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  • 1
    Journal cover
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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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  • 2
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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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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2010 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2011 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1(1).2013 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-4434
    Topics: Physics
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  • 6
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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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  • 7
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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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  • 8
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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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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    Online: 1.2011 –
    Publisher: MDPI Publishing
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 10
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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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  • 11
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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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  • 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: 2016-11-13
    Description: The pollution of endocrine disruptors and its impact on human reproductive system have attracted much attention. Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), an environmental endocrine disruptor, is widely used in food packages, containers, medical supplies and children’s toys. It can cause diseases such as infertility, sexual precocity and uterine bleeding and thus arouse concerns from the society and scholars. The effect of DEHP on pubertal female reproductive system is still not well-studied. This study was to investigate the effects of DEHP on the hypothalamus–uterus in pubertal female rats, reveal the reproductive toxicity of DEHP on pubertal female rats and its mechanism, and provide scientific evidence for the evaluation of toxicity and toxic mechanism of DEHP on reproductive system. Forty-eight pubertal female rats were randomly divided into four groups and respectively administered via oral gavage 0, 250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg/d DEHP in 0.1 mL corn oil/20 g body weight for up to four weeks. Compared with control rats, the DEHP-treated rats showed: (1) higher gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) level in the hypothalamus; (2) higher protein levels of GnRH in the hypothalamus; and (3) higher mRNA and protein levels of GnRH receptor (GnRHR) in the uterus. Our data reveal that DEHP exposure may lead to a disruption in pubertal female rats and an imbalance of hypothalamus–uterus. Meanwhile, DEHP may, through the GnRH in the hypothalamus and its receptor on the uterus, lead to diseases of the uterus. DEHP may impose a negative influence on the development and functioning of the reproductive system in pubertal female rats.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an autosomal recessive hemoglobinopathy that causes significant morbidity and mortality related to chronic hemolytic anemia, vaso-occlusion, and resultant end-organ damage. Tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) through secondhand smoke exposure in people with SCD of all ages and through primary smoking in adolescents and adults is associated with significantly increased morbidity, with increased rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for painful vaso-occlusive crises and acute chest syndrome (ACS). Secondhand smoke is also associated with pulmonary function abnormalities in children with SCD who are already at risk for pulmonary function abnormalities on the basis of SCD. TSE is emerging as one of the few modifiable risk factors of SCD. This review discusses the current state of the evidence with respect to TSE and SCD morbidity, discusses potential mechanisms, and highlights current gaps in the evidence and future research directions.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: With the rapid development of the one-stationary bistatic forward-looking synthetic aperture radar (OS-BFSAR) technology, the huge amount of the remote sensing data presents challenges for real-time imaging processing. In this paper, an efficient time-domain algorithm (ETDA) considering the motion errors for the OS-BFSAR imaging processing, is presented. This method can not only precisely handle the large spatial variances, serious range-azimuth coupling and motion errors, but can also greatly improve the imaging efficiency compared with the direct time-domain algorithm (DTDA). Besides, it represents the subimages on polar grids in the ground plane instead of the slant-range plane, and derives the sampling requirements considering motion errors for the polar grids to offer a near-optimum tradeoff between the imaging precision and efficiency. First, OS-BFSAR imaging geometry is built, and the DTDA for the OS-BFSAR imaging is provided. Second, the polar grids of subimages are defined, and the subaperture imaging in the ETDA is derived. The sampling requirements for polar grids are derived from the point of view of the bandwidth. Finally, the implementation and computational load of the proposed ETDA are analyzed. Experimental results based on simulated and measured data validate that the proposed ETDA outperforms the DTDA in terms of the efficiency improvement.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: Plane-wave ultrasound imaging (PWUS) has become an important method of ultrasound imaging in recent years as its frame rate has exceeded 10,000 frames per second, allowing ultrasound to be used for two-dimensional shear wave detection and functional brain imaging. However, compared to the traditional focusing and scanning method, PWUS images always suffer from a degradation of lateral resolution and contrast. To improve the image quality of PWUS, many different beamforming algorithms have been proposed and verified. Yet the influence of transducer structure is rarely studied. For this paper, the influence of using an acoustic lens for PWUS was evaluated. Two linear array transducers were fabricated. One was not self-focalized in the elevation direction (non-elevation-focalized transducer, NEFT); the other one was a traditional elevation-focalized transducer (EFT). An initial simulation was conducted to show the influence of elevation focusing. Then the images obtained with NEFT on a standard ultrasound imaging phantom were compared with those obtained with EFT. It was demonstrated that, in a relatively deep region, the contrast of an NEFT image is better than that of an EFT image. These results indicate that a more sophisticated design of ultrasound transducer would further improve the image quality of PWUS.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: In this paper, we investigate the secure transmission in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) consisting of one multiple-antenna base station (BS), multiple single-antenna legitimate users, one single-antenna eavesdropper and one multiple-antenna cooperative jammer. In an effort to reduce the scheduling complexity and extend the battery lifetime of the sensor nodes, the switch-and-stay combining (SSC) scheduling scheme is exploited over the sensor nodes. Meanwhile, transmit antenna selection (TAS) is employed at the BS and cooperative jamming (CJ) is adopted at the jammer node, aiming at achieving a satisfactory secrecy performance. Moreover, depending on whether the jammer node has the global channel state information (CSI) of both the legitimate channel and the eavesdropper’s channel, it explores a zero-forcing beamforming (ZFB) scheme or a null-space artificial noise (NAN) scheme to confound the eavesdropper while avoiding the interference to the legitimate user. Building on this, we propose two novel hybrid secure transmission schemes, termed TAS-SSC-ZFB and TAS-SSC-NAN, for WSNs. We then derive the exact closed-form expressions for the secrecy outage probability and the effective secrecy throughput of both schemes to characterize the secrecy performance. Using these closed-form expressions, we further determine the optimal switching threshold and obtain the optimal power allocation factor between the BS and jammer node for both schemes to minimize the secrecy outage probability, while the optimal secrecy rate is decided to maximize the effective secrecy throughput for both schemes. Numerical results are provided to verify the theoretical analysis and illustrate the impact of key system parameters on the secrecy performance.
    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: 2016-11-13
    Description: Rapid population growth and increasing concern related to improving the living standards in impoverished communities without damaging the natural environment have drawn attention to the adoption of renewable energy systems (RES) around the world. Despite this global trend, the implementation of these projects has not succeeded completely in rural poor communities due to several factors, including social barriers faced at the time of their execution. These social barriers lead to poor acceptance of the projects and their consequent abandonment. Acceptance is a social construct that is influenced by several factors that need to be understood to achieve successful and sustainable results in the future. In this paper, we develop a conceptual model, based on principles of sustainability and systems thinking, to understand the interrelationships among the main factors that have been reported in the literature as key to determining the sustainability and community acceptance of RES projects. To do so, we review the existing literature on sustainability and social acceptance of RES and then construct a causal-loop diagram of their driving factors. While doing so, we also view the problem through the lens of the sustainable livelihoods framework, aiming to maintain the perspective of rural communities and observing the impacts of RES on their contextual reality. The resulting model helps to understand the multiple interactions that RES projects have with rural communities as well as identify potential intervention points for future projects. We end the paper with a discussion of the implications of the model and how can it be used to inform future rural energy decision making.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: Developing public transportation and giving priority to buses is a feasible solution for improving the level of public transportation service, which facilitates congestion alleviation and prevention, and contributes to urban development and city sustainability. This paper presents a novel bus operation control strategy including both holding control and speed control to improve the level of service of transit systems within a connected vehicle environment. Most previous work focuses on optimization of signal timing to decrease the bus signal delay by assuming that holding control is not applied; the speed of buses is given as a constant input and the acceleration and deceleration processes of buses can be neglected. This paper explores the benefits of a bus operation control strategy to minimize the total cost, which includes bus signal delay, bus holding delay, bus travel delay, acceleration cost due to frequent stops and intense driving. A set of formulations are developed to explicitly capture the interaction between bus holding control and speed control. Experimental analysisand simulation tests have shown that the proposed integrated operational model outperforms the traditional control, speed control only, or holding control only strategies in terms of reducing the total cost of buses. The sensitivity analysis has further demonstrated the potential effectiveness of the proposed approach to be applied in a real-time bus operation control system under different levels of traffic demand, bus stop locations, and speed limits.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: The periodic stabilized regime is the condition where the temperature of each point of a certain environment varies following a periodic law. This phenomenon occurs in many practical applications, such as passive or ancient buildings not equipped with Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning HVAC systems and located in latitudes where the temperature greatly varies with Earth’s daily cycles. Despite that, the study of transient phenomena is often simplified, i.e., considering negligible the thermal response of the indoor microclimate. An exact solution to enclosures whose microclimate is free to evolve under a periodic stabilized regime does not exist nowadays, also from an analytical point of view. The aim of this study is to parametrically analyze the thermal variations inside a room when a transient periodic temperature is applied on one side. The phenomenon has been numerically studied through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and analytically validated using a function that reproduces the daily variation of the outdoor temperature. The results of this research would lay the groundwork to develop analytical correlations to solve and predict the thermal behavior of environments subject to a periodic stabilized regime.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2016-11-13
    Description: Purple soil is widely distributed in the hilly areas of the Sichuan basin, southwest China, and is highly susceptible to water erosion. The triggering of this process is related to slope, rainfall intensity and surface cover. Therefore, this study assesses the effects of different simulated rainfall intensities with different slopes on hydrological and erosional processes in un-mulched and mulched purple soils. Results show that the sediment and water losses increased with an increase of rainfall intensity and slope steepness. Generally, the slope contribution (Sc) on water and sediment losses decreased with increasing rainfall intensity and slope steepness under both un-mulched and mulched soil. In un-mulched conditions, water losses were independent of slope steepness (Sc 〈 50%) during the highest rainfall intensity. However, in mulched soil, the higher contributions of slope (Sc) and rainfall (Rc) were found for water and sediment losses, respectively, i.e., >50%, except during the increase in slope steepness from 15° to 25° under the highest rainfall intensity (120 mm·h−1). The effectiveness of mulch was more pronounced in reducing sediment losses (81%–100%) compared with water losses (14%–100%). The conservation effectiveness of mulch both decreased and increased with slope steepness for water and sediment losses, respectively, under higher rainfall intensities. Water infiltration and recharge coefficient (RC) decreased with an increase of slope steepness, while with an increase in rainfall intensity, the water infiltration and RC were increased and decreased, respectively, in both un-mulched and mulched soil. On the other hand, mulched soil maintained a significantly (α = 0.05) higher infiltration capacity and RC compared to that of the un-mulched soil.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: The quality of an interferogram, which is limited by various phase noise, will greatly affect the further processes of InSAR, such as phase unwrapping. Interferometric SAR (InSAR) geophysical measurements’, such as height or displacement, phase filtering is therefore an essential step. In this work, an improved Goldstein interferogram filter is proposed to suppress the phase noise while preserving the fringe edges. First, the proposed adaptive filter step, performed before frequency estimation, is employed to improve the estimation accuracy. Subsequently, to preserve the fringe characteristics, the estimated fringe frequency in each fixed filtering patch is removed from the original noisy phase. Then, the residual phase is smoothed based on the modified Goldstein filter with its parameter alpha dependent on both the coherence map and the residual phase frequency. Finally, the filtered residual phase and the removed fringe frequency are combined to generate the filtered interferogram, with the loss of signal minimized while reducing the noise level. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by experimental results based on both simulated and real data.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Assessment of body kinematics during performance of daily life activities at home plays a significant role in medical condition monitoring of elderly people and patients with neurological disorders. The affordable and non-wearable Microsoft Kinect (“Kinect”) system has been recently used to estimate human subject kinematic features. However, the Kinect suffers from a limited range and angular coverage, distortion in skeleton joints’ estimations, and erroneous multiplexing of different subjects’ estimations to one. This study addresses these limitations by incorporating a set of features that create a unique “Kinect Signature”. The Kinect Signature enables identification of different subjects in the scene, automatically assign the kinematics feature estimations only to the subject of interest, and provide information about the quality of the Kinect-based estimations. The methods were verified by a set of experiments, which utilize real-time scenarios commonly used to assess motor functions in elderly subjects and in subjects with neurological disorders. The experiment results indicate that the skeleton based Kinect Signature features can be used to identify different subjects in high accuracy. We demonstrate how these capabilities can be used to assign the Kinect estimations to the Subject of Interest, and exclude low quality tracking features. The results of this work can help in establishing reliable kinematic features, which can assist in future to obtain objective scores for medical analysis of patient condition at home while not restricted to perform daily life activities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Fluorescence detecting of exogenous EpCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule) or muc1 (mucin1) expression correlated to cancer metastasis using nanoparticles provides pivotal information on CTC (circulating tumor cell) occurrence in a noninvasive tool. In this study, we study a new skill to detect extracellular EpCAM/muc1 using quantum dot-based aptamer beacon (QD-EpCAM/muc1 ALB (aptamer linker beacon). The QD-EpCAM/muc1 ALB was designed using QDs (quantum dots) and probe. The EpCAM/muc1-targeting aptamer contains a Ep-CAM/muc1 binding sequence and BHQ1 (black hole quencher 1) or BHQ2 (black hole quencher2). In the absence of target EpCAM/muc1, the QD-EpCAM/muc1 ALB forms a partial duplex loop-like aptamer beacon and remained in quenched state because the BHQ1/2 quenches the fluorescence signal-on of the QD-EpCAM/muc1 ALB. The binding of EpCAM/muc1 of CTC to the EpCAM/muc1 binding aptamer sequence of the EpCAM/muc1-targeting oligonucleotide triggered the dissociation of the BHQ1/2 quencher and subsequent signal-on of a green/red fluorescence signal. Furthermore, acute inflammation was stimulated by trigger such as caerulein in vivo, which resulted in increased fluorescent signal of the cy5.5-EpCAM/muc1 ALB during cancer metastasis due to exogenous expression of EpCAM/muc1 in Panc02-implanted mouse model.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Versatile odor sensors that can discriminate among huge numbers of environmental odorants are desired in many fields, including robotics, environmental monitoring, and food production. However, odor sensors comparable to an animal’s nose have not yet been developed. An animal’s olfactory system recognizes odor clusters with specific molecular properties and uses this combinatorial information in odor discrimination. This suggests that measurement and clustering of odor molecular properties (e.g., polarity, size) using an artificial sensor is a promising approach to odor sensing. Here, adsorbents composed of composite materials with molecular recognition properties were developed for odor sensing. The selectivity of the sensor depends on the adsorbent materials, so specific polymeric materials with particular solubility parameters were chosen to adsorb odorants with various properties. The adsorption properties of the adsorbents could be modified by mixing adsorbent materials. Moreover, a novel molecularly imprinted filtering adsorbent (MIFA), composed of an adsorbent substrate covered with a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) layer, was developed to improve the odor molecular recognition ability. The combination of the adsorbent and MIP layer provided a higher specificity toward target molecules. The MIFA thus provides a useful technique for the design and control of adsorbents with adsorption properties specific to particular odor molecules.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Understanding travel behavior is critical for an effective urban planning as well as for enabling various context-aware service provisions to support mobility as a service (MaaS). Both applications rely on the sensor traces generated by travellers’ smartphones. These traces can be used to interpret travel modes, both for generating automated travel diaries as well as for real-time travel mode detection. Current approaches segment a trajectory by certain criteria, e.g., drop in speed. However, these criteria are heuristic, and, thus, existing approaches are subjective and involve significant vagueness and uncertainty in activity transitions in space and time. Also, segmentation approaches are not suited for real time interpretation of open-ended segments, and cannot cope with the frequent gaps in the location traces. In order to address all these challenges a novel, state based bottom-up approach is proposed. This approach assumes a fixed atomic segment of a homogeneous state, instead of an event-based segment, and a progressive iteration until a new state is found. The research investigates how an atomic state-based approach can be developed in such a way that can work in real time, near-real time and offline mode and in different environmental conditions with their varying quality of sensor traces. The results show the proposed bottom-up model outperforms the existing event-based segmentation models in terms of adaptivity, flexibility, accuracy and richness in information delivery pertinent to automated travel behavior interpretation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: In recent years, the evolution of urban environments, jointly with the progress of the Information and Communication sector, have enabled the rapid adoption of new solutions that contribute to the growth in popularity of Smart Cities. Currently, the majority of the world population lives in cities encouraging different stakeholders within these innovative ecosystems to seek new solutions guaranteeing the sustainability and efficiency of such complex environments. In this work, it is discussed how the experimentation with IoT technologies and other data sources form the cities can be utilized to co-create in the OrganiCity project, where key actors like citizens, researchers and other stakeholders shape smart city services and applications in a collaborative fashion. Furthermore, a novel architecture is proposed that enables this organic growth of the future cities, facilitating the experimentation that tailors the adoption of new technologies and services for a better quality of life, as well as agile and dynamic mechanisms for managing cities. In this work, the different components and enablers of the OrganiCity platform are presented and discussed in detail and include, among others, a portal to manage the experiment life cycle, an Urban Data Observatory to explore data assets, and an annotations component to indicate quality of data, with a particular focus on the city-scale opportunistic data collection service operating as an alternative to traditional communications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Daily time series of microwave radiometer data obtained in one-orbit direction are full of observation gaps due to satellite configuration and errors from spatial sampling. Such time series carry information about the surface signal including surface emittance and vegetation attenuation, and the atmospheric signal including atmosphere emittance and atmospheric attenuation. To extract the surface signal from this noisy time series, the Time Series Analysis Procedure (TSAP) was developed, based on the properties of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). TSAP includes two stages: (1) identify the spectral features of observation gaps and errors and remove them with a modified boxcar filter; and (2) identify the spectral features of the surface signal and reconstruct it with the Harmonic Analysis of Time Series (HANTS) algorithm. Polarization Difference Brightness Temperature (PDBT) at 37 GHz data were used to illustrate the problems, to explain the implementation of TSAP and to validate this method, due to the PDBT sensitivity to the water content both at the land surface and in the atmosphere. We carried out a case study on a limited heterogeneous crop land and lake area, where the power spectrum of the PDBT time series showed that the harmonic components associated with observation gaps and errors have periods ≤8 days. After applying the modified boxcar filter with a length of 10 days, the RMSD between raw and filtered time series was above 11 K, mainly related to the power reduction in the frequency range associated with observation gaps and errors. Noise reduction is beneficial when applying PDBT observations to monitor wet areas and open water, since the PDBT range between dryland and open water is about 20 K. The spectral features of the atmospheric signal can be revealed by time series analysis of rain-gauge data, since the PDBT at 37 GHz is mainly attenuated by hydrometeors that yield precipitation. Thus, the spectral features of the surface signal were identified in the PDBT time series with the help of the rain-gauge data. HANTS reconstructed the upper envelope of the signal, i.e., correcting for atmospheric influence, while retaining the spectral features of the surface signal. To evaluate the impact of TSAP on retrieval accuracy, the fraction of Water Saturated Surface (WSS) in the region of Poyang Lake was retrieved with 37 GHz observations. The retrievals were evaluated against estimations of the lake area obtained with MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) data. The Relative RMSE on WSS was 39.5% with unfiltered data and 23% after applying TSAP, i.e., using the estimated surface signal only.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2016-11-24
    Description: Land subsidence resulting from groundwater extractions is a global phenomenon adversely affecting many regions worldwide. Understanding the governing processes and mitigating associated hazards require knowing the spatial distribution of the implicated factors (piezometric levels, lithology, ground deformation), usually only known at discrete locations. Here, we propose a methodology based on the Kriging with External Drift (KED) approach to interpolate sparse point measurements of variables influencing land subsidence using high density InSAR measurements. In our study, located in the Alto Guadalentín basin, SE Spain, these variables are GPS vertical velocities and the thickness of compressible soils. First, we estimate InSAR and GPS rates of subsidence covering the periods 2003–2010 and 2004–2013, respectively. Then, we apply the KED method to the discrete variables. The resulting continuous GPS velocity map shows maximum subsidence rates of 13 cm/year in the center of the basin, in agreement with previous studies. The compressible deposits thickness map is significantly improved. We also test the coherence of Sentinel-1 data in the study region and evaluate the applicability of this methodology with the new satellite, which will improve the monitoring of aquifer-related subsidence and the mapping of variables governing this phenomenon.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Reduction of contour error is a very important issue for high precise contour tracking applications, and many control systems were proposed to deal with contour tracking problems for two/three axial translational motion systems. However, there is no research on cross-coupled contour tracking control for serial multi-DOF robot manipulators. In this paper, the contouring control of multi-DOF serial manipulators is developed for the first time and a new cross-coupled PD (CC-PD) control law is proposed, based on contour errors of the end-effector and tracking errors of the joints. It is a combination of PD control for trajectory tracking at joint level and PD control for contour tracking at the end-effector level. The contour error of the end-effector is transformed to the equivalent tracking errors of the joints using the Jacobian regulation, and the CC-PD control law is implemented in the joint level. Stability analysis of the proposed CC-PD control system is conducted using the Lyapunov method, followed by some simulation studies for linear and nonlinear contour tracking to verify the effectiveness of the proposed CC-PD control system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Background: We have previously reported that in utero and early life exposure to diesel exhaust particulates predisposes mice to adult heart failure, and that in utero exposure alone is sufficient to confer this predisposition. This follow up study addresses whether neonatal exposure alone can also confer this predisposition. Methods: Newborn male C57BL/6 mice were exposed to diesel exhaust (DE) particulates immediately after birth until weaning at 21 days of age, whereupon they were transferred to filtered air (FA) conditions. At the age of 12 weeks, transverse aortic constriction (TAC) was performed followed by weekly echocardiography for three weeks. After the last echocardiogram, mice were euthanized for organ harvest, gravimetry and histology. Results: Neonatal exposure to DE particulates did not increase susceptibility to cardiac hypertrophy or heart failure after TAC when compared to FA exposed controls (ventricular weight/body weight ratio 7.505 vs. 7.517 mg/g, p = Not Significant (NS)). The left ventricular ejection fraction after TAC was similar between groups at one week, two weeks, and three weeks after procedure. Histological analysis showed no difference in the degree of cardiac hypertrophy or fibrosis. Conclusions: Neonatal exposure to DE particulates does not predispose mice to TAC-induced cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure in adulthood, in contrast to previously published results showing susceptibility due to in utero exposure.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: The district heating (DH) demand of various systems has been simulated in several studies. Most studies focus on the temporal aspects rather than the spatial component. In this study, the DH demand for a medium-sized DH network in a city in southern Germany is simulated and analyzed in a spatially explicit approach. Initially, buildings are geo-located and attributes obtained from various sources including building type, ground area, and number of stories are merged. Thereafter, the annual primary energy demand for heating and domestic hot water is calculated for individual buildings. Subsequently, the energy demand is aggregated on the segment level of an existing DH network and the water flow is routed through the system. The simulation results show that the distribution losses are overall the highest at the end segments (given in percentage terms). However, centrally located pipes with a low throughflow are also simulated to have high losses. The spatial analyses are not only useful when addressing the current demand. Based on a scenario taking into account the refurbishment of buildings and a decentralization of energy production, the future demand was also addressed. Due to lower demand, the distribution losses given in percentage increase under such conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Background: We performed an epidemiologic study to analyze nationwide time trends in adult psychotropic drug use over a period from 2006 to 2012, and to identify those factors associated with the likelihood of consumption of these drugs during the study period; Methods: Cross-sectional study on psychotropic medication in the Spanish adult population. We used secondary individualized data drawn from the 2006 and 2012 Spanish National Health Surveys (SNHS). The dependent variable was the use of psychotropic drugs in the previous two weeks. Independent variables included socio-demographic characteristics, comorbidity, lifestyles and healthcare resource utilization. Using logistic multivariate regression models, we analyzed the temporal evolution of psychotropic medication consumption between 2006 and 2012 in both sexes; Results: The prevalence of psychotropic drug use was significantly greater in women (18.14% vs. 8.08% in 2012 (p 〈 0.05). In Spanish women, the variables associated with a greater probability of psychotropic use were, age, unemployment (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.60; 95% CI, 1.24–2.07), negative perception of health or taking non-psychotropic drugs. Among men, psychotropic use is associated with presence of chronic disease, negative perception of health (AOR, 3.27; 95% CI, 2.62–4.07 in 2012) or inactive status; Conclusions: Between 2006 and 2012, the probability of having taken psychotropic drugs increased by 16% among women. Unemployed women aged ≥45 years with a negative perception of their health constitute a clear risk profile in terms of psychotropic drug use. Inactive men who have a negative perception of their health are the group most likely to consume psychotropic drugs.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Novel bioactive glasses based on a Ca- and Mg-modified silicon oxycarbide (SiCaMgOC) were prepared from a polymeric single-source precursor, and their in vitro activity towards hydroxyapatite mineralization was investigated upon incubating the samples in simulated body fluid (SBF) at 37 °C. The as-prepared materials exhibit an outstanding resistance against devitrification processes and maintain their amorphous nature even after exposure to 1300 °C. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the SiCaMgOC samples after the SBF test showed characteristic reflections of apatite after only three days, indicating a promising bioactivity. The release kinetics of the Ca2+ and Mg2+ and the adsorption of H+ after immersion of SiCaMgOC in simulated body fluid for different soaking times were analyzed via optical emission spectroscopy. The results show that the mechanism of formation of apatite on the surface of the SiCaMgOC powders is similar to that observed for standard (silicate) bioactive glasses. A preliminary cytotoxicity investigation of the SiOC-based bioactive glasses was performed in the presence of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) as well as human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293). Due to their excellent high-temperature crystallization resistance in addition to bioactivity, the Ca- and Mg-modified SiOC glasses presented here might have high potential in applications related to bone repair and regeneration.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: China has experienced an uninterrupted growth of grain output during the past decade. However, a long-term analysis indicates fluctuations in productivity and output levels, as well as dramatic shifts in grain crop mix and regional distribution. This paper, therefore, re-examines the major factors behind the dynamics in China’s grain production over the period of 1978–2013. The Index Decomposition Analysis technique, facilitated by means of Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index, is employed to factorize the changes in China’s grain output into four effects, i.e., yield effect, area effect, crop-mix effect and spatial distribution effect. The results show that yield effect, having been the major driver behind the growth, is experiencing a declining trend over time, with crop-mix effect gaining increasing importance. The results also indicate that changes in crop-mix caused an increase in the total grain output during 2003–2013, however this was due to abandonment of soybean farming, which is not sustainable in terms of self-sufficiency. The effect of spatial distribution has been diminishing ever since 1984. Therefore, re-allocation of areas sown is not likely to damper the sustainability of grain farming.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Shading design to optimize daylighting is in many cases achieved through a designer’s sense based on prior knowledge and experience. However, computer-assisted parametric techniques can be utilized for daylighting design in an easy and much more accurate way. If such tools are utilized in the early stages of a project, this can be more effective for sustainable design. This study compares the conventional approach, which depends on a designer’s sense of judgment to create optimal indoor lighting conditions by adjusting louver shapes and window patterns, with the approach of making use of genetic algorithms. Ultimately, this study discusses the advantages and disadvantages of those two approaches. As a starting point, 30 designers were instructed to design a facade by manually adjusting several input parameters of shading. The parameters govern six kinds of louver and window types, with the ratio of analysis grid surface area achieving a daylight factor of 2%–5%. Secondly, input parameters were automatically created by using genetic algorithm optimization methods to find optimal fitness data. As a conclusion, conventional approaches result in a strong disposition toward designing certain shading types represented by linear relationships. Computer-assisted daylight simulation can help influence this, being effective when dealing with a large amount of data and non-linear relationships.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: The production of food is responsible for major environmental impacts. Bearing this in mind, it is even worse when food is lost rather than consumed. In Switzerland, 46% of all processing potatoes and 53% of all fresh potatoes are lost on their way from field to fork. Our study therefore compares the environmental impacts of losses of fresh potatoes with those of French fries. With the aid of a Life Cycle Assessment, we assessed the impact categories “demand for nonrenewable energy resources”, “global warming potential”, “human toxicity”, “terrestrial ecotoxicity” and “aquatic ecotoxicity”. Our results show that 1 kg of potatoes consumed as French fries causes 3–5 times more environmental impacts than the same quantity of fresh potatoes, but also that the proportion of impacts relating to losses is considerably lower for French fries (5%–10% vs. 23%–39%). The great majority of processing potato losses occur before the resource-intensive, emission-rich frying processes and therefore the environmental “backpack” carried by each lost potato is still relatively small. Nonetheless, appropriate loss treatment can substantially reduce the environmental impact of potato losses. In the case of French fries, the frying processes and frying oil are the main “hot spots” of environmental impacts, accounting for a considerably higher proportion of damage than potato losses; it is therefore also useful to look at these processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: During the 20th century, air pollution control technologies grew at an amazingly rapid rate. Air quality in much of the industrialized world greatly improved as the efficiencies of these technologies improved. This continued improvement in pollution control has more recently been complemented with measures to prevent the emission of air pollutants. The previous, exclusive focus on treatment requires systems thinking. This review provides a framework for this Special Issue of Sustainability by describing the new tools that are needed to support this new, broader focus, including life cycle assessments, exposure models, and sustainable design.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Product service system (PSS) design has drawn much attention in the last decade and is expected to be affected by the fast-growing application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. This study proposes a six-step design method by extending visual mapping design methods for the PSSs that plan to apply IoT technologies. A new concept of “pseudo actors” that highlights the role of the objects incorporating IoT technology is introduced in plotting actors and system maps and a useful table is recommended to help evaluate alternatives of IoT technology application. An example of a battery swapping system for electric scooters is illustrated for application potential. Actors and system maps with “pseudo actors” are presented and analyzed, while IoT technologies are applied in batteries, charging stations, cell phones, and scooters. Designers could use the proposed method to select appropriate application of IoT technologies with higher customer value in a product service system design.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: In this work, the seasonal variations and sources of trace metal elements in atmospheric fine aerosols (PM2.5) were investigated for a year-long field campaign from July 2012 to June 2013, conducted in suburban Nanjing, eastern China, at a site adjacent to an industry zone. The PM2.5 samples collected across four seasons were analyzed for 17 metal elements, namely, Sodium (Na), Magnesium (Mg), Aluminum (Al), Vanadium (V), Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Arsenic (As), Selenium (Se), Strontium (Sr), Cadmium (Cd), Barium (Ba), Lead (Pb), Molybdenum (Mo), and Antimony (Sb) using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). We found that the total concentration of all 17 metal elements was 1.23 μg/m3, on average accounting for 1.0% of the total PM2.5 mass. For our data, mass concentrations of Al, Cd, Ba were highest in summer, Mg, Cu, Zn, Se, Pb peaked in autumn, Cr, Mn, Ni, As, Sr, Sb increased significantly in winter, while the concentrations of Na, V, Mo were at their highest levels in spring. Air mass back trajectory analysis suggested that air parcels that arrived at the site originated from four dominant regions (Japan, yellow sea and bohai; Southeast of China, the Pacific Ocean; Southwest of Jiangsu and Anhui province; Northern Asia inland and Mongolia region), in particular, the one from Northern Asia inland and Mongolia contained the highest concentrations of As, Sb, Sr, and was predominant in winter. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analyses revealed that the industrial emission is the largest contributor (34%) of the observed metal elements, followed by traffic (25%), soil dust (19%), coal combustion (10%), incineration of electronic waste (9%), and a minor unknown source (3%). In addition, we have also investigated the morphology and composition of particles by using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) techniques, and identified particles from coal burning sources, etc., similar to the PMF results.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This study focused on the design optimization of permanent magnet synchronous linear motors (PMSLM) that are applied in microsecond laser cutting machines. A new design optimization method was introduced to enhance PMSLM performances in terms of motor thrust, thrust ripple, and inductive electromotive force (EMF). Based on accurate 3D finite element analysis (3D-FEA), a multiple support vector machine (multi-SVM) was proposed to build a non-parametric quick calculation model by mapping the relation between multivariate structure parameters and multivariate operation performances. The gravity center neighborhood algorithm (GCNA) was also applied to search the global optimal combination of the structure parameters by locating the gravity center of the multi-SVM model. The superiority and validity of this method are verified by experiments.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This paper proposes an advanced Pareto-front non-dominated sorting multi-objective particle swarm optimization (Advanced-PFNDMOPSO) method for optimal configuration (placement and sizing) of distributed generation (DG) in the radial distribution system. The distributed generation consists of single and multiple numbers of active power DG, reactive power DG and simultaneous placement of active-reactive power DG. The optimization problem considers two multi-objective functions, i.e., power loss reduction and voltage stability improvements with voltage profile and power balance as constraints. First, the numerical output results of objective functions are obtained in the Pareto-optimal set. Later, fuzzy decision model is engendered for final selection of the compromised solution. The proposed method is employed and tested on standard IEEE 33 bus systems. Moreover, the results of proposed method are validated with other optimization algorithms as reported by others in the literature. The overall outcome shows that the proposed method for optimal placement and sizing gives higher capability and effectiveness to the final solution. The study also reveals that simultaneous placement of active-reactive power DG reduces more power losses, increases voltage stability and voltage profile of the system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Integrated community energy systems (ICESs) are emerging as a modern development to re-organize local energy systems allowing simultaneous integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and engagement of local communities. Although local energy initiatives, such as ICESs are rapidly emerging due to community objectives, such as cost and emission reductions as well as resiliency, assessment and evaluation are still lacking on the value that these systems can provide both to the local communities as well as to the whole energy system. In this paper, we present a model-based framework to assess the value of ICESs for the local communities. The distributed energy resources-consumer adoption model (DER-CAM) based ICES model is used to assess the value of an ICES in the Netherlands. For the considered community size and local conditions, grid-connected ICESs are already beneficial to the alternative of solely being supplied from the grid both in terms of total energy costs and CO2 emissions, whereas grid-defected systems, although performing very well in terms of CO2 emission reduction, are still rather expensive.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The purpose of the paper is to present the potentialities in terms of the control of a new kind of PM synchronous machine. With five phases and electromotive forces whose first ( E 1 ) and third ( E 3 ) harmonics are of similar amplitude, the studied machine, so-called bi-harmonic, has properties that are interesting for traction machine payload. With three-phase machines, supplied by a mono-harmonic sinusoidal current, the weak number of freedom degrees limits the strategy of control for traction machines especially when voltage saturation occurs at high speeds. As the torque is managed for three-phase machines by a current with only one harmonic, flux weakening is necessary to increase speed when the voltage limitation is reached. The studied five-phase machine, thanks to the increase in the number of freedom degrees for control, aims to alleviate this fact. In this paper, three optimized control strategies are compared in terms of efficiency and associated torque/speed characteristics. These strategies take into account numerous constraints either from the supply (with limited voltage) or from the machine (with limited current densities and maximum acceptable copper, iron and permanent magnet losses). The obtained results prove the wide potentialities of such a kind of five-phase bi-harmonic machine in terms of control under constraints. It is thus shown that the classical Maximum Torque Per Ampere (MTPA) strategy developed for the three-phase machine is clearly not satisfying on the whole range of speed because of the presence of iron losses whose values can no more be neglected at high speeds. Two other strategies have been then proposed to be able to manage the compromises, at high speeds, between the high values of torque and efficiency under the constraints of admissible total losses either in the rotor or in the stator.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This paper reviews the serviceability of hydrous ethanol as a clean, cheap and green renewable substitute fuel for spark ignition engines and discusses the comparative chemical and physical properties of hydrous ethanol and gasoline fuels. The significant differences in the properties of hydrous ethanol and gasoline fuels are sufficient to create a significant change during the combustion phase of engine operation and consequently affect the performance of spark-ignition (SI) engines. The stability of ethanol-gasoline-water blends is also discussed. Furthermore, the effects of hydrous ethanol, and its blends with gasoline fuel on SI engine combustion characteristics, cycle-to-cycle variations, engine performance parameters, and emission characteristics have been highlighted. Higher water solubility in ethanol‑gasoline blends may be obviously useful and suitable; nevertheless, the continuous ability of water to remain soluble in the blend is significantly affected by temperature. Nearly all published engine experimental results showed a significant improvement in combustion characteristics and enhanced engine performance for the use of hydrous ethanol as fuel. Moreover, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen emissions were also significantly decreased. It is also worth pointing out that unburned hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide emissions were also reduced for the use of hydrous ethanol. However, unregulated emissions such as acetaldehyde and formaldehyde were significantly increased.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The present study proposes a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) method in which improved teaching-learning-based optimization (I-TLBO) is applied to perform global MPPT of photovoltaic (PV) module arrays under dissimilar shading situations to ensure the maximum power output of the module arrays. The proposed I-TLBO enables the automatic adjustment of teaching factors according to the self-learning ability of students. Incorporating smart-tracking and self-study strategies can effectively improve the tracking response speed and steady-state tracking performance. To evaluate the feasibility of the proposed I-TLBO, a HIP-2717 PV module array from Sanyo Electric was employed to compose various arrays with different serial and parallel configurations. The arrays were operated under different shading conditions to test the MPPT with double, triple, or quadruple peaks of power-voltage characteristic curves. Boost converters were employed with TMS320F2808 digital signal processors to test the proposed MPPT method. Empirical results confirm that the proposed method exhibits more favorable dynamic and static-state response tracking performance compared with that of conventional TLBO.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Renewable energy sources are vital to achieving Europe’s 2030 energy transition goals. Technological innovation, driven by public expenditures on research and development, is a major driver for this change. Thus, an extensive dataset on these expenditures of the European Member States and the European Commission, dating back to the early 1970s, was created. This paper creates predictive scenarios of public investment in renewable energy research and development in Europe based on this historical dataset and current trends. Funding from both, European Member States and the European Commission, between today and 2030 are used in the analysis. The impact on the cumulative knowledge stock is also estimated. Two projection scenarios are presented: (1) business as usual; and (2) an advanced scenario, based on the assumption that the Mission Innovation initiative causes public expenditures to increase in the coming years. Both scenarios are compared to the European 2030 climate and energy framework target sets. Results indicate that Member States in Europe currently tend to fund renewables more than the European Commission, but funding from both sources is expected to increase in the future. Furthermore, the European Commission distributes its funding more equally across the various renewable energy sources than Member States.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Public demand for harvesting wild edible mushrooms has risen in recent decades and currently affects many forested areas around the world. The idea of introducing permits for users has been conceived as a tool for ecosystem management. The problem is that policy-makers lack the necessary means to help guide them when establishing prices for such harvesting permits. Valuing the recreational benefits which mushroom harvesters derive from harvesting wild edible mushrooms may provide certain guidelines as to how much people would be willing to pay and may also justify future payments levied on harvesters. The aim of the present article is to estimate a model for determining citizens’ willingness to pay for a harvesting permit in a forest in Andalusia (Spain) using contingent valuation methods. Results show that mean willingness to pay is 22.61 Euros (USD28.18) per harvester and season. This amount depends on several socioeconomic factors and preferences related to harvesters’ experiences.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: A reinforcement learning algorithm is proposed to improve the accuracy of short-term load forecasting (STLF) in this article. The proposed model integrates radial basis function neural network (RBFNN), support vector regression (SVR), and adaptive annealing learning algorithm (AALA). In the proposed methodology, firstly, the initial structure of RBFNN is determined by using an SVR. Then, an AALA with time-varying learning rates is used to optimize the initial parameters of SVR-RBFNN (AALA-SVR-RBFNN). In order to overcome the stagnation for searching optimal RBFNN, a particle swarm optimization (PSO) is applied to simultaneously find promising learning rates in AALA. Finally, the short-term load demands are predicted by using the optimal RBFNN. The performance of the proposed methodology is verified on the actual load dataset from the Taiwan Power Company (TPC). Simulation results reveal that the proposed AALA-SVR-RBFNN can achieve a better load forecasting precision compared to various RBFNNs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Accurate wind speed forecasting is a fundamental element of wind power prediction. Thus, a new hybrid wind speed forecasting model, using variational mode decomposition (VMD), the partial autocorrelation function (PACF), and weighted regularized extreme learning machine (WRELM), is proposed to improve the accuracy of wind speed forecasting. First, the historic wind speed time series is decomposed into several intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). Second, the partial correlation of each IMF sequence is analyzed using PACF to select the optimal subfeature set for particular predictors of each IMF. Then, the predictors of each IMF are constructed in order to enhance its strength using WRELM. Finally, wind speed is obtained by adding up all the predictors. The experiment, using real wind speed data, verified the effectiveness and advancement of the new approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The use of optical remote sensing data for savanna vegetation structure mapping is hindered by sparse and heterogeneous distribution of vegetation canopy, leading to near-similar spectral signatures among lifeforms. An additional challenge to optical sensors is the high cloud cover and unpredictable weather conditions. Longwave microwave data, with its low sensitivity to clouds addresses some of these problems, but many space borne studies are still limited by low quality structural reference data. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) derived canopy cover and height metrics can improve aboveground biomass (AGB) prediction at both plot and landscape level. To date, few studies have explored the strength of TLS for vegetation structural mapping, and particularly few focusing on savannas. In this study, we evaluate the potential of high resolution TLS-derived canopy cover and height metrics to estimate plot-level aboveground biomass, and to extrapolate to a landscape-wide biomass estimation using multi-temporal L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) within a 9 km2 area savanna in Kruger National Park (KNP). We inventoried 42 field plots in the wet season and computed AGB for each plot using site-specific allometry. Canopy cover, canopy height, and their product were regressed with plot-level AGB over the TLS-footprint, while SAR backscatter was used to model dry season biomass for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 for the study area. The results from model validation showed a significant linear relationship between TLS-derived predictors with field biomass, p 〈 0.05 and adjusted R2 ranging between 0.56 for SAR to 0.93 for the TLS-derived canopy cover and height. Log-transformed AGB yielded lower errors with TLS metrics compared with non-transformed AGB. An assessment of the backscatter based on root mean square error (RMSE) showed better AGB prediction with cross-polarized (RMSE = 6.6 t/ha) as opposed to co-polarized data (RMSE = 6.7 t/ha), attributed to volume scattering of woody vegetation along river valleys and streams. The AGB change analysis showed 32 ha (3.5%) of the 900 ha experienced AGB loses above an average of 5 t/ha per annum, which can mainly be attributed to the falling of trees by mega herbivores such as elephants. The study concludes that SAR data, especially L-band SAR, can be used in the detection of small changes in savanna vegetation over time.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The second law of thermodynamics states that processes yielding work or at least capable of yielding work are thermodynamically spontaneous, and that those costing work are thermodynamically nonspontaneous. Whether a process yields or costs heat is irrelevant. Condensation of water vapor yields work and hence is thermodynamically spontaneous only in a supersaturated atmosphere; in an unsaturated atmosphere it costs work and hence is thermodynamically nonspontaneous. Far more of Earth’s atmosphere is unsaturated than supersaturated; based on this alone evaporation is far more often work-yielding and hence thermodynamically spontaneous than condensation in Earth’s atmosphere—despite condensation always yielding heat and evaporation always costing heat. Furthermore, establishment of the unstable or at best metastable condition of supersaturation, and its maintenance in the face of condensation that would wipe it out, is always work-costing and hence thermodynamically nonspontaneous in Earth’s atmosphere or anywhere else. The work required to enable supersaturation is most usually provided at the expense of temperature differences that enable cooling to below the dew point. In the case of most interest to us, convective weather systems and storms, it is provided at the expense of vertical temperature gradients exceeding the moist adiabatic. Thus, ultimately, condensation is a work-costing and hence thermodynamically nonspontaneous process even in supersaturated regions of Earth’s or any other atmosphere. While heat engines in general can in principle extract all of the work represented by any temperature difference until it is totally neutralized to isothermality, convective weather systems and storms in particular cannot. They can extract only the work represented by partial neutralization of super-moist-adiabatic lapse rates to moist-adiabaticity. Super-moist-adiabatic lapse rates are required to enable convection of saturated air. Condensation cannot occur fast enough to maintain relative humidity in a cloud exactly at saturation, thereby trapping some water vapor in metastable supersaturation. Only then can the water vapor condense. Thus ultimately condensation is a thermodynamically nonspontaneous process forced by super-moist-adiabatic lapse rates. Yet water vapor plays vital roles in atmospheric thermodynamics and kinetics. Convective weather systems and storms in a dry atmosphere (e.g., dust devils) can extract only the work represented by partial neutralization of super-dry-adiabatic lapse rates to dry-adiabaticity. At typical atmospheric temperatures in the tropics, where convective weather systems and storms are most frequent and active, the moist-adiabatic lapse rate is much smaller (thus much closer to isothermality), and hence represents much more extractable work, than the dry—the thermodynamic advantage of water vapor. Moreover, the large heat of condensation (and to a lesser extent fusion) of water facilitates much faster heat transfer from Earth’s surface to the tropopause than is possible in a dry atmosphere, thereby facilitating much faster extraction of work, i.e., much greater power, than is possible in a dry atmosphere—the kinetic advantage of water vapor.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Several demand response (DR) strategies rely on real-time pricing and selfish local optimization, which may not result in optimal electricity consumption patterns from the viewpoint of an energy supplier or a power system. Thus, this paper proposes a strategy enabling centralized adjustments to cost-minimize consumers’ load. By employing the strategy, an aggregator is able to alter electricity consumption in order to remove power imbalances and to participate in the balancing power market (BPM). In this paper, we focus on direct electric space heating (DESH) loads that aim to minimize their heating cost locally. The consumers and an aggregator agree about an indoor temperature band, within which the aggregator is allowed to alter the temperature, and thus the electricity consumption. Centrally, the aggregator procures its electricity demand from a day-ahead (DA) market by utilizing the allowed temperature band and employs the band later in real-time (RT) operation for the balancing of its own imbalances or regulating power in the BPM.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: In order to reduce the effect of numerical weather prediction (NWP) error on short term load forecasting (STLF) and improve the forecasting accuracy, a new hybrid model based on support vector regression (SVR) optimized by an artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm (ABC-SVR) and seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model is proposed. According to the different day types and effect of the NWP error on forecasting prediction, working days and weekends load forecasting models are selected and constructed, respectively. The ABC-SVR method is used to forecast weekends load with large fluctuation, in which the best parameters of SVR are determined by the ABC algorithm. The working days load forecasting model is constructed based on SARIMA modified by ABC-SVR (AS-SARIMA). In the AS-SARIMA model, the ability of SARIMA to respond to exogenous variables is improved and the effect of NWP error on prediction accuracy is reduced more than with ABC-SVR. Contrast experiments are constructed based on International Organization for Standardization (ISO) New England load data. The experimental results show that prediction accuracy of the proposed method is less affected by NWP error and has higher forecasting accuracy than contrasting approaches.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: In this paper, the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) model is constructed to simulate six scenarios for forecasting national electricity demand in China. The results show that in 2020 the total electricity demand will reach 6407.9~7491.0 billion KWh, and will be 6779.9~10,313.5 billion KWh in 2030. Moreover, under the assumption of power production just meeting the social demand and considering the changes in the scale and technical structure of power industry, this paper simulates two scenarios to estimate carbon emissions and carbon intensity till 2030, with 2012 as the baseline year. The results indicate that the emissions intervals are 4074.16~4692.52 million tCO2 in 2020 and 3948.43~5812.28 million tCO2 in 2030, respectively. Carbon intensity is 0.63~0.64 kg CO2/KWh in 2020 and 0.56~0.58 kg CO2/KWh in 2030. In order to accelerate carbon reduction, the future work should focus on making a more stringent criterion on the intensity of industrial power consumption and expanding the proportion of power generation using clean energy, large capacity, and high efficiency units.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This paper is concerned with consensus problem of a class of second-order multi-agent systems subjecting to external disturbance generated from some unknown exosystems. In comparison with the case where the disturbance is generated from some known exosystems, we need to combine adaptive control and internal model design to deal with the external disturbance generated from the unknown exosystems. With the help of the internal model, an adaptive protocol is proposed for the consensus problem of the multi-agent systems. Finally, one numerical example is provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the control design.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Smart charging of electrical vehicles (EVs) is critical to provide the secure and cost-effective operation for distribution systems. Three model objective functions which are minimization of total supplied power, energy costs and maximization of profits are formulated. The conventional household load is modeled as a ZIP load that consists of constant power, constant current and constant impedance components. The imbalance of distribution system, constraints on nodal voltages and thermal loadings of lines and transformers are all taken into account. Utilizing the radial operation structure of distribution system, an extended iterative method is proposed to greatly reduce the dimensions of optimization variables and thus improve calculation speed. Impacts of the conventional household load model on the simulation results are also investigated. Case studies on three distribution systems with 2, 14, and 141 buses are performed and analyzed. It is found that the linear constrained convex quadratic programming model is applicable at each iteration, when the conventional household load is composed of constant power and constant impedance load. However, it is not applicable when the conventional household load consists of constant current load. The accuracy and computational efficiency of the proposed method are also validated.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Smoking is harmful to the health of adolescents because their bodies are still growing. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between the smoking status of Korean adolescents’ parents and friends and their own smoking behavior. The study assessed a nationwide sample of 72,060 middle and high students from the 10th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (2014). Descriptive analysis, chi-square tests, and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to probe the association between family and friend smoking status and adolescent smoking behavior. The current cigarette smoking rates were 13.3% of boys and 4.1% of girls. The corresponding rates for electronic cigarette smoking were 4.1% and 1.5%, respectively. Higher exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking by any family member, more friends smoking, and witnessed smoking at school were associated with current smoking and electronic smoking. The smoking status of family and friends was significantly related to adolescent smoking behavior. These results should be considered in designing programs to control adolescent smoking.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Inorganic nanoparticles have been widely investigated as therapeutic agents for cancer treatments in biomedical fields due to their unique physical/chemical properties, versatile synthetic strategies, easy surface functionalization and excellent biocompatibility. This review focuses on the discussion of several types of inorganic nanoparticle-based cancer therapeutic agents, including gold nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, upconversion nanoparticles and mesoporous silica nanoparticles. Several cancer therapy techniques are briefly introduced at the beginning. Emphasis is placed on how these inorganic nanoparticles can provide enhanced therapeutic efficacy in cancer treatment through site-specific accumulation, targeted drug delivery and stimulated drug release, with elaborations on several examples to highlight the respective strategies adopted. Finally, a brief summary and future challenges are included.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: We propose the visualization of venous compliance (VC) using a digital red-green-blue (RGB) camera. The new imaging method, which transforms RGB values into VC, combines VC evaluation with blood concentration estimation from the RGB values of each pixel. We evaluate a non-contact plethysmography (NCPG) system for VC based on comparisons with conventional strain gauge plethysmography (SPG). We conduct in vivo measurements using both systems and investigate their differences by evaluating the VC. The results show that the two methods measure different blood vessels and that errors caused by interstitial fluid accumulation are negligible for the NCPG system, whereas SPG is influenced by such errors. Additionally, we investigate the relationship between VC and physical activity using NCPG.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: With the wide use of mobile sensing application, more and more location-embedded data are collected and stored in mobile clouds, such as iCloud, Samsung cloud, etc. Using these data, the cloud service provider (CSP) can provide location-based service (LBS) for users. However, the mobile cloud is untrustworthy. The privacy concerns force the sensitive locations to be stored on the mobile cloud in an encrypted form. However, this brings a great challenge to utilize these data to provide efficient LBS. To solve this problem, we propose a privacy-preserving LBS scheme for mobile sensing data, based on the RSA (for Rivest, Shamir and Adleman) algorithm and ciphertext policy attribute-based encryption (CP-ABE) scheme. The mobile cloud can perform location distance computing and comparison efficiently for authorized users, without location privacy leakage. In the end, theoretical security analysis and experimental evaluation demonstrate that our scheme is secure against the chosen plaintext attack (CPA) and efficient enough for practical applications in terms of user side computation overhead.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: For many practical applications of image sensors, how to extend the depth-of-field (DoF) is an important research topic; if successfully implemented, it could be beneficial in various applications, from photography to biometrics. In this work, we want to examine the feasibility and practicability of a well-known “extended DoF” (EDoF) technique, or “wavefront coding,” by building real-time long-range iris recognition and performing large-scale iris recognition. The key to the success of long-range iris recognition includes long DoF and image quality invariance toward various object distance, which is strict and harsh enough to test the practicality and feasibility of EDoF-empowered image sensors. Besides image sensor modification, we also explored the possibility of varying enrollment/testing pairs. With 512 iris images from 32 Asian people as the database, 400-mm focal length and F/6.3 optics over 3 m working distance, our results prove that a sophisticated coding design scheme plus homogeneous enrollment/testing setups can effectively overcome the blurring caused by phase modulation and omit Wiener-based restoration. In our experiments, which are based on 3328 iris images in total, the EDoF factor can achieve a result 3.71 times better than the original system without a loss of recognition accuracy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The Saudi Arabian government has recognised the need for an alternative path to national development in the form of a knowledge-based economy (KBE). One of the key drivers of a knowledge-based economy KBE is innovation. Therefore, to achieve this aim, it is important to understand the various factors affecting organisational innovation capability and sustainability. This empirical research study was conducted to provide a better understanding of the interrelationships among the key constructs, socio-technical factors, diffusion of innovation, and knowledge-sharing process towards Saudi organisational innovation capability. The results offer a number of implications, which are beneficial towards the adoption of the knowledge-based economy seeking to enhance the Saudi organisations towards enriching the organisational innovation capability and sustainability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Urbanization and urban areas are profoundly altering the relationship between society and the environment, and affecting cities’ sustainability and resilience in complex ways at alarming rates. Over the last decades, sustainability and resilience have become key concepts aimed at understanding existing urban dynamics and responding to the challenges of creating livable urban futures. Sustainability and resilience have also moved and are now core analytic and normative concepts for many scholars, transnational networks and urban communities of practice. Yet, even with this elevated scholarly attention, strategies for bridging between research and practice remain elusive, and efforts to understand and affect change towards more sustainable and resilient urban centers have often fallen short. This paper seeks to synthesize, from this issue’s papers and other strands of literature, the knowledge, theory and practice of urban sustainability and resilience. Specifically, we focus on what capacities urban actors draw on to create sustainability and resilience and how different definitions of these concepts intersect, complement, or contradict each other. We then examine the implications of those intersections and differences in the efforts by urban actors to enhance the capacity to change unsustainable trajectories and transform themselves, their communities, and their cities toward sustainable and resilient relationships with the environment.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: In recent years, emissions from the road transportation industry in China have been increasing rapidly. To evaluate the reduction potential of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions of the industry in China, its emission inventory was calculated and scenario analysis was created for the period between 2012 and 2030 in this paper. Based on the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) model, the development of China’s road transportation industry in two scenarios (the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario and the comprehensive-mitigation (CM) scenario) was simulated. In the Comprehensive Mitigation scenario, there are nine various measures which include Fuel Economy Standards, Auto Emission Standards, Energy-saving Technology, Tax Policy, Eco-driving, Logistics Informatization, Vehicle Liquidation, Electric Vehicles, and Alternative Fuels. The cumulative energy and emission reductions of these specific measures were evaluated. Our results demonstrate that China’s road transportation produced 881 million metric tons of CO2 and emitted 1420 thousand tons of CO, 2150 thousand tons of NOx, 148 thousand tons of PM10, and 745 thousand tons of HC in 2012. The reduction potential is quite large, and road freight transportation is the key mitigation subsector, accounting for 85%–92% of the total emission. For energy conservation and carbon emission mitigation, logistics informatization is the most effective method, potentially reducing 1.80 billion tons of coal equivalent and 3.83 billion tons of CO2 from 2012 to 2030. In terms of air pollutant emission mitigation, the auto emission standards measure performs best with respect to NOx, PM10, and HC emission mitigation, and logistic informatization measure is the best in CO emission reduction. In order to maximize the mitigation potential of China’s road transportation industry, the government needs to implement various measures in a timely and strict fashion.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: For more than 40 years, a tremendous number of studies have empirically explored the relationship between Corporate Environmental Performance (CEP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). This study considers the relationship from a new perspective—via a qualitative research approach based on expert interviews. First, practitioners are queried for their view on the link between CEP and CFP and how to measure it. Since the vast majority see a positive relationship, this study contributes with a new form of evidence that it pays to be green. The chosen qualitative approach also allows a more detailed analysis of underlying cause-and-effect mechanisms. For instance, interviewed practitioners emphasize a direct and indirect impact from CEP on CFP. Second, the study conducts interviews with experts from research and associations (non-practitioners) and compares the viewpoints of the two interview groups. One prevalent difference refers to the fact that non-practitioners do not focus on the two impact levels. Moreover, business experts perceive the link between CEP and CFP as much less complex and reveal more pragmatically oriented considerations. The study then discusses how the interview results and identified differences can be used to direct future research and to support corporations in their move towards sustainability.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Increasing pressures on freshwater supplies, continuity of supply uncertainties, and costs linked to legislative compliance, such as for wastewater treatment, are driving water use reduction up the agenda of manufacturing businesses. A survey is presented of current analysis methods and tools generally available to industry to analyze environmental impact of, and to manage, water use. These include life cycle analysis, water footprinting, strategic planning, water auditing, and process integration. It is identified that the methods surveyed do not provide insight into the operational requirements from individual process steps for water, instead taking such requirements as a given. We argue that such understanding is required for a proactive approach to long-term water usage reduction, in which sustainability is taken into account at the design stage for both process and product. As a first step to achieving this, we propose a concept of water usage efficiency which can be used to evaluate current and proposed processes and products. Three measures of efficiency are defined, supported by a framework of a detailed categorization and representation of water flows within a production system. The calculation of the efficiency measures is illustrated using the example of a tomato sauce production line. Finally, the elements required to create a useable tool based on the efficiency measures are discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This paper focuses on how human needs are reflected in the market and how several technological and political policies affect the market share of government-supported industries, as well as the satisfaction of human desires and consequent happiness. In this paper, we seek to understand the dynamics of consumer decision-making processes in relation to technology products in the market. In this study, we present a new marketing model based on human needs, wants, and demands, and focus on both holistic and social perspectives. We have shown that human-based policy dynamics and sustainable human happiness can be realized by stimulating national policies for consumer happiness in the human-needs-based sector, e.g., the healthcare industry.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there is a lack of empirical studies and methodologies which systematically analyse the actual proportion and nutritional significance of local and regional food supplied to urban markets. The aim of this empirical study therefore was to compare the geographical sources supplying food to the urban population (“foodsheds”) in Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to record the supplied quantities and to assess the level of interaction between the sources and the respective city. The study was conducted over two years, covering the seasons of abundant and short supply, via traffic surveys on the access roads to the two cities, and in the Tamale markets, resulting altogether in more than 40,000 records of food flow. Results indicated that food sources were highly crop- and season-specific, ranging from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional foodsheds with diverse sources across seasons. Across the commodity-specific foodsheds, city region boundaries were established. Within the proposed city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban food supply, taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. While food provided from within the city region offers certain place-based benefits, like the provision of fresh perishable crops, a larger geographical diversity of foodsheds appeared to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, such as against climate related production failures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Life cycle assessment is used in this study to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing gilthead seabream in an offshore sea farm exposed to storms in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. The farming methods used can be considered as “basic” since no centralized or automatic food distribution system exists and there is no control system. This study aims to identify the main hotspots under these conditions and to propose and compare viable alternatives to them. Contribution analysis found that the component of the system with the greatest potential environmental impact (48% of the overall impact) was fish feed, especially the raw material used. Other contributory factors were the fuel consumed by the vessels operating in the farm (35%), the dumping of N and P in the environment due to the metabolism of the fish (12%), the cages and their anchorage system (5%). A sensitivity analysis showed that a significant reduction in potential environmental impact can be achieved by increasing feeding efficiency. Feed formulation in raw materials is also an important factor and could serve to diminish overall adverse effects. A balance needs to be found between productive performance (growth, survival and feed conversion rate), feed price and its influence on production costs and the overall environmental consequences.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: The Overtopping BReakwaterfor Energy Conversion (OBREC) is an overtopping wave energy converter, totally embedded in traditional rubble mound breakwaters. The device consists of a reinforced concrete front reservoir designed with the aim of capturing the wave overtopping in order to produce electricity. The energy is extracted through low head turbines, using the difference between the water levels in the reservoir and the sea water level. This paper analyzes the OBREC hydraulic performances based on physical 2D model tests carried out at Aalborg University (DK). The analysis of the results has led to an improvement in the overall knowledge of the device behavior, completing the main observations from the complementary tests campaign carried out in 2012 in the same wave flume. New prediction formula are presented for wave reflection, the overtopping rate inside the front reservoir and at the rear side of the structure. Such methods have been used to design the first OBREC prototype breakwater in operation since January 2016 at Naples Harbor (Italy).
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: This work investigates the routing effect provided by an artificial reservoir to a double-peak flood of a given return period. The present paper introduces a dimensionless form of the reservoir balance equation that describes the hydrologic-hydraulic processes that may occur and allows for the evaluation of the reservoir routing coefficient (RC). Exploiting this equation, an extensive sensitivity analysis based on the use of two simple parametric indices that depend on the storage capacity (SC) of the reservoir, the discharge capacity (DC) of the spillway (with fixed-crest) and the hydrologic behavior of the basin was performed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Substantial progress has been made in algal technologies in past few decades. Initially, microalgae drew the attention of the scientific community as a renewable source of biofuels due to its high productivity over a short period of time and potential of significant lipid accumulation. As of now, a technological upsurge has elaborated its scope in phycoremediation of both organic and inorganic pollutants. The dual role of microalgae—i.e., phycoremediation coupled with energy production—is well established, however, commercially, algal biofuel production is not yet sustainable due to high energy inputs. Efforts are being made to make the algal biofuel economy through modification in the cultivation conditions, harvesting, and extraction of value added products. Recent studies have demonstrated algal biomass production with various types of wastewater and industrial effluents. Similarly, the recent advent of eco-friendly harvesting technologies—such as low-cost green coagulants, electrochemical harvesting, etc.—are energy efficient and economical. Contemporary improvement in efficient lipid extraction from biomass will make algal biodiesel economical. The absolute extraction of all the value added products from algal biomass, either whole cell or lipid extracted biomass, in a complete biorefinery approach will be more economical and eco-friendly.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2016-11-26
    Description: Treatment wetlands are increasingly needed to remove nitrate from agricultural drainage water to protect downstream waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico. This project sought to develop a new edge-of-field treatment wetland, designed to remove nitrate-nitrogen and enhance phosphorus removal by plant harvest and to monitor its effectiveness. A 0.10 ha wetland was designed and installed to treat subsurface drainage flow from farmland in southwestern Minnesota, USA, in 2013, and monitored for three years by recording flow, nitrate-nitrogen, total phosphorus (TP) and soluble orthophosphorus (OP) input to and output from the wetland. Prior to construction, a level-pool routing, mass balance approach with DRAINMOD flow inputs was used to predict nitrate removal efficiency. Nitrate load removal averaged 68% over three years, nearly matching model predictions. However, most denitrification occurred in the sub-soil of the wetland rather than in surface flow as predicted. Phosphorus removal was approximately 76% over three years, and phosphorus removed by plant uptake exceeded inflow mass in the third year. The edge-of-field design has potential as a cost-effective method to treat field outflows because agricultural landowners can adopt this treatment system with minimal loss of productive farmland. The wet-prairie vegetation and shallow depth also provide the opportunity to remove additional phosphorus via vegetative harvest.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: Globally, wind power is growing fast and in Sweden alone more than 3000 turbines have been installed since the mid-1990s. Although the number of decommissioned turbines so far is few, the high installation rate suggests that a similarly high decommissioning rate can be expected at some point in the future. If the waste material from these turbines is not handled sustainably the whole concept of wind power as a clean energy alternative is challenged. This study presents a generally applicable method and quantification based on statistics of the waste amounts from wind turbines in Sweden. The expected annual mean growth is 12% until 2026, followed by a mean increase of 41% until 2034. By then, annual waste amounts are estimated to 240,000 tonnes steel and iron (16% of currently recycled materials), 2300 tonnes aluminium (4%), 3300 tonnes copper (5%), 340 tonnes electronics (〈1%) and 28,000 tonnes blade materials (barely recycled today). Three studied scenarios suggest that a well-functioning market for re-use may postpone the effects of these waste amounts until improved recycling systems are in place.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: Most applications of land cover maps that have been derived from satellite data over the Arctic require higher thematic detail than available in current global maps. A range of application studies has been reviewed, including up-scaling of carbon fluxes and pools, permafrost feature mapping and transition monitoring. Early land cover mapping studies were driven by the demand to characterize wildlife habitats. Later, in the 1990s, up-scaling of in situ measurements became central to the discipline of land cover mapping on local to regional scales at several sites across the Arctic. This includes the Kuparuk basin in Alaska, the Usa basin and the Lena Delta in Russia. All of these multi-purpose land cover maps have been derived from Landsat data. High resolution maps (from optical satellite data) serve frequently as input for the characterization of periglacial features and also flux tower footprints in recent studies. The most used map to address circumpolar issues is the CAVM (Circum Arctic Vegetation Map) based on AVHRR (1 km) and has been manually derived. It provides the required thematic detail for many applications, but is confined to areas north of the treeline, and it is limited in spatial detail. A higher spatial resolution circumpolar land cover map with sufficient thematic content would be beneficial for a range of applications. Such a land cover classification should be compatible with existing global maps and applicable for multiple purposes. The thematic content of existing global maps has been assessed by comparison to the CAVM and regional maps. None of the maps provides the required thematic detail. Spatial resolution has been compared to used classes for local to regional applications. The required thematic detail increases with spatial resolution since coarser datasets are usually applied over larger areas covering more relevant landscape units. This is especially of concern when the entire Arctic is addressed. A spatial resolution around 30 m has been shown to be suitable for a range of applications. This implies that the current Landsat-8, as well as Sentinel-2 missions would be adequate as input data. Recent studies have exemplified the value of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in tundra regions. SAR missions may be therefore of added value for large-scale high latitude land cover mapping.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: Optical frequency combs (OFC) generated by electro-optic modulation of continuous-wave lasers provide broadband coherent sources with high power per line and independent control of line spacing and the number of lines. In addition to their application in spectroscopy, they offer flexible and optimized sources for the interrogation of other sensors based on wavelength change or wavelength filtering, such as fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. In this paper, a dual-OFC FBG interrogation system based on a single laser and two optical-phase modulators is presented. This architecture allows for the configuration of multimode optical source parameters such as the number of modes and their position within the reflected spectrum of the FBG. A direct read-out is obtained by mapping the optical spectrum onto the radio-frequency spectrum output of the dual-comb. This interrogation scheme is proposed for measuring fast phenomena such as vibrations and ultrasounds. Results are presented for dual-comb operation under optimized control. The optical modes are mapped onto detectable tones that are multiples of 0.5 MHz around a center radiofrequency tone (40 MHz). Measurements of ultrasounds (40 kHz and 120 kHz) are demonstrated with this sensing system. Ultrasounds induce dynamic strain onto the fiber, which generates changes in the reflected Bragg wavelength and, hence, modulates the amplitude of the OFC modes within the reflected spectrum. The amplitude modulation of two counterphase tones is detected to obtain a differential measurement proportional to the ultrasound signal.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 78
    Publication Date: 2016-11-28
    Description: The energy audit for a building is a procedure designed mainly to obtain adequate knowledge of the energy consumption profile, identify, and quantify opportunities for energy savings by a cost-benefit analysis and report, clearly and comprehensively, about the obtained results. If the audit is referred to a building with a significant historical and artistic value, a compatibility evaluation of the energy saving interventions with the architectural features should also be developed. In this paper, analysing the case study of a historical building used as public offices in Pisa (Italy), the authors describe how it is possible to conduct an energy audit activity (especially dedicated to the lighting system) and they show how, for this type of buildings, it is possible to obtain significant energy savings with a refurbishment of the lighting system. A total number of seven interventions on indoor and outdoor lighting sub-systems were analysed in the paper. They are characterised by absolute compatibility with the historical and artistic value of the building and they show short payback times, variable between 4 and 34 months, allowing a reduction of the electrical energy consumption for the artificial indoor and outdoor lighting variable from 1.1 MWh/year to 39.0 MWh/year. The followed methodology and the evaluation results described in the paper, although based on a case study, can be extended to numerous historical buildings used as public offices, a recurring situation in the centres of Italian historical cities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: China is entering a period of rapid urban development. With the rapid expansion of cities, a large number of peasants have lost their land as a result. Given the development of urbanization, safeguarding the rights and interests of land-lost peasants in the process of urbanization has become a new topic of interest in China. In this study, based on game theory, we analyze the interests of the local government and land-lost peasants in several rounds of the citizenization process. The result demonstrated the following: (1) this paper proposed that overall interest declines in the entire game, in which the peasant can obtain a greater share of benefits from bargaining with the local government; (2) However, a long bargaining process would lead to the diminishment of peasants’ rights and benefits. In contrast, the local government would obtain greater share of benefits than the peasant and would obtain fewer benefits than at the beginning of the process. Therefore, both sides expect to end the game process early; (3) Under the “rational economic man” process, this process will always tend to be one in which one party struggles while the other compromises. Therefore, in the game, the game process will not reach a game equilibrium state and both sides will be at a stalemate; (4) The local government, as the power owner, is expected to surrender its interests as the “rational economic man” for the Pareto optimality; (5) Finally, we proposed policy recommendations for the sustainability of citizenization. Increasing the public service benefits, establishing the system of subsistence allowances and raising the minimum living allowance of citizenization, improving the training and employment service system for the peasant can improve land-lost peasants’ acceptance in the game.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 80
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: It is generally known that classical point and potential Lie symmetries of differential equations (the latter calculated as point symmetries of an equivalent system) can be different. We question whether this is true when the symmetries are extended to nonclassical symmetries. In this paper, we consider two classes of nonlinear partial differential equations; the first one is a diffusion–convection equation, the second one a wave, where we will show that the majority of the nonclassical point symmetries are included in the nonclassical potential symmetries. We highlight a special case were the opposite is true.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 81
    Publication Date: 2016-11-27
    Description: There is much uncertainty and fuzziness in product quality attributes or quality parameters of a manufacturing process, so the traditional quality control chart can be difficult to apply. This paper proposes a fuzzy control chart. The plotted data was obtained by transforming expert scores into fuzzy numbers. Two types of nonconformity judgment rules—necessity and possibility measurement rules—are proposed. Through graphical analysis, the nonconformity judging method (i.e., assessing directly based on the shape feature of a fuzzy control chart) is proposed. For four different widely used membership functions, control levels were analyzed and compared by observing gaps between the upper and lower control limits. The result of the case study validates the feasibility and reliability of the proposed approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 82
    Publication Date: 2016-11-28
    Description: Satellite optical images and altimetry data are two major data sources used in Antarctic research. The integration use of these two datasets is expected to provide more accurate and higher quality products, during which data registration is the first issue that needs to be solved. This paper presents an alternative approach for the registration of high-resolution satellite optical images and ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry data. Due to the sparse distribution characteristic of the ICESat laser point data, it is difficult and even impossible to find same-type conjugate features between ICESat data and satellite optical images. The method is implemented in a direct way to correct the point-to-line inconsistency in image space through 2D transformation between the projected terrain feature points and the corresponding 2D image lines, which is simpler than discrepancy correction in object space that requires stereo images for 3D model construction, and easier than the indirect way of image orientation correction via photogrammetric bundle adjustment. The correction parameters are further incorporated into imaging model through RPCs (Rational Polynomial Coefficients) generation/regeneration for the convenience of photogrammetric applications. The experimental results by using the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) images and ZY-3 (Ziyuan-3 satellite) images for registration with ICESat data showed that sub-pixel level registration accuracies were achieved after registration, which have validated the feasibility and effectiveness of the presented approach.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 83
    Publication Date: 2016-11-29
    Description: In this study, long-term (10 years) radiosonde-based cloud data are compared with the ground-based active remote sensing product under six prevailing large-scale synoptic patterns, i.e., cyclonic center (CC), weak pressure pattern (WP), the southeast bottom of cyclonic center (CB), cold front (CF), anticyclone edge (AE) and anticyclone center (AC) over the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. The synoptic patterns are generated by applying the self-organizing map weather classification method to the daily National Centers for Environmental Protection mean sea level pressure records from the North American Regional Reanalysis. It reveals that the large-scale synoptic circulations can strongly influence the regional cloud formation, and thereby have impact on the consistency of cloud retrievals from the radiosonde and ground-based cloud product. The total cloud cover at the SGP site is characterized by the least in AC and the most in CF. The minimum and maximum differences between the two cloud methods are 10.3% for CC and 13.3% for WP. Compared to the synoptic patterns characterized by scattered cloudy and clear skies (AE and AC), the agreement of collocated cloud boundaries between the two cloud approaches tends to be better under the synoptic patterns dominated by overcast and cloudy skies (CC, WP and CB). The rainy and windy weather conditions in CF synoptic pattern influence the consistency of the two cloud retrieval methods associated with the limited capabilities inherent to the instruments. The cloud thickness distribution from the two cloud datasets compares favorably with each other in all synoptic patterns, with relative discrepancy of ≤0.3 km.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 84
    Publication Date: 2016-11-29
    Description: The cryosphere is an essential part of the earth system for understanding climate change. Components of the cryosphere, such as ice sheets and sea ice, are generally decreasing over time. However, previous studies have indicated differing trends between the Antarctic and the Arctic. The South Pole also shows internal differences in trends. These phenomena indicate the importance of continuous observation of the Polar Regions. Albedo is a main indicator for analyzing Antarctic climate change and is an important variable with regard to the radiation budget because it can provide positive feedback on polar warming and is related to net radiation and atmospheric heating in the mainly snow- and ice-covered Antarctic. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed long-term temporal and spatial variability of albedo and investigated the interrelationships between albedo and climatic variables over Antarctica. We used broadband surface albedo data from the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring and data for several climatic variables such as temperature and Antarctic oscillation index (AAO) during the period of 1983 to 2009. Time series analysis and correlation analysis were performed through linear regression using albedo and climatic variables. The results of this research indicated that albedo shows two trends, west trend and an east trend, over Antarctica. Most of the western side of Antarctica showed a negative trend of albedo (about −0.0007 to −0.0015 year−1), but the other side showed a positive trend (about 0.0006 year−1). In addition, albedo and surface temperature had a negative correlation, but this relationship was weaker in west Antarctica than in east Antarctica. The correlation between albedo and AAO revealed different relationships in the two regions; west Antarctica had a negative correlation and east Antarctica showed a positive correlation. In addition, the correlation between albedo and AAO was weaker in the west. This suggests that the eastern area is influenced by the atmosphere, but that the western area is influenced more strongly by other factors.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 85