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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3138: An Advanced, Silicon-Based Substrate for Sensitive Nucleic Acids Detection Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093138 Authors: Salvatore Petralia Nunzio Vicario Giovanna Calabrese Rosalba Parenti Sabrina Conoci Surface substrate and chemical functionalization are crucial aspects for the fabrication of the sensitive biosensor based on microarray technology. In this paper, an advanced, silicon-based substrate (A-MA) allowing enhancement of optical signal for microarray application is described. The substrate consists in a multilayer of Si/Al/SiO2 layers. The optical signal enhancement is reached by a combination of the mirror effect of Al film and the SiO2 thickness around 830 nm, which is able to reach the maximum of interference for the emission wavelength of the Cy5 fluorescent label. Moreover, SiO2 layer is suitable for the immobilization of single-strand DNA through standard silane chemistry, and probe densities of about 2000 F/um2 are reached. The microarray is investigated in the detection of HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) pathogen with analytical samples, resulting in a dynamic linear range of 0.05–0.5 nM, a sensitivity of about 18000 a.u. nM−1, and a Limit of Detection in the range of 0.031–0.043 Nm as a function of the capture probe sequence.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3137: Structured Background Modeling for Hyperspectral Anomaly Detection Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093137 Authors: Fei Li Lei Zhang Xiuwei Zhang Yanjia Chen Dongmei Jiang Genping Zhao Yanning Zhang Background modeling has been proven to be a promising method of hyperspectral anomaly detection. However, due to the cluttered imaging scene, modeling the background of an hyperspectral image (HSI) is often challenging. To mitigate this problem, we propose a novel structured background modeling-based hyperspectral anomaly detection method, which clearly improves the detection accuracy through exploiting the block-diagonal structure of the background. Specifically, to conveniently model the multi-mode characteristics of background, we divide the full-band patches in an HSI into different background clusters according to their spatial-spectral features. A spatial-spectral background dictionary is then learned for each cluster with a principal component analysis (PCA) learning scheme. When being represented onto those dictionaries, the background often exhibits a block-diagonal structure, while the anomalous target shows a sparse structure. In light of such an observation, we develop a low-rank representation based anomaly detection framework that can appropriately separate the sparse anomaly from the block-diagonal background. To optimize this framework effectively, we adopt the standard alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm. With extensive experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets, the proposed method achieves an obvious improvement in detection accuracy, compared with several state-of-the-art hyperspectral anomaly detection methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3139: A Crop Classification Method Integrating GF-3 PolSAR and Sentinel-2A Optical Data in the Dongting Lake Basin Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093139 Authors: Han Gao Changcheng Wang Guanya Wang Jianjun Zhu Yuqi Tang Peng Shen Ziwei Zhu With the increasing of satellite sensors, more available multi-source data can be used for large-scale high-precision crop classification. Both polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) and multi-spectral optical data have been widely used for classification. However, it is difficult to combine the covariance matrix of PolSAR data with the spectral bands of optical data. Using Hoekman’s method, this study solves the above problems by transforming the covariance matrix to an intensity vector that includes multiple intensity values on different polarization basis. In order to reduce the features redundancy, the principal component analysis (PCA) algorithm is adopted to select some useful polarimetric and optical features. In this study, the PolSAR data acquired by satellite Gaofen-3 (GF-3) on 19 July 2017 and the optical data acquired by Sentinel-2A on 17 July 2017 over the Dongting lake basin are selected for the validation experiment. The results show that the full feature integration method proposed in this study achieves an overall classification accuracy of 85.27%, higher than that of the single dataset method or some other feature integration modes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3135: Erratum: Xie, Z.-J.; Bao, X.-Y.; Peng, C.-F. Highly Sensitive and Selective Colorimetric Detection of Methylmercury Based on DNA-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles. Sensors 2018, 18, 2679. Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093135 Authors: Zheng-Jun Xie Xian-Yu Bao Chi-Fang Peng The authors wish to make the following corrections to their paper [...]
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3134: Integrated IMU with Faster R-CNN Aided Visual Measurements from IP Cameras for Indoor Positioning Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093134 Authors: Lin Zhang Taoyun Zhou Baowang Lian Considering the radio-based indoor positioning system pertaining to signal degradation due to the environmental factors, and rising popularity of IP (Internet Protocol) cameras in cities, a novel fusion of inertial measurement units (IMUs) with external IP cameras to determine the positions of moving users in indoor environments is presented. This approach uses a fine-tuned Faster R-CNN (Region Convolutional Neural Network) to detect users in images captured by cameras, and acquires visual measurements including ranges and angles of users with respect to the cameras based on the proposed monocular vision relatively measuring (MVRM) method. The results are determined by integrating the positions predicted by each user’s inertial measurement unit (IMU) and visual measurements using an EKF (Extended Kalman Filter). The results experimentally show that the ranging accuracy is affected by both the detected bounding box’s by Faster R-CNN height errors and diverse measuring distances, however, the heading accuracy is solely interfered with bounding box’s horizontal biases. The indoor obstacles including stationary obstacles and a pedestrian in our tests more significantly decrease the accuracy of ranging than that of heading, and the effect of a pedestrian on the heading errors is greater than stationary obstacles on that. We implemented a positioning test for a single user and an external camera in five indoor scenarios to evaluate the performance. The robust fused IMU/MVRM solution significantly decreases the positioning errors and shows better performance in dense multipath scenarios compared with the pure MVRM solution and ultra-wideband (UWB) solution.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3136: Quantitative Cross-Platform Performance Comparison between Different Detection Mechanisms in Surface Plasmon Sensors for Voltage Sensing Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093136 Authors: Phitsini Suvarnaphaet Suejit Pechprasarn Surface plasmon Resonance (SPR) has recently been of interest for label-free voltage sensing. Several SPR structures have been proposed. However, making a quantitative cross-platform comparison for these structures is not straightforward due to (1) different SPR measurement mechanisms; (2) different electrolytic solution and concentration in the measurement; and (3) different levels of external applied potential. Here, we propose a quantitative approach to make a direct quantitative comparison across different SPR structures, different electrolytic solutions and different SPR measurement mechanisms. There are two structures employed as example in this theoretical study including uniform plasmonic gold sensor and bimetallic layered structure consisting of uniform silver layer (Ag) coated by uniform gold layer (Ag). The cross-platform comparison was carried by several performance parameters including sensitivity (S), full width half maximum (FWHM) and figure of merit (FoM). We also discuss how the SPR measurement mechanisms enhance the performance parameters and how the bimetallic layer can be employed to enhance the FoM by a factor of 1.34 to 25 depending on the SPR detection mechanism.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3133: A Blockchain Implementation Prototype for the Electronic Open Source Traceability of Wood along the Whole Supply Chain Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093133 Authors: Simone Figorilli Francesca Antonucci Corrado Costa Federico Pallottino Luciano Raso Marco Castiglione Edoardo Pinci Davide Del Vecchio Giacomo Colle Andrea Rosario Proto Giulio Sperandio Paolo Menesatti This is the first work to introduce the use of blockchain technology for the electronic traceability of wood from standing tree to final user. Infotracing integrates the information related to the product quality with those related to the traceability [physical and digital documents (Radio Frequency IDentification—RFID—architecture)] within an online information system whose steps (transactions) can be made safe to evidence of alteration through the blockchain. This is a decentralized and distributed ledger that keeps records of digital transactions in such a way that makes them accessible and visible to multiple participants in a network while keeping them secure without the need of a centralized certification organism. This work implements a blockchain architecture within the wood chain electronic traceability. The infotracing system is based on RFID sensors and open source technology. The entire forest wood supply chain was simulated from standing trees to the final product passing through tree cutting and sawmill process. Different kinds of Internet of Things (IoT) open source devices and tags were used, and a specific app aiming the forest operations was engineered to collect and store in a centralized database information (e.g., species, date, position, dendrometric and commercial information).
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 3130: RGB Colour Encoding Improvement for Three-Dimensional Shapes and Displacement Measurement Using the Integration of Fringe Projection and Digital Image Correlation Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18093130 Authors: Luis Felipe-Sesé Ángel Jesús Molina-Viedma Elías López-Alba Francisco A. Díaz Three-dimensional digital image correlation (3D-DIC) has become the most popular full-field optical technique for measuring 3D shapes and displacements in experimental mechanics. The integration of fringe projection (FP) and two-dimensional digital image correlation (FP + DIC) has been recently established as an intelligent low-cost alternative to 3D-DIC, overcoming the drawbacks of a stereoscopic system. Its experimentation is based on the colour encoding of the characterized fringe and speckle patterns required for FP and DIC implementation, respectively. In the present work, innovations in experimentation using FP + DIC for more accurate results are presented. Specifically, they are based on the improvement of the colour pattern encoding. To achieve this, in this work, a multisensor camera and/or laser structural illumination were employed. Both alternatives are analysed and evaluated. Results show that improvements both in three-dimensional and in-plane displacement are obtained with the proposed alternatives. Nonetheless, multisensor high-speed cameras are uncommon, and laser structural illumination is established as an important improvement when low uncertainty is required for 2D-displacement measurement. Hence, the uncertainty has been demonstrated to be reduced by up to 50% compared with results obtained in previous experimental approaches of FP + DIC.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1972: Laboratory Experiments of Tradable Development Rights: A Synthesis of Different Treatments Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061972 Authors: Till Proeger Lukas Meub Kilian Bizer Tradable development rights (TDR) are considered by scholars and regulators in various countries as a means of reducing land consumption efficiently. Similar to the development of CO2-certificate trading schemes, the methodology of experimental economics can be used to derive empirical evidence on the core parameters and problems of TDR schemes, thus extending theoretical modelling and evidence from case studies. Building on a common laboratory experimental framework, we discuss results from five distinct experiments that consider mechanisms of allocation, resilience against external shocks, political business cycles, communication and collusion, and risk. These results provide initial empirical directions for the further study and introduction of TDR schemes for managing and reducing environmental issues related to land consumption for building projects.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1970: A Questionnaire Case Study of Chinese Opinions on the Haze Pollution and Economic Growth Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061970 Authors: Frederick Qiu Ethan Wang Matthew Fan Hong Liao Litao Wang Zuyi Huang Haze pollution in China has reshaped daily life for the Chinese and led to serious health issues. At the same time, the Chinese have enjoyed the rapid economic growth that has contributed to this pollution. While questionnaire-based studies have been conducted within certain regions of China to learn the public’s opinions of haze pollution, little work has been done to understand how Chinese citizens value haze treatment in relation to their nation’s economic growth at a nationwide scale. To fill this knowledge gap, this project conducted a nationwide investigation of Chinese opinions on the benefits of economic growth versus the disadvantages of haze pollution, as well as their responses to efforts by the Chinese government to combat haze and to the influence of haze on Chinese daily life and on personal health. The study also sought suggestions for combatting haze. In particular, an anonymous questionnaire consisting of 29 questions was given in the summer and fall of 2017 to 1233 people of different genders, ages, child statuses, educational backgrounds, occupations, living areas (rural, suburban, and urban), and living regions. The statistical Chi squared test was then used to identify the demographic group of respondents supporting the economic slowdown policy or requesting more efforts from the Chinese government to combat haze pollution. A multivariate statistical approach—principal component analysis—was further applied to visualize respondents’ feedback on the impact of haze on their daily life and personal health, as well as the change of environment and economic conditions in the last 10 years. The results show that more than 50% of respondents, especially those with children, those between the ages of 31 to 50, and those living in high-pollution regions, supported the economic slowdown policy. Totally 40.63% of the entire group of respondents believed the government’s efforts to control haze were small or very small. Only 27.84% of respondents held the opposite opinions. In total, 72.91% of respondents believed the environment in China became worse or much worse in the past 10 years; however, most responded positively to the idea of resolving the haze issue within 15 or more years. Haze has caused health issues in and around half of the respondents and has significantly reshaped their outdoor activities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1913: Effective Vehicle-Based Kangaroo Detection for Collision Warning Systems Using Region-Based Convolutional Networks Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061913 Authors: Khaled Saleh Mohammed Hossny Saeid Nahavandi Traffic collisions between kangaroos and motorists are on the rise on Australian roads. According to a recent report, it was estimated that there were more than 20,000 kangaroo vehicle collisions that occurred only during the year 2015 in Australia. In this work, we are proposing a vehicle-based framework for kangaroo detection in urban and highway traffic environment that could be used for collision warning systems. Our proposed framework is based on region-based convolutional neural networks (RCNN). Given the scarcity of labeled data of kangaroos in traffic environments, we utilized our state-of-the-art data generation pipeline to generate 17,000 synthetic depth images of traffic scenes with kangaroo instances annotated in them. We trained our proposed RCNN-based framework on a subset of the generated synthetic depth images dataset. The proposed framework achieved a higher average precision (AP) score of 92% over all the testing synthetic depth image datasets. We compared our proposed framework against other baseline approaches and we outperformed it with more than 37% in AP score over all the testing datasets. Additionally, we evaluated the generalization performance of the proposed framework on real live data and we achieved a resilient detection accuracy without any further fine-tuning of our proposed RCNN-based framework.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1912: Microwave Metamaterial Absorber for Non-Destructive Sensing Applications of Grain Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061912 Authors: Yin Zhang Junming Zhao Jie Cao Bo Mao In this work, we propose a metamaterial absorber at microwave frequencies with significant sensitivity and non-destructive sensing capability for grain samples. This absorber is composed of cross-resonators periodically arranged on an ultrathin substrate, a sensing layer filled with grain samples, and a metal ground. The cross-resonator array is fabricated using the printed circuit board process on an FR-4 board. The performance of the proposed metamaterial is demonstrated with both full-wave simulation and measurement results, and the working mechanism is revealed through multi-reflection interference theory. It can serve as a non-contact sensor for food quality control such as adulteration, variety, etc. by detecting shifts in the resonant frequencies. As a direct application, it is shown that the resonant frequency displays a significant blue shift from 7.11 GHz to 7.52 GHz when the mass fraction of stale rice in the mixture of fresh and stale rice is changed from 0% to 100%. In addition, the absorber shows a distinct difference in the resonant absorption frequency for different varieties of grain, which also makes it a candidate for a grain classification sensor. The presented scheme could open up opportunities for microwave metamaterial absorbers to be applied as efficient sensors in the non-destructive evaluation of agricultural and food product quality.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1907: Strain Transfer for Optimal Performance of Sensing Sheet Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061907 Authors: Matthew Gerber Campbell Weaver Levent E. Aygun Naveen Verma James C. Sturm Branko Glišić Sensing sheets based on Large Area Electronics (LAE) and Integrated Circuits (ICs) are novel sensors designed to enable reliable early-stage detection of local unusual structural behaviors. Such a device consists of a dense array of strain sensors, patterned onto a flexible polyimide substrate along with associated electronics. Previous tests performed on steel specimens equipped with sensing sheet prototypes and subjected to fatigue cracking pointed to a potential issue: individual sensors that were on or near a crack would immediately be damaged by the crack, thereby rendering them useless in assessing the size of the crack opening or to monitor future crack growth. In these tests, a stiff adhesive was used to bond the sensing sheet prototype to the steel specimen. Such an adhesive provided excellent strain transfer, but it also caused premature failure of individual sensors within the sheet. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify an alternative adhesive that survives minor damage, yet provides strain transfer that is sufficient for reliable early-stage crack detection. A sensor sheet prototype is then calibrated for use with the selected adhesive.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 1909: Enhancing the Discrimination Ability of a Gas Sensor Array Based on a Novel Feature Selection and Fusion Framework Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18061909 Authors: Changjian Deng Kun Lv Debo Shi Bo Yang Song Yu Zhiyi He Jia Yan In this paper, a novel feature selection and fusion framework is proposed to enhance the discrimination ability of gas sensor arrays for odor identification. Firstly, we put forward an efficient feature selection method based on the separability and the dissimilarity to determine the feature selection order for each type of feature when increasing the dimension of selected feature subsets. Secondly, the K-nearest neighbor (KNN) classifier is applied to determine the dimensions of the optimal feature subsets for different types of features. Finally, in the process of establishing features fusion, we come up with a classification dominance feature fusion strategy which conducts an effective basic feature. Experimental results on two datasets show that the recognition rates of Database I and Database II achieve 97.5% and 80.11%, respectively, when k = 1 for KNN classifier and the distance metric is correlation distance (COR), which demonstrates the superiority of the proposed feature selection and fusion framework in representing signal features. The novel feature selection method proposed in this paper can effectively select feature subsets that are conducive to the classification, while the feature fusion framework can fuse various features which describe the different characteristics of sensor signals, for enhancing the discrimination ability of gas sensors and, to a certain extent, suppressing drift effect.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1977: Selection Criteria and Assessment of the Impact of Traffic Accessibility on the Development of Suburbs Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061977 Authors: Milan Stanković Pavle Gladović Vladimir Popović Vesko Lukovac When defining criteria that have an influence on traffic accessibility in suburbs, it is necessary to take into account the specificity of a concrete urban unit. In existing scientific papers, the authors have dealt with the impact of the remoteness of settlements and their accessibility from the city center. The main aims of this paper are to define and quantify the criteria that have the greatest influence on traffic accessibility in suburban areas, that is, to develop a model of traffic accessibility. This model refers to traffic accessibility in suburban areas, where an urban public transport system is operational and represents a qualitative approach to research. Research has shown that factors such as a network of public transport (PT) lines, a network of accessible roads in a settlement, travel time, and timetables are of great importance in the description and generation of a new model. This model was tested in 23 suburban districts with regard to the needed walking time. The Fuzzy AHP (FAHP) method, one of the most popular methods for multi-criteria decision making, was used. Based on the results presented in this paper, it is expected that the application of this model will enable development and sustainability in suburban areas, as well as greater social equality and involvement of dwellers (especially the younger generation) in social activities, in view of achieving a better quality of life.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1976: Tourism and Sustainability: A Bibliometric and Visualization Analysis Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061976 Authors: Fernando J. Garrigos-Simon Yeamduan Narangajavana-Kaosiri Ismael Lengua-Lengua Sustainability is a growing research topic in tourism due to the importance of environmental and social issues, and the maintenance of patrimony and other facilities to conserve the potential of tourism destinations. Specifically, sustainability in tourism is crucial in order to guarantee a consistent development of destinations, measured by growth in income and employment. This relevance has been translated into an explosive growth in the sustainability literature regarding tourism, income, and employment. However, there is a lack of bibliometric and visualization research on tourism sustainability (TS), and specifically on its relationship with income and employment. This paper aims to present a bibliometric overview of TS research, and specifically TS related to income and employment. The current work analyzed 2279 references collected from the Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection database and used the visualization of similarities (VOS)viewer program to graphically map the material. The study used co-occurrence of keywords, co-citation, bibliographic coupling, and co-authorship analyses. The results identify the development status and the leading trends in terms of impact, main journals, papers, topics, authors, institutions, and countries. The analysis and graphical presentations are relevant, as they can help researchers and practitioners better understand the state of the art of TS.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1975: Sustainable Legitimacy: Chinese Government Inspections and Public Approval of Village Leadership Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061975 Authors: Jinrui Xi Inspections to villages are an important mechanism for the Chinese government to gain and retain its ruling legitimacy. However, whether inspections have been effectively utilized for that designated purpose of sustainable governance remains less clear. We know very little about how the Chinese government employs inspections to boost its public approval. This study sets out to examine that effect, contending that inspections to Chinese villages significantly boost the public approval of village leaderships by promoting the governing efficacy of village leaders. The consistent practice of inspections results in a sustained level of public support for the Chinese government. This causal relationship between inspections and public approval holds, first, by improving village social welfare and economic development, and second, by securing for village leaders essential political and financial support from higher authorities to better represent villagers’ interests and mediate conflicts among villagers. Using data of 961 randomly selected villages across China, the empirical analysis shows that Chinese government inspections significantly boost villagers’ approval regarding their village leaders.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 1974: An Empirical Study on Sustainable Innovation Academic Entrepreneurship Process Model Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10061974 Authors: Xiao-Duo Qian Jing Xia Wei Liu Sang-Bing Tsai As academic entrepreneurs, university faculty members and researchers with rich knowledge resources play an important role in the technology commercialization process, and in the creation and development of university spinoff enterprises. In this paper, we used a case study method to construct a sustainable innovative academic entrepreneurship process model from the perspective of entrepreneurial behavior. Then, we used this model to provide a deeper understanding of the activities and roles of academic entrepreneurs. This paper also expounded the process of value creation that is a result of sustainable innovative academic entrepreneurship, and compared and analyzed three types of university technology commercialization models. Our results showed that in the sustainable innovative academic entrepreneurship process model, the motivation of academic entrepreneurs leads them to play multiple roles as academic researchers, enterprise founders, and enterprise managers. In creating enterprises as the founders, and establishing and developing their enterprises, academic entrepreneurs realize the commercial value of the technology, while also incrementing their personal value. The sustainable innovative academic entrepreneurship process model provides a new path for effective transfer of technological innovations from academic research to the commercial market, creates social as well as economic value, and promotes regional economic development.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 776: Observation of the Dynamics and Horizontal Dispersion in a Shallow Intermittently Closed and Open Lake and Lagoon (ICOLL) Water doi: 10.3390/w10060776 Authors: Kabir Suara Neda Mardani Helen Fairweather Adrian McCallum Chris Allan Roy Sidle Richard Brown Among the 135 or more estuaries on the southeast Australian coastline, 45% are intermittently open. A number of others, which would normally have an intermittently open entrance, are kept permanently open to improve the flushing and water quality that are functions of the horizontal dispersion of the estuarine system. Field studies that investigate the dynamics and horizontal dispersion processes of open and closed states of Intermittenly Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLL) are conducted. Clusters of Lagrangian drifters were used to characterise the surface flow. Horizontal dispersion coefficients (K) under study varied significantly for different tidal phases; the mean ebb tide K (~4.7 ± 3.8 m2 s−1) is an order of magnitude higher than that of the flood tide. During the closed state, K values were up to two orders of magnitude lower than those observed in the open state. These results highlight the contribution of tidal dispersion to transport and mixing processes within an ICOLL. The results showed that tidal pumping effects and tidal-induced horizontal velocity gradients are responsible for the horizontal surface transport and dispersion occurring during the open inlet state. The horizontal surface dispersion processes identified at different inlets and environmental conditions within this site are valuable for managing transport of particles, freshwater mixing, larvae transport, waste, and pest control.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2018-06-13
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 766: The Influences of Sponge City on Property Values in Wuhan, China Water doi: 10.3390/w10060766 Authors: Shiying Zhang Chris Zevenbergen Paul Rabé Yong Jiang Rapid urbanization in China and global climate change have increased urban flood exposure in Wuhan, and the increased flood risk has reduced property values in flood-prone areas. The central government of China is promoting the application of the sponge city concept to reduce urban flood risk and improve the environment in cities. Wuhan is one of the pilot cities of this initiative. A shortage of funds is one of the main obstacles to sponge city construction, as is the lack of a suitable business model. To test residents’ willingness to pay for sponge city construction, this research analyzed the impact of sponge city construction on the housing values of areas covered by sponge city interventions. The authors conducted interviews and analyzed secondary data to gauge residents’ awareness and perceptions of sponge city interventions. The results show that more than half of residents in Wuhan are willing to pay for sponge city measures, but the amount they are willing to pay is limited. Residents are more willing to pay for improvements of their living environment than for flood reduction measures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 229: Influences of the North Pacific Victoria Mode on the South China Sea Summer Monsoon Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9060229 Authors: Ruiqiang Ding Jianping Li Yu-heng Tseng Lijuan Li Cheng Sun Fei Xie Using the reanalysis data and the numerical experiments of a coupled general circulation model (CGCM), we illustrated that perturbations in the second dominant mode (EOF2) of springtime North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) variability, referred to as the Victoria mode (VM), are closely linked to variations in the intensity of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM). The underlying physical mechanism through which the VM affects the SCSSM is similar to the seasonal footprinting mechanism (SFM). Thermodynamic ocean–atmosphere coupling helps the springtime SST anomalies in the subtropics associated with the VM to persist into summer and to develop gradually toward the equator, leading to a weakened zonal SST gradient across the western North Pacific (WNP) to central equatorial Pacific, which in turn induces an anomalous cyclonic flow over the WNP and westerly anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific that tend to strengthen the WNP summer monsoon (WNPSM) as well as the SCSSM. The VM influence on both the WNPSM and SCSSM is intimately tied to its influence on ENSO through westerly anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 47: How Does an Invasive Cyprinid Benefit from the Hydrological Disturbance of Mediterranean Temporary Streams? Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020047 Authors: Paula Matono Janine da Silva Maria Ilhéu The Iberian Peninsula has been subjected to numerous fish introductions and the colonization of new areas by non-native species is constantly reported. However, there is a lack of knowledge about many aspects of the bio-ecology of these species and their invasive success within the environmental context of Mediterranean temporary rivers. This study aimed to address the following questions: (i) what are the main regional and local environmental drivers influencing fish assemblages and differentiating native from non-native species, particularly A. alburnus?; (ii) what are the environmental and anthropogenic disturbance factors responsible for the occurrence and abundance of A. alburnus?; (iii) is there a pattern in the spatiotemporal distribution of A. alburnus size classes, along the tributaries of reservoirs where the species occurs? Data on fish species, environmental variables, and anthropogenic disturbance were collected in 77 sites of the Guadiana and Sado river basins in the south of Portugal. Additionally, a seasonal sampling was performed along an upstream-downstream gradient of several tributaries from three reservoirs in these river basins. A multivariate analysis and a multi-model approach were used in data analyses. Native and non-native fish assemblages showed different environmental drivers and responses to anthropogenic disturbance levels, though A. alburnus has revealed similarities with native species. The occurrence of A. alburnus was mainly determined by hydrological and morphological disturbances driven by anthropogenic activities. Furthermore, this species apparently performed seasonal movements along the tributaries of several reservoirs, profiting from these lentic habitats as a stepping-stone for further invasions. This study highlighted the wide ecological plasticity of A. alburnus, as it benefits from the anthropogenic hydrological disturbance (induced by reservoirs), and is also able to cope with the natural hydrological disturbance (resulting from the intermittency of these streams), to guarantee and enhance its invasive success in Mediterranean intermittent streams. It also gives a sound contribution to understand the spread of A. alburnus in these vulnerable freshwater ecosystems, and to delineate management measures, namely by identifying critical points in the river network along with prioritizing river restoration measures that benefit native species.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 46: Microbial Diversity: The Gap between the Estimated and the Known Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020046 Authors: Luciana Cristina Vitorino Layara Alexandre Bessa The ecological and biotechnological services that microorganisms provide to the planet and human society highlight the need to understand and preserve microbial diversity, which is widely distributed, challenging the severity of certain environments. Cataloging this diversity has also challenged the methods that are currently used to isolate and grow microorganisms, because most of the microbiota that are present in environmental samples have been described as unculturable. Factors such as geographic isolation and host preference also hinder the assessment of microbial diversity. However, prejudiced historical practices, including the prioritization of some species of microorganisms merely because they cause diseases, have long shifted research on fungi and bacteria towards medically relevant microorganisms. Thus, most microorganisms that inhabit the planet are still unknown, as is the potential of these species. Current estimates allow us to predict that the diversity of microorganisms that are present in the various terrestrial ecosystems is enormous. However, understanding this diversity is a challenge for the future of microbial ecology research.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 48: Trophic Diversity of Plankton in the Epipelagic and Mesopelagic Layers of the Tropical and Equatorial Atlantic Determined with Stable Isotopes Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10020048 Authors: Antonio Bode Santiago Hernández-León Plankton living in the deep ocean either migrate to the surface to feed or feed in situ on other organisms and detritus. Planktonic communities in the upper 800 m of the tropical and equatorial Atlantic were studied using the natural abundance of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to identify their food sources and trophic diversity. Seston and zooplankton (>200 µm) samples were collected with Niskin bottles and MOCNESS nets, respectively, in the epipelagic (0–200 m), upper mesopelagic (200–500 m), and lower mesopelagic layers (500–800 m) at 11 stations. Food sources for plankton in the productive zone influenced by the NW African upwelling and the Canary Current were different from those in the oligotrophic tropical and equatorial zones. In the latter, zooplankton collected during the night in the mesopelagic layers was enriched in heavy nitrogen isotopes relative to day samples, supporting the active migration of organisms from deep layers. Isotopic niches showed also zonal differences in size (largest in the north), mean trophic diversity (largest in the tropical zone), food sources, and the number of trophic levels (largest in the equatorial zone). The observed changes in niche size and overlap (up to 71% between the mesopelagic layers but <50% between the epipelagic and upper mesopelagic layers) support the prevalence of in situ feeding at deep layers in tropical and equatorial zooplankton.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1550: Flow Structure and Heat Transfer of Jet Impingement on a Rib-Roughened Flat Plate Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061550 Authors: Abdulrahman H. Alenezi Abdulrahman Almutairi Hamad M. Alhajeri Abdulmajid Addali Abdelaziz A. A. Gamil The jet impingement technique is an effective method to achieve a high heat transfer rate and is widely used in industry. Enhancing the heat transfer rate even minimally will improve the performance of many engineering systems and applications. In this numerical study, the convective heat transfer process between orthogonal air jet impingement on a smooth, horizontal surface and a roughened uniformly heated flat plate is studied. The roughness element takes the form of a circular rib of square cross-section positioned at different radii around the stagnation point. At each location, the effect of the roughness element on heat transfer rate was simulated for six different heights and the optimum rib location and rib dimension determined. The average Nusselt number has been evaluated within and beyond the stagnation region to better quantify the heat transfer advantages of ribbed surfaces over smooth surfaces. The results showed both flow and heat transfer features vary significantly with rib dimension and location on the heated surface. This variation in the streamwise direction included both augmentation and decrease in heat transfer rate when compared to the baseline no-rib case. The enhancement in normalized averaged Nusselt number obtained by placing the rib at the most optimum radial location R/D = 2 was 15.6% compared to the baseline case. It was also found that the maximum average Nusselt number for each location was achieved when the rib height was close to the corresponding boundary layer thickness of the smooth surface at the same rib position.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1548: Design Criterion of Damper Component of Passive-Type Mount Module without Using Base Mass-Block Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061548 Authors: Chan-Jung Kim Passive-type mount modules have been used frequently to isolate excitation from the target mechanical system, and electric power plants use the mount devices to control the harmonic excitation source from a combustion engine. The mount structure is composed of a spring component, a stacked thin-panel, and a heavy base-mass block, and installation as well as maintenance of the structures are difficult. To tackle this problem associated with mount modules, I investigate in this work the feasibility of a simplified mount module with no base mass-block; the harmonic frequency of interest was selected from 30 (Hz) to 120 (Hz) owing to the constant rotating speed of the combustion engine at 1800 (rev/min). The design criterion of the damper components was formulated from the response index at the electric power plant, and the influence of the damper component at the proposed mount was calculated theoretically from the linearized system models. The theoretical result was compared with the measured response index at the electric power plant, and the comparison result revealed the superior capability of the proposed mount module in controlling the reaction motion at the electric power plant.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1549: Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor with Different Rotor Structures for Traction Motor in High Speed Trains Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061549 Authors: Marcel Torrent José Ignacio Perat José Antonio Jiménez In this work we proposed to study the use of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) for railway traction in the high-speed trains (HST) of Renfe Operadora (the Spanish national railway operator). Currently, induction motors (IM) are used in AVE classes 102–112 trains, so, the IM used as a traction motor in these trains has been studied and characterized by comparing the results with data provided by Renfe. A PMSM of equivalent power to the IM has been dimensioned, and different electromagnetic structures of the PMSM rotor have been evaluated. The simulation by the finite element method and analysis of the equivalent electrical circuit used in all the motors have been studied to evaluate the performance of the motors in this application. Efficiency is calculated at different operating points due to its impact on the energy consumption of railway traction. The implementation of the PMSM evaluated is recommended, mainly due to the improvements achieved in efficiency as compared with the IM currently used.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1551: Increasing Profits in Food Waste Biorefinery—A Techno-Economic Analysis Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061551 Authors: Juan-Rodrigo Bastidas-Oyanedel Jens Schmidt The present manuscript highlights the economic profit increase when combining organic waste anaerobic digestion with other mixed culture anaerobic fermentation technologies, e.g., lactic acid fermentation and dark fermentation. Here we consider the conversion of 50 tonnes/day of food waste into methane, power generation (from CHP of biomethane), lactic acid, polylactic acid, hydrogen, acetic acid and butyric acid. The economic assessment shows that the basic alternative, i.e., anaerobic digestion with methane selling to the grid, generates 19 USD/t_VS (3 USD/t_foodwaste) of profit. The highest profit is obtained by dark fermentation with separation and purification of acetic and butyric acids, i.e., 296 USD/t_VS (47 USD/t_foodwaste). The only alternative that presented losses is the power generation alternative, needing tipping fees and/or subsidy of 176 USD/t_VS (29 USD/t_foodwaste). The rest of the alternatives generate profit. From the return on investment (ROI) and payback time, the best scenario is the production of polylactic acid, with 98% ROI, and 7.8 years payback time. Production of butyric acid ROI and payback time was 74% and 9.1 years.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1546: A Four-Level T-Type Neutral Point Piloted Inverter for Solar Energy Applications Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061546 Authors: Saddam Shueai Alnamer Saad Mekhilef Hazlie Bin Mokhlis Multilevel inverters provide an output signal with low harmonic distortion and superior output voltages. This work proposes a new four-level T-type neutral point piloted (T-NPP) topology with higher efficiency and low total harmonic distortion (THD) and with the ability to withstand high voltage stresses, especially for high-power applications. The proposed topology is designed in such manner that the direct current (DC)-voltage stresses split over the components with strong possibilities to increase the load current and switching frequency. However, the operation of the proposed topology is based on two essential principles. The first principle is that each upper and lower switch of each leg consists of two insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) connected in series in order to withstand high voltage stresses and make it split over the two IGBTs in each switch. The second principle is using the DC-link circuit (T1 & T2) to generate 2Vdc and 1Vdc by connecting the bidirectional switches of each leg to the DC-link’s mid-point. Furthermore, the proposed four-level T-NPP inverter outperforms other converters by the high number of output voltage level, low number of components, simple structure and higher efficiency. Finally, the proposed T-NPP topology concept was validated via simulation, experiments and theoretical analysis.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1547: Space Charge Modulated Electrical Breakdown of Oil Impregnated Paper Insulation Subjected to AC-DC Combined Voltages Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061547 Authors: Yuanwei Zhu Shengtao Li Daomin Min Shijun Li Huize Cui George Chen Based on the existing acknowledgment that space charge modulates AC and DC breakdown of insulating materials, this investigation promotes the related investigation into the situations of more complex electrical stress, i.e., AC-DC combined voltages. Experimentally, the AC-DC breakdown characteristics of oil impregnated paper insulation were systematically investigated. The effects of pre-applied voltage waveform, AC component ratio, and sample thickness on AC-DC breakdown characteristics were analyzed. After that, based on an improved bipolar charge transport model, the space charge profiles and the space charge induced electric field distortion during AC-DC breakdown were numerically simulated to explain the differences in breakdown characteristics between the pre-applied AC and pre-applied DC methods under AC-DC combined voltages. It is concluded that large amounts of homo-charges are accumulated during AC-DC breakdown, which results in significantly distorted inner electric field, leading to variations of breakdown characteristics of oil impregnated paper insulation. Therefore, space charges under AC-DC combined voltages must be considered in the design of converter transformers. In addition, this investigation could provide supporting breakdown data for insulation design of converter transformers and could promote better understanding on the breakdown mechanism of insulating materials subjected to AC-DC combined voltages.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1545: Exhaust Tuning of an Internal Combustion Engine by the Combined Effects of Variable Exhaust Pipe Diameter and an Exhaust Valve Timing System Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061545 Authors: Pauras Sawant Michael Warstler Saiful Bari Changes to engine geometry and specifications can produce better torque, power, volumetric efficiency and more. The technique known as wave tuning can lead to better engine torque and power. This paper focuses on increasing the engine torque by improving the exhaust fluid flow through the exhaust manifold. Phasing and intensity of the pressure waves in the exhaust manifold have significant effects on scavenging, valve overlapping and pumping losses. In this research, individual and combined effects of variable exhaust runner diameter and exhaust valve timing on the fluid flow from exhaust of the engine are studied using computer simulation. An engine simulation software, Ricardo Wave, is utilized in this research. The analysis is conducted on a 1-D model of a KTM 510 cc single cylinder, four-stroke Sl engine. The data gathered shows that varying only the exhaust pipe diameter continuously with speed yields an average of 4.23% improvement in torque from the original engine model. However, due to practical constraints, the diameter is limited to vary in three steps (36 mm, 45 mm and 60 mm). This has reduced the average improvement of torque to 3.78%. Varying the valve timing alone gains an average of 1.94% improvement in torque. Varying both the exhaust pipe diameter in three steps and the exhaust valve timing yields an average of 4.69% improvement in torque. This average is conducted over the engine speed ranges from 2000 to 11,000 rpm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1539: Study of Power Quality at the Point of Common Coupling of a Low Voltage Grid and a Distributed Generation System of 7.8 kWp in a Tropical Region Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061539 Authors: Agustín Valverde Granja Teófilo Miguel de Souza Pedro Magalhães Sobrinho Daniel Felipe Arévalo Santos In this paper we analyze an experimental 1000 kWh/month distributed generation system in a tropical region connected to a point of common coupling in a low voltage grid that was characterized according to NTC 5001. This photovoltaic system has 7.8 kWp and uses 30 polycrystalline silicon-panels of 260 Wp each. Its maximum energy produced was 850 kWh/month, equivalent to 72.65% of the installed capacity. Finally, there was an increase of 2% with respect to the minimum voltage value that was recorded. The voltage unbalance decreases between 3.5 and 70% and voltage harmonics in each line increased by 7% on line U1, 0.8% on U2, 3% on U3 and current harmonics have a 22% increase. Likewise, the total active and reactive power were increased by 58% and 42% respectively, and the thermography study allowed to establish a temperature increase at the point of common coupling of 7.5%. Therefore, it is expected that this paper can serve as a reference for the application of Colombian law 1715 in solar energy.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1544: The Integrated Switching Control Strategy for Grid-Connected and Islanding Operation of Micro-Grid Inverters Based on a Virtual Synchronous Generator Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061544 Authors: Kai Shi Guanglei Zhou Peifeng Xu Haihan Ye Fei Tan In allusion to the virtual synchronous generator (VSG)-based voltage source inverters in micro-grids, an integrated control method combining a quasi-synchronization algorithm and an islanding detection algorithm is proposed to improve the power supply reliability and quality, which can simultaneously meet the operational requirements of both grid-connected mode (GCM) and off-grid mode (OGM), and the smooth switching between them. The quasi-synchronization algorithm of the micro-grid inverter is designed to realize a flexible grid connection. Moreover, for quickly detecting islanding phenomena, a novel islanding detection algorithm based on the VSG’s inherent characteristics is put forward. Finally, the validity and availability of the proposed models and control strategies are comprehensively verified by simulation results based on Matlab/Simulink.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1537: Jerk Analysis of a Power-Split Hybrid Electric Vehicle Based on a Data-Driven Vehicle Dynamics Model Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061537 Authors: Xiaohua Zeng Haoyong Cui Dafeng Song Nannan Yang Tong Liu Huiyong Chen Yinshu Wang Yulong Lei Given its highly coupled multi-power sources with diverse dynamic response characteristics, the mode transition process of a power-split Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) can easily lead to unanticipated passenger-felt jerks. Moreover, difficulties in parameter estimation, especially power-source dynamic torque estimation, result in new challenges for jerk reduction. These two aspects entangle with each other and constitute a complicated coupling problem which obstructs the realization of a valid anti-jerk method. In this study, a vehicle dynamics model with reference to a data-driven modeling method is first established, integrating a full-time artificial neural network engine dynamic model that can accurately predict engine dynamic torque. Then the essential reason for the occurrence of vehicle jerks in real driving conditions is analyzed. Finally, to smooth the mode transition process, a more practical anti-jerk strategy based on power-source torque changing rate limitation (TCRL) is proposed. Verification studies indicate that the data-driven vehicle dynamics model has enough accuracy to reflect the vehicle dynamic characteristics, and the proposed TCRL strategy could reduce the vehicle jerk by up to 85.8%, without any sacrifice of vehicle performance. This research provides a feasible method for precise modeling of vehicle dynamics and a reference for improving the riding comfort of hybrid electric vehicles.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1538: A Power Coupling System for Electric Tracked Vehicles during High-Speed Steering with Optimization-Based Torque Distribution Control Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061538 Authors: Hong Huang Li Zhai Zeda Wang It is significant to improve the steering maneuverability of dual-motor drive tracked vehicles (2MDTVs), which have wide applications in the tracked vehicle industry. In this paper, we focus on the problem of insufficient propulsion motor power during high-speed steering. Some correction formulas are introduced to improve the accuracy of the mathematical model. A steering coupling system and an optimization-based torque distribution control strategy is adopted to improve the lateral stability of the vehicle. The 2MDTV model and the proposed control strategy are built in the multi-body software RecurDyn and the control software Matlab/Simulink, respectively. According to the real-time steering simulation by the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) method, the 2MDTV with the coupling device outputs more power during high-speed steering. The results show the speed during steering is quite high though, the stability of the vehicle can be achieved due to using the torque distribution strategy, and the steering maneuverability of the vehicle is also improved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1536: The Impact of Financial Development on Energy Consumption: Evidence from an Oil-Rich Economy Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061536 Authors: Shahriyar Mukhtarov Jeyhun I. Mikayilov Jeyhun Mammadov Elvin Mammadov This paper examines the relationship between energy consumption, financial development, and economic growth in an oil-rich economy—Azerbaijan—employing cointegration techniques to the data ranging from 1992 to 2015. The results confirm the existence of a long-run relationship among the variables. Also, we find that there is a positive and statistically significant impact of financial development and economic growth on energy consumption in the long-run. The positive and statistically significant coefficient of financial development and decreasing volatility in the proxy for financial development over time can be considered as improvements in the financial system. Estimation results show that a 1% increase in financial development, proxied by the private credit indicator, and economic development increases energy consumption by 0.19% and 0.12%, respectively. The positive and significant impact of financial development on energy consumption on the backdrop of relatively cheaper energy prices due to rich oil and gas resources, should be considered by policymakers in their energy use, financial development, and economic growth related decisions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1543: Three-Stage Anaerobic Sequencing Batch Reactor (ASBR) for Maximum Methane Production: Effects of COD Loading Rate and Reactor Volumetric Ratio Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061543 Authors: Achiraya Jiraprasertwong Kornpong Vichaitanapat Malinee Leethochawalit Sumaeth Chavadej A three-stage anaerobic sequencing batch reactor system was developed as a new anaerobic process with an emphasis on methane production from ethanol wastewater. The three-stage anaerobic sequencing batch reactor system consisted of three bioreactors connected in series. It was operated at 37 °C with a fixed recycle ratio of 1:1 (final effluent flow rate to feed flow rate) and the washout sludge from the third bioreactor present in the final effluent was allowed to be recycled to the first bioreactor. The pH of the first bioreactor was controlled at 5.5, while the pH values of the other two bioreactors were not controlled. Under the optimum chemical oxygen demand loading rate of 18 kg/m3d (based on the feed chemical oxygen demand load and total volume of the three bioreactors) with a bioreactor volumetric ratio of 5:5:20, the system provided the highest gas production performance in terms of yields of both hydrogen and methane and the highest overall chemical oxygen demand removal. Interestingly, the three-stage anaerobic sequencing batch reactor system gave a much higher energy production rate and a higher optimum chemical oxygen demand loading rate than previously reported anaerobic systems since it was able to maintain very high microbial concentrations in all bioreactors with very high values of both alkalinity and solution pH, especially in the third bioreactor, resulting in sufficient levels of micronutrients for anaerobic digestion.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1535: Preparation of Hierarchical Porous Carbon from Waterweed and Its Application in Lithium/Sulfur Batteries Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061535 Authors: Chunyong Liang Xiaomin Zhang Yan Zhao Taizhe Tan Yongguang Zhang Zhihong Chen A nanostructured carbon (NSC) material with a hierarchical porous structure is synthesized through the carbonization of a waterweed, namely Echinodorus amazonicus Rataj. The fabricated NSC is used as an electrode material for sulfur of lithium/sulfur (Li/S) batteries. The NSC provides for a high pore volume (0.19 cm3 g−1) and large specific surface area (111.25 m2 g−1). Because of the highly hierarchical porous structure of the NSC material, allowing polysulfides to remain in the carbon framework after cycling, the sulfur/NSC composite exhibits an excellent electrochemical performance.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1542: Heat and Mass Transfer Behavior Prediction and Thermal Performance Analysis of Earth-to-Air Heat Exchanger by Finite Volume Method Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061542 Authors: Qinggong Liu Zhenyu Du Yi Fan A comprehensive numerical study on coupled heat and mass transfer in an earth-to-air heat exchanger (EAHE) is conducted by self-complied program based on the finite volume method. The soil thermal and moisture coupled characteristics in the vicinity of the pipe and the thermal performance of the EAHE are evaluated by a two-dimensional simulation model. The model of the EAHE is verified by the experimental data, which achieved a good agreement with each other. The numerical results show that there is an obvious moisture peak in the radial direction, and the peak position radially moves away from the wall of the pipe over time. It is also found that the thermal performance of the heat and mass transfer model in soil is better than the pure heat conduction model.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1540: Pressure Detrending in Harmonic Pulse Test Interpretation: When, Why and How Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061540 Authors: Dario Viberti Eloisa Salina Borello Francesca Verga In reservoir engineering, one of the main sources of information for the characterization of reservoir and well parameters is well testing. An alternative to the standard drawdown/buildup test is Harmonic Pulse Testing (HPT) because it can provide well performance and reservoir behavior monitoring without having to interrupt field production, which is appealing from an economic standpoint. Recorded pressure analysis is performed in the frequency domain by adopting a derivative approach similar to conventional well testing. To this end, pressure and rate data must be decomposed into harmonic components. Test interpretability can be significantly improved if pressure data are detrended prior to interpretation, filtering out non periodic events such as discontinuous production from neighboring wells and flow regime variations that did not respect the designed test periodicity. Therefore, detrending offers the possibility of overcoming the limitation of HPT applicability due to the difficulty of imposing a regularly pulsing rate for the whole test duration (typically lasting several days). This makes HPT attractive for well performance monitoring, especially in gas reservoirs converted to underground gas storage. In this paper, different detrending methodologies are discussed and applied to synthetic and real data. Results show that, if a proper detrending strategy is adopted, information provided by HPT interpretation can be maximized and/or improved.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 1541: Forecasting the Long-Term Wind Data via Measure-Correlate-Predict (MCP) Methods Energies doi: 10.3390/en11061541 Authors: Sajid Ali Sang-Moon Lee Choon-Man Jang The current study aims to forecast and analyze wind data such as wind speed at a test site called “Urumsill” on Deokjeok Island, South Korea. The measured wind data available at the aforementioned test site are only for two years (2015 and 2016), making it impossible to analyze the long-term wind characteristics. In order to overcome this problem, two measure-correlate-predict (MCP) techniques were adopted using long-term wind data (2000–2016), measured by a meteorological mast (met-mast) installed at a distance of 3 km from the test site. The wind data measured at the test site in 2016 were selected as training data to build the MCP models, whereas wind data of 2015 were used to test the accuracy of MCP models (test data). The wind data at both sites were measured at a height of 10 m and showed a good agreement for the year 2016 (training period). Using the comparison results of the year 2016, wind speed predictions were made for the rest of the years (2000–2016) at the test site. The forecasted values of wind speed had maximum relative error in the range of ±0.8 m/s for the test year of 2105. The predicted wind data values were further analyzed by estimating the mean wind speed, the Weibull shape, and the scale parameters, on a seasonal and an annual basis, in order to understand the wind behavior in the region. The accuracy and presence of possible errors in the forecasted wind data are discussed and presented.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 42
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 460: Thermodynamic Black Holes Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060460 Authors: George Ruppeiner Black holes pose great difficulties for theory since gravity and quantum theory must be combined in some as yet unknown way. An additional difficulty is that detailed black hole observational data to guide theorists is lacking. In this paper, I sidestep the difficulties of combining gravity and quantum theory by employing black hole thermodynamics augmented by ideas from the information geometry of thermodynamics. I propose a purely thermodynamic agenda for choosing correct candidate black hole thermodynamic scaled equations of state, parameterized by two exponents. These two adjustable exponents may be set to accommodate additional black hole information, either from astrophysical observations or from some microscopic theory, such as string theory. My approach assumes implicitly that the as yet unknown microscopic black hole constituents have strong effective interactions between them, of a type found in critical phenomena. In this picture, the details of the microscopic interaction forces are not important, and the essential macroscopic picture emerges from general assumptions about the number of independent thermodynamic variables, types of critical points, boundary conditions, and analyticity. I use the simple Kerr and Reissner-Nordström black holes for guidance, and find candidate equations of state that embody several the features of these purely gravitational models. My approach may offer a productive new way to select black hole thermodynamic equations of state representing both gravitational and quantum properties.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 458: Vacuum Landscaping: Cause of Nonlocal Influences without Signaling Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060458 Authors: Gerhard Grössing Siegfried Fussy Johannes Mesa Pascasio Herbert Schwabl In the quest for an understanding of nonlocality with respect to an appropriate ontology, we propose a “cosmological solution”. We assume that from the beginning of the universe each point in space has been the location of a scalar field representing a zero-point vacuum energy that nonlocally vibrates at a vast range of different frequencies across the whole universe. A quantum, then, is a nonequilibrium steady state in the form of a “bouncer” coupled resonantly to one of those (particle type dependent) frequencies, in remote analogy to the bouncing oil drops on an oscillating oil bath as in Couder’s experiments. A major difference to the latter analogy is given by the nonlocal nature of the vacuum oscillations. We show with the examples of double- and n-slit interference that the assumed nonlocality of the distribution functions alone suffices to derive the de Broglie–Bohm guiding equation for N particles with otherwise purely classical means. In our model, no influences from configuration space are required, as everything can be described in 3-space. Importantly, the setting up of an experimental arrangement limits and shapes the forward and osmotic contributions and is described as vacuum landscaping.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 459: Recommending Queries by Extracting Thematic Experiences from Complex Search Tasks Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20060459 Authors: Yuli Zhao Yin Zhang Bin Zhang Kening Gao Pengfei Li Since complex search tasks are usually divided into subtasks, providing subtask-oriented query recommendations is an effective way to support complex search tasks. Currently, most subtask-oriented query recommendation methods extract subtasks from plain form search logs consisting of only queries and clicks, providing limited clues to identify subtasks. Meanwhile, for several decades, the Computer Human Interface (CHI)/Human Computer Interaction (HCI) communities have been working on new complex search tools for the purpose of supporting rich user interactions beyond just queries and clicks, and thus providing rich form search logs with more clues for subtask identification. In this paper, we researched the provision of subtask-oriented query recommendations by extracting thematic experiences from the rich form search logs of complex search tasks logged in a proposed visual data structure. We introduce the tree structure of the visual data structure and propose a visual-based subtask identification method based on the visual data structure. We then introduce a personalized PageRank-based method to recommend queries by ranking nodes on the network from the identified subtasks. We evaluated the proposed methods in experiments consisting of informative and tentative search tasks.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 352: Amount and Location of Damage to Residual Trees from Cut-to-Length Thinning Operations in a Young Redwood Forest in Northern California Forests doi: 10.3390/f9060352 Authors: Kyungrok Hwang Han-Sup Han Susan E. Marshall Deborah S. Page-Dumroese A cut-to-length (CTL) harvest system using a harvester and forwarder has been recently introduced in northern California (USA) for thinning young (<25 years old) redwood forests (Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl.). However, the severity of CTL damage to residual trees in this forest type are unknown. The goals of this study were to (1) determine the location, size, and number of scars resulting from CTL harvesting and (2) compare scar size differences between redwood clumps and individual trees in two units. Most scars occurred on trees located near the forwarding trails. Wider and longer scars were associated with clumped trees (9.1–12.2 cm wide and 28.1–46.2 cm long) as compared to scars on individual trees (8.1–9.5 cm wide and 16.7–31.3 cm long), and 16–32% of the residual trees were scarred. Determining a minimum scar size will define the severity of stand damage; larger scars result in a longer time until closure. However, counting all the smaller scars that result from CTL harvesting will result in a large number of counted damaged trees. Therefore, we suggest that scars smaller than 5–10 cm width are acceptable on coastal redwood after CTL thinning.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 351: Effects of Seedling Quality and Family on Performance of Northern Red Oak Seedlings on a Xeric Upland Site Forests doi: 10.3390/f9060351 Authors: Cornelia C. Pinchot Thomas J. Hall Arnold M. Saxton Scott E. Schlarbaum James K. Bailey Cultural practices to develop larger, more robust oak seedlings have been developed, however, the potential improvement conferred by these larger seedlings has received limited testing in the Northeast. We evaluated the effect of seedling size and pedigree on the survival, growth, and competitive ability of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings planted on a xeric site in northeastern Pennsylvania. We planted seedlings from a state tree nursery that represented locally available seedling stock, as well as high-quality seedlings from seven half-sibling families grown following improved nursery protocol. Half-sibling families were split into three size classes based on their root collar diameter and height; large, average, and poor. Eleven years after planting, survival across seedling treatments ranged from 45 percent for locally available seedlings, to 96 percent for one half-sibling family. Two families showed superior growth, survival, and competitive ability compared with the others. Seedling size class conferred moderate height and diameter advantage in four and three of the families, respectively. Initial seedling size was an important variable in models predicting survival, diameter, and dominance (competitive ability). Over time, the relationship between initial diameter and height diminished.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 350: Palaeoecological Evidence for Survival of Scots Pine through the Late Holocene in Western Ireland: Implications for Ecological Management Forests doi: 10.3390/f9060350 Authors: Jenni R. Roche Fraser J. G. Mitchell Steve Waldren Bettina S. Stefanini The dynamics of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Europe during the Holocene have been spatially and temporally complex. The species underwent extirpation and reintroduction in several north-west European countries. This study investigated the late Holocene vegetation history of a present-day pinewood in western Ireland, to test the widely accepted hypothesis that P. sylvestris became extinct in Ireland c. AD 400. Palaeoecological, chronological and loss-on-ignition analyses were conducted on a sediment core extracted from an adjacent lake. The pollen profile showed no major Pinus decline and a Pinus macrofossil occurred c. AD 840, indicating localised survival of P. sylvestris from c. AD 350 to the present. The available archival maps and historical literature provide supporting evidence for continuity of forest cover. The hypothesis that P. sylvestris became extinct in Ireland is rejected. The implications for ecological management are significant. We argue that P. sylvestris should be considered native to Ireland, at least at this site. As Ireland’s only putative native P. sylvestris population and the western limit of the species’ native range, this site is of high conservation value and must be carefully managed and monitored. Seed-sourcing for ex-situ forest restoration must be compatible with the long-term viability of the population in-situ.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 52: A Novel Self-Adaptive VM Consolidation Strategy Using Dynamic Multi-Thresholds in IaaS Clouds Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10060052 Authors: Lei Xie Shengbo Chen Wenfeng Shen Huaikou Miao With the rapid development of cloud computing, the demand for infrastructure resources in cloud data centers has further increased, which has already led to enormous amounts of energy costs. Virtual machine (VM) consolidation as one of the important techniques in Infrastructure as a Service clouds (IaaS) can help resolve energy consumption by reducing the number of active physical machines (PMs). However, the necessity of considering energy-efficiency and the obligation of providing high quality of service (QoS) to customers is a trade-off, as aggressive consolidation may lead to performance degradation. Moreover, most of the existing works of threshold-based VM consolidation strategy are mainly focused on single CPU utilization, although the resource request on different VMs are very diverse. This paper proposes a novel self-adaptive VM consolidation strategy based on dynamic multi-thresholds (DMT) for PM selection, which can be dynamically adjusted by considering future utilization on multi-dimensional resources of CPU, RAM and Bandwidth. Besides, the VM selection and placement algorithm of VM consolidation are also improved by utilizing each multi-dimensional parameter in DMT. The experiments show that our proposed strategy has a better performance than other strategies, not only in high QoS but also in less energy consumption. In addition, the advantage of its reduction on the number of active hosts is much more obvious, especially when it is under extreme workloads.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 349: The Performance of Five Willow Cultivars under Different Pedoclimatic Conditions and Rotation Cycles Forests doi: 10.3390/f9060349 Authors: Werther Guidi Nissim Benoit Lafleur Michel Labrecque A plant’s genotype, their environment, and the interaction between them influence its growth and development. In this study, we investigated the effect of these factors on the growth and biomass yield of willows in short-rotation coppice (SRC) under different harvesting cycles (i.e., two- vs. three-year rotations) in Quebec (Canada). Five of the commercial willow cultivars most common in Quebec, (i.e., Salix × dasyclados Wimm. ‘SV1’, Salix viminalis L. ‘5027’, Salix miyabeana Seeman ‘SX61’, ‘SX64’ and ‘SX67’) were grown in five sites with different pedoclimatic conditions. Yield not only varied significantly according to site and cultivar, but a significant interaction between rotation and site was also detected. Cultivar ‘5027’ showed significantly lower annual biomass yield in both two-year (average 10.8 t ha−1 year−1) and three-year rotation (average 11.2 t ha−1 year−1) compared to other cultivars (15.2 t ha−1 year−1 and 14.6 t ha−1 year−1 in two- and three-year rotation, respectively). Biomass yield also varied significantly with rotation cycle, but the extent of the response depended upon the site. While in some sites the average productivity of all cultivars remained fairly constant under different rotations (i.e., 17.4 vs. 16 t ha−1 year−1 in two- and three-year rotation, respectively), in other cases, biomass yield was higher in the two- than in the three-year rotation or vice versa. Evidence suggests that soil physico-chemical properties are better predictors of willow SRC plantation performance than climate variables.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 348: Evaluating Adaptive Management Options for Black Ash Forests in the Face of Emerald Ash Borer Invasion Forests doi: 10.3390/f9060348 Authors: Anthony W. D’Amato Brian J. Palik Robert A. Slesak Greg Edge Colleen Matula Dustin R. Bronson The arrival and spread of emerald ash borer (EAB) across the western Great Lakes region has shifted considerable focus towards developing silvicultural strategies that minimize the impacts of this invasive insect on the structure and functioning of black ash (Fraxinus nigra) wetlands. Early experience with clearcutting in these forests highlighted the risks of losing ash to EAB from these ecosystems, with stands often retrogressing to marsh-like conditions with limited tree cover. Given these experiences and an urgency for increasing resilience to EAB, research efforts began in north-central Minnesota in 2009 followed by additional studies and trials in Michigan and Wisconsin to evaluate the potential for using regeneration harvests in conjunction with planting of replacement species to sustain forested wetland habitats after EAB infestations. Along with these more formal experiments, a number of field trials and demonstrations have been employed by managers across the region to determine effective ways for reducing the vulnerability of black ash forest types to EAB. This paper reviews the results from these recent experiences with managing black ash for resilience to EAB and describes the insights gained on the ecological functioning of these forests and the unique, foundational role played by black ash.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1258: Duty of Notification and Aviation Safety—A Study of Fatal Aviation Accidents in the United States in 2015 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061258 Authors: Alpo Vuorio Bruce Budowle Antti Sajantila Tanja Laukkala Ilkka Junttila Stein E. Kravik Robin Griffiths After the Germanwings accident, the French Safety Investigation Authority (BEA) recommended that the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Community (EC) develop clear rules for the duty of notification process. Aeromedical practitioners (AMEs) face a dilemma when considering the duty of notification and conflicts between pilot privacy and public and third-party safety. When balancing accountability, knowledge of the duty of notification process, legislation and the clarification of a doctor’s own set of values should be assessed a priori. Relatively little is known of the magnitude of this problem in aviation safety. To address this, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched to identify fatal accidents during 2015 in the United States in which a deceased pilot used a prescribed medication or had a disease that potentially reduced pilot performance and was not reported to the AME. Altogether, 202 finalized accident reports with toxicology were available from (the year) 2015. In 5% (10/202) of these reports, the pilot had either a medication or a disease not reported to an AME which according to the accident investigation was causal to the fatal accident. In addition, the various approaches to duty of notification in aviation in New Zealand, Finland and Norway are discussed. The process of notification of authorities without a pilot’s express permission needs to be carried out by using a guidance protocol that works within legislation and professional responsibilities to address the pilot and the public, as well as the healthcare provider. Professional guidance defining this duty of notification is urgently needed.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 216: Using ArcticDEM to Analyse the Dimensions and Dynamics of Debris-Covered Glaciers in Kamchatka, Russia Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8060216 Authors: Iestyn D. Barr Mikhail D. Dokukin Ioannis Kougkoulos Stephen J. Livingstone Harold Lovell Jakub Małecki Anton Y. Muraviev On the Kamchatka Peninsula, a number of glaciers are covered by thick volcanic debris, which makes their margins difficult to delineate from satellite imagery. Fortunately, high resolution, multi-temporal digital surface models (DSMs) covering the entire peninsula have recently become freely available (i.e., ArcticDEM). We use these DSMs to analyse the dimensions and dynamics of debris-covered glaciers in the northern Kluchevskoy Volcanic Group, central Kamchatka. This approach demonstrates that between 2012 and 2016, some of the region’s glaciers advanced despite regional and local climate warming. These glacial advances are part of a long-term trend, presumed to reflect the role of extensive supraglacial debris in limiting ice ablation, though there is also evidence for local ice melt due to supraglacial lava/debris flows. Glacier surface velocities during the period 2012–2015 were typically 5–140 m yr−1. Velocities for the major outlets of the region’s central icefield were typically higher than for other extensively debris-covered glaciers globally, likely reflecting the influence of ice supply from the high altitude Ushkovsky caldera. In all, we find ArcticDEM useful for analysing debris-covered glaciers in Kamchatka, providing important information on flow dynamics and terminus change that is difficult to derive from satellite imagery.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Geosciences, Vol. 8, Pages 215: Joint and Lineament Patterns across the Midcontinent Indicate Repeated Reactivation of Basement-Involved Faults Geosciences doi: 10.3390/geosciences8060215 Authors: Caroline M. Burberry Jerlyn L. Swiatlowski Mindi L. Searls Irina Filina Joint networks hosted in successively younger rocks, developing as a result of forced (trishear) folding of a rock mass above a deep-seated fault, can be used to infer the reactivation history of that deep-seated fault. This study aims to use joint networks in Pennsylvanian, Permian and Cretaceous rocks to document evidence of reactivation on basement faults during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic of Nebraska and Kansas. The most prominent basement features in southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas are oriented NE-SW, likely related to the Midcontinent Rift System and Nemaha Uplift, and oriented NW-SE, likely related to fabrics from the Central Plains Orogeny. These features are well defined in the potential fields data. Joint patterns in the study area show an E-W oriented trend, as well as clearly discernable NE-SW and subsidiary N-S and NW-SE trends. The E-W trend is interpreted to be related to far-field stresses from Laramide and Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogenic events, whilst the NE-SW trend is interpreted to be related to subtle reactivation on the Mid-continent rift and related faults, observed in basement data. These movements produced stresses of sufficient magnitude to produce joints in the post-rift rock units, but not sufficient to generate shear fractures. Similarly, the ~N-S and NW-SE joint trends are taken as evidence of subtle reactivation on the Nemaha Uplift and Central Plains Orogeny systems, generating joints by the formation of forced folds. This contribution therefore provides a convincing case study of the value of coupled potential fields and surface feature studies in discerning buried tectonic trends and subtle reactivation thereon.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3263
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1257: Impacts of Water Stress on Forest Recovery and Its Interaction with Canopy Height International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061257 Authors: Peipei Xu Tao Zhou Chuixiang Yi Hui Luo Xiang Zhao Wei Fang Shan Gao Xia Liu Global climate change is leading to an increase in the frequency, intensity, and duration of drought events, which can affect the functioning of forest ecosystems. Because human activities such as afforestation and forest attributes such as canopy height may exhibit considerable spatial differences, such differences may alter the recovery paths of drought-impacted forests. To accurately assess how climate affects forest recovery, a quantitative evaluation on the effects of forest attributes and their possible interaction with the intensity of water stress is required. Here, forest recovery following extreme drought events was analyzed for Yunnan Province, southwest China. The variation in the recovery of forests with different water availability and canopy heights was quantitatively assessed at the regional scale by using canopy height data based on light detection and ranging (LiDAR) measurements, enhanced vegetation index data, and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) data. Our results indicated that forest recovery was affected by water availability and canopy height. Based on the enhanced vegetation index measures, shorter trees were more likely to recover than taller ones after drought. Further analyses demonstrated that the effect of canopy height on recovery rates after drought also depends on water availability—the effect of canopy height on recovery diminished as water availability increased after drought. Additional analyses revealed that when the water availability exceeded a threshold (SPEI > 0.85), no significant difference in the recovery was found between short and tall trees (p > 0.05). In the context of global climate change, future climate scenarios of RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 showed more frequent water stress in Yunnan by the end of the 21st century. In summary, our results indicated that canopy height casts an important influence on forest recovery and tall trees have greater vulnerability and risk to dieback and mortality from drought. These results may have broad implications for policies and practices of forest management.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1259: Comparison of a 10-Year Cumulative Age-Standardized Incidence Rate of Lung Cancer among Metropolitan Cities in Korea (During the 2000–2009 Period): Review of Occupational and Environmental Hazards Associated with Lung Cancer International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061259 Authors: Joo Hyun Sung Chang Sun Sim Minsu Ock Inbo Oh Kyoung Sook Jeong Cheolin Yoo In Korea, lung cancer is a common cancer, and has the highest mortality rate in both males and females. Approximately 80% of lung cancer is due to smoking, and the remaining cases are known to be due to genetic factors, history of respiratory disease, infection, diet, and occupational and environmental factors. Since the occupational and environmental hazards may differ from region to region, the lung cancer risk may differ too. To identify this, we selected seven metropolitan cities, and compared occupational and environmental hazards. Furthermore, we calculated smoking rate adjusted standardized rate ratio (ratio of 10-year cumulative age-standardized incidence rate of lung cancer during the 2000–2009 period at target region versus reference region) to compare the regional lung cancer risk. The result showed that the emissions and concentrations of air pollutant were higher in high-risk regions, and the risk of lung cancer was significantly elevated in such area. In this study, we simultaneously consider the cumulative incidence, age-standardization and smoking rate adjustment. Therefore, we can conclude that the validity of the finding of this study is higher than that of past studies. In conclusion, the occupational and environmental hazards have an effect on lung cancer.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1254: The Urban Gradient in Malaria-Endemic Municipalities in Acre: Revisiting the Role of Locality International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061254 Authors: Ana Paula Dal’Asta Raquel Martins Lana Silvana Amaral Cláudia Torres Codeço Antônio Miguel Vieira Monteiro Urbanization has altered the distribution of diseases of public health importance along gradients of human occupation. Adopting dichotomous urban/rural categories to explain differences in the risk of exposure, as well as the prevention of diseases is insufficient. In this paper, we present the potential of representations based on the gradient perspective to characterize the living spaces of municipalities where malaria is endemic in northwest Acre. Inventoried data in 40 localities in the Mâncio Lima and Rodrigues Alves municipalities and information on land use and land cover obtained from the TerraClass Database were used to characterize the urban spatial forms and their social content. Results showed a gradient of intensities: from municipal seats to the most connected localities through the road network to riverine communities. Based on the results, we hope to advance the discussion about the use of normative definitions of “urban” and “rural” for public policies and actions to control and eliminate malaria, considering the position of each locality in its own locally referenced urban gradient.
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1256: Impact of Indoor Physical Environment on Learning Efficiency in Different Types of Tasks: A 3 × 4 × 3 Full Factorial Design Analysis International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061256 Authors: Lilin Xiong Xiao Huang Jie Li Peng Mao Xiang Wang Rubing Wang Meng Tang Indoor physical environments appear to influence learning efficiency nowadays. For improvement in learning efficiency, environmental scenarios need to be designed when occupants engage in different learning tasks. However, how learning efficiency is affected by indoor physical environment based on task types are still not well understood. The present study aims to explore the impacts of three physical environmental factors (i.e., temperature, noise, and illuminance) on learning efficiency according to different types of tasks, including perception, memory, problem-solving, and attention-oriented tasks. A 3 × 4 × 3 full factorial design experiment was employed in a university classroom with 10 subjects recruited. Environmental scenarios were generated based on different levels of temperature (17 °C, 22 °C, and 27 °C), noise (40 dB(A), 50 dB(A), 60 dB(A), and 70 dB(A)) and illuminance (60 lx, 300 lx, and 2200 lx). Accuracy rate (AC), reaction time (RT), and the final performance indicator (PI) were used to quantify learning efficiency. The results showed ambient temperature, noise, and illuminance exerted significant main effect on learning efficiency based on four task types. Significant concurrent effects of the three factors on final learning efficiency was found in all tasks except problem-solving-oriented task. The optimal environmental scenarios for top learning efficiency were further identified under different environmental interactions. The highest learning efficiency came in thermoneutral, relatively quiet, and bright conditions in perception-oriented task. Subjects performed best under warm, relatively quiet, and moderately light exposure when recalling images in the memory-oriented task. Learning efficiency peaked to maxima in thermoneutral, fairly quiet, and moderately light environment in problem-solving process while in cool, fairly quiet and bright environment with regard to attention-oriented task. The study provides guidance for building users to conduct effective environmental intervention with simultaneous controls of ambient temperature, noise, and illuminance. It contributes to creating the most suitable indoor physical environment for improving occupants learning efficiency according to different task types. The findings could further supplement the present indoor environment-related standards or norms with providing empirical reference on environmental interactions.
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1252: Vertical Distribution of Total Mercury and Mercury Methylation in a Landfill Site in Japan International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061252 Authors: Jing Yang Masaki Takaoka Akira Sano Akito Matsuyama Ryuji Yanase Mercury is a neurotoxin, with certain organic forms of the element being particularly harmful to humans. The Minamata Convention was adopted to reduce the intentional use and emission of mercury. Because mercury is an element, it cannot be decomposed. Mercury-containing products and mercury used for various processes will eventually enter the waste stream, and landfill sites will become a mercury sink. While landfill sites can be a source of mercury pollution, the behavior of mercury in solid waste within a landfill site is still not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the depth profile of mercury, the levels of methyl mercury (MeHg), and the factors controlling methylation in an old landfill site that received waste for over 30 years. Three sampling cores were selected, and boring sampling was conducted to a maximum depth of 18 m, which reached the bottom layer of the landfill. Total mercury (THg) and MeHg were measured in the samples to determine the characteristics of mercury at different depths. Bacterial species were identified by 16S rRNA amplification and sequencing, because the methylation process is promoted by a series of genes. It was found that the THg concentration was 19–975 ng/g, with a geometric mean of 298 ng/g, which was slightly less than the 400 ng/g concentration recorded 30 years previously. In some samples, MeHg accounted for up to 15–20% of THg, which is far greater than the general level in soils and sediments, although the source of MeHg was unclear. The genetic data indicated that hgcA was present mostly in the upper and lower layers of the three cores, merA was almost as much as hgcA, while the level of merB was hundreds of times less than those of the other two genes. A significant correlation was found between THg and MeHg, as well as between MeHg and MeHg/THg. In addition, a negative correlation was found between THg and merA. The coexistence of the three genes indicated that both methylation and demethylation processes could occur, but the lack of merB was a barrier for demethylation.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1255: Cost and Affordability of Diets Modelled on Current Eating Patterns and on Dietary Guidelines, for New Zealand Total Population, Māori and Pacific Households International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061255 Authors: Sally Mackay Tina Buch Stefanie Vandevijvere Rawinia Goodwin Erina Korohina Mafi Funaki-Tahifote Amanda Lee Boyd Swinburn The affordability of diets modelled on the current (less healthy) diet compared to a healthy diet based on Dietary Guidelines was calculated for population groups in New Zealand. Diets using common foods were developed for a household of four for the total population, Māori and Pacific groups. Māori and Pacific nutrition expert panels ensured the diets were appropriate. Each current (less healthy) diet was based on eating patterns identified from national nutrition surveys. Food prices were collected from retail outlets. Only the current diets contained alcohol, takeaways and discretionary foods. The modelled healthy diet was cheaper than the current diet for the total population (3.5% difference) and Pacific households (4.5% difference) and similar in cost for Māori households (0.57% difference). When the diets were equivalent in energy, the healthy diet was more expensive than the current diet for all population groups (by 8.5% to 15.6%). For households on the minimum wage, the diets required 27% to 34% of household income, and if receiving income support, required 41–52% of household income. Expert panels were invaluable in guiding the process for specific populations. Both the modelled healthy and current diets are unaffordable for some households as a considerable portion of income was required to purchase either diet. Policies are required to improve food security by lowering the cost of healthy food or improving household income.
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1253: Reducing Food Poverty and Vulnerability among the Rural Elderly with Chronic Diseases: The Role of the New Rural Pension Scheme in China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061253 Authors: Zhaohua Zhang Yuxi Luo Derrick Robinson Vulnerability to food poverty is the probability of an individual falling below the food poverty line in the near future, which provides a forward-looking welfare analysis. Applying a nationally representative survey dataset, this study investigates the role of the New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) in reducing food poverty and vulnerability among the rural elderly with chronic diseases. By designing province-specific food poverty lines to account for variations in the elderly’s needs, as well as the prices across provinces using a least-cost linear programming approach, the food poverty incidences among the elderly with chronic diseases are calculated. Applying a three-stage feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) procedure, the vulnerability to food poverty is estimated. Our results show that food poverty incidence and vulnerability of the elderly with chronic diseases in rural China is 41.9% and 35% respectively, which is 8% and 6% higher, respectively, than the elderly that are in good health. To address the potential endogeneity of pension payment, a fuzzy regression discontinuity (RD) regression is employed to investigate the effects of pension income on food poverty and vulnerability for different population groups. We found that pension income decreases the probability of being food poor and the vulnerability to food poverty among the elderly with chronic diseases by 12.9% and 16.8% respectively, while it has no significant effect on the elderly in good health.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1007: Three Dimensional Methodology to Characterize Large Dendritic Equiaxed Grains in Industrial Steel Ingots Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061007 Authors: Marvin Gennesson Julien Zollinger Dominique Daloz Bernard Rouat Joëlle Demurger Hervé Combeau The primary phase grain size is a key parameter to understand the formation of the macrosegregation pattern in large steel ingots. Most of the characterization techniques use two-dimensional measurements. In this paper, a characterization method has been developed for equiaxed dendritic grains in industrial steel castings. A total of 383 contours were drawn two-dimensionally on twelve 6.6 cm2slices. A three-dimensional reconstruction method is performed to obtain 171 three-dimensional grains. Data regarding the size, shape and orientation of equiaxed grains is presented and thereby shows that equiaxed grains are centimeter-scale complex objects. They appear to be a poly-dispersed collection of non-isotropic objects possessing preferential orientations. In addition, the volumetric grain number density is 2.2×107 grains/m3, which compares to the 0.5×107 grains/m3 that can be obtained with estimation from 2D measurements. The 2.2×107 grains/m3 value is ten-times smaller than that previously used in the literature to simulate the macrosegregation profile in the same 6.2 ton ingot.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1006: 3D Printed, PVA–PAA Hydrogel Loaded-Polycaprolactone Scaffold for the Delivery of Hydrophilic In-Situ Formed Sodium Indomethacin Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061006 Authors: Mershen Govender Sunaina Indermun Pradeep Kumar Yahya E. Choonara Viness Pillay 3D printed polycaprolactone (PCL)-blended scaffolds have been designed, prepared, and evaluated in vitro in this study prior to the incorporation of a polyvinyl alcohol–polyacrylic acid (PVA–PAA) hydrogel for the delivery of in situ-formed sodium indomethacin. The prepared PCL–PVA–PAA scaffold is proposed as a potential structural support system for load-bearing tissue damage where inflammation is prevalent. Uniaxial strain testing of the PCL-blended scaffolds were undertaken to determine the scaffold’s resistance to strain in addition to its thermal, structural, and porosimetric properties. The viscoelastic properties of the incorporated PVA–PAA hydrogel has also been determined, as well as the drug release profile of the PCL–PVA–PAA scaffold. Results of these analyses noted the structural strength, thermal stability, and porosimetric properties of the scaffold, as well as the ability of the PCL–PVA–PAA scaffold to deliver sodium indomethacin in simulated physiological conditions of pH and temperature. The results of this study therefore highlight the successful design, fabrication, and in vitro evaluation of a 3D printed polymeric strain-resistant supportive platform for the delivery of sodium indomethacin.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1005: Synergistic Effect of Graphene Oxide and Mesoporous Structure on Flame Retardancy of Nature Rubber/IFR Composites Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061005 Authors: Na Wang Miao Zhang Ping Kang Jing Zhang Qinghong Fang Wenda Li Aiming to improve the flame retardancy performance of natural rubber (NR), we developed a novel flame retardant synergistic agent through grafting of MCM-41 to graphene oxide (GO), named as GO-NH-MCM-41, as an assistant to intumescent flame retardants (IFR). The flame retardancy of NR/IFR/GO-NH-MCM-41 composites was evaluated by limited oxygen index (LOI), UL-94, and cone calorimeter test. The LOI value of NR/IFR/GO-NH-MCM-41 reached 26.3%; the UL-94 ratings improved to a V-0 rating. Moreover, the addition of GO-NH-MCM-41 decreased the peak heat release rate (PHRR) and the total heat release (THR) of the natural rubber composites. Furthermore, the addition of GO-NH-MCM-41 increased the thickness of char residue. The images of SEM indicated the char residue was more compact and continuous. The degradation of GO-NH-MCM-41-based NR composites was completed with a mass loss of 35.57% at 600 °C. The tensile strength and the elongation at break of the NR/IFR/GO-NH-MCM-41 composites were 13.9 MPa and 496.7%, respectively. The results of the rubber process analyzer (RPA) reached the maximum value, probably due to a better network of fillers in the matrix.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1004: Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Malachite Green in Seawater by the Hybrid of Zinc-Oxide Nanorods Grown on Three-Dimensional (3D) Reduced Graphene Oxide(RGO)/Ni Foam Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061004 Authors: Qing Wang Chaoyue Cai Mingyan Wang Qian Guo Biao Wang Weina Luo Yujuan Wang Chenyan Zhang Lihua Zhou Dongen Zhang Zhiwei Tong Yuqing Liu Jun Chen A hybrid of ZnO nanorods grown onto three-dimensional (3D) reduced graphene oxide (RGO)@Ni foam (ZnO/RGO@NF) is synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method. The as-prepared hybrid material is physically characterized by SEM, XRD, Raman, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). When the as-prepared 3D hybrid is investigated as a photocatalyst, it demonstrates significant high photocatalytic activity for the degradation of methylene blue (MB), rhodamine (RhB), and mixed MB/RhB as organic dye pollutants. In addition, the practical application and the durability of the as-prepared catalyst to degradation of malachite green (MG) in seawater are firstly assessed in a continuous flow system. The catalyst shows a high degradation efficiency and stable photocatalytic activity for 5 h continuous operation, which should be a promising catalyst for the degradation of organic dyes in seawater.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1002: Functionalized Electrospun Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanofibrous Membranes with Poly(Methyl Vinyl Ether-Alt-Maleic Anhydride) for Protein Adsorption Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061002 Authors: Mesbah Najafi Joronia Chery Margaret M. Frey In this work, electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanofiber membranes were functionalized by incorporating poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic anhydride) (poly(MVE/MA), PMA) for the selective adsorption of proteins. The capture performance was regulated by an optimizing buffer pH, PMA content, and protein concentration. Lysozyme was used as the model protein and a high adsorption capacity of 476.53 ± 19.48 was obtained at pH 6, owing to the electrostatic attraction between the negatively charged nanofibers and positively charged proteins. The large specific surface area, highly open porous structure, and abundant available carboxyl groups contributed to such high adsorption performance. Moreover, the nanofiber membranes exhibited good reusability and good selectivity for positively charged proteins. The obtained results can provide a promising method for the purification of proteins in small analytic devices.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1003: Self-Cleaning Ceramic Tiles Produced via Stable Coating of TiO2 Nanoparticles Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061003 Authors: Amid Shakeri Darren Yip Maryam Badv Sara M. Imani Mehdi Sanjari Tohid F. Didar The high photocatalytic power of TiO2 nanoparticles has drawn great attention in environmental and medical applications. Coating surfaces with these particles enables us to benefit from self-cleaning properties and decomposition of pollutants. In this paper, two strategies have been introduced to coat ceramic tiles with TiO2 nanoparticles, and the self-cleaning effect of the surfaces on degradation of an organic dye under ultraviolent (UV) exposure is investigated. In the first approach, a simple one-step heat treatment method is introduced for coating, and different parameters of the heat treatment process are examined. In the second method, TiO2 nanoparticles are first aminosilanized using (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) treatment followed by their covalently attachment onto CO2 plasma treated ceramic tiles via N-(3-Dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) and N-Hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) chemistry. We monitor TiO2 nanoparticle sizes throughout the coating process using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and characterize developed surfaces using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Moreover, hydrophilicity of the coated surfaces is quantified using a contact angle measurement. It is shown that applying a one-step heat treatment process with the optimum temperature of 200 °C for 5 h results in successful coating of nanoparticles and rapid degradation of dye in a short time. In the second strategy, the APTES treatment creates a stable covalent coating, while the photocatalytic capability of the particles is preserved. The results show that coated ceramic tiles are capable of fully degrading the added dyes under UV exposure in less than 24 h.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1001: Ultra-Precision Machining of a Compound Sinusoidal Grid Surface Based on Slow Tool Servo Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061001 Authors: Shijun Ji Jianfeng Li Ji Zhao Mei Feng Changrui Sun Handa Dai Compound sinusoidal grid surface with nanometric finish plays a significant role in modern systems and precision calibrator, which can make the systems smaller, the system structure more simple, reduce the cost, and promote the performance of the systems, but it is difficult to design and fabricate by traditional methods. In this paper, a compound freeform surface constructed by a paraboloidal base surface and sinusoidal grid feature surface is designed and machined by slow tool servo (STS) assisted with single point diamond turning (SPDT). A novel combination of the constant angle and constant arc-length method is presented to optimize the cutting tool path. The machining error prediction model is analyzed for fabricating the compound sinusoidal grid surface. A compound sinusoidal grid surface with 0.03 mm amplitude and period of 4 is designed and cutting process is simulated by use of MATLAB software, machining experiment is done on ultra-precision machine tool, the surface profile and topography are measured by Taylor Hobson and Keyence VR-3200, respectively. After dealing with the measurement data of compound freeform surface, form accuracy 4.25 μm in Peak Village value (PV), and surface roughness 89 nm in Ra are obtained for the machined surface. From the theoretical analysis and experimental results, it can be seen that the proposed method is a reasonable choice for fabricating the compound sinusoidal grid surface.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 249: Raman Micro-Spectroscopy Identifies Carbonaceous Particles Lying on the Surface of Crocidolite, Amosite, and Chrysotile Fibers Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8060249 Authors: Alessandro Croce Aldo Arrais Caterina Rinaudo Micro-Raman spectroscopy has been applied on UICC (Union for International Cancer Control’s) crocidolite and amosite from South Africa and on UICC chrysotile from Canada. Under Optical Microscope (OM), the surface of the fibers was often characterized by areas, micrometric in size, appearing dark. The laser beam was successively focused on areas of the same sample showing different optical contrasts. On the bright zones, Raman spectra peculiar for crocidolite, amosite or chrysotile were recorded. When dark areas were optically identified, the laser beam was addressed onto these regions and, in the Raman patterns, in addition to the bands produced by the mineral fiber, bands ascribing to substituted carbonaceous phases were observed. These bands were lying in the 4000–1100 cm−1 spectral range. On the basis of the shape of the bands and their relative intensities, suggestions about the order-disorder of the carbonaceous particles could be proposed, and they appeared more ordered on amosite than on crocidolite and chrysotile. From the exposed data, crocidolite and amosite fibers from South Africa, and chrysotile fibers from Canada, largely used in industry in the past, are characterized by many carbonaceous micrometric particles, lying on the fiber surfaces. Based on the noxiousness of the carbon particles on human health, their presence on asbestos fibers may play a role in increasing the carcinogenic effects of the analyzed fibrous minerals.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2018-06-14
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 250: Effect of Ammonium Chloride on the Efficiency with Which Copper Sulfate Activates Marmatite: Change in Solution Composition and Regulation of Surface Composition Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8060250 Authors: Shengdong Zhang Dongxia Feng Xiong Tong Bo Yang Xian Xie Zinc sulfide minerals are the primary choice for zinc extraction and marmatite is one of the two most common zinc sulphide minerals (sphalerite and marmatite), therefore it is of great significance to study and optimize the flotation of marmatite. To improve the activation of copper sulfate on marmatite, a method involving the addition of ammonium chloride is devised. The method has been proven to be an effective way of improving the activation efficiency of copper sulfate towards marmatite under alkaline conditions. The strengthening mechanism was studied using micro-flotation, adsorption test, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and by analyzing changes in solution composition. Flotation test results show that the activation effect of the copper sulfate towards marmatite is enhanced with the addition of ammonium chloride. According to the results of the adsorption measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis, when the marmatite surface is activated using copper sulfate with added ammonia chloride, it adsorbs more copper sulfide and less copper hydroxide and zinc hydroxide. These changes in surface composition are believed to occur via the following process: NH3(aq) promotes the dissolution of zinc hydroxide and then facilitates the conversion of surface copper hydroxide to copper sulfide. In addition, the occurrence of Cu(NH3)n2+ can promote the adsorption of copper ions (Cu2+ can be stored as Cu(NH3)n2+ via complexation, and then, when the concentration of copper ions decreases, Cu2+ can be released through the decompositionof Cu(NH3)n2+. Hence, the copper ion concentration can be maintained and this can facilitate the adsorption of Cu2+ on marmatite). Based on a comprehensive analysis of all our results, we propose that adding ammonium chloride to the copper sulfate changes the solution components (i.e., the presence of NH3(aq) and Cu(NH3)n2+) and then regulates the surface composition of marmatite. The change in surface composition improves the hydrophobicity of mineral surface and this leads to an improvement in activation of marmatite.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1013: Modified Polymeric Nanoparticles Exert In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity Against Oral Bacteria Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061013 Authors: Manuel Toledano-Osorio Jegdish P. Babu Raquel Osorio Antonio L. Medina-Castillo Franklin García-Godoy Manuel Toledano Polymeric nanoparticles were modified to exert antimicrobial activity against oral bacteria. Nanoparticles were loaded with calcium, zinc and doxycycline. Ions and doxycycline release were measured by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer and high performance liquid chromatography. Porphyromonas gingivalis, Lactobacillus lactis, Streptoccocus mutans, gordonii and sobrinus were grown and the number of bacteria was determined by optical density. Nanoparticles were suspended in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 10, 1 and 0.1 mg/mL and incubated with 1.0 mL of each bacterial suspension for 3, 12, and 24 h. The bacterial viability was assessed by determining their ability to cleave the tetrazolium salt to a formazan dye. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and Scheffe’s F (p < 0.05). Doxycycline doping efficacy was 70%. A burst liberation effect was produced during the first 7 days. After 21 days, a sustained release above 6 µg/mL, was observed. Calcium and zinc liberation were about 1 and 0.02 µg/mL respectively. The most effective antibacterial material was found to be the Dox-Nanoparticles (60% to 99% reduction) followed by Ca-Nanoparticles or Zn-Nanoparticles (30% to 70% reduction) and finally the non-doped nanoparticles (7% to 35% reduction). P. gingivalis, S. mutans and L. lactis were the most susceptible bacteria, being S. gordonii and S. sobrinus the most resistant to the tested nanoparticles.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1010: Effect of Temperature Distribution in Ultrasonically Welded Joints of Copper Wire and Sheet Used for Electrical Contacts Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061010 Authors: Jeyaraj Pradeep Kumar The temperature distribution occurring at the interface while joining a simple electrical contact comprising of a copper wire and a copper sheet using ultrasonic metal welding was analyzed using finite element method. Heat flux due to plastic deformation and friction was calculated and provided as input load for simulation of temperature distribution. The results of temperature obtained from simulation are found to be in good agreement with the results of temperature from experiments measured using thermocouple. Special focus was given to how the heat generated at the wire–sheet interface affect the strength of the joint in tension. With the knowledge of heat generated at the interface while welding, it is possible to control the strength of the joint and produce defect free joints. Based on the results from finite element analysis and experiments, it is observed that the influence of heat developed due to friction and plastic deformation of metallic specimens has a significant effect on the progress of welding and strength of the joint.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1008: Advancement on Lead-Free Organic-Inorganic Halide Perovskite Solar Cells: A Review Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061008 Authors: Faruk Sani Suhaidi Shafie Hong Ngee Lim Abubakar Ohinoyi Musa Remarkable attention has been committed to the recently discovered cost effective and solution processable lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite solar cells. Recent studies have reported that, within five years, the reported efficiency has reached 9.0%, which makes them an extremely promising and fast developing candidate to compete with conventional lead-based perovskite solar cells. The major challenge associated with the conventional perovskite solar cells is the toxic nature of lead (Pb) used in the active layer of perovskite material. If lead continues to be used in fabricating solar cells, negative health impacts will result in the environment due to the toxicity of lead. Alternatively, lead free perovskite solar cells could give a safe way by substituting low-cost, abundant and non toxic material. This review focuses on formability of lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite, alternative metal cations candidates to replace lead (Pb), and possible substitutions of organic cations, as well as halide anions in the lead-free organic-inorganic halide perovskite architecture. Furthermore, the review gives highlights on the impact of organic cations, metal cations and inorganic anions on stability and the overall performance of lead free perovskite solar cells.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1015: Effects of Cutting Edge Microgeometry on Residual Stress in Orthogonal Cutting of Inconel 718 by FEM Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061015 Authors: Qi Shen Zhanqiang Liu Yang Hua Jinfu Zhao Woyun Lv Aziz Ul Hassan Mohsan Service performance of components such as fatigue life are dramatically influenced by the machined surface and subsurface residual stresses. This paper aims at achieving a better understanding of the influence of cutting edge microgeometry on machined surface residual stresses during orthogonal dry cutting of Inconel 718. Numerical and experimental investigations have been conducted in this research. The cutting edge microgeometry factors of average cutting edge radius S¯, form-factor K, and chamfer were investigated. An increasing trend for the magnitudes of both tensile and compressive residual stresses was observed by using larger S¯ or introducing a chamfer on the cutting edges. The ploughing depth has been predicted based on the stagnation zone. The increase of ploughing depth means that more material was ironed on the workpiece subsurface, which resulted in an increase in the compressive residual stress. The thermal loads were leading factors that affected the surface tensile residual stress. For the unsymmetrical honed cutting edge with K = 2, the friction between tool and workpiece and tensile residual stress tended to be high, while for the unsymmetrical honed cutting edge with K = 0.5, the high ploughing depth led to a higher compressive residual stress. This paper provides guidance for regulating machine-induced residual stress by edge preparation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1011: Structural Coloration of Polyester Fabrics Coated with Al/TiO2 Composite Films and Their Anti-Ultraviolet Properties Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061011 Authors: Xiaohong Yuan Yuanjing Ye Min Lian Qufu Wei Al/TiO2 composite film was successfully deposited on polyester fabrics by using magnetron sputtering techniques. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to examine the deposited films on the fabrics, and the structural colors and anti-ultraviolet property of fabrics were also analyzed. The results indicated that polyester fabrics coated with Al/TiO2 composite films achieved structural colors. The reactive sputtering times of TiO2 films in Al/TiO2 composite films were 10 min, 12 min, 18 min, 20 min, 26 min, 27 min, 30 min and 45 min, respectively, the colors of corresponding fabrics were bluish violet, blue, cyan, green, yellow, yellowish red, orange and blue-green, which was consistent with the principle of the thin film interference. The structure of the TiO2 film in Al/TiO2 composite films was non-crystalline, though the fabrics were heated and maintained at the temperature of 200 °C. The anti-ultraviolet property of the fabrics deposited with Al/TiO2 composite films were excellent because of the effect of Al/TiO2 composite films.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1009: Health Degradation Monitoring and Early Fault Diagnosis of a Rolling Bearing Based on CEEMDAN and Improved MMSE Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11061009 Authors: Yong Lv Rui Yuan Tao Wang Hewenxuan Li Gangbing Song Rolling bearings play a crucial role in rotary machinery systems, and their operating state affects the entire mechanical system. In most cases, the fault of a rolling bearing can only be identified when it has developed to a certain degree. At that moment, there is already not much time for maintenance, and could cause serious damage to the entire mechanical system. This paper proposes a novel approach to health degradation monitoring and early fault diagnosis of rolling bearings based on a complete ensemble empirical mode decomposition with adaptive noise (CEEMDAN) and improved multivariate multiscale sample entropy (MMSE). The smoothed coarse graining process was proposed to improve the conventional MMSE. Numerical simulation results indicate that CEEMDAN can alleviate the mode mixing problem and enable accurate intrinsic mode functions (IMFs), and improved MMSE can reflect intrinsic dynamic characteristics of the rolling bearing more accurately. During application studies, rolling bearing signals are decomposed by CEEMDAN to obtain IMFs. Then improved MMSE values of effective IMFs are computed to accomplish health degradation monitoring of rolling bearings, aiming at identifying the early weak fault phase. Afterwards, CEEMDAN is performed to extract the fault characteristic frequency during the early weak fault phase. The experimental results indicate the proposed method can obtain a better performance than other techniques in objective analysis, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method in practical application. The theoretical derivations, numerical simulations, and application studies all confirmed that the proposed health degradation monitoring and early fault diagnosis approach is promising in the field of prognostic and fault diagnosis of rolling bearings.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 950: Quantitative Estimation of Wheat Phenotyping Traits Using Ground and Aerial Imagery Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10060950 Authors: Zohaib Khan Joshua Chopin Jinhai Cai Vahid-Rahimi Eichi Stephan Haefele Stanley J. Miklavcic This study evaluates an aerial and ground imaging platform for assessment of canopy development in a wheat field. The dependence of two canopy traits, height and vigour, on fertilizer treatment was observed in a field trial comprised of ten varieties of spring wheat. A custom-built mobile ground platform (MGP) and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were deployed at the experimental site for standard red, green and blue (RGB) image collection on five occasions. Meanwhile, reference field measurements of canopy height and vigour were manually recorded during the growing season. Canopy level estimates of height and vigour for each variety and treatment were computed by image analysis. The agreement between estimates from each platform and reference measurements was statistically analysed. Estimates of canopy height derived from MGP imagery were more accurate (RMSE = 3.95 cm, R2 = 0.94) than estimates derived from UAV imagery (RMSE = 6.64 cm, R2 = 0.85). In contrast, vigour was better estimated using the UAV imagery (RMSE = 0.057, R2 = 0.57), compared to MGP imagery (RMSE = 0.063, R2 = 0.42), albeit with a significant fixed and proportional bias. The ability of the platforms to capture differential development of traits as a function of fertilizer treatment was also investigated. Both imaging methodologies observed a higher median canopy height of treated plots compared with untreated plots throughout the season, and a greater median vigour of treated plots compared with untreated plots exhibited in the early growth stages. While the UAV imaging provides a high-throughput method for canopy-level trait determination, the MGP imaging captures subtle canopy structures, potentially useful for fine-grained analyses of plants.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 948: A Ship Detector Applying Principal Component Analysis to the Polarimetric Notch Filter Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10060948 Authors: Tao Zhang Armando Marino Huilin Xiong Wenxian Yu Ship detection using polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Polarimetry can provide information regarding the scattering mechanisms of targets, which helps discriminate between ships and sea clutter. This enhancement is particularly valuable when we aim at detecting smaller vessels in rough sea states. This work exploits a ship detector called the Geometrical Perturbation-Polarimetric Notch Filter (GP-PNF), and it is aimed at improving its performance especially when less polarimetric images are available (e.g., dual-polarimetric data). The idea is to design a new polarimetric feature vector containing more features that are renowned to allow separation between ships and sea clutter. Then, a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is further used to reduce the dimensionality of the new feature space. Experiments on four real Sentinel-1 datasets are carried out to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method and compare it against other ship detectors. Analyses of the experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can not only reduce the false alarms significantly, but also enhance the target-to-clutter ratio (TCR) so that it can more effectively detect weaker ships.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 944: Multiscale Comparative Evaluation of the GPM IMERG v5 and TRMM 3B42 v7 Precipitation Products from 2015 to 2017 over a Climate Transition Area of China Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10060944 Authors: Cheng Chen Qiuwen Chen Zheng Duan Jianyun Zhang Kangle Mo Zhe Li Guoqiang Tang The performance of the latest released Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM mission (IMERG) version 5 (IMERG v5) and the TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis 3B42 version 7 (3B42 v7) are evaluated and compared at multiple temporal scales over a semi-humid to humid climate transition area (Huaihe River basin) from 2015 to 2017. The impacts of rainfall rate, latitude and elevation on precipitation detection skills are also investigated. Results indicate that both satellite estimates showed a high Pearson correlation coefficient (r, above 0.89) with gauge observations, and an overestimation of precipitation at monthly and annual scales. Mean daily precipitation of IMERG v5 and 3B42 v7 display a consistent spatial pattern, and both characterize the observed precipitation distribution well, but 3B42 v7 tends to markedly overestimate precipitation over water bodies. Both satellite precipitation products overestimate rainfalls with intensity ranging from 0.5 to 25 mm/day, but tend to underestimate light (0–0.5 mm/day) and heavy (>25 mm/day) rainfalls, especially for torrential rains (above 100 mm/day). Regarding each gauge station, the IMERG v5 has larger mean r (0.36 for GPM, 0.33 for TRMM) and lower mean relative root mean square error (RRMSE, 1.73 for GPM, 1.88 for TRMM) than those of 3B42 v7. The higher probability of detection (POD), critical success index (CSI) and lower false alarm ratio (FAR) of IMERG v5 than those of 3B42 v7 at different rainfall rates indicates that IMERG v5 in general performs better in detecting the observed precipitations. This study provides a better understanding of the spatiotemporal distribution of accuracy of IMERG v5 and 3B42 v7 precipitation and the influencing factors, which is of great significance to hydrological applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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