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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 298: Investigation into Window Insulation Retrofitting of Existing Buildings Using Thin and Translucent Frame-Structure Vacuum Insulation Panels Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020298 Authors: Zhang Yang Takao Katsura Masahiro Aihara Makoto Nakamura Katsunori Nagano Insulation performance in older buildings is usually poor, so retrofitting the insulation in these buildings would reduce the energy required for heating, resulting in cost and energy savings. Windows account for a significant amount of the heat loss, therefore, we have developed vacuum layer type vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) with a frame structure that is also slim and lightweight. The developed VIPs are inexpensive and easy to install, as well as being slim and translucent, so retrofitting the window insulation of existing buildings can be easily performed. In this paper, we propose a frame covering with a low emissivity film and a gas barrier envelope coating, with a focus on a reasonable design method. Firstly, a structural model was created to evaluate the safety and specifications of the frame using element mechanical analysis. Next, a finite element model (FEM) was created to predict the insulation performance. Subsequently, experimental validation was completed and the insulation performance was evaluated with the measured thermal conductivity by a guarded hot plate (GHP) apparatus. Finally, case studies were used to evaluate the insulation performance under different conditions. The optimum design included a reasonable frame-structure to hold the vacuum layer with a high insulation thermal conductivity performance of approximately 0.0049 W/(m·K).
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 11: Announcing the 2018 Future Internet Travel Award for PhD Students Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10020011 Authors: Dino Giuli With the goal of promoting the development of early career investigators in the fields of Internet 11 technologies and the information society, Future Internet welcomed applications for the 2018 Future 12 Internet Travel Award for PhD students.[...]
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 88: Traffic Offloading in Unlicensed Spectrum for 5G Cellular Network: A Two-Layer Game Approach Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020088 Authors: Yan Li Shaoyi Xu Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) is considered one of the latest groundbreaking innovations to provide high performance in future 5G. Coexistence schemes such as Listen Before Talk (LBT) and Carrier Sensing and Adaptive Transmission (CSAT) have been proven to be good methods to share spectrums, and they are WiFi friendly. In this paper, a modified LBT-based CSAT scheme is proposed which can effectively reduce the collision at the moment when Long Term Evolution (LTE) starts to transmit data in CSAT mode. To make full use of the valuable spectrum resources, the throughput of both LAA and WiFi systems should be improved. Thus, a two-layer Coalition-Auction Game-based Transaction (CAGT) mechanism is proposed in this paper to optimize the performance of the two systems. In the first layer, a coalition among Access Points (APs) is built to balance the WiFi stations and maximize the WiFi throughput. The main idea of the devised coalition forming is to merge the light-loaded APs with heavy-loaded APs into a coalition; consequently, the data of the overloaded APs can be offloaded to the light-loaded APs. Next, an auction game between the LAA and WiFi systems is used to gain a win–win strategy, in which, LAA Base Station (BS) is the auctioneer and AP coalitions are bidders. Thus, the throughput of both systems are improved. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme in this paper can improve the performance of both two systems effectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 87: Calculation of the Connected Dominating Set Considering Vertex Importance Metrics Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020087 Authors: Francisco Vazquez-Araujo Adriana Dapena María Souto-Salorio Paula Castro The computation of a set constituted by few vertices to define a virtual backbone supporting information interchange is a problem that arises in many areas when analysing networks of different natures, like wireless, brain, or social networks. Recent papers propose obtaining such a set of vertices by computing the connected dominating set (CDS) of a graph. In recent works, the CDS has been obtained by considering that all vertices exhibit similar characteristics. However, that assumption is not valid for complex networks in which their vertices can play different roles. Therefore, we propose finding the CDS by taking into account several metrics which measure the importance of each network vertex e.g., error probability, entropy, or entropy variation (EV).
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 297: Numerical Study of the Effect of Winglets on the Performance of a Straight Blade Darrieus Water Turbine Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020297 Authors: Santiago Laín Manuel Taborda Omar López This study deals with the three-dimensional unsteady numerical simulation of the flow around a cross-flow vertical-axis water turbine (CFWT) of the Darrieus type. The influence of turbine design on its hydrodynamic characteristics and performance is investigated by means of a time-accurate Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) commercial solver. The flow unsteadiness is described using a transient rotor-stator model in connection with a sliding interface. A classical Darrieus straight blade turbine, based on the NACA0025 airfoil, has been modified adding winglets (symmetric and asymmetric designs) to the blades’ tips with the objective of reducing the strength of the detached trailing vortices. The turbulent features of the flow have been modelled by using different turbulence models (k-ε Renormalization Group, standard Shear Stress Transport, transition Shear Stress Transport and Reynolds Stress Model). As a result, the predicted hydrodynamic performance of the turbine including winglets increases, independently of the employed turbulence model, being the improvement higher when a symmetric winglet design is considered. Moreover, visualization of skin friction lines pattern and their connection with vorticity isosurfaces, illustrating the flow detachment in the three blade configurations, has been carried out. Finally, a short discussion about the intermittency behavior along a turbine revolution is presented.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-29
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 220: Aedes Mosquitoes and Aedes-Borne Arboviruses in Africa: Current and Future Threats International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020220 Authors: David Weetman Basile Kamgang Athanase Badolo Catherine Moyes Freya Shearer Mamadou Coulibaly João Pinto Louis Lambrechts Philip McCall The Zika crisis drew attention to the long-overlooked problem of arboviruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes in Africa. Yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika are poorly controlled in Africa and often go unrecognized. However, to combat these diseases, both in Africa and worldwide, it is crucial that this situation changes. Here, we review available data on the distribution of each disease in Africa, their Aedes vectors, transmission potential, and challenges and opportunities for Aedes control. Data on disease and vector ranges are sparse, and consequently maps of risk are uncertain. Issues such as genetic and ecological diversity, and opportunities for integration with malaria control, are primarily African; others such as ever-increasing urbanization, insecticide resistance and lack of evidence for most control-interventions reflect problems throughout the tropics. We identify key knowledge gaps and future research areas, and in particular, highlight the need to improve knowledge of the distributions of disease and major vectors, insecticide resistance, and to develop specific plans and capacity for arboviral disease surveillance, prevention and outbreak responses.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Challenges, Vol. 9, Pages 4: Effects of Contingency versus Constraints on the Body-Mass Scaling of Metabolic Rate Challenges doi: 10.3390/challe9010004 Authors: Douglas Glazier I illustrate the effects of both contingency and constraints on the body-mass scaling of metabolic rate by analyzing the significantly different influences of ambient temperature (Ta) on metabolic scaling in ectothermic versus endothermic animals. Interspecific comparisons show that increasing Ta results in decreasing metabolic scaling slopes in ectotherms, but increasing slopes in endotherms, a pattern uniquely predicted by the metabolic-level boundaries hypothesis, as amended to include effects of the scaling of thermal conductance in endotherms outside their thermoneutral zone. No other published theoretical model explicitly predicts this striking variation in metabolic scaling, which I explain in terms of contingent effects of Ta and thermoregulatory strategy in the context of physical and geometric constraints related to the scaling of surface area, volume, and heat flow across surfaces. My analysis shows that theoretical models focused on an ideal 3/4-power law, as explained by a single universally applicable mechanism, are clearly inadequate for explaining the diversity and environmental sensitivity of metabolic scaling. An important challenge is to develop a theory of metabolic scaling that recognizes the contingent effects of multiple mechanisms that are modulated by several extrinsic and intrinsic factors within specified constraints.
    Electronic ISSN: 2078-1547
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 195: Novel Formulations of Phase Change Materials—Epoxy Composites for Thermal Energy Storage Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11020195 Authors: Maria Arce Miguel Alvarez Feijoo Andres Suarez Garcia Claudia Luhrs This research aimed to evaluate the thermal properties of new formulations of phase change materials (PCMs)-epoxy composites, containing a thickening agent and a thermally conductive phase. The composite specimens produced consisted of composites fabricated using (a) inorganic PCMs (hydrated salts), epoxy resins and aluminum particulates or (b) organic PCM (paraffin), epoxy resins, and copper particles. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was used to analyze the thermal behavior of the samples, while hardness measurements were used to determine changes in mechanical properties at diverse PCM and conductive phase loading values. The results indicate that the epoxy matrix can act as a container for the PCM phase without hindering the heat-absorbing behavior of the PCMs employed. Organic PCMs presented reversible phase transformations over multiple cycles, an advantage that was lacking in their inorganic counterparts. The enthalpy of the organic PCM-epoxy specimens increased linearly with the PCM content in the matrix. The use of thickening agents prevented phase segregation issues and allowed the fabrication of specimens containing up to 40% PCM, a loading significantly higher than others reported. The conductive phase seemed to improve the heat transfer and the mechanical properties of the composites when present in low percentages (<10 wt %); however, given its mass, the enthalpy detected in the composites was reduced as their loading further increased. The conductive phase combination (PCM + epoxy resin + hardener + thickening agent) presents great potential as a heat-absorbing material at the temperatures employed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 194: Prediction of Tensile Behavior of UHSFRC Considering the Flow Field in the Placing Dominated by Shear Flow Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11020194 Authors: Joon-Shik Moon Su-Tae Kang Considering the case of fabricating a UHSFRC (ultra-high strength fiber-reinforced concrete) beam with the method of one end placing and self-flowing to the other end, it was intended to simulate the variation of the fiber orientation distribution according to the flow distance and the variation of the resultant tensile behaviors. Then the validity of the simulation approach was shown by comparing the simulated results with experimental ones. A three-point bending test with a notched beam was adopted for the experiment and a finite element analysis was performed to obtain the simulated results for the bending test considering the flow-dependent tensile behavior of the UHSFRC. From the simulation for the fiber orientation distribution according to the flow distance, it could be found that the major change in the fiber orientation distribution took place within a short flow distance and most of the fibers became nearly aligned to the flow direction. After some flow distance, there was a not-so-remarkable variation in the fiber orientation distribution that could influence the tensile behavior of the composite. For this flow region, the consistent flexural test results, regardless of flow distance, demonstrate the reliability of the simulation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 193: Indirect Reconstruction of Pore Morphology for Parametric Computational Characterization of Unidirectional Porous Iron Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11020193 Authors: Aljaž Kovačič Matej Borovinšek Matej Vesenjak Zoran Ren This paper addresses the problem of reconstructing realistic, irregular pore geometries of lotus-type porous iron for computer models that allow for simple porosity and pore size variation in computational characterization of their mechanical properties. The presented methodology uses image-recognition algorithms for the statistical analysis of pore morphology in real material specimens, from which a unique fingerprint of pore morphology at a certain porosity level is derived. The representative morphology parameter is introduced and used for the indirect reconstruction of realistic and statistically representative pore morphologies, which can be used for the generation of computational models with an arbitrary porosity. Such models were subjected to parametric computer simulations to characterize the dependence of engineering elastic modulus on the porosity of lotus-type porous iron. The computational results are in excellent agreement with experimental observations, which confirms the suitability of the presented methodology of indirect pore geometry reconstruction for computational simulations of similar porous materials.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 44: A Posteriori Analysis of Analytical Models for Heap Leaching Using Uncertainty and Global Sensitivity Analyses Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8020044 Authors: Mario Mellado Freddy Lucay Luis Cisternas Edelmira Gálvez Felipe Sepúlveda The heap leaching of minerals is one of the more commonly used processes in the mining industry. This process has been modeled by many authors. However, the validation, verification, and implementation of these models are difficult since there is uncertainty about the operating conditions and the leaching model parameters. This work uses the uncertainty quantification, based on uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, for studying the model strength against uncertainties in heap leaching. The uncertainty analysis (UA) is used to quantify the effect of the magnitude of the uncertainties of the input variables on the recovery of heap leaching. Global sensitivity analysis (GSA) is used to study the nature of connections between the recovery and input variables of the leaching model. In addition, GSA facilitates the detection of whether a leaching model is over-parameterized. The information obtained allows studying some applications of the kinetic model. The Mellado et al. kinetic model is used as an example. The UA results indicate that the kinetic model can estimate the recovery behavior considering the full range of uncertainties of input variables. The GSA indicates that the kinetic model is over-parameterized on the uncertainties range considered; this conclusion contradicts the results when the local sensitivity analysis is used. However, the model shows a good correlation between the results of GSA and the kinetic behavior of heap leaching. In addition, the kinetic model presents versatility because it allows the determination of operating regions for heap leaching.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 43: Influence of Salinity and Pb on the Precipitation of Zn in a Model System Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8020043 Authors: Kai Tandon Melanie John Soraya Heuss-Aßbichler Valentin Schaller Fly ash from solid waste incineration plants is a source of a significant mass flow of Zn- and Pb-containing waste. Acidic leaching removes most heavy metals from fly ash, but leads to high concentrations of soluble salts in the solution, resulting in a saline solution enriched in heavy metals. Common treatment methods cause voluminous sludge that is mostly disposed of as hazardous waste and hence leads to a loss of Zn and other heavy metals. On a laboratory scale, precipitation experiments with 2000 mg/L Zn were performed to investigate the impact of salinity (0 to >70,000 mg/L Cl, 0 to 5400 mg/L SO4) and Pb concentration (0 to 800 mg/L) on the formation of mineral phases. The removal efficiency of Zn and Pb after alkalization of the solution was studied. Characterization of the precipitates showed that salinity has a significant impact on the phases produced. At a low salt concentration, zincite (ZnO) is formed. With increasing salinity, the higher concentration of chloride and sulfate increases the stability of various Zn sulphate hydroxides. At a medium salinity of 7000 mg/L, bechererite is predominantly formed, whereas a higher salinity leads to the formation of gordaite. Addition of low amounts of Pb enlarges the stability field of zincite to medium saline solutions but causes lower removal efficiency. The lower removal efficiency observed at low salinity increases at a higher salinity. In high saline solutions, high Pb concentrations (800 mg/L) are needed to form laurionite, a Pb-hydroxychloride phase.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 186: Satellite-Based Mapping of Cultivated Area in Gash Delta Spate Irrigation System, Sudan Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020186 Authors: Araya Ghebreamlak Haruya Tanakamaru Akio Tada Bashir Ahmed Adam Khalid Elamin In this study, a simple methodology for mapping the seasonal cultivated area of the Gash Delta Spate Irrigation System based on satellite images was developed. The methodology combined information from multiple bands to characterize the land surface in terms of spectral indices (e.g., Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and surface temperature (Ts)). Visual interpretations of a conveniently selected image were undertaken to identify and select sample points of interest. The NDVI and Ts values (computed from multi-date images that represented the crop growing period) of the sample points were used to developed typical NDVI and Ts plots. By analyzing these plots and the cropping calendar, an NDVI and Ts threshold-based algorithm was developed to extract the cultivated area of a given season. Analysis of the developed algorithm showed that it was simple, easily modifiable, and had interpretable rules and threshold values. Comparing the extracted cultivated area with the field report area showed a promising application of the methodology to map and estimate the cultivated area from only remote sensing data.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 53: Factors Associated with Maintaining the Mental Health of Employees after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Findings from Companies Located in the Evacuation Area International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010053 Authors: Masatsugu Orui Yuriko Suzuki Aya Goto Seiji Yasumura After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima on 11 March 2011, some businesses were permitted to continue operating even though they were located in the evacuation area designated by the Japanese government. The aim of this study was to examine differences in the mental health status, workplace, living environment, and lifestyle of employees in the evacuation and non-evacuation areas. We also investigated factors related to their mental health status. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected from the questionnaire responses of 647 employees at three medium-sized manufacturing companies in the evacuation and non-evacuation areas. Through a cross-tabulation analysis, employees who worked at companies in the evacuation areas showed an increase in the duration of overtime work, work burden, and commute time, and had experienced separation from family members due to the radiation disaster and perceived radiation risks. The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that, even in a harsh workplace and living environment, being younger, participating regularly in physical activity, having a social network (Lubben Social Network Scale-6 ≤ 12), laughing frequently, and feeling satisfied with one’s workplace and domestic life were significantly associated with maintaining a healthy mental health status after the disaster. These findings are applicable for workers’ health management measures after disasters.
    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
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 96: A Novel Approach to Monitoring the Curing of Epoxy in Closed Tools by Use of Ultrasonic Spectroscopy Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010096 Authors: Christian Pommer Michael Sinapius The increasing use of composite materials has led to a greater demand for efficient curing cycles to reduce costs and speed up production cycles in manufacturing. One method to achieve this goal is in-line cure monitoring to determine the exact curing time. This article proposes a novel method through which to monitor the curing process inside closed tools by employing ultrasonic spectroscopy. A simple experiment is used to demonstrate the change in the ultrasonic spectrum during the cure cycle of an epoxy. The results clearly reveal a direct correlation between the amplitude and state of cure. The glass transition point is indicated by a global minimum of the reflected amplitude.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 86: Overview of the Main Disinfection Processes for Wastewater and Drinking Water Treatment Plants Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010086 Authors: Maria Collivignarelli Alessandro Abbà Ilaria Benigna Sabrina Sorlini Vincenzo Torretta The use of water disinfection as a public health measure reduces the spread of diseases. Various disinfection technologies can be used to meet the pathogen inactivation demand in water. This work is an overview of the main disinfection technologies of wastewater and drinking water that reports for the conventional processes the action mechanism, the possible formation of by-products, the operative conditions, the advantages and disadvantages. For advanced and natural processes the action mechanisms are reported. Advanced technologies are interesting but are still in the research state, while conventional technologies are the most used. There is a tendency, especially in Italy, to use chlorine-based disinfectant, despite in some forms could lead to production of disinfection by-products.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 94: Integrated Temperature and Hydrogen Sensors with MEMS Technology Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010094 Authors: Hongchuan Jiang Min Huang Yibing Yu Xiaoyu Tian Xiaohui Zhao Wanli Zhang Jianfeng Zhang Yifan Huang Kun Yu In this work, a PdNi thin film hydrogen gas sensor with integrated Pt thin film temperature sensor was designed and fabricated using the micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) process. The integrated sensors consist of two resistors: the former, based on Pt film, is used as a temperature sensor, while the latter had the function of hydrogen sensing and is based on PdNi alloy film. The temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) in both devices was measured and the output response of the PdNi film hydrogen sensor was calibrated based on the temperature acquired by the Pt temperature sensor. The SiN layer was deposited on top of Pt film to inhibit the hydrogen diffusion and reduce consequent disturbance on temperature measurement. The TCR of the PdNi film and the Pt film was about 0.00122/K and 0.00217/K, respectively. The performances of the PdNi film hydrogen sensor were investigated with hydrogen concentrations from 0.3% to 3% on different temperatures from 294.7 to 302.2 K. With the measured temperature of the Pt resistor and the TCR of the PdNi film, the impact of the temperature on the performances of the PdNi film hydrogen sensor was reduced. The output response, response time and recovery time of the PdNi film hydrogen sensors under the hydrogen concentration of 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0% were measured at 313 K. The output response of the PdNi thin film hydrogen sensors increased with increasing hydrogen concentration while the response time and recovery time decreased. A cycling test between pure nitrogen and 3% hydrogen concentration was performed at 313 K and PdNi thin film hydrogen sensor demonstrated great repeatability in the cycling test.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 18
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 88: The Effects of Operational Structure Change on Performance after Seasoned Equity Offerings Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010088 Authors: Chihyoun Ahn Mi-Ok Kim Hyung-Rok Jung Sustainability is directly linked to firms’ survival in competitive markets. To survive, firms need extra capital, and seasoned equity offerings (SEOs) are one sustainability strategy. Additional resources from SEOs lead to changes in firms’ operational structure, which brings future sustainability. This study investigates whether there is sustainability in firms’ operational structure and the effects of sustainable development on operational performance and market reaction. We measure the operational structure change of firms as three proxies: (1) the rate of increase in the number of operating segments, (2) the Berry–Herfindahl index using the ratio of sales of each operating segment out of total sales, and (3) the size of net investment in plant and equipment. Our results show that operational structure change has a statistically significant and positive correlation with long-term operating performance. In addition, there is no significant stock price response at first, but the operating performance in the next term is perceived as a favorable factor after three years. The results show that there are different responses in the stock market toward operational structure change. The empirical results confirm that firms with SEO have sustainable development in operational structure and that markets recognize firms’ sustainability strategy arising from SEOs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 19
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 87: Destination Personality, Destination Image, and Intent to Recommend: The Role of Gender, Age, Cultural Background, and Prior Experiences Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10010087 Authors: WooHyuk Kim Kristin Malek NamJo Kim SeungHyun Kim When tourists chose destinations, they usually select locations that satisfy the subjective criteria of their requirements. The purpose of this study was to delineate those criteria by analyzing the interrelationships among destination personality, image, and intent to recommend while examining the effects of gender, age, cultural background, and prior tourist experience. The data were collected from a major tourism destination in South Korea. A total of 316 usable surveys were analyzed using structural analysis. The results show that three of the four factors for destination personality significantly affected destination image. In turn, destination image influenced intent to recommend. Subsequent tests for metric invariances showed differences in the moderating role of cultural background, gender, age, and prior experience.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 20
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 93: Low-Cost Servomotor Driver for PFM Control Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18010093 Authors: David Aragon-Jurado Arturo Morgado-Estevez Fernando Perez-Peña Servomotors have already been around for some decades and they are extremely popular among roboticists due to their simple control technique, reliability and low-cost. They are usually controlled by using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and this paper aims to keep the idea of simplicity and low-cost, while introducing a new control technique: Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM). The objective of this paper is to focus on our development of a low-cost servomotor controller which will allow the research community to use them with PFM. A low-cost commercial servomotor is used as the base system for the development: a small PCB that fits inside the case and allocates all the electronic components to control the motor has been designed to replace the original. The potentiometer is retained as the feedback sensor and a microcontroller is responsible for controlling the position of the motor. The paper compares the performance of a PWM and a PFM controlled servomotor. The comparison shows that the servomotor with our controller achieves a faster mechanism for switching targets and a lower latency. This controller can be used with neuromorphic systems to remove the conversion from events to PWM.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 21
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 354: Label-Free Aptasensor for Lysozyme Detection Using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18020354 Authors: Dionisia Ortiz-Aguayo Manel del Valle This research develops a label-free aptamer biosensor (aptasensor) based on graphite-epoxy composite electrodes (GECs) for the detection of lysozyme protein using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) technique. The chosen immobilization technique was based on covalent bonding using carbodiimide chemistry; for this purpose, carboxylic moieties were first generated on the graphite by electrochemical grafting. The detection was performed using [Fe(CN)6]3−/[Fe(CN)6]4− as redox probe. After recording the frequency response, values were fitted to its electric model using the principle of equivalent circuits. The aptasensor showed a linear response up to 5 µM for lysozyme and a limit of detection of 1.67 µM. The sensitivity of the established method was 0.090 µM−1 in relative charge transfer resistance values. The interference response by main proteins, such as bovine serum albumin and cytochrome c, has been also characterized. To finally verify the performance of the developed aptasensor, it was applied to wine analysis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 22
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    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 357: Detection of Abrin by Electrochemiluminescence Biosensor Based on Screen Printed Electrode Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18020357 Authors: Shuai Liu Zhaoyang Tong Xihui Mu Bing Liu Bin Du Zhiwei Liu Chuan Gao For the convenience of fast measurement in the outdoor environment, a portable electrochemiluminescence biosensor with the screen-printed electrode as the reaction center was developed, which possesses the characteristics of high sensitivity, small scale, simplified operation and so on, and has been used for in situ detection of abrin. First, combining with magnetic separation technique, the “biotin-avidin” method was used to immobilize the polyclonal antibody (pcAb) on the magnetic microspheres surface as the capture probe. Secondly, the Ru(bpy)32+-labeled monoclonal antibody (mcAb) was used as the specific electrochemiluminescence signal probe. Then, the “mcAb-toxin-pcAb” sandwich model was built to actualize the quantitative detection of abrin on the surface of the screen-printed electrode. The linear detection range was 0.5–1000 ng/mL; the regression equation was Y = 89.251lgX + 104.978 (R = 0.9989, n = 7, p < 0.0001); and the limit of detection (LOD) was 0.1 ng/mL. The sensing system showed high sensitivity, excellent specificity and good anti-interference ability, and could be used for the analysis of trace abrin in various environmental samples with good recovery and reproducibility. Compared with the traditional electrochemiluminescence sensing device, its miniaturization and portability gives it potential to satisfy the requirement of in situ detection.
    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: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 355: The Response of HeLa Cells to Fluorescent NanoDiamond Uptake Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18020355 Authors: Simon Hemelaar Babujhi Saspaanithy Severin L’Hommelet Felipe Perona Martinez Kiran van der Laan Romana Schirhagl Fluorescent nanodiamonds are promising probes for nanoscale magnetic resonance measurements. Their physical properties predict them to have particularly useful applications in intracellular analysis. Before using them in intracellular experiments however, it should be clear whether diamond particles influence cell biology. While cytotoxicity has already been ruled out in previous studies, we consider the non-fatal influence of fluorescent nanodiamonds on the formation of reactive oxygen species (an important stress indicator and potential target for intracellular sensing) for the first time. We investigated the influence of different sizes, shapes and concentrations of nanodiamonds on the genetic and protein level involved in oxidative stress-related pathways of the HeLa cell, an important model cell line in research. The changes in viability of the cells and the difference in intracellular levels of free radicals, after diamond uptake, are surprisingly small. At lower diamond concentrations, the cellular metabolism cannot be distinguished from that of untreated cells. This research supports the claims of non-toxicity and includes less obvious non-fatal responses. Finally, we give a handhold concerning the diamond concentration and size to use for non-toxic, intracellular measurements in favour of (cancer) research in HeLa cells.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 24
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 95: An Improved Ant Lion Optimization Algorithm and Its Application in Hydraulic Turbine Governing System Parameter Identification Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010095 Authors: Tian Tian Changyu Liu Qi Guo Yi Yuan Wei Li Qiurong Yan In this paper, an improved ant lion optimization (IALO) algorithm for parameter identification of hydraulic turbine governing system (HTGS) is proposed. In the proposed algorithm, the search space is explored by the ant lion optimization first, and then the domain is searched by the particle swarm optimization (PSO) in each iteration cycle. A chaotic mutation operation namely Logistics map is introduced for the elite to break out of the local optimum. In mutation operation, a serial-parallel combined method is developed to increase the diversity of mutant population. When the proposed IALO algorithm is applied in the parameter identification of HTGS, the comparative simulation results show that the proposed IALO algorithm has the highest accuracy among different optimization algorithms, and the proposed IALO algorithm has a good convergence characteristic and high stability.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 25
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    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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  • 26
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    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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  • 27
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-03
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 99: Renewable Energy Assisted Traffic Aware Cellular Base Station Energy Cooperation Energies doi: 10.3390/en11010099 Authors: Faran Ahmed Muhammad Naeem Waleed Ejaz Muhammad Iqbal Alagan Anpalagan Hyung Kim With global concern for climate change, and for cutting down the energy cost, especially in off grid areas, use of renewable energy has been gaining widespread attention in many areas including cellular communication. The base station (BS) has emerged as a strong candidate for the integration of renewable energy sources (RES), particularly solar and wind. The incorporation of renewable energy opens many possibilities for energy conservation through strategies such as energy cooperation between BSs during the off-peak hours, when the energy harvested from renewable energy sources may become surplus. In this paper, we present the case for cellular BSs enabled with renewable energy sources (RES) to have an arrangement in which the BS provide surplus energy to a neighboring BS, thus minimizing the use of conventional energy. A realistic objective is developed for northern region of Pakistan, which entails modeling of solar panels and wind-turbine according to the average solar irradiation and wind speed of the region. We also model the dynamic load of the BS, which depicts temporal fluctuations with traffic variations. Based on these models we initiate an energy cooperation scheme between the BS in which an energy cost minimization framework is mathematically modeled and solved through the interior point method algorithm. Results are obtained for different times of the year for different number of base stations showing respective energy cost savings.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 324: Dependence Structures and Systemic Risk of Government Securities Markets in Central and Eastern Europe: A CoVaR-Copula Approach Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020324 Authors: Lu Yang Jason Z. Ma Shigeyuki Hamori Abstract: In this study, we proposed a new empirical method by combining generalized autoregressive score functions and a copula model with high-frequency data to model the conditional time-varying joint distribution of the government bond yields between Poland/Czech Republic/Hungary, and Germany. Capturing the conditional time-varying joint distribution of these bond yields allowed us to precisely measure the dependence of the government securities markets. In particular, we found a high dependence of these government securities markets in the long term, but a low dependence in the short term. In addition, we report that the Czech Republic showed the highest dependence with Germany, while Hungary showed the lowest. Moreover, we found that the systemic risk dynamics were consistent with the idea that the global financial crisis not only had spillover effects on countries with weak economic fundamentals (e.g., Hungary, which had the highest systemic risk), but also had contagion effects for both CEEC-3 countries and Germany. Finally, we confirm that three major market events, namely the EU accession, the global financial crisis, and the European debt crisis, caused structural changes to the dynamic correlation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 323: A Kitchen with too Many Cooks: Factors Associated with Hospital Profitability Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020323 Authors: Na-Eun Cho KiHoon Hong In this paper, we carefully investigate previous literature to extract 10 relevant factors to explain the hospital profitability and build an econometrically well-specified model of explaining hospital profitability that does not suffer from omitted variable bias. Then we provide empirical evidence to a common belief that the objective function of a hospital varies with the type of hospital. We identified distinct objective functions for three types of hospitals: for-profit hospitals are driven by the overarching agreed-upon goal of profit maximization for shareholders; government hospitals, which are often the insurers of last resort, are obliged to put the public interest over profit objectives; nonprofit hospitals, which are legally prohibited from distributing profits, occupy the middle ground between for-profit and government hospitals. The results of this paper suggest that the ownership type should determine the factors on which hospitals focus and hence are useful to hospital management and academic researchers.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 325: Green Driver: Travel Behaviors Revisited on Fuel Saving and Less Emission Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020325 Authors: Nurul Hidayah Muslim Ali Keyvanfar Arezou Shafaghat Mu’azu Mohammed Abdullahi Majid Khorami Road transportation is the main energy consumer and major contributor of ever-increasing hazardous emissions. Transportation professionals have raised the idea of applying the green concept in various areas of transportation, including green highways, green vehicles and transit-oriented designs, to tackle the negative impact of road transportation. This research generated a new dimension called the green driver to remediate urgently the existing driving assessment models that have intensified emissions and energy consumption. In this regard, this study aimed to establish the green driver’s behaviors related to fuel saving and emission reduction. The study has two phases. Phase one involves investigating the driving behaviors influencing fuel saving and emission reduction through a systematic literature review and content analysis, which identified twenty-one variables classified into four clusters. These clusters included the following: (i) FEf1, which is driving style; (ii) FEf2, which is driving behavior associated with vehicle transmission; (iii) FEf3, which is driving behavior associated with road design and traffic rules; and (iv) FEf4, which is driving behavior associated with vehicle operational characteristics. The second phase involves validating phase one findings by applying the Grounded Group Decision Making (GGDM) method. The results of GGDM have established seventeen green driving behaviors. The study conducted the Green Value (GV) analysis for each green behavior on fuel saving and emission reduction. The study found that aggressive driving (GV = 0.16) interferes with the association between fuel consumption, emission and driver’s personalities. The research concludes that driver’s personalities (including physical, psychological and psychosocial characteristics) have to be integrated for advanced in-vehicle driver assistance system and particularly, for green driving accreditation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 322: Long-Term Collaboration Network Based on ClinicalTrials.gov Database in the Pharmaceutical Industry Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020322 Authors: Heyoung Yang Hyuck Lee Increasing costs, risks, and productivity problems in the pharmaceutical industry are important recent issues in the biomedical field. Open innovation is proposed as a solution to these issues. However, little statistical analysis related to collaboration in the pharmaceutical industry has been conducted so far. Meanwhile, not many cases have analyzed the clinical trials database, even though it is the information source with the widest coverage for the pharmaceutical industry. The purpose of this study is to test the clinical trials information as a probe for observing the status of the collaboration network and open innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. This study applied the social network analysis method to clinical trials data from 1980 to 2016 in ClinicalTrials.gov. Data were divided into four time periods—1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s—and the collaboration network was constructed for each time period. The characteristic of each network was investigated. The types of agencies participating in the clinical trials were classified as a university, national institute, company, or other, and the major players in the collaboration networks were identified. This study showed some phenomena related to the pharmaceutical industry that could provide clues to policymakers about open innovation. If follow-up studies were conducted, the utilization of the clinical trial database could be further expanded, which is expected to help open innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 319: Tourism Diversification and Its Implications for Smart Specialisation Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020319 Authors: Adi Weidenfeld The complex nature of tourism, its strong inter-sectoral relationships and regional dimension challenge innovation. The advent of smart specialisation, which focuses on regional diversification across sectors, offers considerable and hitherto largely unrealized potential for developing innovative tourism policies within this new agenda. This paper addresses the understudied concept of tourism diversification and its unrealized relevance to smart specialisation, which has emerged as a mainstream logic underpinning EU Cohesion Policy reforms and has diffused into other OECD countries. It provides a theoretical framework for studying product, market, sectoral and regional diversification as well as related variety in tourism. Some policy implications for realizing tourism diversification and for the potential role of tourism in smart specialisation strategies in particular are suggested.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 320: Rethinking Sustainability within the Viticulture Realities Integrating Economy, Landscape and Energy Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020320 Authors: Ilaria Zambon Andrea Colantoni Massimo Cecchini Enrico Mosconi Sustainability is often explained through three dimensions (society, economy and environment). However, such a definition currently appears to be restricted. Sustainable development often includes the energy issue. An example of realities founded on bioenergy are agro-energy districts. These realities involve all the three dimensions of sustainability, integrating also the energy dimension and fueling a potential circular economy. Based on these premises, the most affluent rural subdivision in Italy is that of wine. The wine sector has experienced a recent growth of its economic market, diverging from other agricultural activities and enlarging its cultivated surface areas. In this sense, the local landscape has also changed. Owing to the strong inclination of the wine sector in adopting sustainable strategies and measures, agro-energy districts can be the following future phase in viticulture realities as a cutting-edge business in the modern agricultural sector, implementing new strategies and opportunities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 321: Uncertainty Analysis of the Estimated Risk in Formal Safety Assessment Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020321 Authors: Molin Sun Zhongyi Zheng Longhui Gang An uncertainty analysis is required to be carried out in formal safety assessment (FSA) by the International Maritime Organization. The purpose of this article is to introduce the uncertainty analysis technique into the FSA process. Based on the uncertainty identification of input parameters, probability and possibility distributions are used to model the aleatory and epistemic uncertainties, respectively. An approach which combines the Monte Carlo random sampling of probability distribution functions with the a-cuts for fuzzy calculus is proposed to propagate the uncertainties. One output of the FSA process is societal risk (SR), which can be evaluated in the two-dimensional frequency–fatality (FN) diagram. Thus, the confidence-level-based SR is presented to represent the uncertainty of SR in two dimensions. In addition, a method for time window selection is proposed to estimate the magnitude of uncertainties, which is an important aspect of modeling uncertainties. Finally, a case study is carried out on an FSA study on cruise ships. The results show that the uncertainty analysis of SR generates a two-dimensional area for a certain degree of confidence in the FN diagram rather than a single FN curve, which provides more information to authorities to produce effective risk control measures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 318: Optimal Power Scheduling for a Medium Voltage AC/DC Hybrid Distribution Network Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020318 Authors: Zhenshan Zhu Dichen Liu Qingfen Liao Fei Tang Jun Zhang Huaiguang Jiang With the great increase of renewable generation as well as the DC loads in the distribution network; DC distribution technology is receiving more attention; since the DC distribution network can improve operating efficiency and power quality by reducing the energy conversion stages. This paper presents a new architecture for the medium voltage AC/DC hybrid distribution network; where the AC and DC subgrids are looped by normally closed AC soft open point (ACSOP) and DC soft open point (DCSOP); respectively. The proposed AC/DC hybrid distribution systems contain renewable generation (i.e., wind power and photovoltaic (PV) generation); energy storage systems (ESSs); soft open points (SOPs); and both AC and DC flexible demands. An energy management strategy for the hybrid system is presented based on the dynamic optimal power flow (DOPF) method. The main objective of the proposed power scheduling strategy is to minimize the operating cost and reduce the curtailment of renewable generation while meeting operational and technical constraints. The proposed approach is verified in five scenarios. The five scenarios are classified as pure AC system; hybrid AC/DC system; hybrid system with interlinking converter; hybrid system with DC flexible demand; and hybrid system with SOPs. Results show that the proposed scheduling method can successfully dispatch the controllable elements; and that the presented architecture for the AC/DC hybrid distribution system is beneficial for reducing operating cost and renewable generation curtailment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 315: Bonding and Bridging Forms of Social Capital in Wildlife Tourism Microentrepreneurship: An Application of Social Network Analysis Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020315 Authors: Birendra KC Duarte Morais Erin Seekamp Jordan Smith M. Peterson Tourism has been recognized as an important economic sector, requiring a high degree of involvement from the entrepreneurial sector to diversify tourism products and services to meet increasing demand. Tourism is often considered a tool for economic development and a strategy to improve the livelihoods of rural citizens. Specifically, nature-based tourism, such as wildlife tourism, is growing faster than tourism in general, providing a myriad of opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurial engagement. However, several obstacles exist for these small-scale tourism enterprises, such as a lack of social capital. This study examined a network of wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs for bonding and bridging forms of social capital using a social network analysis approach, where bonding and bridging social capital have their own interpretation. Thirty-seven in-person interviews were conducted with wildlife tourism microentrepreneurs from North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound Region. The study revealed that microentrepreneurs interacted with each other in a bridging network structure. The ability to reciprocate with other members of the network was essential for business success. The results identified four key bridging ties connecting potential sub-groups in the network, connected to each other in a redundant fashion. We concluded that the formation of a bridging network structure was a function of entrepreneurial phenomena that may not promote a highly trusted, well-connected network. The findings and implications are further discussed in the paper.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 314: An Empirical Study on Entrepreneurial Orientation, Absorptive Capacity, and SMEs’ Innovation Performance: A Sustainable Perspective Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020314 Authors: Yu-Ming Zhai Wan-Qin Sun Sang-Bing Tsai Zhen Wang Yu Zhao Quan Chen Using a survey of 324 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Yangtze River Delta in China, this study discusses the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation, absorptive capacity, environmental dynamism, and corporate technological innovation performance. The results based on a moderated moderation model show that the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and innovation performance is significantly positive. The absorptive capacity can positively moderate this relationship. When the external environment is in high dynamism, the moderating effect of absorptive capacity will be stronger than when the environment is in low dynamism.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 317: Ecological Pressure of Carbon Footprint in Passenger Transport: Spatio-Temporal Changes and Regional Disparities Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020317 Authors: Fei Ma Wenlin Wang Qipeng Sun Fei Liu Xiaodan Li Passenger transport has become a significant producer of carbon emissions in China, thus strongly contributing to climate change. In this paper, we first propose a model of ecological pressure of the carbon footprint in passenger transport (EPcfpt). In the model, the EPcfpt values of all the provinces and autonomous regions of China are calculated and analyzed during the period of 2006–2015. For the outlier EPcfpt values of Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, the research areas are classified into two scenarios: the first scenario (all the provinces and autonomous regions) and the second scenario (not including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin). The global spatial autocorrelation analysis of the first scenario shows that the EPcfpt might be randomly distributed, while it shows positive spatial autocorrelation in the second scenario. Furthermore, we carry out the local spatial autocorrelation analysis of the second scenario, and find that the low aggregation areas are the most common type and are mainly located in the west of China. Then the disparities in EPcfpt between China’s Eight Comprehensive Economic Zones are further analyzed. Finally, we put forward a number of policy recommendations in relation to the spatio-temporal changes and the regional disparities of EPcfpt in China. This study provides related references for proposing effective policy measures to reduce the ecological pressure of carbon emissions from the passenger transport sector.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 316: Comparison of Modeling Grassland Degradation with and without Considering Localized Spatial Associations in Vegetation Changing Patterns Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020316 Authors: Yuwei Wang Zhenyu Wang Ruren Li Xiaoliang Meng Xingjun Ju Yuguo Zhao Zongyao Sha Grassland ecosystems worldwide are confronted with degradation. It is of great importance to understand long-term trajectory patterns of grassland vegetation by advanced analytical models. This study proposes a new approach called a binary logistic regression model with neighborhood interactions, or BLR-NIs, which is based on binary logistic regression (BLR), but fully considers the spatio-temporally localized spatial associations or characterization of neighborhood interactions (NIs) in the patterns of grassland vegetation. The BLR-NIs model was applied to a modeled vegetation degradation of grasslands in the Xilin river basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Residual trend analysis on the normalized difference vegetation index (RESTREND-NDVI), which excluded the climatic impact on vegetation dynamics, was adopted as a preprocessing step to derive three human-induced trajectory patterns (vegetation degradation, vegetation recovery, and no significant change in vegetation) during two consecutive periods, T1 (2000–2008) and T2 (2007–2015). Human activities, including livestock grazing intensity and transportation accessibility measured by road network density, were included as explanatory variables for vegetation degradation, which was defined for locations if vegetation recovery or no significant change in vegetation in T1 and vegetation degradation in T2 were observed. Our work compared the results of BLR-NIs and the traditional BLR model that did not consider NIs. The study showed that: (1) both grazing intensity and road density had a positive correlation to vegetation degradation based on the traditional BLR model; (2) only road density was found to positively correlate to vegetation degradation by the BLR-NIs model; NIs appeared to be critical factors to predict vegetation degradation; and (3) including NIs in the BLR model improved the model performance substantially. The study provided evidence for the importance of including localized spatial associations between the trajectory patterns for mapping vegetation degradation, which has practical implications for designing management policies to counterpart grassland degradation in arid and semi-arid areas.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 38: Local Casimir Effect for a Scalar Field in Presence of a Point Impurity Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10020038 Authors: Davide Fermi Livio Pizzocchero The Casimir effect for a scalar field in presence of delta-type potentials has been investigated for a long time in the case of surface delta functions, modelling semi-transparent boundaries. More recently Albeverio, Cacciapuoti, Cognola, Spreafico and Zerbini have considered some configurations involving delta-type potentials concentrated at points of R 3 ; in particular, the case with an isolated point singularity at the origin can be formulated as a field theory on R 3 \ { 0 } , with self-adjoint boundary conditions at the origin for the Laplacian. However, the above authors have discussed only global aspects of the Casimir effect, focusing their attention on the vacuum expectation value (VEV) of the total energy. In the present paper we analyze the local Casimir effect with a point delta-type potential, computing the renormalized VEV of the stress-energy tensor at any point of R 3 \ { 0 } ; for this purpose we follow the zeta regularization approach, in the formulation already employed for different configurations in previous works of ours.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 313: Farmer Perceptions of Conflict Related to Water in Zambia Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020313 Authors: Richard Marcantonio Shahzeen Attari Tom Evans The relationship between climate change, water scarcity, and conflict is still debated. Much of the existing work relating resource scarcity to conflict has involved regional-scale analysis linking instances of violent outbreaks to environmental conditions. But how do individual farmers in Africa define conflict? Do they perceive that conflict will change as a function of water scarcity, and, if so, how? Here, we address these questions by surveying farmers in southern Zambia in 2015, where we asked respondents to define conflict, assessed their perceptions of past and future conflict, as well as perceptions of rainfall and water availability. We find that the majority of our respondents (75%) think of conflict as misunderstandings or disagreements between people and that 91% of our sample has experienced past conflict, 70% expect to experience future conflict, and 58% expect to experience future physical violent conflict. When asked about the sources of conflict, respondents mainly mention land grabbing, crop damage by animals, and politics rather than water related issues. However, we find a significant relationship between perceptions of future rainfall decreasing and future physical violent conflict. These results imply that even though respondents do not think water scarcity is a direct source of conflict, the perception of decreased rain in the future is significantly related to the perception that future conflict and future physical violent conflict will occur.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 42
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-27
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 37: Accounting for Dissipation in the Scattering Approach to the Casimir Energy Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10020037 Authors: Romain Guérout Gert-Ludwig Ingold Astrid Lambrecht Serge Reynaud We take dissipation into account in the derivation of the Casimir energy formula between two objects placed in a surrounding medium. The dissipation channels are considered explicitly in order to take advantage of the unitarity of the full scattering processes. We demonstrate that the Casimir energy is given by a scattering formula expressed in terms of the scattering amplitudes coupling internal channels and taking dissipation into account implicitly. We prove that this formula is also valid when the surrounding medium is dissipative.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 201: Reconstructing Seabed Topography from Side-Scan Sonar Images with Self-Constraint Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020201 Authors: Jianhu Zhao Xiaodong Shang Hongmei Zhang To obtain the high-resolution seabed topography and overcome the limitations of existing topography reconstruction methods in requiring external bathymetric data and ignoring the effects of sediment variations and Side-Scan Sonar (SSS) image quality, this study proposes a method of reconstructing seabed topography from SSS images with a self-constraint condition. A reconstruction model is deduced by Lambert’s law and the seabed scattering model. A bottom tracking method is put forward to get the along-track SSS towfish heights and the initial seabed topography in the SSS measuring area is established by combining the along-track towfish heights, towfish depths and tidal levels obtained from Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The complete process of reconstructing seabed topography is given by taking the initial topography as self-constraint and the high-resolution seabed topography is finally obtained. Experiments verified the proposed method by the data measured in Zhujiang River, China. The standard deviation of less than 15 cm is achieved and the resolution of the reconstructed topography is about 60 times higher than that of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) established by bathymetric data. The effects of noise, suspended bodies, refraction of wave in water column, sediment variation, the determination of iteration termination condition as well as the performance of the proposed method under these effects are discussed. Finally, the conclusions are drawn out according to the experiments and discussions. The proposed method provides a simple and efficient way to obtain high-resolution seabed topography from SSS images and is a supplement but not substitution for the existing bathymetric methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 199: An Approach for Foliar Trait Retrieval from Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy of Tropical Forests Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020199 Authors: Roberta Martin K. Chadwick Philip Brodrick Loreli Carranza-Jimenez Nicholas Vaughn Gregory Asner Spatial information on forest functional composition is needed to inform management and conservation efforts, yet this information is lacking, particularly in tropical regions. Canopy foliar traits underpin the functional biodiversity of forests, and have been shown to be remotely measurable using airborne 350–2510 nm imaging spectrometers. We used newly acquired imaging spectroscopy data constrained with concurrent light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measurements from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO), and field measurements, to test the performance of the Spectranomics approach for foliar trait retrieval. The method was previously developed in Neotropical forests, and was tested here in the humid tropical forests of Malaysian Borneo. Multiple foliar chemical traits, as well as leaf mass per area (LMA), were estimated with demonstrable precision and accuracy. The results were similar to those observed for Neotropical forests, suggesting a more general use of the Spectranomics approach for mapping canopy traits in tropical forests. Future mapping studies using this approach can advance scientific investigations and applications based on imaging spectroscopy.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 200: Cast Shadow Detection to Quantify the Aerosol Optical Thickness for Atmospheric Correction of High Spatial Resolution Optical Imagery Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020200 Authors: Daniel Schläpfer Andreas Hueni Rudolf Richter The atmospheric correction of optical remote sensing data requires the determination of aerosol and gas optical properties. A method is presented which allows the detection of the aerosol scattering effects from optical remote sensing data at spatial sampling intervals below 5 m in cloud-free situations from cast shadow pixels. The derived aerosol optical thickness distribution is used for improved atmospheric compensation. In a first step, a novel spectral cast shadow detection algorithm determines the shadow areas using spectral indices. Evaluation of the cast shadow masks shows an overall classification accuracy on an 80% level. Using the such derived shadow map, the ATCOR atmospheric compensation method is iteratively applied on the shadow areas in order to find the optimum aerosol amount. The aerosol optical thickness is found by analyzing the physical atmospheric correction of fully shaded pixels in comparison to directly illuminated areas. The shadow based aerosol optical thickness estimation method (SHAOT) is tested on airborne imaging spectroscopy data as well as on photogrammetric data. The accuracy of the reflectance values from atmospheric correction using the such derived aerosol optical thickness could be improved from 3–4% to a level of better than 2% in reflectance for the investigated test cases.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 198: Wind Direction Signatures in GNSS-R Observables from Space Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020198 Authors: Dongliang Guan Hyuk Park Adriano Camps Yong Wang Raul Onrubia Jorge Querol Daniel Pascual Wind speed and direction are important essential climate variables (ECVs). GNSS-R is an emerging remote sensing technique that can be potentially used to retrieve wind speed from space. However, few studies have addressed the wind direction retrieval from spaceborne GNSS-R observables, namely the Delay Doppler map (DDM). In this study, the feasibility of retrieving wind direction from the synthetic DDMs is analyzed. First, the simulation tool P2EPS is used to generate the DDMs under different geometry configurations, wind speed, and wind direction. Then, DDM changes caused by the wind direction are investigated, and two metrics are proposed to retrieve the wind direction from the DDM shape changes. The influence on wind direction retrieval of the wind speed, receiver’s elevation, and azimuth is further discussed. Finally, the sensitivity of DDM changes to noise is investigated, as well as the impact of noise on these two metrics.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 196: Learning a Dilated Residual Network for SAR Image Despeckling Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020196 Authors: Qiang Zhang Qiangqiang Yuan Jie Li Zhen Yang Xiaoshuang Ma In this paper, to break the limit of the traditional linear models for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image despeckling, we propose a novel deep learning approach by learning a non-linear end-to-end mapping between the noisy and clean SAR images with a dilated residual network (SAR-DRN). SAR-DRN is based on dilated convolutions, which can both enlarge the receptive field and maintain the filter size and layer depth with a lightweight structure. In addition, skip connections and a residual learning strategy are added to the despeckling model to maintain the image details and reduce the vanishing gradient problem. Compared with the traditional despeckling methods, the proposed method shows a superior performance over the state-of-the-art methods in both quantitative and visual assessments, especially for strong speckle noise.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 197: Retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth in the Arid or Semiarid Region of Northern Xinjiang, China Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020197 Authors: Xinpeng Tian Sihai Liu Lin Sun Qiang Liu Satellite remote sensing has been widely used to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD), which is an indicator of air quality as well as radiative forcing. The dark target (DT) algorithm is applied to low reflectance areas, such as dense vegetation, and the deep blue (DB) algorithm is adopted for bright-reflecting regions. However, both DT and DB algorithms ignore the effect of surface bidirectional reflectance. This paper provides a method for AOD retrieval in arid or semiarid areas, in which the key points are the accurate estimation of surface reflectance and reasonable assumptions of the aerosol model. To reduce the uncertainty in surface reflectance, a minimum land surface reflectance database at the spatial resolution of 500 m for each month was constructed based on the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance product. Furthermore, a bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) correction model was adopted to compensate for the effect of surface reflectance anisotropy. The aerosol parameters, including AOD, single scattering albedo, asymmetric factor, Ångström exponent and complex refractive index, are determined based on the observation of two sunphotometers installed in northern Xinjiang from July to August 2014. The AOD retrieved from the MODIS images was validated with ground-based measurements and the Terra-MODIS aerosol product (MOD04). The 500 m AOD retrieved from the MODIS showed high consistency with ground-based AOD measurements, with an average correlation coefficient of ~0.928, root mean square error (RMSE) of ~0.042, mean absolute error (MAE) of ~0.032, and the percentage falling within the expected error (EE) of the collocations is higher than that for the MOD04 DB product. The results demonstrate that the new AOD algorithm is more suitable to represent aerosol conditions over Xinjiang than the DB standard product.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 195: On the Use of the Eddy Covariance Latent Heat Flux and Sap Flow Transpiration for the Validation of a Surface Energy Balance Model Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10020195 Authors: Antonino Maltese Hassan Awada Fulvio Capodici Giuseppe Ciraolo Goffredo La Loggia Giovanni Rallo Actual evapotranspiration is assessed via surface energy balance at an hourly rate. However, a robust estimation of daily evapotranspiration from hourly values is required. Outcomes of surface energy balance are frequently determined via measures of eddy covariance latent heat flux. Surface energy balance can be applied on images acquired at different times and spatial resolutions. In addition, hourly actual evapotranspiration needs to be integrated at a daily rate for operational uses. Questions arise whether the validation of surface energy balance models can benefit from complementary in situ measures of latent heat flux and sap flow transpiration. Here, validation was driven by image acquisition time, spatial resolution, and temporal integration. Thermal and optical images were collected with a proximity-sensing platform on an olive orchard at different acquisition times. Actual latent heat fluxes from canopy and sap flux at tree trunks were measured with a flux tower and heat dissipation probes. The latent heat fluxes were then further analyzed. A surface energy balance was applied over proximity sensing images re-sampled at different spatial resolutions with resulting latent heat fluxes compared to in situ ones. A time lag was observed and quantified between actual latent heat fluxes from canopy and sap flux at the tree trunk. Results also indicate that a pixel resolution comparable to the average canopy size was suitable for estimating the actual evapotranspiration via a single source surface energy balance model. Images should not be acquired at the beginning or the end of the diurnal period. Findings imply that sap flow transpiration can be used to measure surface energy balance at a daily rate or when images are found at an hourly rate near noon, and the existing time lag between the latent heat flux at the canopy and the sap flow at the trunk does not need to be taken into account.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 338: How Human Activities Affect Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil and Sediment in a Long-Term Reclaimed Area of the Liaohe River Delta, North China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020338 Authors: Xiaolu Yan Miao Liu Jingqiu Zhong Jinting Guo Wen Wu Heavy metal pollution in soils and sediments is becoming a matter of wide concern, this study was carried out in Dawa County of the Liaohe River Delta, with the aim of exploring the impacts of land use levels on heavy metal contamination of soil and sediment. A total of 129 soil samples were collected in different land use intensities (LUI). Soil metals (Fe, Mn, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and soil salinity, pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N), available phosphorus (AP) and grain sizes were analyzed. Correlation analysis indicated that SOC and grain size played important roles in affecting the heavy metal distribution. The factor analysis results indicated that heavy metal contamination was most probably caused by industrial and agricultural wastewater discharges, domestic sewage discharge and atmospheric deposition. Using ANOVA, it found that human activities significantly changed soil physic-chemical properties through soil erosion, leaching and fertilizer application, further affecting the behaviors of heavy metals in the soil and sediments. The anthropogenic factors could lead to potential environmental risk, as indicated by the Geo-accumulation index (Igeo) results of heavy metals. Overall, the heavy metals generally had approached or even exceeded moderately polluted (0 < Igeo < 1, 1 < Igeo < 2), but the Pb and Cu pollution level was low (Igeo < 0), and the Cd pollution level was moderately or strongly polluted (2 < Igeo < 3, 3 < Igeo < 4) in the five land use levels. This study will provide valuable information for appropriately determining how land should be used in future reclamation areas, as well as for the sustainable management of estuarine areas around the world.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 122: A Heuristic Method for Measurement Site Selection in Sewer Systems Water doi: 10.3390/w10020122 Authors: Tanja Vonach Franz Tscheikner-Gratl Wolfgang Rauch Manfred Kleidorfer Although calibration of a hydrodynamic model depends on the availability of measurement data representing the system behavior, advice for the planning of necessary measurement campaigns for model calibration is scarce. This work tries to address this question of efficient measurement site selection on a network scale for the objective of calibrating a hydrodynamic model case study in Austria. For this, a model-based approach is chosen, as the method should be able to be used before measurement data is available. An existing model is assumed to represent the real system behavior. Based on this extended availability of “measurement data” in every point of the system, different approaches are established to heuristically assess the suitability of one or more pipes in combination as calibration point(s). These approaches intend to find suitable answers to the question of measurement site selection for this specific case study within a relatively short time and with a reasonable computational effort. As a result, the relevance of the spatial distribution of calibration points is highlighted. Furthermore, particular efficient calibration points are identified and further measurement sites in the underlying network are recommended.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 52
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    In: Diversity
    Publication Date: 2018-01-28
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 8: Better Resilient than Resistant—Regeneration Dynamics of Storm-Disturbed Mangrove Forests on the Bay Island of Guanaja (Honduras) during the First Two Decades after Hurricane Mitch (October 1998) Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10010008 Authors: Thomas Fickert Located at the interface of land and sea, Caribbean mangroves frequently experience severe disturbances by hurricanes, but in most cases storm-impacted mangrove forests are able to regenerate. How exactly regeneration proceeds, however, is still a matter of debate: does—due to the specific site conditions—regeneration follows a true auto-succession with exactly the same set of species driving regeneration that was present prior to the disturbance, or do different trajectories of regeneration exist? Considering the fundamental ecosystem services mangroves provide, a better understanding of their recovery is crucial. The Honduran island of Guanaja offers ideal settings for the study of regeneration dynamics of storm-impacted mangrove forests. The island was hit in October 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, one of the most intense Atlantic storms of the past century. Immediately after the storm, 97% of the mangroves were classified as dead. In 2005, long-term monitoring on the regeneration dynamics of the mangroves of the island was initiated, employing permanent line-transects at six different mangrove localities all around the island, which have been revisited in 2009 and 1016. Due to the pronounced topography of the island, different successional pathways emerge depending on the severity of the previous disturbance.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 53
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-28
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 296: Generalized Dynamical Modeling of Multiple Photovoltaic Units in a Grid-Connected System for Analyzing Dynamic Interactions Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020296 Authors: Tahsin Orchi Md Mahmud Amanullah Oo This paper aims to develop the generalized dynamical model of multiple photovoltaic (PV) units connected to the grid along with the dynamic interaction analysis among different PV units. The dynamical models of multiple PV units are developed by considering three different configurations through which these PV units are connected to the grid. These configurations include: (a) the direct connection of multiple PV units to the grid; (b) the connection of multiple PV units to the grid through a point of common coupling (PCC); and (c) the connection of PV units without a PCC. The proposed modeling framework provides meaningful insights for analyzing dynamic interaction analysis where these interactions from other PV units are expressed in terms of voltages and line impedances rather than the dynamics of currents. The dynamic interactions among different PV units for all these configurations are analyzed using both analytical and simulation studies. Simulations are carried out on an IEEE 15-bus test system and dynamic interactions are analyzed from the total harmonic distortions (THDs) in the current responses of different PV units. Both analytical and simulation studies clearly indicate that the effects of dynamic interactions are prominent with the increase in PV units.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 54
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 117: Sustainably Managing Reservoir Storage: Ancient Roots of a Modern Challenge Water doi: 10.3390/w10020117 Authors: G. Kondolf Alan Farahani Sedimentation is a major issue for water systems worldwide, but the need for sustainable sediment management is rarely addressed. This article surveys the problem of sedimentation in the contemporary sphere in addition to drawing on archaeological evidence of past unsustainable and sustainable sedimentation management practices. A compact characterization scheme is presented for identifying the scale of sedimentation management, both past and present. The results of the research illustrate that communities have grappled with issues of sedimentation for as long as water storage has existed. System failure from sedimentation is therefore not inevitable, but arises from a combination of social and biophysical factors.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 55
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 115: Occurrence, Seasonal Variation and Risk Assessment of Antibiotics in Qingcaosha Reservoir Water doi: 10.3390/w10020115 Authors: Yue Jiang Cong Xu Xiaoyu Wu Yihan Chen Wei Han Karina Gin Yiliang He Qingcaosha Reservoir is an important drinking water source in Shanghai. The occurrence of five groups of antibiotics was investigated in the surface water of this reservoir over a one-year period. Seventeen antibiotics were selected in this study based on their significant usage in China. Of these antibiotics, 16 were detected, while oxytetracycline was not detected in any sampling site. The detected frequency of tylosin was only 47.92% while the other 15 antibiotics were above 81.25%. The dominant antibiotic was different in four seasons: norfloxacin was dominant in spring, and penicillinV was dominant in summer, autumn and winter, with medium concentrations of 124.10 ng/L, 89.91 ng/L, 180.28 ng/L, and 216.43 ng/L, respectively. The concentrations and detection frequencies of antibiotics were notably higher in winter than in other seasons, demonstrating that low temperature and low flow may result in the persistence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment. Risk assessment suggested that norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, penicillinV, and doxycycline in the surface water presented high ecological risks.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 116: Roof Rainwater Harvesting in Central Mexico: Uses, Benefits, and Factors of Adoption Water doi: 10.3390/w10020116 Authors: María Fuentes-Galván Josefina Ortiz Medel Luz Arias Hernández This study was carried out in rural communities in the state of Guanajuato, in central Mexico. A questionnaire was directly applied to users of rainwater (RW) to identify the uses, water consumption, and perception towards RW and traditional supply sources, for the purpose of evaluating the relevance of RW in different situations as an alternative supply, as well as the factors that affect the adoption and use of this source. RW turned out to be the users’ main water source, and functions as a tool to increase the knowledge and perception of the rainy season and other factors. The respondents identified at least one benefit from the use of RW; the most important benefits were the watering of plants and gardens, avoiding the purchase of water from tank trucks, avoiding the need to fetch water, among others. In the localities studied, where the traditional water supply is either deficient or totally lacking, the use and acceptance of RW has increased. Economic support and training to install systems were key factors for those systems’ installation in the communities. These findings may assist future projects to promote the use of RW harvesting at the domestic level and increase the water supply.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 57
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 114: Seasonal Variability and Evolution of Glaciochemistry at An Alpine Temperate Glacier on the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau Water doi: 10.3390/w10020114 Authors: Shijin Wang Xiaoyi Shi Weihong Cao Tao Pu Temperate glaciers are highly sensitive to climatic and environmental changes. Studying the chemical composition of snow, firn, and ice on temperate glaciers is important for understanding the variations in atmospheric circulation patterns, deposition conditions, and melting processes. To define snowpack chemistry and environmental significance, seven snowpacks (one snowpack in late autumn, two in winter, two in spring, and two in summer) were sampled in 2008/2009 on Baishui Glacier No. 1 in Mt. Yulong. Soluble ions in the winter snowpacks showed low values in the middle part but high values in the lower and upper parts, influenced by the atmospheric deposition of snow accumulation. The larger variations of ionic concentrations in the spring snowpacks were associated with the variable atmospheric patterns with high dust content in spring, leading to high ionic concentrations in the upper snowpack. Strong meltwater percolation resulted in quick migration and redistribution of ions for the profiles during the monsoon period. The ion elution sequence was Ca2+ > SO42− > NH4+ > K+ > NO3− > Na+ > Cl− > Mg2+. Factor analysis showed that NO3−, SO42−, NH4+ were mainly supplied by wet deposition-plus-anthropogenic input, while Cl− and Na+ originated from marine sources. Ca2+ and Mg2+ had multiple sources and the local terrestrial source was important because of locally exposed carbonate. The results suggest that chemical concentrations reflect mainly impurities supplied by atmospheric circulation and precipitation during periods of snow accumulation, as well as during the melting process.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 113: Evolving Governance and Contested Water Reforms in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin Water doi: 10.3390/w10020113 Authors: Jason Alexandra This paper explores the ways water governance adapts to changing social values and political imperatives by examining the case of water policy reforms in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin. Over more than two decades, Australia’s water reforms have explicitly aimed to promote ecological sustainability and economic efficiency, attempting to balance pro-market, micro-economic reforms with broader social and sustainability goals. Despite the formality of Australia’s intergovernmental agreements, water reforms have been expensive and heavily contested, experiencing many implementation challenges. However, water market reforms have generally been regarded as successful, enabling the reallocation of water for environmental and extractive uses, contributing to flexibility and adaptive capacity. Recognising that discursive contestation is central to policy development, the paper documents the way the reform processes have attempted to broker compromises between three competing policy paradigms—national development, economic rationalism and environmentalism. These inherent tensions resulted in prolonged contests for influence over policy directions long after formal statements of policy intent by Governments. Given that climate change is driving the need for water governance reforms, the paper looks to what lessons can be learnt about the redesigns of meta-governance arrangements, including through structured commitments to independent audits and evaluations that can provide the feedback needed for adaptive governance and policy learning.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 59
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 299: Biodiesel from Hydrolyzed Waste Cooking Oil Using a S-ZrO2/SBA-15 Super Acid Catalyst under Sub-Critical Conditions Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020299 Authors: Muhammad Hossain Md Siddik Bhuyan Abul Alam Yong Seo Due to rapid changes in food habits, a substantial amount of waste fat and used oils are generated each year. Due to strong policies, the disposal of this material into nearby sewers causes ecological and environmental problems in many parts of the world. For efficient management, waste cooking oil, a less expensive, alternative and promising feedstock, can be used as a raw material for producing biofuel. In the present study, we produced a biodiesel from hydrolyzed waste cooking oil with a subcritical methanol process using a synthesized solid super acid catalyst, a sulfated zirconium oxide supported on Santa Barbara Amorphous silica (S-ZrO2/SBA-15). The characterization of the synthesized catalyst was carried out using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method. The catalytic effect on biodiesel production was examined by varying the parameters: temperatures of 120 to 200 °C, 5–20 min times, oil-to-methanol mole ratios between 1:5 to 1:20, and catalyst loadings of 1–2.5%. The maximum biodiesel yield was 96.383%, obtained under optimum reaction conditions of 140 °C, 10 min, and a 1:10 oil-to-methanol molar ratio with a 2.0% catalyst loading. We successfully reused the catalyst five times without regeneration with a 90% efficiency. The fuel properties were found to be within the limits set by the biodiesel standard.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 60
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    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-01-30
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 67: Biometric and Eddy Covariance Methods for Examining the Carbon Balance of a Larix principis-rupprechtii Forest in the Qinling Mountains, China Forests doi: 10.3390/f9020067 Authors: Jie Yuan Shibu Jose Zhaoyong Hu Junzhu Pang Lin Hou Shuoxin Zhang The carbon balance of forests is controlled by many component processes of carbon acquisition and carbon loss and depends on the age of vegetation, soils, species composition, and the local climate. Thus, examining the carbon balance of different forests around the world is necessary to understand the global carbon balance. Nevertheless, the available information on the carbon balance of Larix principis-rupprechtii forests in the Qinling Mountains remains considerably limited. We provide the first set of results (2010–2013) from a long-term project measuring forest-atmosphere exchanges of CO2 at the Qinling National Forest Ecosystem Research Station (QNFERS), and compare the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) based on biometric measurements with those observed via the eddy covariance method. We also compare the total ecosystem respiration via scaled-up chamber and eddy covariance measurements. The net primary productivity (NPP) was 817.16 ± 81.48 g·C·m−2·y−1, of which ΔBliving and Dtotal accounted for 77.7%, and 22.3%, respectively. Total ecosystem respiration was 814.47 ± 64.22 g·C·m−2·y−1, and cumulative annual soil respiration, coarse woody debris respiration, stem respiration, and leaf respiration were 715.47 ± 28.48, 15.41 ± 1.72, 35.28 ± 4.78, and 48.31 ± 5.24 g·C·m−2·y−1, respectively, accounting for 87.85%, 1.89%, 4.33%, and 5.93% of the total ecosystem respiration. A comparison between ecosystem respiration from chamber measurements and that from eddy covariance measurements showed a strong linear correlation between the two methods (R2 = 0.93). The NEE of CO2 between forests and the atmosphere measured by eddy covariance was −288.33 ± 25.26 g·C·m−2·y−1, which revealed a carbon sink in the L. principis-rupprechtii forest. This number was 14% higher than the result from the biometric measurements (−336.71 ± 25.15 g·C·m−2·y−1). The study findings provided a cross-validation of the CO2 exchange measured via biometric and eddy covariance, which are beneficial for obtaining the true ecosystem fluxes, and more accurately evaluating carbon budgets.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 326: Defining Benchmarks for Restoration of Green Infrastructure: A Case Study Combining the Historical Range of Variability of Habitat and Species’ Requirements Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10020326 Authors: Michael Manton Per Angelstam Animal husbandry in Europe that sustained once wide-spread semi-natural grasslands has been replaced by maximum sustained yield agriculture and forestry. This transformation coincides with declining populations of species dependent on semi-natural grasslands. A key task is therefore to define benchmarks for landscape restoration in terms of well-planned functional habitat networks, i.e., green infrastructure. Using a representative example of the European landscape gradient between agricultural and forest landscapes in southern Sweden as a case study, we analyzed the historic range of variability of the total area, quality, and size of grassland patches, and compared this to the requirements of focal grassland species. Spatial data covering the past two centuries indicated a 75–80% loss of total grassland area. Three factors affected the functionality of grasslands as green infrastructure. First, during the period 1927–1976, the loss of all grassland areas with high nature values was 41–59%. Second, as a measure of alteration, the number of semi-natural grassland types declined from 5 to 1. Third, to address habitat fragmentation, an analysis of changes in grassland patch size showed that patches sufficiently large to support local populations of complete focal grasslands species assemblages declined by 89–100%. The cumulative effect of loss, alteration, and fragmentation over the past two centuries indicates that the functionality of semi-natural grasslands has declined by at least 98%. However, this estimate does not consider land use changes before 1800, reduced connectivity, and altered biotic and abiotic processes in both semi-natural grasslands and the surrounding matrix. We stress the need to define the historic range of variability as a benchmark in relation to species’ requirements to maintain semi-natural grasslands as green infrastructure. Finally, integrated land management and governance that support multi-functionality of grasslands is needed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 62
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 40: Three Classes of Fractional Oscillators Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10020040 Authors: Ming Li This article addresses three classes of fractional oscillators named Class I, II and III. It is known that the solutions to fractional oscillators of Class I type are represented by the Mittag-Leffler functions. However, closed form solutions to fractional oscillators in Classes II and III are unknown. In this article, we present a theory of equivalent systems with respect to three classes of fractional oscillators. In methodology, we first transform fractional oscillators with constant coefficients to be linear 2-order oscillators with variable coefficients (variable mass and damping). Then, we derive the closed form solutions to three classes of fractional oscillators using elementary functions. The present theory of equivalent oscillators consists of the main highlights as follows. (1) Proposing three equivalent 2-order oscillation equations corresponding to three classes of fractional oscillators; (2) Presenting the closed form expressions of equivalent mass, equivalent damping, equivalent natural frequencies, equivalent damping ratio for each class of fractional oscillators; (3) Putting forward the closed form formulas of responses (free, impulse, unit step, frequency, sinusoidal) to each class of fractional oscillators; (4) Revealing the power laws of equivalent mass and equivalent damping for each class of fractional oscillators in terms of oscillation frequency; (5) Giving analytic expressions of the logarithmic decrements of three classes of fractional oscillators; (6) Representing the closed form representations of some of the generalized Mittag-Leffler functions with elementary functions. The present results suggest a novel theory of fractional oscillators. This may facilitate the application of the theory of fractional oscillators to practice.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 63
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 39: Prioritized Aggregation Operators and Correlated Aggregation Operators for Hesitant 2-Tuple Linguistic Variables Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10020039 Authors: Lidong Wang Yanjun Wang Xiaodong Liu The aggregation operator is a potential tool to fuse the information derived from multisources, which has been applied in group decision, combination classification and scheduling clusters successfully. To better characterize complex decision situations and capture complex opinions of decision-makers (DMs), aggregation operators are required to be explored from different viewpoints. In view of information fusion of hesitant 2-tuple linguistic variables, this paper establishes four new aggregation operators, which are called the hesitant 2-tuple linguistic prioritized weighted averaging (H2TLPWA) aggregation operator, hesitant 2-tuple linguistic prioritized weighted geometric (H2TLPWG) aggregation operator, hesitant 2-tuple linguistic correlated averaging (H2TLCA) aggregation operator, and hesitant 2-tuple linguistic correlated geometric (H2TLCG) aggregation operator, respectively. The H2TLPWA aggregation operator and H2TLPWG aggregation operator can characterize the prioritization relationship of the aggregated arguments. The H2TLCA aggregation operator and H2TLCG aggregation operator can describe dependencies between criteria in decision-making problem solving. Moreover all aggregation operation operators have the properties of idempotency, boundedness and monotonicity, and the H2TLCA aggregation operator and H2TLCG aggregation operator are also verified to be symmetric functions. In addition, the H2TLPWA aggregation operator and H2TLCA aggregation operator are employed to settle multicriteria decision-making problems with hesitant 2-tuple linguistic terms. By virtue of predefining discrete initial linguistic labels with symmetrical distribution, the detailed steps of the decision-making process with an example are given to illustrate their practicality and effectiveness.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 64
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 129: Identification of Phytoplankton Blooms under the Index of Inherent Optical Properties (IOP Index) in Optically Complex Waters Water doi: 10.3390/w10020129 Authors: Jesús Aguilar-Maldonado Eduardo Santamaría-del-Ángel Adriana González-Silvera Omar Cervantes-Rosas Lus López Angélica Gutiérrez-Magness Sergio Cerdeira-Estrada María-Teresa Sebastiá-Frasquet Phytoplankton blooms are sporadic events in time and are isolated in space. This complex phenomenon is produced by a variety of both natural and anthropogenic causes. Early detection of this phenomenon, as well as the classification of a water body under conditions of bloom or non-bloom, remains an unresolved problem. This research proposes the use of Inherent Optical Properties (IOPs) in optically complex waters to detect the bloom or non-bloom state of the phytoplankton community. An IOP index is calculated from the absorption coefficients of the colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), the phytoplankton (phy) and the detritus (d), using the wavelength (λ) 443 nm. The effectiveness of this index is tested in five bloom events in different places and with different characteristics from Mexican seas: 1. Dzilam (Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean), a diatom bloom (Rhizosolenia hebetata); 2. Holbox (Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean), a mixed bloom of dinoflagellates (Scrippsiella sp.) and diatoms (Chaetoceros sp.); 3. Campeche Bay in the Gulf of Mexico (Atlantic Ocean), a bloom of dinoflagellates (Karenia brevis); 4. Upper Gulf of California (UGC) (Pacific Ocean), a diatom bloom (Coscinodiscus and Pseudo-nitzschia) and 5. Todos Santos Bay, Ensenada (Pacific Ocean), a dinoflagellate bloom (Lingulodinium polyedrum). The diversity of sites show that the IOP index is a suitable method to determine the phytoplankton bloom conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 128: Hydrologic Regime Changes in a High-Latitude Glacierized Watershed under Future Climate Conditions Water doi: 10.3390/w10020128 Authors: Melissa Valentin Terri Hogue Lauren Hay A calibrated conceptual glacio-hydrological monthly water balance model (MWBMglacier) was used to evaluate future changes in water partitioning in a high-latitude glacierized watershed in Southcentral Alaska under future climate conditions. The MWBMglacier was previously calibrated and evaluated against streamflow measurements, literature values of glacier mass balance change, and satellite-based observations of snow covered area, evapotranspiration, and total water storage. Output from five global climate models representing two future climate scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) was used with the previously calibrated parameters to drive the MWBMglacier at 2 km spatial resolution. Relative to the historical period 1949–2009, precipitation will increase and air temperature in the mountains will be above freezing for an additional two months per year by mid-century which significantly impacts snow/rain partitioning and the generation of meltwater from snow and glaciers. Analysis of the period 1949–2099 reveals that numerous hydrologic regime shifts already occurred or are projected to occur in the study area including glacier accumulation area, snow covered area, and forest vulnerability. By the end of the century, Copper River discharge is projected to increase by 48%, driven by 21% more precipitation and 53% more glacial melt water (RCP 8.5) relative to the historical period (1949–2009).
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 127: Consumption of Free Chlorine in an Aqueduct Scheme with Low Protection: Case Study of the New Aqueduct Simbrivio-Castelli (NASC), Italy Water doi: 10.3390/w10020127 Authors: Vincenzo Torretta Athanasia Tolkou Ioannis Katsoyiannis Athanasios Katsoyiannis Ettore Trulli Elena Magaril Elena Rada The safety of high quality drinking water supply relies on the quantities to be delivered, on the complexity of the water supply systems, and on the widespread phenomena of the contamination of water bodies. These parameters indicate the need for the development of an application that will allow the quick acquisition of data on strategic management. This is requires both the analysis of factors related to the hydraulic operation of the plants and the characteristics of water quality. The present paper aims to evaluate the use of models that predict data for water quality in a distribution system. The assessment is made in order to consider the use of the model as a support tool for the management system of a supply network and to optimize the quality of the provided service. The improvement of the control system related to the operations of disinfection, in particular, in the case of long pipelines, is absolutely mandatory in order to ensure the safety of public health and respect for the environment at high levels.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 126: Multiple Climate Change Scenarios and Runoff Response in Biliu River Water doi: 10.3390/w10020126 Authors: Xueping Zhu Chi Zhang Wei Qi Wenjun Cai Xuehua Zhao Xueni Wang The impacts of temperature and precipitation changes on regional evaporation and runoff characteristics have been investigated for the Biliu River basin, which is located in Liaoning Province, northeast China. Multiple climate change scenarios from phase 3 and phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 and CMIP5) (21 scenarios in total) were utilized. A calibrated hydrologic model—SWAT model—was used to simulate future discharges based on downscaled climate data through a validated morphing method. Results show that both annual temperature and precipitation increase under most of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 scenarios, and increase more in the far future (2041–2065) than in the near future (2016–2040). These changes in precipitation and temperature lead to an increase in evaporation under 19 scenarios and a decrease in runoff under two-thirds of the selected scenarios. Compared to CMIP3, CMIP5 scenarios show higher temperature and wider ranges of changes in precipitation and runoff. The results provide important information on the impacts of global climate change on water resources availability in the Biliu River basin, which is beneficial for the planning and management of water resources in this region.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 68
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 125: Cascade Cropping System with Horticultural and Ornamental Plants under Greenhouse Conditions Water doi: 10.3390/w10020125 Authors: Pedro García-Caparrós Alfonso Llanderal Ivana Maksimovic María Lao The blending of drainage with water of low electrical conductivity and the sequential reuse of the drainage water are innovative technologies to manage salts in agricultural drainage. Plants of Cucumis melo were grown in coir grow bags, and Rosmarinus officinalis and Cacti spp. were grown in pots with a mixture of sphagnum peat-moss and perlite. In order to assess the effect and evolution over time of these water treatments on plant growth and water management and removal of nutrients, three water treatments were applied over a period of eight weeks. These were: (1) standard nutrient solution; (2) blended water treatment (drainage water blended with water of low electrical conductivity (EC)) and (3) sequential reuse of drainage water treatment. During the experimental growing period, samples of water supplies and drainages generated in each water treatment were collected weekly and from these data water volume and nutrient loads were calculated. At the end of the experiment, leaf fresh weight of rosemary plants decreased under the fertigation with the blended and sequential reuse water treatments. Nevertheless, the application of blended and sequentially reused water allowed for the saving of significant amounts of water and nutrients in comparison to the standard nutrient solution treatment. Considering these advantages, we strongly recommend the setting-up of these water treatments in areas with water scarcity such as in the Mediterranean Basin.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 69
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-01-31
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 124: A Wall Boundary Condition for the Simulation of a Turbulent Non-Newtonian Domestic Slurry in Pipes Water doi: 10.3390/w10020124 Authors: Dhruv Mehta Adithya Thota Radhakrishnan Jules van Lier Francois Clemens The concentration (using a lesser amount of water) of domestic slurry promotes resource recovery (nutrients and biomass) while saving water. This article is aimed at developing numerical methods to support engineering processes such as the design and implementation of sewerage for concentrated domestic slurry. The current industrial standard for computational fluid dynamics-based analyses of turbulent flows is Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) modelling. This is assisted by the wall function approach proposed by Launder and Spalding, which permits the use of under-refined grids near wall boundaries while simulating a wall-bounded flow. Most RANS models combined with wall functions have been successfully validated for turbulent flows of Newtonian fluids. However, our experiments suggest that concentrated domestic slurry shows a Herschel–Bulkley-type non-Newtonian behaviour. Attempts have been made to derive wall functions and turbulence closures for non-Newtonian fluids; however, the resulting laws or equations are either inconsistent across experiments or lack relevant experimental support. Pertinent to this study, laws or equations reported in literature are restricted to a class of non-Newtonian fluids called power law fluids, which, as compared to Herschel–Bulkley fluids, yield at any amount of applied stress. An equivalent law for Herschel–Bulkley fluids that require a minimum-yield stress to flow is yet to be reported in literature. This article presents a theoretically derived (with necessary approximations) law of the wall for Herschel–Bulkley fluids and implements it in a RANS solver using a specified shear approach. This results in a more accurate prediction of the wall shear stress experienced by a circular pipe with a turbulent Herschel–Bulkley fluid flowing through it. The numerical results are compared against data from our experiments and those reported in literature for a range of Reynolds numbers and rheological parameters that are relevant to the prediction of pressure losses in a sewerage transporting non-Newtonian domestic slurry. Nonetheless, the application of this boundary condition could be extended to areas such as chemical and food engineering, wherein turbulent non-Newtonian flows can be found.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
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    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 45: Observations and Predictability of Gap Winds in the Salmon River Canyon of Central Idaho, USA Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9020045 Authors: Natalie Wagenbrenner Jason Forthofer Chris Gibson Abby Indreland Brian Lamb Bret Butler This work investigates gap winds in a steep, deep river canyon prone to wildland fire. The driving mechanisms and the potential for forecasting the gap winds are investigated. The onset and strength of the gap winds are found to be correlated to the formation of an along-gap pressure gradient linked to periodic development of a thermal trough in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Numerical simulations are performed using a reanalysis dataset to investigate the ability of numerical weather prediction (NWP) to simulate the observed gap wind events, including the timing and flow characteristics within the canyon. The effects of model horizontal grid spacing and terrain representation are considered. The reanalysis simulations suggest that horizontal grid spacings used in operational NWP could be sufficient for simulating the gap flow events given the regional-scale depression in which the Salmon River Canyon is situated. The strength of the events, however, is under-predicted due, at least in part, to terrain smoothing in the model. Routine NWP, however, is found to have mixed results in terms of forecasting the gap wind events, primarily due to problems in simulating the regional sea level pressure system correctly.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 71
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    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 44: ECMWF Atmospheric Profiles in Maroua, Cameroon: Analysis and Overview of the Simulation of Downward Global Solar Radiation Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9020044 Authors: Cyrille Fotsing Talla Donatien Njomo Céline Cornet Philippe Dubuisson Leonard Akana Nguimdo Atmospheric analysis data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have been acquired and are used to characterize the meteorological situation in Maroua, Cameroon ( 10.614 ∘ N, 14.361 ∘ E) at 12:00 UTC. These are then used to simulate downward global solar radiation (DGSR) with the moderate-resolution transmittance (MODTRAN) radiative transfer code (RTC). In comparison with meteorological data measured during the year 2014 in Maroua, ECMWF atmospheric quantities at ground level, in general, showed good correlation coefficients and slight differences. It is shown that ECMWF atmospheric profiles can thus be used to complete the scarce atmospheric data and to study the atmosphere state and dynamics, such as the African monsoon phenomenon detected in this region, which regulates the rainy season. In addition, they are more suitable to simulate clear-sky DGSR compared to MODTRAN standard atmospheric profiles. The causes and effects of the substantial bias and weak correlation coefficient observed with ECMWF wind data and the constant underestimation of simulated DGSR in comparison with ground-based measurements are investigated. The paper emphasizes the need for a better characterization of the Maroua atmosphere state and dynamics as well as the simulation of more accurate and reliable DGSR under any atmospheric conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 72
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    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Challenges, Vol. 9, Pages 5: The Dichotomy of the Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-Like Thermozyme from Sulfolobus solfataricus Challenges doi: 10.3390/challe9010005 Authors: Maria Faraone Mennella The first evidence of an ADP-ribosylating activity in Archaea was obtained in Sulfolobus solfataricus(strain MT-4) where a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-like thermoprotein, defined with the acronymous PARPSso, was found. Similarly to the eukaryotic counterparts PARPSso cleaves beta-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide to synthesize oligomers of ADP-ribose; cross-reacts with polyclonal anti-PARP-1 catalytic site antibodies; binds DNA. The main differences rely on the molecular mass (46.5 kDa) and the thermophily of PARPSso which works at 80 °C. Despite the biochemical properties that allow correlating it to PARP enzymes, the N-terminal and partial amino acid sequences available suggest that PARPSso belongs to a different group of enzymes, the DING proteins, an item discussed in detail in this review.This finding makes PARPSso the first example of a DING protein in Archaea and extends the existence of DING proteins into all the biological kingdoms. PARPSsohas a cell peripheral localization, along with the edge of the cell membrane. The ADP-ribosylation reaction is reverted by a poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase-like activity, able to use the eukaryotic poly(ADP-ribose) as a substrate too. Here we overview the research of (ADP-ribosyl)ation in Sulfolobus solfataricus in the past thirty years and discuss the features of PARPSso common with the canonical poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases, and the structure fitting with that of DING proteins.
    Electronic ISSN: 2078-1547
    Topics: General, Interdisciplinary
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  • 73
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 307: A New ZVS Tuning Method for Double-Sided LCC Compensated Wireless Power Transfer System Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020307 Authors: Sizhao Lu Xiaoting Deng Wenbin Shu Xiaochao Wei Siqi Li This paper presents a new zero voltage switching (ZVS) tuning method for the double-sided inductor/capacitor/capacitor (LCC) compensated wireless power transfer (WPT) system. An additional capacitor is added in the secondary side of the double-sided LCC compensation network in order to tune the network to realize ZVS operation for the primary-side switches. With the proposed tuning method, the turn off current of the primary-side switches at the low input voltage range can be reduced compared with the previous ZVS tuning method. Consequently, the efficiency of the WPT at the low input voltage range is improved. Moreover, the relationship between the input voltage and the output power is more linear than that of the previous ZVS tuning method. In addition, the proposed method has a lower start-up voltage. The analysis and validity of the proposed tuning method are verified by simulation and experimental results. A WPT system with up to 3.5 kW output power is built, and 95.9% overall peak efficiency is achieved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 74
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 308: Adaptive Protection System for Microgrids Based on a Robust Optimization Strategy Energies doi: 10.3390/en11020308 Authors: Oscar Núñez-Mata Rodrigo Palma-Behnke Felipe Valencia Patricio Mendoza-Araya Guillermo Jiménez-Estévez The development of a proper protection system is essential for the secure and reliable operation of microgrids. In this paper, a novel adaptive protection system for microgrids is presented. The protection scheme is based on a protective device that includes two directional elements which are operating in an interleaved manner, namely overcurrent and undervoltage elements. The proposed protection scheme can be implemented in microprocessor-based relays. To define the settings of the protective device, a robust programming approach was proposed considering a finite set of fault scenarios. The scenarios are generated based on the predictions about the available energy and the demand. For each decision step, a robust optimization problem is solved online, which is based on forecasting with a confidence band to represent the uncertainty. The system is tested and compared using real data sets from an existing microgrid in northern Chile. To assess the performance of the proposed protection system, fault scenarios not considered in the optimization were taken into account. The results obtained show that the proposed protective device is able to manage those failure scenarios, as well as those included in the tuning of the settings. Practical considerations are also discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 75
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 102: Mutual Information and Information Gating in Synfire Chains Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020102 Authors: Zhuocheng Xiao Binxu Wang Andrew Sornborger Louis Tao Coherent neuronal activity is believed to underlie the transfer and processing of information in the brain. Coherent activity in the form of synchronous firing and oscillations has been measured in many brain regions and has been correlated with enhanced feature processing and other sensory and cognitive functions. In the theoretical context, synfire chains and the transfer of transient activity packets in feedforward networks have been appealed to in order to describe coherent spiking and information transfer. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the classical synfire chain architecture, with the addition of suitably timed gating currents, can support the graded transfer of mean firing rates in feedforward networks (called synfire-gated synfire chains—SGSCs). Here we study information propagation in SGSCs by examining mutual information as a function of layer number in a feedforward network. We explore the effects of gating and noise on information transfer in synfire chains and demonstrate that asymptotically, two main regions exist in parameter space where information may be propagated and its propagation is controlled by pulse-gating: a large region where binary codes may be propagated, and a smaller region near a cusp in parameter space that supports graded propagation across many layers.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 76
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 100: Fully Adaptive Particle Filtering Algorithm for Damage Diagnosis and Prognosis Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020100 Authors: Elaheh Rabiei Enrique Droguett Mohammad Modarres A fully adaptive particle filtering algorithm is proposed in this paper which is capable of updating both state process models and measurement models separately and simultaneously. The approach is a significant step toward more realistic online monitoring or tracking damage. The majority of the existing methods for Bayes filtering are based on predefined and fixed state process and measurement models. Simultaneous estimation of both state and model parameters has gained attention in recent literature. Some works have been done on updating the state process model. However, not many studies exist regarding an update of the measurement model. In most of the real-world applications, the correlation between measurements and the hidden state of damage is not defined in advance and, therefore, presuming an offline fixed measurement model is not promising. The proposed approach is based on optimizing relative entropy or Kullback–Leibler divergence through a particle filtering algorithm. The proposed algorithm is successfully applied to a case study of online fatigue damage estimation in composite materials.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 77
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 101: The Complex Neutrosophic Soft Expert Relation and Its Multiple Attribute Decision-Making Method Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020101 Authors: Ashraf Al-Quran Nasruddin Hassan This paper introduces a novel soft computing technique, called the complex neutrosophic soft expert relation (CNSER), to evaluate the degree of interaction between two hybrid models called complex neutrosophic soft expert sets (CNSESs). CNSESs are used to represent two-dimensional data that are imprecise, uncertain, incomplete and indeterminate. Moreover, it has a mechanism to incorporate the parameter set and the opinions of all experts in one model, thus making it highly suitable for use in decision-making problems where the time factor plays a key role in determining the final decision. The complex neutrosophic soft expert set and complex neutrosophic soft expert relation are both defined. Utilizing the properties of CNSER introduced, an empirical study is conducted on the relationship between the variability of the currency exchange rate and Malaysian exports and the time frame (phase) of the interaction between these two variables. This study is supported further by an algorithm to determine the type and the degree of this relationship. A comparison between different existing relations and CNSER to show the ascendancy of our proposed CNSER is provided. Then, the notion of the inverse, complement and composition of CNSERs along with some related theorems and properties are introduced. Finally, we define the symmetry, transitivity and reflexivity of CNSERs, as well as the equivalence relation and equivalence classes on CNSESs. Some interesting properties are also obtained.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 99: On the Use of Normalized Compression Distances for Image Similarity Detection Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020099 Authors: Dinu Coltuc Mihai Datcu Daniela Coltuc This paper investigates the usefulness of the normalized compression distance (NCD) for image similarity detection. Instead of the direct NCD between images, the paper considers the correlation between NCD based feature vectors extracted for each image. The vectors are derived by computing the NCD between the original image and sequences of translated (rotated) versions. Feature vectors for simple transforms (circular translations on horizontal, vertical, diagonal directions and rotations around image center) and several standard compressors are generated and tested in a very simple experiment of similarity detection between the original image and two filtered versions (median and moving average). The promising vector configurations (geometric transform, lossless compressor) are further tested for similarity detection on the 24 images of the Kodak set subject to some common image processing. While the direct computation of NCD fails to detect image similarity even in the case of simple median and moving average filtering in 3 × 3 windows, for certain transforms and compressors, the proposed approach appears to provide robustness at similarity detection against smoothing, lossy compression, contrast enhancement, noise addition and some robustness against geometrical transforms (scaling, cropping and rotation).
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 98: Nonequilibrium Entropic Bounds for Darwinian Replicators Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20020098 Authors: Jordi Piñero Ricard Solé Life evolved on our planet by means of a combination of Darwinian selection and innovations leading to higher levels of complexity. The emergence and selection of replicating entities is a central problem in prebiotic evolution. Theoretical models have shown how populations of different types of replicating entities exclude or coexist with other classes of replicators. Models are typically kinetic, based on standard replicator equations. On the other hand, the presence of thermodynamical constraints for these systems remain an open question. This is largely due to the lack of a general theory of statistical methods for systems far from equilibrium. Nonetheless, a first approach to this problem has been put forward in a series of novel developements falling under the rubric of the extended second law of thermodynamics. The work presented here is twofold: firstly, we review this theoretical framework and provide a brief description of the three fundamental replicator types in prebiotic evolution: parabolic, malthusian and hyperbolic. Secondly, we employ these previously mentioned techinques to explore how replicators are constrained by thermodynamics. Finally, we comment and discuss where further research should be focused on.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 227: Effect of Homogenization on Microstructure Characteristics, Corrosion and Biocompatibility of Mg-Zn-Mn-xCa Alloys Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11020227 Authors: Yuan Zhang Jingyuan Li Huiying Lai Yuzhao Xu The corrosion behaviors of Mg-2Zn-0.2Mn-xCa (denoted as MZM-xCa alloys) in homogenization state have been investigated by immersion test and electrochemical techniques in a simulated physiological condition. The microstructure features were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), and the corrosion mechanism was illustrated using atomic force microscope (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The electrochemical and immersion test verify the MZM-0.38% Ca owns the best corrosion performance with the corrosion rate of 6.27 mm/year. Furthermore, the film layer of MZM-0.38% Ca is more compact and denser than that of others. This improvement could be associated with the combined effects of the suitable content of Zn/Ca dissolving into the α-Mg matrix and the modification of Ca-containing compounds by heat-treatment. However, the morphologies were transformed from uniform corrosion to localized pitting corrosion with Ca further addition. It could be explained that the excessive Ca addition can strengthen the nucleation driving force for the second phase formation, and the large volumes fraction of micro-galvanic present interface sites accelerate the nucleation driving force for corrosion propagation. In addition, in vitro biocompatibility tests also show the MZM-0.38% Ca was safe to bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and was promising to be utilized as implant materials.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 48: Concentration and Distribution of Cadmium in Coals of China Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8020048 Authors: Jing Shi Wenhui Huang Ping Chen Shuheng Tang Xiuyan Chen Cadmium is considered an important toxicant of major environmental and occupational concern. It can contaminate water, soil, and the atmosphere through coal mining, beneficiation, combustion, etc. This paper is based on the published literature, especially those data reported during the recent 10 years, including 2999 individual samples from 116 coalfields or mines in 26 provinces in China. The arithmetic mean of cadmium in Chinese coals is 0.43 μg/g. Taking the coal reserves into consideration, the average value of cadmium in coal is estimated as 0.28 μg/g. Cadmium is mostly enriched in the Southern coal-distribution area during the Late Permian. Furthermore, cadmium is highly enriched in Hunan and Chongqing. The modes of occurrence of cadmium in Chinese coals are quite complex. Cadmium in Chinese coals has been found in sulfides, organic matter, silicate minerals, and other minerals. A marine environment may be the most significant factor that influences the cadmium accumulation in coal from the Southern coal-distribution area during the Late Permian. In addition, hydrothermal fluids, source rocks, and volcanic ash have also influenced the content of cadmium in some coalfields in China.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 82
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    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-02-01
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 222: Influence of PEG Stoichiometry on Structure-Tuned Formation of Self-Assembled Submicron Nickel Particles Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11020222 Authors: Bingxue Pu Liping Wang Heng Guo Jian Yang Haiyuan Chen Yajun Zhou Jin Yang Bin Zhao Xiaobin Niu Self-assembled submicron nickel particles were successfully synthesized via the one-step surfactant-assisted solvothermal method. The impact of surfactant and reducing agent stoichiometry is investigated in this manuscript. Different morphologies and structures of Ni particles, including flower-like nanoflakes, hydrangea-like structures, chain structures, sphere-like structures, and hollow structures were prepared through different processing conditions with two parameters such as temperature and time. Based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM), the submicron nickel particles show good saturation magnetization and excellent thermal stabilities with a possible growth mechanism for the variety of the structure-tuned formation. Importantly, the microwave absorption properties of the submicron nickel particles were studied. The lowest reflec