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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2013 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-4434
    Topics: Physics
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing | International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
    Online: 1.2012 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing , International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2012 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-0825
    Topics: Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology , Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2012 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2079-6382
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2010 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2015 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2312-7481
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2012 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2079-9276
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2011 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2077-0472
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2011 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2012 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 11
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2011 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2015 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2313-576X
    Topics: Technology
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2013-11-05
    Description: The South African Weather Service is mandated to issue warnings of hazardous weather events, including those related to heavy precipitation, in order to safeguard life and property. Flooding and flash flood events are common in South Africa. Frequent updates and real-time availability of precipitation data are crucial to support hydrometeorological warning services. Satellite rainfall estimation provides a very important data source for flash flood guidance systems as well as nowcasting of precipitation events for the data sparse regions of the African continent. Although low earth orbiting satellites with microwave instruments provide good quality rainfall estimates, their temporal and spatial resolution are not adequate for time-critical services. Precipitation estimation using geostationary satellites is less accurate, but provides excellent spatial coverage, is updated frequently and is available in real-time. This study compares different ways to use and combine satellite precipitation estimates and numerical weather prediction model fields over the South African domain in order to determine the optimal estimate of precipitation, which can also be applied in real-time to support flash flood guidance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: Remotely sensed data, with high spatial and temporal resolutions, can hardly be provided by only one sensor due to the tradeoff in sensor designs that balance spatial resolutions and temporal coverage. However, they are urgently needed for improving the ability of monitoring rapid landscape changes at fine scales (e.g., 30 m). One approach to acquire them is by fusing observations from sensors with different characteristics (e.g., Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)). The existing data fusion algorithms, such as the Spatial and Temporal Data Fusion Model (STDFM), have achieved some significant progress in this field. This paper puts forward an Enhanced Spatial and Temporal Data Fusion Model (ESTDFM) based on the STDFM algorithm, by introducing a patch-based ISODATA classification method, the sliding window technology, and the temporal-weight concept. Time-series ETM+ and MODIS surface reflectance are used as test data for comparing the two algorithms. Results show that the prediction ability of the ESTDFM algorithm has been significantly improved, and is even more satisfactory in the near-infrared band (the contrasting average absolute difference [AAD]: 0.0167 vs. 0.0265). The enhanced algorithm will support subsequent research on monitoring land surface dynamic changes at finer scales.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: Juniper trees are widely distributed throughout the world and are common sources of allergies when microscopic pollen grains are transported by wind and inhaled. In this study, we investigated the spectral influences of pollen-discharging male juniper cones within a juniper canopy. This was done through a controlled outdoor experiment involving ASD FieldSpec Pro Spectroradiometer measurements over juniper canopies of varying cone densities. Broadband and narrowband spectral reflectance and vegetation index (VI) patterns were evaluated as to their sensitivity and their ability to discriminate the presence of cones. The overall aim of this research was to assess remotely sensed phenological capabilities to detect pollen-bearing juniper trees for public health applications. A general decrease in reflectance values with increasing juniper cone density was found, particularly in the Green (545–565 nm) and NIR (750–1,350 nm) regions. In contrast, reflectances in the shortwave-infrared (SWIR, 2,000 nm to 2,350 nm) region decreased from no cone presence to intermediate amounts (90 g/m2) and then increased from intermediate levels to the highest cone densities (200 g/m2). Reflectance patterns in the Red (620–700 nm) were more complex due to shifting contrast patterns in absorptance between cones and juniper foliage, where juniper foliage is more absorbing than cones only within the intense narrowband region of maximum chlorophyll absorption near 680 nm. Overall, narrowband reflectances were more sensitive to cone density changes than the equivalent MODIS broadbands. In all VIs analyzed, there were significant relationships with cone density levels, particularly with the narrowband versions and the two-band vegetation index (TBVI) based on Green and Red bands, a promising outcome for the use of phenocams in juniper phenology trait studies. These results indicate that spectral indices are sensitive to certain juniper phenologic traits that can potentially be used for juniper cone detection in support of public health applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: Vegetation plays an important role in stabilizing the soil and decreasing fluvial erosion. In certain cases, vegetation increases the accumulation of fine sediments. Efficient and accurate methods are required for mapping and monitoring changes in the fluvial environment. Here, we develop an area-based approach for mapping and monitoring the vegetation structure along a river channel. First, a 2 × 2 m grid was placed over the study area. Metrics describing vegetation density and height were derived from mobile laser-scanning (MLS) data and used to predict the variables in the nearest-neighbor (NN) estimations. The training data were obtained from aerial images. The vegetation cover type was classified into the following four classes: bare ground, field layer, shrub layer, and canopy layer. Multi-temporal MLS data sets were applied to the change detection of riverine vegetation. This approach successfully classified vegetation cover with an overall classification accuracy of 72.6%; classification accuracies for bare ground, field layer, shrub layer, and canopy layer were 79.5%, 35.0%, 45.2% and 100.0%, respectively. Vegetation changes were detected primarily in outer river bends. These results proved that our approach was suitable for mapping riverine vegetation.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: Electronic noses have potential applications in daily life, but are restricted by their bulky size and high price. This review focuses on the use of chemiresistive gas sensors, metal-oxide semiconductor gas sensors and conductive polymer gas sensors in an electronic nose for system integration to reduce size and cost. The review covers the system design considerations and the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor integrated technology for a chemiresistive gas sensor electronic nose, including the integrated sensor array, its readout interface, and pattern recognition hardware. In addition, the state-of-the-art technology integrated in the electronic nose is also presented, such as the sensing front-end chip, electronic nose signal processing chip, and the electronic nose system-on-chip.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: A simple and compact fiber optic sensor based on a two-core fiber is demonstrated for high-performance measurements of refractive indices (RI) of liquids. In order to demonstrate the suitability of the proposed sensor to perform high-sensitivity sensing in a variety of applications, the sensor has been used to measure the RI of binary liquid mixtures. Such measurements can accurately determine the salinity of salt water solutions, and detect the water content of adulterated alcoholic beverages. The largest sensitivity of the RI sensor that has been experimentally demonstrated is 3,119 nm per Refractive Index Units (RIU) for the RI range from 1.3160 to 1.3943. On the other hand, our results suggest that the sensitivity can be enhanced up to 3485.67 nm/RIU approximately for the same RI range.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2013-10-23
    Description: Bacterial communication or quorum sensing (QS) is achieved via sensing of QS signaling molecules consisting of oligopeptides in Gram-positive bacteria and N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHL) in most Gram-negative bacteria. In this study, Enterobacteriaceae isolates from Batavia lettuce were screened for AHL production. Enterobacter asburiae, identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was found to produce short chain AHLs. High resolution triple quadrupole liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis of the E. asburiae spent supernatant confirmed the production of N-butanoyl homoserine lactone (C4-HSL) and N–hexanoyl homoserine lactone (C6-HSL). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of AHL production by E. asburiae.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2013-11-06
    Description: We present a signal processing system with virtual instrumentation of a MEMS sensor to detect magnetic flux density for biomedical applications. This system consists of a magnetic field sensor, electronic components implemented on a printed circuit board (PCB), a data acquisition (DAQ) card, and a virtual instrument. It allows the development of a semi-portable prototype with the capacity to filter small electromagnetic interference signals through digital signal processing. The virtual instrument includes an algorithm to implement different configurations of infinite impulse response (IIR) filters. The PCB contains a precision instrumentation amplifier, a demodulator, a low-pass filter (LPF) and a buffer with operational amplifier. The proposed prototype is used for real-time non-invasive monitoring of magnetic flux density in the thoracic cage of rats. The response of the rat respiratory magnetogram displays a similar behavior as the rat electromyogram (EMG).
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2013-11-06
    Description: Algal blooms are a frequent phenomenon in nearly all kinds of fresh water. Global warming and eutrophication by waste water, air pollution and fertilizers seem to lead to an increased frequency of occurrence. Many cyanobacteria produce hazardous and quite persistent toxins, which can contaminate the respective water bodies. This may limit the use of the raw water for many purposes. The purification of the contaminated water might be quite costly, which makes a continuous and large scale treatment economically unfeasible in many cases. Due to the obvious risks of algal toxins, an online or mobile detection method would be highly desirable. Several biosensor systems have been presented in the literature for this purpose. In this review, their mode of operation, performance and general suitability for the intended purpose will be described and critically discussed. Finally, an outlook on current developments and future prospects will be given.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2013-11-06
    Description: With energy security, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development as three main motives, global energy policies have evolved, now asking for higher shares of renewable energies, shale oil and gas resources in the global energy supply portfolios. Yet, concerns have recently been raised about the environmental impacts of the renewable energy development, supported by many governments around the world. For example, governmental ethanol subsidies and mandates in the U.S. are aimed to increase the biofuel supply while the water footprint of this type of energy might be 70–400 times higher than the water footprint of conventional fossil energy sources. Hydrofracking, as another example, has been recognized as a high water-intensive procedure that impacts the surface and ground water in both quality and quantity. Hence, monitoring the water footprint of the energy mix is significantly important and could have implications for energy policy development. This paper estimates the water footprint of current and projected global energy policies, based on the energy production and consumption scenarios, developed by the International Energy Outlook of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The outcomes reveal the amount of water required for total energy production in the world will increase by 37%–66% during the next two decades, requiring extensive improvements in water use efficiency of the existing energy production technologies, especially renewables.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2013-11-06
    Description: This paper aims to critically review current discussions on the “reinvention” of spatial planning, postulating an all-encompassing and unproblematic shift towards new rationales, scopes, actors and instruments in planning practice. Buzzwords are, among others, “governance”, “collaborative planning” and the “communicative turn”. To overcome the somehow normative bias of these terms, the term “planning culture” is introduced to define a complex, multi-dimensional and dynamic institutional matrix combining formal and informal institutional patterns. Used in an analytical sense, it can help to better understand institutional change in spatial planning. Referring to recent conceptual debates about institutional transformation, the paper presents a six-stage model for institutional change in spatial planning, supporting it with an example from the Cologne/Bonn metropolitan region in Germany. The latter serves as an example for illustrating the institutional dynamics, but also the rigidities of planning cultural change. The paper concludes that a more thorough, “fine-grained” and empirically-grounded investigation of institutional transformation in spatial planning is necessary.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2013-11-06
    Description: Cycle time reduction plays an important role in improving the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. However, in the past, cycle time reduction was usually unplanned owing to the lack of a systematic and quantitative procedure. To tackle this problem, a systematic procedure was established in this study for planning cycle time reduction actions to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. First, some controllable factors that are influential to the job cycle time are identified. Subsequently, the relationship between the controllable factors and the job cycle time is fitted with a back propagation network. Based on this relationship, actions to shorten the job cycle time can be planned. The feasibility and effectiveness of an action have to be assessed before it can be taken in practice. An example containing the real data of hundreds of jobs has been used to illustrate the applicability of the proposed methodology. In addition, the financial benefits of the cycle time reduction action were analyzed, which provided the evidence that the proposed methodology enabled the sustainable development of the semiconductor manufacturer, since capital adequacy is very important in the semiconductor manufacturing industry.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: A new meta-surface structure (MSS) with a near-zero refractive index (NZRI) is proposed to enhance the performance of a square loop antenna array. The main challenge to improve the antenna performance is increment of the overall antenna volume that is mitigated by assimilating the planar NZRI MSS at the back of the antenna structure. The proposed NZRI MSS-loaded CPW-fed (Co-Planar Waveguide) four-element array antenna is designed on ceramic-bioplastic-ceramic sandwich substrate using high-frequency structure simulator (HFSS), a finite-element-method-based simulation tool. The gain and directivity of the antenna are significantly enhanced by incorporating the NZRI MSS with a 7 × 6 set of elements at the back of the antenna structure. Measurement results show that the maximum gains of the antenna increased from 6.21 dBi to 8.25 dBi, from 6.52 dBi to 9.05 dBi and from 10.54 dBi to 12.15 dBi in the first, second and third bands, respectively. The effect of the slot configuration in the ground plane on the reflection coefficient of the antenna was analyzed and optimized. The overall performance makes the proposed antenna appropriate for UHFFM (Ultra High Frequency Frequency Modulation) telemetry-based space applications as well as mobile satellite, microwave radiometry and radio astronomy applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: We model numerically regions of the Canadian continental shelves during successive glacio-eustatic cycles to illustrate past, current and future marine gas hydrate (GH) stability and instability. These models indicated that the marine GH resource has dynamic features and the formation age and resource volumes depend on the dynamics of the ocean-atmosphere system as it responds to both natural (glacial-interglacial) and anthropogenic (climate change) forcing. Our models focus on the interval beginning three million years ago (i.e., Late Pliocene-Holocene). They continue through the current interglacial and they are projected to its anticipated natural end. During the current interglacial the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) thickness in each region responded uniquely as a function of changes in water depth and sea bottom temperature influenced by ocean currents. In general, the GHSZ in the deeper parts of the Pacific and Atlantic margins (≥1316 m) thinned primarily due to increased water bottom temperatures. The GHSZ is highly variable in the shallower settings on the same margins (~400–500 m). On the Pacific Margin shallow GH dissociated completely prior to nine thousand years ago but the effects of subsequent sea level rise reestablished a persistent, thin GHSZ. On the Atlantic Margin Scotian Shelf the warm Gulf Stream caused GHSZ to disappear completely, whereas in shallow water depths offshore Labrador the combination of the cool Labrador Current and sea level rise increased the GHSZ. If future ocean bottom temperatures remain constant, these general characteristics will persist until the current interglacial ends. If the sea bottom warms, possibly in response to global climate change, there could be a significant reduction to complete loss of GH stability, especially on the shallow parts of the continental shelf. The interglacial GH thinning rates constrain rates at which carbon can be transferred between the GH reservoir and the atmosphere-ocean system. Marine GH can destabilize much more quickly than sub-permafrost terrestrial GHs and this combined with the immense marine GH reservoir suggests that GH have the potential to affect the climate-ocean system. Our models show that GH stability reacts quickly to water column pressure effects but slowly to sea bottom temperature changes. Therefore it is likely that marine GH destabilization was rapid and progressive in response to the pressure effects of glacial eustatic sea level fall. This suggests against a catastrophic GH auto-cyclic control on glacial-interglacial climate intervals. It is computationally possible but, unfortunately in no way verifiably, to analyze the interactions and impacts that marine GHs had prior to the current interglacial because of uncertainties in temperature and pressure history constraints. Thus we have the capability, but no confidence that we can contribute currently to questions regarding the relationships among climate, glacio-eustatic sea level fluctuations and marine GH stability without improved local temperature and water column histories. We infer that the possibility for a GH control on climate or oceanic cycles is speculative, but qualitatively contrary to our model results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: The present study examines embedded open parallel microchannels within a micropatterned permeable surface for reducing entropy generation in MHD fluid flow in microscale systems. A local similarity solution for the transformed governing equations is obtained. The governing partial differential equations along with the boundary conditions are first cast into a dimensionless form and then the reduced ordinary differential equations are solved numerically via the Dormand-Prince pair and shooting method. The dimensionless entropy generation number is formulated by an integral of the local rate of entropy generation along the width of the surface based on an equal number of microchannels and no-slip gaps interspersed between those microchannels. Finally, the entropy generation numbers, as well as the Bejan number, are investigated. It is seen that surface-embedded microchannels can successfully reduce entropy generation in the presence of an applied magnetic field.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: The recent development of operational small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) opens the door for their extensive use in forest mapping, as both the spatial and temporal resolution of UAS imagery better suit local-scale investigation than traditional remote sensing tools. This article focuses on the use of combined photogrammetry and “Structure from Motion” approaches in order to model the forest canopy surface from low-altitude aerial images. An original workflow, using the open source and free photogrammetric toolbox, MICMAC (acronym for Multi Image Matches for Auto Correlation Methods), was set up to create a digital canopy surface model of deciduous stands. In combination with a co-registered light detection and ranging (LiDAR) digital terrain model, the elevation of vegetation was determined, and the resulting hybrid photo/LiDAR canopy height model was compared to data from a LiDAR canopy height model and from forest inventory data. Linear regressions predicting dominant height and individual height from plot metrics and crown metrics showed that the photogrammetric canopy height model was of good quality for deciduous stands. Although photogrammetric reconstruction significantly smooths the canopy surface, the use of this workflow has the potential to take full advantage of the flexible revisit period of drones in order to refresh the LiDAR canopy height model and to collect dense multitemporal canopy height series.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: Aptamer-based bioreceptors that can easily adopt their surroundings have captured the attention of scientists from a wide spectrum of domains in designing highly sensitive, selective and structure switchable sensing assays. Through elaborate design and chemical functionalization, numerous aptamer-based assays have been developed that can switch their conformation upon incubation with target analyte, resulting in an enhanced output signal. To further lower the detection limits to picomolar levels, nanomaterials have attracted great interest in the design of aptamer-based sensing platforms. Associated to their unique properties, nanomaterials offer great promise for numerous aptasensing applications. This review will discuss current research activities in the aptasensing with typical example of detection of ochratoxin A (OTA). OTA, a secondary fungal metabolite, contaminates a variety of food commodities, and has several toxicological effects such as nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, neurotoxic, teratogenic and immunotoxic activities. The review will introduce advances made in the methods of integrating nanomaterials in aptasensing, and will discuss current conformational switchable design strategies in aptasensor fabrication methodologies.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: We formulate a multi-matrices factorization model (MMF) for the missing sensor data estimation problem. The estimation problem is adequately transformed into a matrix completion one. With MMF, an n-by-t real matrix, R, is adopted to represent the data collected by mobile sensors from n areas at the time, T1, T2, ... , Tt, where the entry, Rij, is the aggregate value of the data collected in the ith area at Tj . We propose to approximate R by seeking a family of d-by-n probabilistic spatial feature matrices, U(1), U(2), ... , U(t), and a probabilistic temporal feature matrix, V E Rdxt, where Rj ≈ UT(j)Tj . We also present a solution algorithm to the proposed model. We evaluate MMF with synthetic data and a real-world sensor dataset extensively. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art comparison algorithms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: The gas-sensing properties of Pt-decorated carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which provide a foundation for the fabrication of sensors, have been evaluated. In this study, we calculated the gas adsorption of Pt-decorated (8,0) single-wall CNTs (Pt-SWCNTs) with SO2, H2S, and CO using GGA/PW91 method based on density functional theory. The adsorption energies and the changes in geometric and electronic structures after absorption were comprehensively analyzed to estimate the responses of Pt-SWCNTs. Results indicated that Pt-SWCNTs can respond to the three gases. The electrical characteristics of Pt-SWCNTs show different changes after adsorption. Pt-SWCNTs donate electrons and increase the number of hole carriers after adsorbing SO2, thereby enhancing its conductivity. When H2S is adsorbed on CNTs, electrons are transferred from H2S to Pt-SWCNTs, converting Pt-SWCNTs from p-type to n-type sensors with improved conductivity. However, Pt-SWCNTs obtain electrons and show decreased conductivity when reacted with CO gas.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2013-11-07
    Description: This paper deals with the attitude estimation of a rigid body equipped with angular velocity sensors and reference vector sensors. A quaternion-based nonlinear observer is proposed in order to fuse all information sources and to obtain an accurate estimation of the attitude. It is shown that the observer error dynamics can be separated into two passive subsystems connected in “feedback”. Then, this property is used to show that the error dynamics is input-to-state stable when the measurement disturbance is seen as an input and the error as the state. These results allow one to affirm that the observer is “robustly stable”. The proposed observer is evaluated in real-time with the design and implementation of an Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) based on low-cost MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Inertial Measure Unit (IMU) and magnetic sensors and a 16-bit microcontroller. The resulting estimates are compared with a high precision motion system to demonstrate its performance.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: The traction transformer of the traction drive system of a high-speed train is one of the main equipments for energy conversion. The transformer loss will be increased by load harmonics and pantograph arcs at high speed. It is very important to predict losses for the improvement of traction transformer design. In this paper, a dynamic model of the pantograph-catenary system is established using the MSC.Marc software based on the finite element method to analyze disconnection events in different speeds. Then the pantograph arc, traction transformer and four-quadrant converter model is set up. Resistance variations with the change of harmonic frequency have been considered in the calculation formulae of harmonic losses. Traction transformer losses can be calculated based on the harmonic T-equivalent circuit and superposition principle. Considering the harmonic losses variations, the effects of arc voltage on harmonic copper loss and harmonic core loss are analyzed, respectively. The average loss at different disconnection ratios is also calculated. This method could be used to estimate the increment of transformer harmonic losses with poor current conditions at high speed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: This research presents a comparative analysis of wind speed forecasting methods applied to perform 1 h-ahead forecasting. The main significant development has been the introduction of low-quality measurements as exogenous information to improve these predictions. Eight prediction models have been assessed; three of these models [persistence, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) and multiple linear regression] are used as references, and the remaining five, based on neural networks, are evaluated on the basis of two procedures. Firstly, four quality indices are assessed (the Pearson’s correlation coefficient, the index of agreement, the mean absolute error and the mean squared error). Secondly, an analysis of variance test and multiple comparison procedure are conducted. The findings indicate that a backpropagation network with five neurons in the hidden layer is the best model obtained with respect to the reference models. The pair of improvements (mean absolute-mean squared error) obtained are 29.10%–56.54%, 28.15%–53.99% and 4.93%–14.38%, for the persistence, ARIMA and multiple linear regression models, respectively. The experimental results reported in this paper show that traditional agricultural measurements enhance the predictions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: This review provides a summary of methods originated in (non-equilibrium) statistical mechanics and information theory, which have recently found successful applications to quantitatively studying complexity in various components of the complex system Earth. Specifically, we discuss two classes of methods: (i) entropies of different kinds (e.g., on the one hand classical Shannon and R´enyi entropies, as well as non-extensive Tsallis entropy based on symbolic dynamics techniques and, on the other hand, approximate entropy, sample entropy and fuzzy entropy); and (ii) measures of statistical interdependence and causality (e.g., mutual information and generalizations thereof, transfer entropy, momentary information transfer). We review a number of applications and case studies utilizing the above-mentioned methodological approaches for studying contemporary problems in some exemplary fields of the Earth sciences, highlighting the potentials of different techniques.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: In natural and urban canyon environments, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals suffer from various challenges such as signal multipath, limited or lack of signal availability and poor geometry. Inertial sensors are often employed to improve the solution continuity under poor GNSS signal quality and availability conditions. Various fault detection schemes have been proposed in the literature to detect and remove biased GNSS measurements to obtain a more reliable navigation solution. However, many of these methods are found to be sub-optimal and often lead to unavailability of reliability measures, mostly because of the improper characterization of the measurement errors. A robust filtering architecture is thus proposed which assumes a heavy-tailed distribution for the measurement errors. Moreover, the proposed filter is capable of adapting to the changing GNSS signal conditions such as when moving from open sky conditions to deep canyons. Results obtained by processing data collected in various GNSS challenged environments show that the proposed scheme provides a robust navigation solution without having to excessively reject usable measurements. The tests reported herein show improvements of nearly 15% and 80% for position accuracy and reliability, respectively, when applying the above approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: The difficulties in communicating climate change science to the general public are often highlighted as one of the hurdles for support of enhanced climate action. The advances of interactive visualization using information and communication technology (ICT) are claimed to be a game-changer in our ability to communicate complex issues. However, new analytical frameworks are warranted to analyse the role of such technologies. This paper develops a novel framework for analyzing the content, form, context and relevance of ICT-based visualization of climate change, based on insights from literature on climate change communication. Thereafter, we exemplify the analytical framework by applying it to a pilot case of ICT-based climate visualization in a GeoDome. Possibilities to use affordable advanced ICT-based visualization devices in science and policy communication are rapidly expanding. We thus see wider implications and applications of the analytical framework not only for other ICT environments but also other issue areas in sustainability communication.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: Drawing on transition theory, we conceptualize local food networks as innovations that initially function and develop in local niches within a given food regime. As niche-innovations local food networks induce socio-ecological changes on the local level and they have the potential to foster wider transformations of the dominant food regime. Many local food networks adopt the concept of food sovereignty as a kind of “leitmotif”. At the core of this concept lies the question of how to create an agro-food system that, (i) allows for democratic participation and civic engagement in food production, and (ii) sets up new relationships that avoid social inequity and the exploitation of both humans and nature. In this paper we shed light on how the Austrian local food network “SpeiseLokal” addresses the challenge of operationalizing the concept of food sovereignty. The case study captures the strategies which local food networks embark on and depicts the difficulties they encounter. The paper aims to identify critical points of intersection that either strengthen or constrain local food networks from becoming established, operating, and up-scaling in the ways they wish; that is, in accordance with the principles and aims of food sovereignty, while avoiding a later assimilation into the dominant food regime.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: This article analyses wild food consumption in urban areas of Cameroon. Building upon findings from Cameroon’s Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) this case study presents empirical data collected from 371 household and market surveys in Cameroonian cities. It employs the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food’s framework for understanding challenges related to the availability, accessibility, and adequacy of food. The survey data suggest that many wild/traditional foods are physically available in Cameroonian cities most of the time, including fruits, vegetables, spices, and insects. Cameroonians spend considerable sums of their food budget on wild foods. However, low wages and the high cost of city living constrain the social and economic access most people have to these foods. The data also suggest that imports of non-traditional staple foods, such as low cost rice, have increasingly priced potentially more nutritious or safe traditional local foods out of markets after the 2008 food price crisis. As a result, diets are changing in Cameroon as the resource-constrained population continues to resort to the coping strategy of eating cheaper imported foods such as refined rice or to eating less frequently. Cameroon’s nutrition transition continues to be driven by need and not necessarily by the preferences of Cameroonian consumers. The implications of this reality for sustainability are troubling.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: In this paper, we develop a general framework for studying Dirichlet Boundary Value Problems (BVP) for second order symmetric implicit differential systems satisfying the Hartman-Nagumo conditions, as well as a certain non-expandability condition. The main result, obtained by means of the equivariant degree theory, establishes the existence of multiple solutions together with a complete description of their symmetric properties. The abstract result is supported by a concrete example of an implicit system respecting D4-symmetries.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: Even though technological advances have occurred during recent decades today’s nutrient loading from Swedish on-site sewage systems (OSSs) is much higher than in the 1940s, despite a decreased rural population and the existence of potentially far better technologies than the existing inadequate installations. The objective of this paper is first, to explain this situation as the result of co-evolution of technology and institutions, which has resulted in a very stable conservation. Second, to properly understand how such stable configurations may change, the paper investigates how a power-distributional theory of incremental institutional change might complement the previous analysis and open up the thinking about how seemingly stable configurations may change endogenously. The analysis reveals how shifts in the distribution of power, i.e., public and private actors’ resources and tools to use in interaction with other actors, have influenced the direction of technological and institutional development. We conclude that the sequencing of events has been important; the series of choices made foremost between the 1950s and 1990s caused both institutional and technical lock-in effects that have been increasingly difficult to break out from. Despite parallel and later incremental developments, improvement in the environmental outcome is not yet seen on the large scale.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2013-11-08
    Description: The quality of life and economies of coastal communities depend, to a great degree, on the ecological integrity of coastal ecosystems. Paradoxically, as more people are drawn to the coasts, these ecosystems and the services they provide are increasingly stressed by development and human use. Employing the coastal Gulf of Mexico as an example, we explore through three case studies how government policies contribute to preventing, mitigating, or exacerbating the degradation of coastal ecosystems. We consider the effectiveness of the current systems, what alternate or additional policy solutions might be needed to ensure the sustainability of the region and its quality of life, and what this example can tell us about the sustainability of coastal systems globally. In our examples, among other aspects, policies that are proactive and networked governance structures are observed to favor sustainable outcomes, in contrast to reactive policies and hierarchical models of governance.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: Campylobacteriosis is infection caused by the bacteria Campylobacter spp. and is considered a major public health concern. Campylobacter spp. have been identified as one of the most common causative agents of bacterial gastroenteritis. They are typically considered a foodborne pathogen and have been shown to colonise the intestinal mucosa of all food-producing animals. Much emphasis has been placed on controlling the foodborne pathway of exposure, particularly within the poultry industry, however, other environmental sources have been identified as important contributors to human infection. This paper aims to review the current literature on the sources of human exposure to Campylobacter spp. and will cover contaminated poultry, red meat, unpasteurised milk, unwashed fruit and vegetables, compost, wild bird faeces, sewage, surface water, ground water and drinking water. A comparison of current Campylobacter spp. identification methods from environmental samples is also presented. The review of literature suggests that there are multiple and diverse sources for Campylobacter infection. Many environmental sources result in direct human exposure but also in contamination of the food processing industry. This review provides useful information for risk assessment.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: The recent U.S. Congressional mandate for creating drug-free learning environments in elementary and secondary schools stipulates that education reform rely on accountability, parental and community involvement, local decision making, and use of evidence-based drug prevention programs. By necessity, this charge has been paralleled by increased interest in demonstrating that drug prevention programs net tangible benefits to society. One pressing concern is precisely how to integrate traditional scientific methods of program evaluation with economic measures of “cost efficiency”. The languages and methods of each respective discipline don’t necessarily converge on how to establish the true benefits of drug prevention. This article serves as a primer for conducting economic analyses of school-based drug prevention programs. The article provides the reader with a foundation in the relevant principles, methodologies, and benefits related to conducting economic analysis. Discussion revolves around how economists value the potential costs and benefits, both financial and personal, from implementing school-based drug prevention programs targeting youth. Application of heterogeneous costing methods coupled with widely divergent program evaluation findings influences the feasibility of these techniques and may hinder utilization of these practices. Determination of cost-efficiency should undoubtedly become one of several markers of program success and contribute to the ongoing debate over health policy.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: Cold drawing is widely applied in the industrial production of seamless tubes, employed for various mechanical applications. During pre-processing, deviations in tools and their adjustment lead to inhomogeneities in the geometry of the tubes and cause a gradient in residuals. In this paper a three dimensional finite element (3D-FE)-model is presented which was developed to calculate the change in wall thickness, eccentricity, ovality and residual macro-stress state of the tubes, produced by cold drawing. The model simulates the drawing process of tubes, drawn with and without a plug. For finite element modelling, the commercial software package Abaqus was used. To validate the model, neutron strain imaging measurements were performed on the strain imaging instrument SALSA at the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL, Grenoble, France) on a series of SF-copper tubes, drawn under controlled laboratory conditions, varying the drawing angle and the plug geometry. It can be stated that there is sufficient agreement between the finite element method (FEM)-calculation and the neutron stress determination.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: Adsorption is one of the most promising decolorization techniques in dyeing wastewater treatment. Adsorption techniques for wastewater treatment have become more popular in recent years owing to their efficiency in the removal of pollutants too stable for biological methods. Dye adsorption is a result of two mechanisms (adsorption and ion exchange) and is influenced by many factors as dye/adsorbent interaction, adsorbent’s surface area, particle size, temperature, pH, and contact time. The main advantage of adsorption recently became the use of low-cost materials, which reduces the procedure cost. The present review firstly introduced the technology process, research history and research hotspot of adsorption. Then, the application of adsorption in treatment of dyeing wastewaters in the past decades was summarized, revealing the impressive changes in modes, trends, and conditions. From this review article, the different philosophy of synthesis of adsorbent materials became evident.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: This paper introduces a compact optical information storage sensing system. Applications of this system include longitudinal surface plasmon resonance detection of gold nanorods with a single femtosecond laser in three-dimensional space as well as data storage. A diffractive optical element (DOE) is applied in the system to separate the recording-reading beam from the servo beam. This allows us to apply a single laser and one objective lens in a single optical path for the servo beam and the recording-reading beam. The optical system has a linear region of 8 λ, which is compatible with current DVD servo modules. The wavefront error of the optical system is below 0.03 λrms. The minimum grating period of the DOE is 13.4 µm, and the depth of the DOE is 1.2 µm, which makes fabrication of it possible. The DOE is also designed to conveniently control the layer-selection process, as there is a linear correlation between the displacement of the DOE and the layer-selection distance. The displacement of DOE is in the range of 0–6.045 mm when the thickness of the layer-selection is 0.3 mm. Experiments were performed and the results have been verified.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2013-11-09
    Description: Future wireless communications are heading towards an all-Internet Protocol (all-IP) design, and will rely on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to manage services, such as voice over IP (VoIP). The centralized architecture of traditional SIP has numerous disadvantages for mobile ad hoc services that may be possibly overcome by advanced peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies initially developed for the Internet. In the context of mobile sensing, P2PSIP protocols facilitate decentralized and fast communications with sensor-enabled terminals. Nevertheless, in order to make P2PSIP protocols feasible in mobile sensing networks, it is necessary to minimize overhead transmissions for signaling purposes, which reduces the battery lifetime. In this paper, we present a solution to improve the management of wireless overlay networks by defining an adaptive algorithm for the calculation of refresh time. The main advantage of the proposed algorithm is that it takes into account new parameters, such as the delay between nodes, and provides satisfactory performance and reliability levels at a much lower management overhead than previous approaches. The proposed solution can be applied to many structured P2P overlays or P2PSIP protocols. We evaluate it with Kademlia-based distributed hash tables (DHT) and dSIP.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 49
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2013-11-12
    Description: The potential of microalgae biomass production for low-cost commodities—biofuels and animal feeds—using sunlight and CO2 is reviewed. Microalgae are currently cultivated in relatively small-scale systems, mainly for high value human nutritional products. For commodities, production costs must be decreased by an order of magnitude, and high productivity algal strains must be developed that can be stably cultivated in large open ponds and harvested by low-cost processes. For animal feeds, the algal biomass must be high in digestible protein and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that can substitute for fish meal and fish oils. Biofuels will require a high content of vegetable oils (preferably triglycerides), hydrocarbons or fermentable carbohydrates. Many different cultivation systems, algal species, harvesting methods, and biomass processing technologies are being developed worldwide. However, only raceway-type open pond systems are suitable for the production of low-cost commodities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2013-11-12
    Description: In phenomenological thermodynamics, the canonical coordinates of a physical system split in pairs, with each pair consisting of an extensive quantity and an intensive one. In the present paper, the quasithermodynamic fluctuation theory of a model system of a large number of oscillators is extended to statistical thermodynamics based on the idea of perceiving the fluctuations of intensive variables as the fluctuations of specific extensive ones in a “thermodynamically dual” system. The extension is motivated by the symmetry of the problem in the context of an analogy with quantum mechanics, which is stated in terms of a generalized Pauli problem for the thermodynamic fluctuations. The doubled Boltzmann constant divided by the number of particles plays a similar role as the Planck constant.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: The aim of this research is to present a detailed step-by-step method for classification of very high resolution urban satellite images (VHRSI) into specific classes such as road, building, vegetation, etc., using fuzzy logic. In this study, object-based image analysis is used for image classification. The main problems in high resolution image classification are the uncertainties in the position of object borders in satellite images and also multiplex resemblance of the segments to different classes. In order to solve this problem, fuzzy logic is used for image classification, since it provides the possibility of image analysis using multiple parameters without requiring inclusion of certain thresholds in the class assignment process. In this study, an inclusive semi-automatic method for image classification is offered, which presents the configuration of the related fuzzy functions as well as fuzzy rules. The produced results are compared to the results of a normal classification using the same parameters, but with crisp rules. The overall accuracies and kappa coefficients of the presented method stand higher than the check projects.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: During every climatic era Life on Earth is constrained by a limited range of climatic conditions, outside which thriving and then surviving becomes difficult. This applies at both planetary and organism (species) levels. Further, many causal influences of climate change on human health entail changes—often disruptive, sometimes irreversible—in complex system functioning. Understanding the diverse health risks from climate change, and their influence pathways, presents a challenge to environmental health researchers whose prior work has been in a more definable, specific and quantitative milieu. Extension of the research agenda and conceptual framework to assess present and future health risks from climate change may be constrained by three factors: (i) lack of historically-informed understanding of population-health sensitivity to climatic changes; (ii) an instinctual ‘epidemiologising’ tendency to choose research topics amenable to conventional epidemiological analysis and risk estimation; and (iii) under-confidence in relation to interdisciplinary collaborative scenario-based modeling of future health risks. These constraints must be recognized and remedied. And environmental researchers must argue for heightened public attention to today’s macro-environmental threats to present and future population health—emphasising the ecological dimension of these determinants of long-term health that apply to whole populations and communities, not just to individuals and social groupings.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: Lithium has been used as a mood-stabilizing drug in people with mood disorders. Previous studies have shown that natural levels of lithium in drinking water may protect against suicide. This study evaluated the association between lithium levels in tap water and the suicide standardized mortality ratio (SMR) in 40 municipalities of Aomori prefecture, which has the highest levels of suicide mortality rate in Japan. Lithium levels in the tap water supplies of each municipality were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. After adjusting for confounders, a statistical trend toward significance was found for the relationship between lithium levels and the average SMR among females. These findings indicate that natural levels of lithium in drinking water might have a protective effect on the risk of suicide among females. Future research is warranted to confirm this association.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungal species that have harmful effects on mammals. The aim of this study was to assess the content of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material of selected forage grass species both during and at the end of the growing season. We further assessed mycotoxin content in subsequently produced first-cutting silages with respect to the species used in this study: Lolium perenne (cv. Kentaur), Festulolium pabulare (cv. Felina), Festulolium braunii (cv. Perseus), and mixtures of these species with Festuca rubra (cv. Gondolin) or Poa pratensis (Slezanka). The mycotoxins deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and T-2 toxin were mainly detected in the fresh-cut grass material, while fumonisin and aflatoxin contents were below the detection limits. July and October were the most risky periods for mycotoxins to occur. During the cold temperatures in November and December, the occurrence of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material declined. Although June was a period with low incidence of mycotoxins in green silage, contents of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in silages from the first cutting exceeded by several times those determined in their biomass collected directly from the field. Moreover, we observed that use of preservatives or inoculants did not prevent mycotoxin production.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: In Europe, many flaviviruses are endemic (West Nile, Usutu, tick-borne encephalitis viruses) or occasionally imported (dengue, yellow fever viruses). Due to the temporal and geographical co-circulation of flaviviruses in Europe, flavivirus differentiation by diagnostic tests is crucial in the adaptation of surveillance and control efforts. Serological diagnosis of flavivirus infections is complicated by the antigenic similarities among the Flavivirus genus. Indeed, most flavivirus antibodies are directed against the highly immunogenic envelope protein, which contains both flavivirus cross-reactive and virus-specific epitopes. Serological assay results should thus be interpreted with care and confirmed by comparative neutralization tests using a panel of viruses known to circulate in Europe. However, antibody cross-reactivity could be advantageous in efforts to control emerging flaviviruses because it ensures partial cross-protection. In contrast, it might also facilitate subsequent diseases, through a phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement mainly described for dengue virus infections. Here, we review the serological methods commonly used in WNV diagnosis and surveillance in Europe. By examining past and current epidemiological situations in different European countries, we present the challenges involved in interpreting flavivirus serological tests and setting up appropriate surveillance programs; we also address the consequences of flavivirus circulation and vaccination for host immunity.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: Cultivation of microalgae to utilize CO2 and nutrients in the wastewater to generate biofuel products is a promising research objective. However, the process faces tremendous technical difficulties, especially the harvest of microalgae cells, an economically challenging step. Several researchers recently reported co-culturing of filamentous fungi with microalgae so that microalgae cells can be co-pelletized in order to facilitate the cell harvest. This algae pelletization via the filamentous fungi represents an innovative approach to address both the cost and sustainability issues in algae biofuel production and also has potential with direct commercial applications. This paper reviews the current research status in this area and some possible drawbacks of this method in order to provide some possible directions for the future research.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: A forecasting methodology for prediction of both normal prices and price spikes in the day-ahead energy market is proposed. The method is based on an iterative strategy implemented as a combination of two modules separately applied for normal price and price spike predictions. The normal price module is a mixture of wavelet transform, linear AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) and nonlinear neural network models. The probability of a price spike occurrence is produced by a compound classifier in which three single classification techniques are used jointly to make a decision. Combined with the spike value prediction technique, the output from the price spike module aims to provide a comprehensive price spike forecast. The overall electricity price forecast is formed as combined normal price and price spike forecasts. The forecast accuracy of the proposed method is evaluated with real data from the Finnish Nord Pool Spot day-ahead energy market. The proposed method provides significant improvement in both normal price and price spike prediction accuracy compared with some of the most popular forecast techniques applied for case studies of energy markets.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: We propose a modeling procedure specifically designed for a ferrite inductor excited by a waveform in time domain. We estimate the loss resistance in the core (parameter of the electrical model of the inductor) by means of a Finite Element Method in 2D which leads to significant computational advantages over the 3D model. The methodology is validated for an RM (rectangular modulus) ferrite core working in the linear and the saturation regions. Excellent agreement is found between the experimental data and the computational results.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2013-11-14
    Description: Many studies have indicated that computing technology can enable off-site cardiologists to read patients’ electrocardiograph (ECG), echocardiography (ECHO), and relevant images via smart phones during pre-hospital, in-hospital, and post-hospital teleconsultation, which not only identifies emergency cases in need of immediate treatment, but also prevents the unnecessary re-hospitalizations. Meanwhile, several studies have combined cloud computing and mobile computing to facilitate better storage, delivery, retrieval, and management of medical files for telecardiology. In the future, the aggregated ECG and images from hospitals worldwide will become big data, which should be used to develop an e-consultation program helping on-site practitioners deliver appropriate treatment. With information technology, real-time tele-consultation and tele-diagnosis of ECG and images can be practiced via an e-platform for clinical, research, and educational purposes. While being devoted to promote the application of information technology onto telecardiology, we need to resolve several issues: (1) data confidentiality in the cloud, (2) data interoperability among hospitals, and (3) network latency and accessibility. If these challenges are overcome, tele-consultation will be ubiquitous, easy to perform, inexpensive, and beneficial. Most importantly, these services will increase global collaboration and advance clinical practice, education, and scientific research in cardiology.
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2013-11-13
    Description: Rural water systems in low-income countries often fail to deliver potable water sustainably. Reasons include socio-economic, financial, and technical challenges that are specific to the community. Improved assessment methods are critical if decision makers want to provide sustainable solutions; however, to be useful, such methods require substantial data about the complex interaction between people, water, and infrastructure. Such interaction is affected by, and in turn, affects the behavior of community members regarding water usage, resources for infrastructure maintenance, and choice of assets. Unfortunately, much of these data are not readily available, in a large part because of the site-specific context associated with each rural community. Because of the difficulty and expense in obtaining site-specific data, it is important to identify the most critical needs for field studies versus the data that can be obtained from sources such as non-governmental organizations and the general literature. We examine this issue by first using an extensive data set from Malawi to identify the critical data needs. We then present several examples of field studies in Honduras and Uganda where we collected some of that critical data. Throughout, we discuss best practices for conducting and using focused field studies versus the general literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: A DNAzyme-based sensor for the determination and quantification of lead ions (Pb2+) has been established, which combines the recognition and catalysis of DNAzyme with the optical properties of nanomaterials. Circular dichroism (CD) signals were obtained by a DNAzyme-based assembly of asymmetric silver nanoparticle (AgNPs) dimers. A good linear relationship between CD signals and Pb2+ concentration was obtained ranging from 0.05 ng∙mL−1 to 10 ng∙mL−1 with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.02 ng∙mL−1. The specificity of this sensor in lead ion detection was excellent, and a satisfactory recovery was obtained in the analysis of tap water samples. The proposed technique possesses both high sensitivity and good specificity, giving it great potential for the analysis of Pb2+ in water.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: Tidal harmonic analysis simulations along with simulations spanning four specific historical time periods in 2003 and 2004 were conducted to test the performance of a northern Gulf of Mexico tidal model. A recently developed method for detecting inundated areas based on integrated remotely sensed data (i.e., Radarsat-1, aerial imagery, LiDAR, Landsat 7 ETM+) was applied to assess the performance of the tidal model. The analysis demonstrates the applicability of the method and its agreement with traditional performance assessment techniques such as harmonic resynthesis and water level time series analysis. Based on the flooded/non-flooded coastal areas estimated by the integrated remotely sensed data, the model is able to adequately reproduce the extent of inundation within four sample areas from the coast along the Florida panhandle, correctly identifying areas as wet or dry over 85% of the time. Comparisons of the tidal model inundation to synoptic (point-in-time) inundation areas generated from the remotely sensed data generally agree with the results of the traditional performance assessment techniques. Moreover, this approach is able to illustrate the spatial distribution of model inundation accuracy allowing for targeted refinement of model parameters.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: Ocular contamination of EEG data is an important and very common problem in the diagnosis of neurobiological events. An effective approach is proposed in this paper to remove ocular artifacts from the raw EEG recording. First, it conducts the blind source separation on the raw EEG recording by the stationary subspace analysis, which can concentrate artifacts in fewer components than the representative blind source separation methods. Next, to recover the neural information that has leaked into the artifactual components, the adaptive signal decomposition technique EMD is applied to denoise the components. Finally, the artifact-only components are projected back to be subtracted from EEG signals to get the clean EEG data. The experimental results on both the artificially contaminated EEG data and publicly available real EEG data have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method, in particular for the cases where limited number of electrodes are used for the recording, as well as when the artifact contaminated signal is highly non-stationary and the underlying sources cannot be assumed to be independent or uncorrelated.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: This paper presents a novel hardware architecture for fast spike sorting. The architecture is able to perform both the feature extraction and clustering in hardware. The generalized Hebbian algorithm (GHA) and fuzzy C-means (FCM) algorithm are used for feature extraction and clustering, respectively. The employment of GHA allows efficient computation of principal components for subsequent clustering operations. The FCM is able to achieve near optimal clustering for spike sorting. Its performance is insensitive to the selection of initial cluster centers. The hardware implementations of GHA and FCM feature low area costs and high throughput. In the GHA architecture, the computation of different weight vectors share the same circuit for lowering the area costs. Moreover, in the FCM hardware implementation, the usual iterative operations for updating the membership matrix and cluster centroid are merged into one single updating process to evade the large storage requirement. To show the effectiveness of the circuit, the proposed architecture is physically implemented by field programmable gate array (FPGA). It is embedded in a System-on-Chip (SOC) platform for performance measurement. Experimental results show that the proposed architecture is an efficient spike sorting design for attaining high classification correct rate and high speed computation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: Wearable and accompanied sensors and devices are increasingly being used for user activity recognition. However, typical GPS-based and accelerometer-based (ACC) methods face three main challenges: a low recognition accuracy; a coarse recognition capability, i.e., they cannot recognise both human posture (during travelling) and transportation mode simultaneously, and a relatively high computational complexity. Here, a new GPS and Foot-Force (GPS + FF) sensor method is proposed to overcome these challenges that leverages a set of wearable FF sensors in combination with GPS, e.g., in a mobile phone. User mobility activities that can be recognised include both daily user postures and common transportation modes: sitting, standing, walking, cycling, bus passenger, car passenger (including private cars and taxis) and car driver. The novelty of this work is that our approach provides a more comprehensive recognition capability in terms of reliably recognising both human posture and transportation mode simultaneously during travel. In addition, by comparing the new GPS + FF method with both an ACC method (62% accuracy) and a GPS + ACC based method (70% accuracy) as baseline methods, it obtains a higher accuracy (95%) with less computational complexity, when tested on a dataset obtained from ten individuals.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2013-11-02
    Description: Internet of Things (IoT) networks are the pillar of recent novel scenarios, such as smart cities or e-healthcare applications. Among other challenges, these networks cover the deployment and interaction of small devices with constrained capabilities and Internet protocol (IP)-based networking connectivity. These constrained devices usually require connection to the Internet to exchange information (e.g., management or sensing data) or access network services. However, only authenticated and authorized devices can, in general, establish this connection. The so-called authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) services are in charge of performing these tasks on the Internet. Thus, it is necessary to deploy protocols that allow constrained devices to verify their credentials against AAA infrastructures. The Protocol for Carrying Authentication for Network Access (PANA) has been standardized by the Internet engineering task force (IETF) to carry the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), which provides flexible authentication upon the presence of AAA. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first deep study of the feasibility of EAP/PANA for network access control in constrained devices. We provide light-weight versions and implementations of these protocols to fit them into constrained devices. These versions have been designed to reduce the impact in standard specifications. The goal of this work is two-fold: (1) to demonstrate the feasibility of EAP/PANA in IoT devices; (2) to provide the scientific community with the first light-weight interoperable implementation of EAP/PANA for constrained devices in the Contiki operating system (Contiki OS), called PANATIKI. The paper also shows a testbed, simulations and experimental results obtained from real and simulated constrained devices.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2013-11-15
    Description: In this paper, a knowledge-based algorithm is proposed for automatically generating three-dimensional (3D) building models in dense urban areas by using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and aerial images. Automatic 3D building modeling using LiDAR is challenging in dense urban areas, in which houses are typically located close to each other and their heights are similar. This makes it difficult to separate point clouds into individual buildings. A combination of airborne LiDAR and aerial images can be an effective approach to resolve this issue. Information about individual building boundaries, derived by segmentation of images, can be utilized for modeling. However, shadows cast by adjacent buildings cause segmentation errors. The algorithm proposed in this paper uses an improved segmentation algorithm (Susaki, J. 2012.) that functions even for shadowed buildings. In addition, the proposed algorithm uses assumptions about the geometry of building arrangement to calculate normal vectors to candidate roof segments. By considering the segmented regions and the normals, models of four common roof types—gable-roof, hip-roof, flat-roof, and slant-roof buildings—are generated. The proposed algorithm was applied to two areas of Higashiyama ward, Kyoto, Japan, and the modeling was successful even in dense urban areas.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2013-11-15
    Description: Remote sensing techniques that provide synoptic and repetitive observations over large geographic areas have become increasingly important in studying the role of agriculture in global carbon cycles. However, it is still challenging to model crop yields based on remotely sensed data due to the variation in radiation use efficiency (RUE) across crop types and the effects of spatial heterogeneity. In this paper, we propose a production efficiency model-based method to estimate corn and soybean yields with MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data by explicitly handling the following two issues: (1) field-measured RUE values for corn and soybean are applied to relatively pure pixels instead of the biome-wide RUE value prescribed in the MODIS vegetation productivity product (MOD17); and (2) contributions to productivity from vegetation other than crops in mixed pixels are deducted at the level of MODIS resolution. Our estimated yields statistically correlate with the national survey data for rainfed counties in the Midwestern US with low errors for both corn (R2 = 0.77; RMSE = 0.89 MT/ha) and soybeans (R2 = 0.66; RMSE = 0.38 MT/ha). Because the proposed algorithm does not require any retrospective analysis that constructs empirical relationships between the reported yields and remotely sensed data, it could monitor crop yields over large areas.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2013-11-15
    Description: In this paper, a multimodal user-emotion detection system for social robots is presented. This system is intended to be used during human–robot interaction, and it is integrated as part of the overall interaction system of the robot: the Robotics Dialog System (RDS). Two modes are used to detect emotions: the voice and face expression analysis. In order to analyze the voice of the user, a new component has been developed: Gender and Emotion Voice Analysis (GEVA), which is written using the Chuck language. For emotion detection in facial expressions, the system, Gender and Emotion Facial Analysis (GEFA), has been also developed. This last system integrates two third-party solutions: Sophisticated High-speed Object Recognition Engine (SHORE) and Computer Expression Recognition Toolbox (CERT). Once these new components (GEVA and GEFA) give their results, a decision rule is applied in order to combine the information given by both of them. The result of this rule, the detected emotion, is integrated into the dialog system through communicative acts. Hence, each communicative act gives, among other things, the detected emotion of the user to the RDS so it can adapt its strategy in order to get a greater satisfaction degree during the human–robot dialog. Each of the new components, GEVA and GEFA, can also be used individually. Moreover, they are integrated with the robotic control platform ROS (Robot Operating System). Several experiments with real users were performed to determine the accuracy of each component and to set the final decision rule. The results obtained from applying this decision rule in these experiments show a high success rate in automatic user emotion recognition, improving the results given by the two information channels (audio and visual) separately.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2013-11-15
    Description: The present journal recently stated in the call for a special issue on social sustainability, “[t]hough sustainable development is said to rest on ‘three pillars’, one of these—social sustainability—has received significantly less attention than its bio-physical environmental and economic counterparts”. The current issue promises to engage the concepts of “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” and the tensions between these different aspects of social sustainability. The aim of the present study is to identify the visibility of disabled people in the academic social sustainability literature, to ascertain the impact and promises of social sustainability indicators put forward in the same literature and to engage especially with the concepts of “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” through disability studies and ability studies lenses. We report that disabled people are barely covered in the academic social sustainability literature; of the 5165 academic articles investigated only 26 had content related to disabled people and social sustainability. We also conclude that social sustainability indicators evident in the 1909 academic articles with the phrase “social sustainability” in the abstract mostly focused on products and did not reflect yet the goals outlined in the “development sustainability” aspect of social sustainability proposed by Vallance such as basic needs, building social capital, justice and so on. We posit that if the focus within the social sustainability discourse shifts more toward the social that an active presence of disabled people in this discourse is essential to disabled people. We showcase the utility of an ability studies lens to further the development and application of the “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” concepts. We outline how different ability expectations intrinsic to certain schools of thought of how to deal with human-nature relationships (for example anthropocentric versus bio/ecocentric) impact this relationship and “bridge sustainability”. As to “maintenance development”, we posit that no engagement has happened yet with the ability expectation conflicts between able-bodied and disabled people, or for that matter with the ability expectation differences between different able-bodied groups within social sustainability discourses; an analysis essential for the maintenance of development. In general, we argue that there is a need to generate ability expectation conflict maps and ability expectations conflict resolution mechanisms for all sustainable development discourses individually and for ability conflicts between sustainable development discourses.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2013-11-15
    Description: The documentary film, History Made for Tomorrow: Hakka Tulou was an October 2010 release by History Channel International. This film is an in-depth study on the green building techniques and sustainable lifestyle of the Hakka people of Southern China with a focus on the ancient Tulou rammed earth structures. The television program follows West Virginia University research professor, Ruifeng Liang, as he initiates scientific studies to back claims that the rammed earth Tulou structures are “the greenest buildings in the world”, and Canadian architect, Jorg Ostrowski, of Autonomous Sustainable Housing Inc., who has been researching the ecological footprint of Hakka communities since August 2007, to promote them as “eco-villages” of best practices for planet Earth’s sustainability. The author is credited as Director, Writer, and Producer of this film. This paper is based on the script of the production.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: Corrosion of titanium dental implants has been associated with implant failure and is considered one of the triggering factors for peri-implantitis. This corrosion is concerning, because a large amount of metal ions and debris are generated in this process, the accumulation of which may lead to adverse tissue reactions in vivo. The goal of this study is to investigate the mechanisms for implant degradation by evaluating the surface of five titanium dental implants retrieved due to peri-implantitis. The results demonstrated that all the implants were subjected to very acidic environments, which, in combination with normal implant loading, led to cases of severe implant discoloration, pitting attack, cracking and fretting-crevice corrosion. The results suggest that acidic environments induced by bacterial biofilms and/or inflammatory processes may trigger oxidation of the surface of titanium dental implants. The corrosive process can lead to permanent breakdown of the oxide film, which, besides releasing metal ions and debris in vivo, may also hinder re-integration of the implant surface with surrounding bone.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: Despite research that has been conducted elsewhere, little is known, to-date, about land cover dynamics and their impacts on land surface temperature (LST) in fast growing mega cities of developing countries. Landsat satellite images of 1989, 1999, and 2009 of Dhaka Metropolitan (DMP) area were used for analysis. This study first identified patterns of land cover changes between the periods and investigated their impacts on LST; second, applied artificial neural network to simulate land cover changes for 2019 and 2029; and finally, estimated their impacts on LST in respective periods. Simulation results show that if the current trend continues, 56% and 87% of the DMP area will likely to experience temperatures in the range of greater than or equal to 30 °C in 2019 and 2029, respectively. The findings possess a major challenge for urban planners working in similar contexts. However, the technique presented in this paper would help them to quantify the impacts of different scenarios (e.g., vegetation loss to accommodate urban growth) on LST and consequently to devise appropriate policy measures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: The Sustainable TEchnologies for LittoraL Aquaculture and MArine REsearch (STELLA MARE) platform has as an objective to provide data for the management of the sea in relation with the fishing industry. In this paper, we introduce the first experiment on the active tracking of a crab species, Maja squinado, symbolic of the deregulation of fishing activity. This paper introduces the method used for monitoring Maja squinado and the first collected data on the behavior of this little-known species.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: Fresh jujube (Ziziphus jujube) is rich in vitamin C, which is an important quality index and generally decreases with storage time. The aim of this study was to build kinetic models for determining the vitamin C content, thus predicting the quality characteristics and shelf life of fresh jujube. The quality changes of the jujube stored at room temperature (20 °C) were analyzed using near-infrared spectroscopy. The significant spectra were determined and a calibration model for vitamin C content was developed. The results showed that vitamin C content could be described by the zero-order kinetics model based on the regressions. In addition, the shelf life of the jujube at room temperature was calculated according to the regression model.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: Shipboard is not an absolute rigid body. Many factors could cause deformations which lead to large errors of mounted devices, especially for the navigation systems. Such errors should be estimated and compensated effectively, or they will severely reduce the navigation accuracy of the ship. In order to estimate the deformation, an unscented particle filter method for estimation of shipboard deformation based on an inertial measurement unit is presented. In this method, a nonlinear shipboard deformation model is built. Simulations demonstrated the accuracy reduction due to deformation. Then an attitude plus angular rate match mode is proposed as a frame to estimate the shipboard deformation using inertial measurement units. In this frame, for the nonlinearity of the system model, an unscented particle filter method is proposed to estimate and compensate the deformation angles. Simulations show that the proposed method gives accurate and rapid deformation estimations, which can increase navigation accuracy after compensation of deformation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: The temperature of the flue-gas in the post combustion zone of a waste to energy (WTE) plant has to be maintained within a fairly narrow range of values, the minimum of which is prescribed by the European Waste Directive 2000/76/CE, whereas the maximum value must be such as to ensure the preservation of the materials and the energy efficiency of the plant. A high degree of accuracy in measuring and controlling the aforementioned temperature is therefore required. In almost the totality of WTE plants this measurement process is carried out by using practical industrial thermometers, such as bare thermocouples and infrared radiation (IR) pyrometers, even if affected by different physical contributions which can make the gas temperature measurements incorrect. The objective of this paper is to analyze errors and uncertainties that can arise when using a bare thermocouple or an IR pyrometer in a WTE plant and to provide a method for the in situ calibration of these industrial sensors through the use of suction pyrometers. The paper describes principle of operation, design, and uncertainty contributions of suction pyrometers, it also provides the best estimation of the flue-gas temperature in the post combustion zone of a WTE plant and the estimation of its expanded uncertainty.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 78
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: A 2011 Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report calculated that an additional 750,000 homes would be needed by 2025 to meet projected demand in the UK. If this is to be achieved, a significant number of new communities will be developed over the next decade. Local councillors have considerable potential in influencing the social sustainability of such new developments, particularly in the context of the current “Localism” agenda in the UK. However, this role of the local councilor is not well understood. The aim of this project was to explore the role of the local councillor in improving such outcomes. We selected two rural greenfield and two urban regeneration sites as case studies. Planning officers and local councillors were interviewed across the sites in order to identify factors that can lead to improved social sustainability. Emerging themes indicate the importance of the councillor’s role in community engagement and consultation, the changing nature of relationships, the importance of appropriate and timely infrastructure, and models of governance and accountability. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for policy.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
    Publication Date: 2013-11-16
    Description: Measurement and diagnostic systems based on electronic sensors have been increasingly essential in the standardization of hospital equipment. The technical standard IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 60601-2-19 establishes requirements for neonatal incubators and specifies the calibration procedure and validation tests for such devices using sensors systems. This paper proposes a new procedure based on an inferential neural network to evaluate and calibrate a neonatal incubator. The proposal presents significant advantages over the standard calibration process, i.e., the number of sensors is drastically reduced, and it runs with the incubator under operation. Since the sensors used in the new calibration process are already installed in the commercial incubator, no additional hardware is necessary; and the calibration necessity can be diagnosed in real time without the presence of technical professionals in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Experimental tests involving the aforementioned calibration system are carried out in a commercial incubator in order to validate the proposal.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 80
    Publication Date: 2013-11-19
    Description: We develop an efficient multicore algorithm, PMS6MC, for the (l; d)-motif discovery problem in which we are to find all strings of length l that appear in every string of a given set of strings with at most d mismatches. PMS6MC is based on PMS6, which is currently the fastest single-core algorithm for motif discovery in large instances. The speedup, relative to PMS6, attained by our multicore algorithm ranges from a high of 6.62 for the (17,6) challenging instances to a low of 2.75 for the (13,4) challenging instances on an Intel 6-core system. We estimate that PMS6MC is 2 to 4 times faster than other parallel algorithms for motif search on large instances.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 81
    Publication Date: 2013-11-19
    Description: Flood frequency analysis using partial series data has been shown to provide better estimates of small to medium magnitude flood events than the annual series, but the annual series is more often employed due to its simplicity. Where partial series average recurrence intervals are required, annual series values are often “converted” to partial series values using the Langbein equation, regardless of whether the statistical assumptions behind the equation are fulfilled. This study uses data from Northern Tasmanian stream-gauging stations to make empirical comparisons between annual series and partial flood frequency estimates and values provided by the Langbein equation. At T = 1.1 years annual series estimates were found to be one third the magnitude of partial series estimates, while Langbein adjusted estimates were three quarters the magnitude of partial series estimates. The three methods converged as average recurrence interval increased until there was no significant difference between the different methods at T = 5 years. These results suggest that while the Langbein equation reduces the differences between the quantile estimates of annual maxima derived from annual maxima series and partial duration series flood frequency estimates, it does not provide a suitable alternative method to using partial series data. These results have significance for the practical estimation of the magnitude-frequency of small floods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 82
    Publication Date: 2013-11-19
    Description: The biomass market has experienced an increase in development, leading to research and development efforts that are focused on determining optimal biofuel combustion conditions. Biomass combustion is a complex process that involves divergent parameters and thus requires the use of advanced analysis methods. This study proposes combining grey relational analysis (GRA) and error propagation theory (EPT) to select a biofuel and its optimal combustion conditions. This research will study three biofuels that are currently used in a region of South Europe (Spain), and the most important variables that affect combustion are the ignition front propagation speed and the highest temperature that is reached at the fixed bed combustor. The results demonstrate that a combination of both theories for the analysis of solid-state thermochemical phenomena enables a fast and simple way of choosing the best configuration for each fuel.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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