirm surface immobilization of liposome. The uniform layer of liposome was formed on the electrode. The current deviations generated based on the status of the proteins under different stress were then measured. Bovine carbonic anhydrase (CAB) and lysozyme were tested with three different conditions: native, reduced and partially denatured. For both proteins, a linear dynamic range formed between denatured concentrations and output electric current signals was able to quantify conformational changes of the proteins. The pattern recognition (PARC) technique was integrated with ILE-based sensor to perform data analysis and provided an effective method to improve the prediction of protein structural changes. The ILE-based stress sensor showed potential of leveraging the amperometric technique to manifest activity of proteins based on various external conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 134: One-Dimensional Nanostructures: Microfluidic-Based Synthesis, Alignment and Integration towards Functional Sensing Devices Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010134 Authors: Yanlong Xing Petra Dittrich Microfluidic-based synthesis of one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures offers tremendous advantages over bulk approaches e.g., the laminar flow, redu