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  • 101
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2562: A Real-Time Imaging Algorithm Based on Sub-Aperture CS-Dechirp for GF3-SAR Data Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082562 Authors: Guang-Cai Sun Yanbin Liu Mengdao Xing Shiyu Wang Liang Guo Jun Yang Conventional synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging algorithms usually require a period of time to process data that is longer than the time it takes to record one synthetic aperture or that corresponding to an adequate azimuth resolution. That is to say, the real-time processing system is idle during the long data recording time and the utilization of computational resources is low. To deal with this problem, a real-time imaging algorithm based on sub-aperture chirp scaling dechirp (CS-dechirp) is proposed in this paper. With CS-dechirp, the sub-aperture data could be processed to form an image with relatively low resolution. Subsequently, a few low-resolution images are generated as longer azimuth data are recorded. At the stage of full-resolution image generation, a coherent combination method for the low-resolution complex-value images is developed. As the low-resolution complex-value images are coherently combined one by one, the resolution is gradually improved and the full-resolution image is finally obtained. The results of a simulation and real data from the GF3-SAR validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 102
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1037: Multivariate and Spatial Analysis of Physicochemical Parameters in an Irrigation District, Chihuahua, Mexico Water doi: 10.3390/w10081037 Authors: Jesús Alejandro Prieto-Amparán Beatriz Adriana Rocha-Gutiérrez María de Lourdes Ballinas-Casarrubias María Cecilia Valles-Aragón María del Rosario Peralta-Pérez Alfredo Pinedo-Alvarez Water quality is relevant due to the complexity of the interaction of physicochemical and biological parameters. The Irrigation District 005 (ID005) is one of the most important agricultural region in Chihuahua, México; for that reason, it was proposed to investigate the water quality of the site. Water samples were collected in two periods: Summer (S1) and Fall (S2). The samples were taken from 65 wells in S1, and 54 wells in S2. Physicochemical parameters (PhP) such as Arsenic (As), Temperature, Electrical Conductivity (EC), Oxide Reduction Potential (ORP), Hardness, pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and Turbidity were analyzed. The data were subjected to statistical principal component analysis (PCA), cluster analysis (CA) and spatial variability tests. In both seasons, the TDS exceeded the Mexican maximum permissible level (MPL) (35% S1, 39% S2). Turbidity exceeded the MPL in S1 (29%) and in S2 (12%). Arsenic was above the MPL for water of agricultural use in 9% (S1) and 13% (S2) of the wells. The PCA results suggested that most variations in water quality in S1 were due to As, pH and Temperature, followed by EC, TDS and Hardness; while in S2 to EC, TDS and Hardness, followed by As and pH.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 103
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2763: Global Agricultural Trade Pattern in A Warming World: Regional Realities Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082763 Authors: Huey-Lin Lee Yu-Pin Lin Joy R. Petway Global warming, coupled with disparate national population growth projections, could exert significant pressure on food prices, increasing the risk of food insecurity, particularly for net-importing countries. We investigated projected eventualities for a comprehensive set of 133 countries by the year 2030, and identified changes in the global agricultural crop trading pattern, with simulations from a multi-regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. We based our model on population growth and temperature scenarios, as per the IPCC fifth assessment report (AR5). Our simulations suggest an increase of 4.9% and 6.4% in global average prices and aggregate export crop volumes, respectively. This global exports expansion requires an increased 4.46% in current global aggregate crop output, since population growth raises demand, and thus, global average crop prices, further aggravating net importing countries’ financial burdens for food acquisition. Conversely, net exporting countries will fare better in the projected scenario due to increased agricultural income, as they are able to increase crop exports to meet the rising global demand and price. The gap in global income distribution widens, given that the majority of developing countries are coincidently located in tropical zones which are projected to experience negative crop yield shocks, while industrialized countries are located in cold and temperate zones projected to have favorable crop yield changes. National and international policy measures aimed at effectively alleviating net importing countries’ food security issues should also consider how global crop yields are geographically and diversely impacted by climate change.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 104
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 120: Probabilistic Interval-Valued Hesitant Fuzzy Information Aggregation Operators and Their Application to Multi-Attribute Decision Making Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11080120 Authors: Wenying Wu Ying Li Zhiwei Ni Feifei Jin Xuhui Zhu Based on the probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy information aggregation operators, this paper investigates a novel multi-attribute group decision making (MAGDM) model to address the serious loss of information in a hesitant fuzzy information environment. Firstly, the definition of probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy set will be introduced, and then, using Archimedean norm, some new probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy operations are defined. Secondly, based on these operations, the generalized probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy ordered weighted averaging (GPIVHFOWA) operator, and the generalized probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy ordered weighted geometric (GPIVHFOWG) operator are proposed, and their desirable properties are discussed. We further study their common forms and analyze the relationship among these proposed operators. Finally, a new probabilistic interval-valued hesitant fuzzy MAGDM model is constructed, and the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed model are verified by using an example of supplier selection.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 105
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Algorithms, Vol. 11, Pages 119: An Opportunistic Network Routing Algorithm Based on Cosine Similarity of Data Packets between Nodes Algorithms doi: 10.3390/a11080119 Authors: Yucheng Lin Zhigang Chen Jia Wu Leilei Wang The mobility of nodes leads to dynamic changes in topology structure, which makes the traditional routing algorithms of a wireless network difficult to apply to the opportunistic network. In view of the problems existing in the process of information forwarding, this paper proposed a routing algorithm based on the cosine similarity of data packets between nodes (cosSim). The cosine distance, an algorithm for calculating the similarity between text data, is used to calculate the cosine similarity of data packets between nodes. The data packet set of nodes are expressed in the form of vectors, thereby facilitating the calculation of the similarity between the nodes. Through the definition of the upper and lower thresholds, the similarity between the nodes is filtered according to certain rules, and finally obtains a plurality of relatively reliable transmission paths. Simulation experiments show that compared with the traditional opportunistic network routing algorithm, such as the Spray and Wait (S&W) algorithm and Epidemic algorithm, the cosSim algorithm has a better transmission effect, which can not only improve the delivery ratio, but also reduce the network transmission delay and decline the routing overhead.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4893
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 106
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1038: Simple and Low-Cost Procedure for Monthly and Yearly Streamflow Forecasts during the Current Hydrological Year Water doi: 10.3390/w10081038 Authors: Fernando Delgado-Ramos Carmen Hervás-Gámez Accurately forecasting streamflow values is essential to achieve an efficient, integrated water resources management strategy and to provide consistent support to water decision-makers. We present a simple, low-cost, and robust approach for forecasting monthly and yearly streamflows during the current hydrological year, which is applicable to headwater catchments. The procedure innovatively combines the use of well-known regression analysis techniques, the two-parameter Gamma continuous cumulative probability distribution function and the Monte Carlo method. Several model performance statistics metrics (including the Coefficient of Determination R2; the Root-Mean-Square Error RMSE; the Mean Absolute Error MAE; the Index of Agreement IOA; the Mean Absolute Percent Error MAPE; the Coefficient of Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency NSE; and the Inclusion Coefficient IC) were used and the results showed good levels of accuracy (improving as the number of observed months increases). The model forecast outputs are the mean monthly and yearly streamflows along with the 10th and 90th percentiles. The methodology has been successfully applied to two headwater reservoirs within the Guadalquivir River Basin in southern Spain, achieving an accuracy of 92% and 80% in March 2017. These risk-based predictions are of great value, especially before the intensive irrigation campaign starts in the middle of the hydrological year, when Water Authorities have to ensure that the right decision is made on how to best allocate the available water volume between the different water users and environmental needs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 107
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2561: Self-Calibration Algorithm for a Pressure Sensor with a Real-Time Approach Based on an Artificial Neural Network Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082561 Authors: Ahmed M. M. Almassri Wan Zuha Wan Hasan Siti Anom Ahmad Suhaidi Shafie Chikamune Wada Keiichi Horio This paper presents a novel approach to predicting self-calibration in a pressure sensor using a proposed Levenberg Marquardt Back Propagation Artificial Neural Network (LMBP-ANN) model. The self-calibration algorithm should be able to fix major problems in the pressure sensor such as hysteresis, variation in gain and lack of linearity with high accuracy. The traditional calibration process for this kind of sensor is a time-consuming task because it is usually done through manual and repetitive identification. Furthermore, a traditional computational method is inadequate for solving the problem since it is extremely difficult to resolve the mathematical formula among multiple confounding pressure variables. Accordingly, this paper describes a new self-calibration methodology for nonlinear pressure sensors based on an LMBP-ANN model. The proposed method was achieved using a collected dataset from pressure sensors in real time. The load cell will be used as a reference for measuring the applied force. The proposed method was validated by comparing the output pressure of the trained network with the experimental target pressure (reference). This paper also shows that the proposed model exhibited a remarkable performance than traditional methods with a max mean square error of 0.17325 and an R-value over 0.99 for the total response of training, testing and validation. To verify the proposed model’s capability to build a self-calibration algorithm, the model was tested using an untrained input data set. As a result, the proposed LMBP-ANN model for self-calibration purposes is able to successfully predict the desired pressure over time, even the uncertain behaviour of the pressure sensors due to its material creep. This means that the proposed model overcomes the problems of hysteresis, variation in gain and lack of linearity over time. In return, this can be used to enhance the durability of the grasping mechanism, leading to a more robust and secure grasp for paralyzed hands. Furthermore, the exposed analysis approach in this paper can be a useful methodology for the user to evaluate the performance of any measurement system in a real-time environment.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 108
    Publication Date: 2018-08-06
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1036: Hydraulic Conductivity Characteristics of Desert Plant Organs: Coping with Drought Tolerance Strategy Water doi: 10.3390/w10081036 Authors: Shanjia Li Peixi Su Haina Zhang Zijuan Zhou Rui Shi Wei Gou Plant hydraulic conductivity (K) refers to the rate of water flow (kg s−1) per unit pressure drop (MPa), which drives flow through the plant organ system. It is an important eco-physiology index for measuring plant water absorption and transport capacity. A field study was conducted in the arid region of the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China, plant hydraulic conductivity was measured by high-pressure flowmeter (HPFM) to investigate the characteristics of hydraulic conductivity of typical dominant desert plants (Reaumuria soongarica M., Nitraria sphaerocarpa M., and Sympegma regelii B.) and their relationship with functional traits of leaves, stems, and roots, and explaining their adaptation strategies to desert environment from the perspective of plant organs hydraulic conductivity. The results showed that the hydraulic conductivity of the leaves and stems of R. soongarica and N. sphaerocarpa (KLA, leaf hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf area; KLW, leaf hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf weight; KSLA, stem hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf area; KSLW, stem hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf weight) were significantly lower than those of S. regelii, while their fine root (KRL, root hydraulic conductivity per unit leaf length; KRSA, root hydraulic conductivity per unit root surface area) and whole root (KTRW, whole root hydraulic conductivity per unit root weight) of hydraulic conductivity were significantly higher than those of S. regelii. In addition, KLA and KLW, KSLA and KSLW, and KRL and KRSA in three desert plants all exhibited consistent trends. Correlation analysis illustrated that the hydraulic conductivity of leaves and stems had a significantly positive correlation, but they had no significant negative correlation with the specific leaf weight (SLW, specific leaf weight). The hydraulic conductivity of fine root weight (KRW, root hydraulic conductivity per unit root weight) and specific root surface area (SRSA, specific root surface area) showed significantly positive correlation (r = 0.727, P < 0.05). The results demonstrated that the R. soongarica and N. sphaerocarpa preserved their water content through the strong leaf absorption capacity of soil water and the low water dispersion rates of leaves to adapt to the harsher arid habitat, which is more drought tolerant than S. regelii.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 109
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2041: Comparison of the Location and Rating of Energy Storage for Renewables Integration in Residential Low Voltage Networks with Overvoltage Constraints Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082041 Authors: Andrew F. Crossland Darren Jones Neal S. Wade Sara L. Walker Expansion of photovoltaic (PV) generation is increasing the challenge for network operators to keep voltages within operational limits. Voltage rise occurs in low voltage (LV) networks when distributed generators export, particularly at times of low demand. However, there is little work quantifying the scale of voltage issues and subsequently potential solutions across large numbers of real networks. In this paper, a method is presented to analyse a large quantity of geographically and topographically varying distribution networks. The impact of PV on voltages in 9163 real LV distribution networks is then quantified. One potential mitigation measure is increased network demand to reduce voltages. In this work, location algorithms are used to identify where increased demand, through energy storage, has the greatest effect on overvoltage. The study explores the impact on overvoltage of two modes of storage installation reflecting differing routes to adoption: purchase of storage by homeowners and purchase by network operators. These scenarios are compared with traditional re-conductoring in the 9163 networks. It is shown that to avoid violation of absolute voltage limits, storage should be installed at strategically important locations. Storage in homes reduces overvoltage, offering clear benefits to the network operator, but very wide deployment is required to completely remove the need for reinforcement.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 110
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2037: Evaluation of SF6 Leakage from Gas Insulated Equipment on Electricity Networks in Great Britain Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082037 Authors: Phillip Widger Abderrahmane (Manu) Haddad This paper examines the data collected from the power industry over the last six years of actual reported emissions of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and the potential impact. The SF6 emissions have been collated from the 14 different regions in England, Scotland, and Wales (Great Britain) from the six distribution network operators. The emissions of SF6 due to the transmission network of Great Britain have also been collated from the three different transmission network operators. By collecting this SF6 emissions data from the power industry, in both the distribution and transmission networks, an overall view of the scale of SF6 emissions in Great Britain can be evaluated. Data from the power industry also shows the inventory of SF6 power equipment in use over the last six years in Great Britain and shows the calculated percentage leakage rate of all of this equipment. In this paper, these figures, as reported by the electrical power industry to the UK government, have been used to estimate the likely inventory of SF6 equipment in England, Scotland, and Wales by 2050 and the future emissions of SF6 that could be leaked into the atmosphere by this equipment.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 111
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2040: Instability Analysis of Supercritic4al CO2 during Transportation and Injection in Carbon Capture and Storage Systems Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082040 Authors: Il Hong Min Seong-Gil Kang Cheol Huh Captured CO2 is in a subcritical state, whereas CO2 deep underground is in a supercritical state because of the high geothermal heat and pressure. The properties of CO2 can change rapidly at the critical point and in the near-critical region during the transportation and injection process. This study aims to identify the instabilities in the CO2 flow in these regions, along with the causes and effects, during the transportation and injection process, and propose relevant design specifications. Thus, the critical points and near-critical region of CO2 flow were numerically analyzed. The unstable region is presented in terms of temperature and pressure ranges, and the changes in the CO2 properties in this region were analyzed. In the unstable region, the sudden change in density was similar to the density wave oscillation of a two-phase flow. The CO2 stability map we obtained and the stability map of supercritical water show similar trends. Flow instability was also found to occur in standard CO2 transportation pipelines. We demonstrate that flow instability in CO2 transportation and injection systems can be avoided by maintaining the proposed conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 112
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2036: Spatial Environmental Assessment Tool (SEAT): A Modeling Tool to Evaluate Potential Environmental Risks Associated with Wave Energy Converter Deployments Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082036 Authors: Craig Jones Grace Chang Kaustubha Raghukumar Samuel McWilliams Ann Dallman Jesse Roberts Wave energy converter (WEC) arrays deployed in coastal regions may create physical disturbances, potentially resulting in environmental stresses. Presently, limited information is available on the nature of these physical disturbance or the resultant effects. A quantitative Spatial Environmental Assessment Tool (SEAT) for evaluating the potential effects of wave energy converter (WEC) arrays on nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport is presented for the central Oregon coast (USA) through coupled numerical model simulations of an array of WECs. Derived climatological wave conditions were used as inputs to the model to allow for the calculation of risk metrics associated with various hydrodynamic and sediment transport variables such as maximum shear stress, bottom velocity, and change in bed elevation. The risk maps provided simple, quantitative, and spatially-resolved means of evaluating physical changes in the vicinity of a hypothetical WEC array in response to varying wave conditions. The near-field risk of sediment mobility was determined to be moderate in the lee of the densely spaced array, where the potential for increased sediment deposition could result in benthic habitat alteration. Modifications to the nearshore sediment deposition and erosion patterns were observed near headlands and topographic features, which could have implications for littoral sediment transport. The results illustrate the benefits of a risk evaluation tool for facilitating coastal resource management at early market marine renewable energy sites.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 113
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2034: Design of Current Programmed Switching Converters Using Sliding-Mode Control Theory Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082034 Authors: Javier Calvente Abdelali El Aroudi Roberto Giral Angel Cid-Pastor Enric Vidal-Idiarte Luis Martínez-Salamero This paper presents a comprehensive approach to analyze and design the voltage and current loops of switching DC-DC converters by using sliding-mode control theory. The approach is interchangeably applied to switching converters under current-programmed control with both fixed and variable frequency modulation. An ideal sliding-mode dynamics model is then obtained together with its circuit schematic representation that can be used for designing the output voltage compensator, as well as to predict the large signal behavior such as during start-up and under large disturbances. Simulations and experimental measurements illustrate the theoretical approach for two different examples of switching converters.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 114
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2031: A Framework for Green Remodeling Enabling Energy Efficiency and Healthy Living for the Elderly Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082031 Authors: Sung Jun Park Mi Jeong Kim This study proposes a framework for green remodeling for the elderly that emphasizes the role of designers and the notion of aging in place. Energy efficiency is critical for older persons because many of them spend more time at home and are less likely to heat and cool their homes appropriately. Improving the energy performance of the elderly’s housing by green remodeling could promote energy efficiency and healthy living for the elderly. Based on remodeling components derived from related work, key factors to be considered regarding the remodeling for the elderly were investigated. A framework for green remodeling enabling energy efficiency was developed for home upgrades for the elderly. Identifying the area of application and critical components for energy efficiency helps improve the energy performance for the elderly. This study is significant because it considers the elderly’s characteristics and experiences in the development of a sustainable remodeling process rather than new-building construction.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 115
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1666: Distinct Influences of Urban Villages on Urban Heat Islands: A Case Study in the Pearl River Delta, China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081666 Authors: Wei Wu Hongyan Ren Ming Yu Zhen Wang Widely scattered urban villages (UVs) and increasingly serious urban heat islands (UHIs) are common urban problems in highly urbanized regions, especially in the developing countries. However, the influences of UVs on UHIs remain little understood. In this study, different methodologies are performed to retrieve land surface temperature (LST) from thermal bands and the nearest object-oriented method with spectral, texture, shape metrics using ZY-3 high-resolution satellite imagery, and road network data are used to extract UVs and other land-use types in the Guangzhou–Foshan (GF) core areas of Pearl River Delta (PRD). Moreover, the relationship between LST and land-use types is then analyzed on the multiple scales. The results show that five land-use types (vegetation, normal construction land (NCL), UVs, water, and unused land) extracted by the object-oriented method were qualified for subsequent analysis because of satisfactory overall accuracy (0.887) and the Kappa coefficient (0.863). In the GF core areas presenting the most outstanding UHI effect across the PRD region, about 60.5% of the total area is covered by the impervious surfaces, including NCL (50.4%) and UVs (10.1%). The average LST of UVs was 1.89–2.97 °C lower than that of NCL. According to the average contribution index of thermal effect and the Pearson’s correlation coefficients, UVs present a relatively lower contribution to UHI and a weaker warming effect than NCL, but possess a higher contribution to UHI and a stronger warming effect than other land-use types, resulting in some slightly lower LST-valleys in the UVs adjacent to the NCL and distinct LST-peaks of UVs close to vegetation and water on the surface temperature profile lines. This work increases our understanding of the relationship between increasingly serious UHIs and widely distributed UVs, and would be valuable for local authorities to monitor and improve urban environment in metropolitan regions.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 116
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1669: An Assessment of Current and Past Concentrations of Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water throughout France International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081669 Authors: Magali Corso Catherine Galey René Seux Pascal Beaudeau In France, 95% of people are supplied with chlorinated tap water. Due to the presence of natural organic matter that reacts with chlorine, the concentrations of chlorination by-products (CBPs) are much higher in chlorinated water produced from surface water than from groundwater. Surface water supplies 33% of the French population. Until the 1980s, almost all surface water utilities pre-chlorinated water at the intake. Pre-chlorination was then gradually banned from 1980 to 2000. Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the only regulated CBP in France. Since 2003, THMs have been monitored at the outlet of all utilities. This study assessed current (2005–2011) and past (1960–2000) exposure of the French population to THMs. We developed an original method to model THM concentrations between 1960 and 2000 according to current concentrations of THMs, concentration of total organic carbon in raw and finished water, and the evolution of water treatments from 1960 onward. Current and past mean exposure of the French population to THMs was estimated at 11.7 µg·L−1 and 17.3 µg·L−1, respectively. In the past, approximately 10% of the French population was exposed to concentrations >50 µg·L−1 vs. 1% currently. Large variations in exposure were observed among France’s 100 administrative districts, mainly depending on the water origin (i.e., surface vs. ground), ranging between 0.2 and 122.1 µg·L−1 versus between 1.8 and 38.6 µg·L−1 currently.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 117
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1667: Who Has Higher Willingness to Pay for Occupational Safety and Health?—Views from Groups with Different Public Identities and Differences in Attention International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081667 Authors: Shanshan Li Hong Chen Xinru Huang Ruyin Long Background: Occupational safety and health issues are closely associated with the wellbeing and survival of every worker and family, as well as of society as a whole. It is a type of typical public issue and requires cooperative governance among different governing subjects. Methods: According to the questionnaire investigation on 2179 subjects with different identities, the research explored the willingness to pay (WTP) for occupational safety and health and the degree of attention, with different identities, through the difference analysis and descriptive statistical analysis. The research studied the relationship between public attention and WTP through the methods of cross-analysis, correlation analysis, and regression analysis. Results: (1) The public show a disregard attitude to occupational safety and health. (2) The public expect the government to fund and solve occupational safety and health problems rather than for themselves to pay directly. (3) Over 50% of questionnaire respondents defined occupational safety and health problems as being classified into two categories, namely, “no attention—government payment” or “no attention—refusal of individual payment”, according to the analysis. (4) The level of attention paid to occupational safety and health can significantly predict the individual income WTP, item WTP, subject WTP, and event WTP. Conclusions: This research aimed to outline the implications for the governance of occupational safety and health.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 118
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1663: Assessing Effect Modification of Excess Winter Death by Causes of Death and Individual Characteristics in Zhejiang Province, China: A Multi-Community Case-Only Analysis International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081663 Authors: Yiling He Xuehai Zhang Meng Ren Junzhe Bao Cunrui Huang Shakoor Hajat Adrian G Barnett Mortality in many parts of the world has a seasonal pattern, with a marked excess of deaths during winter. To date, however, there is very little published evidence on the nature of this wintertime excess in low- and middle-income countries. In this study, we aimed to quantify the extent of the death peak in winter and to assess effect modification on excess winter death (EWD) by individual characteristics and cause of deaths in China. We used a Cosinor model to examine seasonal patterns for specific causes of deaths and a case-only analysis of deaths in winter compared with other seasons to assess effect modification by individual characteristics. A total of 398,529 deaths were investigated between January 2010 and December 2013 in Zhejiang Province, China. Deaths peaked in winter, and overall mortality was around 30% higher in winter than in summer. Although diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems were highly seasonal, surprisingly we observed that deaths from mental and behavioral disorders exhibited greater fluctuation. Males, the elderly and illiterate individuals suffered high EWD. EWDs were also particularly common in emergency rooms, at home, on the way to hospitals, and in nursing homes/family wards. This study highlighted the high EWD in some previously unreported groups, indicating new information to facilitate the targeting of necessary preventive measures to those at greatest risk in order to mitigate wintertime death burdens.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 119
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1662: Cost and Threshold Analysis of the FinishIt Campaign to Prevent Youth Smoking in the United States International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081662 Authors: Brian W. Weir Jennifer Cantrell David R. Holtgrave Marisa S. Greenberg Ryan D. Kennedy Jessica M. Rath Elizabeth C. Hair Donna Vallone In 2014, Truth Initiative launched the national FinishIt campaign to prevent smoking initiation among youth and young adults. The significant changes in the communications landscape requires further analysis to determine resource requirements for public education campaigns relative to their impact. This analysis estimates the cost of the FinishIt campaign based on data from expenditure records and uses published estimates of the lifetime treatment costs and quality-adjusted life years associated with smoking. The total cost of the FinishIt campaign for 2014–2016 was $162 million. Under assumptions associated with the pessimistic base-case (no medical care costs saved through prevention), 917 smoking careers would need to be averted for the campaign to be cost-effective. Assuming smoking leads to increased medical care costs, 7186 smoking careers would need to be averted for the campaign to be cost-saving. Given these thresholds (917 and 7186) and the estimate of the impact of the previous truth campaign, the investments in the Truth Initiative’s FinishIt campaign are likely warranted for preventing smoking careers among youth and young adults.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 120
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1366: Increase in Strength and Fretting Resistance of Alloy 718 Using the Surface Modification Process Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081366 Authors: Auezhan Amanov Rakhmatjon Umarov Tileubay Amanov This work comparatively investigated the strength (hardness, yield strength, dynamic elastic modulus, and surface residual stress), fretting failure, and corrosion resistance of the as-received and treated Ni-based superalloy Alloy 718. The goal of the current research is to improve the hardness, fretting wear, and corrosion resistances of Alloy 718 through the ultrasonic nanocrystal surface modification (UNSM) process with the aim of extending the lifespan of aircraft and nuclear components made of Alloy 718. The experimental results revealed that the surface hardness increased by about 32%, the fretting wear resistance increased by about 14%, and the corrosion resistance increased by about 18% after UNSM process. In addition, the UNSM process induced a tremendous high compressive surface residual stress of about −1324 MPa that led to an increase in yield strength and dynamic Young’s modulus by about 14 and 9%, respectively. Grain size refinement up to ~50 nm after the UNSM process is found to be responsible for the increase in surface hardness as well. The depth of the effective layer generated by the UNSM process was about 20 µm. It was concluded that the UNSM process played a vital role in increasing the strength and enhancing the corrosion and fretting resistances of Alloy 718.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 121
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1365: Composites of Laponite and Cu–Mn Hopcalite-Related Mixed Oxides Prepared from Inverse Microemulsions as Catalysts for Total Oxidation of Toluene Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081365 Authors: Bogna D. Napruszewska Alicja Michalik Anna Walczyk Dorota Duraczyńska Roman Dula Wojciech Rojek Lidia Lityńska-Dobrzyńska Krzysztof Bahranowski Ewa M. Serwicka Composites of Laponite and Cu–Mn hopcalite-related mixed oxides, prepared from hydrotalcite-like (Htlc) precursors obtained in inverse microemulsions, were synthesized and characterized with XRF, XRD, SEM, TEM, H2 temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), and N2 adsorption/desorption at −196 °C. The Htlc precursors were precipitated either with NaOH or tetrabutylammonium hydroxide (TBAOH). Al was used as an element facilitating Htlc structure formation, and Ce and/or Zr were added as promoters. The composites calcined at 600 °C are mesoporous structures with similar textural characteristics. The copper–manganite spinel phases formed from the TBAOH-precipitated precursors are less crystalline and more susceptible to reduction than the counterparts obtained from the precursors synthesized with NaOH. The Cu–Mn-based composites are active in the combustion of toluene, and their performance improves further upon the addition of promoters in the following order: Ce < Zr < Zr + Ce. The composites whose active phases are prepared with TBAOH are more active than their counterparts obtained with the use of the precursors precipitated with NaOH, due to the better reducibility of the less crystalline mixed oxide active phase.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 122
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1359: Facile Fabrication of Dumbbell-Like β-Bi2O3/Graphene Nanocomposites and Their Highly Efficient Photocatalytic Activity Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081359 Authors: Jun Yang Taiping Xie Chenglun Liu Longjun Xu β-Bi2O3 decorated graphene nanosheets (β-Bi2O3/GN) were prepared by a facile solution mixing method. The crystal structure, surface morphology, and photo absorbance properties of the products were characterized by XRD, SEM, and UV-VIS diffuse reflection, respectively. Moreover, the effect of graphene content on photocatalytic activity was systematically investigated, and the results indicated that these composites possessed a high degradation rate of Rhodamine B (RhB), which was three times higher than that of bare β-Bi2O3 when graphene content was 1 wt %. This high photocatalytic activity was attributed predominantly to the presence of graphene, which served as an electron collector and transporter to efficiently lengthen the lifetime of the photogenerated charge carriers from β-Bi2O3.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 123
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1360: Effect of Annealing Temperature on ECD Grown Hexagonal-Plane Zinc Oxide Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081360 Authors: Sukrit Sucharitakul Rangsan Panyathip Supab Choopun Zinc oxide (ZnO) offers a great potential in several applications from sensors to Photovoltaic cells thanks to the material’s dependency, to its optical and electrical properties and crystalline structure architypes. Typically, ZnO powder tends to be grown in the form of a wurtzite structure allowing versatility in the phase of material growths; albeit, whereas in this work we introduce an alternative in scalable yet relatively simple 2D hexagonal planed ZnO nanoflakes via the electrochemical deposition of commercially purchased Zn(NO3)2 and KCl salts in an electrochemical process. The resulting grown materials were analyzed and characterized via a series of techniques prior to thermal annealing to increase the grain size and improve the crystal quality. Through observation via scanning electron microscope (SEM) images, we have analyzed the statistics of the grown flakes’ hexagonal plane’s size showing a non-monotonal strong dependency of the average flake’s hexagonal flakes’ on the annealing temperature, whereas at 300 °C annealing temperature, average flake size was found to be in the order of 300 μm2. The flakes were further analyzed via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to confirm its hexagonal planes and spectroscopy techniques, such as Raman Spectroscopy and photo luminescence were applied to analyze and confirm the ZnO crystal signatures. The grown materials also underwent further characterization to gain insights on the material, electrical, and optical properties and, hence, verify the quality of the material for Photovoltaic cells’ electron collection layer application. The role of KCl in aiding the growth of the less preferable (0001) ZnO is also investigated via various prospects discussed in our work. Our method offers a relatively simple and mass-producible method for synthesizing a high quality 2D form of ZnO that is, otherwise, technically difficult to grow or control.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 124
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1029: Threshold Based Footprints (for Water) Water doi: 10.3390/w10081029 Authors: Benjamin L. Ruddell Thresholds are an emergent property of complex systems and Coupled Natural Human Systems (CNH) because they indicate “tipping points” where a complicated array of social, environmental, and/or economic processes combine to substantially change a system’s state. Because of the elegance of the concept, thresholds have emerged as one of the primary tools by which socio-political systems simplify, define, and especially regulate complex environmental impacts and resource scarcity considerations. This paper derives a general framework for the use of thresholds to calculate scarcity footprints, and presents a volumetric Threshold-based Water Footprint (TWF), comparing it with the Blue Water Footprint (BWF) and the Relevant for Environmental Deficiency (RED) midpoint impact indicator. Specific findings include (a) one requires all users’ BWF to calculate an individual user’s TWF, whereas one can calculate an individual user’s BWF without other users’ data; (b) local maxima appear in the Free from Environmental Deficiency (FED) efficiency of the RED metric due to its nonlinear form; and (c) it is possible to estimate the “effective” threshold that is approximately implied by the RED water use impact metric.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 125
    Publication Date: 2018-08-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1027: Distribution-Based Calibration of a Stormwater Quality Model Water doi: 10.3390/w10081027 Authors: Dominik Leutnant Dirk Muschalla Mathias Uhl Stormwater quality models are usually calibrated using observed pollutographs. As current models still rely on simplified model concepts for pollutant accumulation and wash-off, calibration results for continuous pollutant concentrations are highly uncertain. In this paper, we introduce an innovative calibration approach based on total suspended solids (TSS) event load distribution. The approach is applied on stormwater quality models for a flat roof and a parking lot for which reliable distributions are available. Exponential functions are employed for both TSS buildup and wash-off. Model parameters are calibrated by means of an evolutionary algorithm to minimize the distance between a parameterized lognormal distribution function and the cumulated distribution of simulated TSS event loads. Since TSS event load characteristics are probabilistically considered, the approach especially respects the stochasticity of TSS buildup and wash-off and, therefore, improves conventional stormwater quality calibration concepts. The results show that both experimental models were calibrated with high goodness-of-fit (Kolmogorov–Smirnov test statistic: 0.05). However, it is shown that events with high TSS event loads (>0.8 percentile) are generally underestimated. While this leads to a relative deviation of −28% of total TSS loads for the parking lot, the error is compensated for the flat roof (+5%). Calibrated model parameters generally tend to generate wash-off proportional to runoff, which is indicated by mass-volume curves. The approach itself is, in general, applicable and creates a new opportunity to calibrate stormwater quality models especially when calibration data is limited.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 126
    Publication Date: 2018-08-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1030: Cropland Soil Salinization and Associated Hydrology: Trends, Processes and Examples Water doi: 10.3390/w10081030 Authors: Nachshon Uri While global food demand and world population are rapidly growing, land potential for cropping is steadily declining due to various soil degradation processes, a major one of them being soil salinization. Currently, approximately 20% of total cropland and 33% of irrigated agricultural land are salinized as a result of poor agricultural practices and it is expected that by 2050, half of the croplands worldwide will become salinized. Thus, there is a real need to better understand soil salinization processes and to develop agricultural practices that will enable production of the needed amount of food to feed humanity, while minimizing soil salinization and other degradation processes. The major sources of solutes in agricultural environments are: (i) the soil itself, and the parent geological material; (ii) shallow and salt rich groundwater; and (iii) salt rich irrigation water. The salinization of soil is a combination of transport of solutes towards the root zone to replenish evaporation and transpiration and limited washing of the soil by rain or irrigation. Therefore, most salinized soils are present in arid and semi-arid environments where precipitation is low and evaporation is high. In this manuscript, examples of soil salinization processes from croplands around the world will be presented and discussed to bring attention to this important topic, to present the latest scientific insights and to highlight the gaps that should be filled, from both scientific and practical perspectives.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 127
    Publication Date: 2018-08-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1028: Understanding the Main Causes of Runoff Change by Hydrological Modeling: A Case Study in Luanhe River Basin, North China Water doi: 10.3390/w10081028 Authors: Zhang Wang Wang Feng In the traditional point of view, if there is a significant decreasing trend for a runoff time series, while no significant trend for a precipitation series is present, then an unreliable conclusion will be made that the land surface change is the main contributor to the runoff change. To test it, we selected four sub-watersheds in the Luanhe river basin as the study areas where land use has changed severely. We first detected the long-term rainfall and runoff trend by the Mann–Kendall test, Sen’s slope, and the moving average method, and found that the runoff had a decreasing trend at the 0.05 significance level, while the rainfall had no significant trend in all sub-watersheds. Then an orderly cluster analysis and moving T test method were used to detect the change point of the runoff series. We quantified the contributions of the land surface change and climate variability based on Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and the contribution of climate variability accounted for more than 50%, which implies that climate change is the main factor of runoff decrease in the study areas. To further test this, a trend analysis of a reconstructed annual runoff time series under undisturbed conditions has been done. The results showed that in some sub-watersheds, although rainfall series had no significant decreasing trend, the runoff series had significant downward trend. This can be explained by the nonlinear relationship between rainfall and runoff. This study came to a different conclusion from the common view, which observes that runoff decrease is mainly caused by land surface change if rainfall series lacks a significantly decreasing trend.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 128
    Publication Date: 2018-08-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2028: Temperature and Velocity Effects on Mass and Momentum Transport in Spacer-Filled Channels for Reverse Electrodialysis: A Numerical Study Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082028 Authors: Zohreh Jalili Jon G. Pharoah Odne Stokke Burheim Kristian Etienne Einarsrud Concentration polarization is one of the main challenges of membrane-based processes such as power generation by reverse electrodialysis. Spacers in the compartments can enhance mass transfer by reducing concentration polarization. Active spacers increase the available membrane surface area, thus avoiding the shadow effect introduced by inactive spacers. Optimizing the spacer-filled channels is crucial for improving mass transfer while maintaining reasonable pressure losses. The main objective of this work was to develop a numerical model based upon the Navier–Stokes and Nernst–Planck equations in OpenFOAM, for detailed investigation of mass transfer efficiency and pressure drop. The model is utilized in different spacer-filled geometries for varying Reynolds numbers, spacer conductivity and fluid temperature. Triangular corrugations are found to be the optimum geometry, particularly at low flow velocities. Cylindrical corrugations are better at high flow velocities due to lower pressure drop. Enhanced mass transfer and lower pressure drop by elevating temperature is demonstrated.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 129
    Publication Date: 2018-08-04
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1026: An Optimal Model for Water Resources Risk Hedging Based on Water Option Trading Water doi: 10.3390/w10081026 Authors: Haibin Yan Ping-An Zhong Juan Chen Bin Xu Yenan Wu Feilin Zhu The uncertainty of forecasted runoffs brings risks of water shortages to water users in the intake area of long-distance water transfer projects, and the uncertainty of spot market prices may cause them to buy water at high prices. In order to hedge these risks, this paper proposes a risk hedging model for decision-making in water option trading from the viewpoint of water users. With the objective of maximizing the expected revenue of water users, the proposed model was solved by an analytical method and an optimal water option strategy was obtained for the users. The proposed model is applied to an intake area of an inter-basin water transfer project in China. The results show that the proposed water option trading model can provide water users with an optimal option strategy. The optimal options trading strategy can effectively reduce the risk caused by the uncertainties of forecasted runoffs and water prices. We also explored the influence of the uncertainty degree of the forecasted runoffs and water price on the option trading strategy. The results show that the expected revenue of water users increases as the variances of the errors of forecasted runoffs and water prices increase.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 130
    Publication Date: 2018-08-05
    Description: Diversity, Vol. 10, Pages 81: Effects of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Amphibians: A Review of Experimental Studies Diversity doi: 10.3390/d10030081 Authors: Andrew R. Blaustein Jenny Urbina Paul W. Snyder Emily Reynolds Trang Dang Jason T. Hoverman Barbara Han Deanna H. Olson Catherine Searle Natalie M. Hambalek Numerous factors are contributing to the loss of biodiversity. These include complex effects of multiple abiotic and biotic stressors that may drive population losses. These losses are especially illustrated by amphibians, whose populations are declining worldwide. The causes of amphibian population declines are multifaceted and context-dependent. One major factor affecting amphibian populations is emerging infectious disease. Several pathogens and their associated diseases are especially significant contributors to amphibian population declines. These include the fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans, and ranaviruses. In this review, we assess the effects of these three pathogens on amphibian hosts as found through experimental studies. Such studies offer valuable insights to the causal factors underpinning broad patterns reported through observational studies. We summarize key findings from experimental studies in the laboratory, in mesocosms, and from the field. We also summarize experiments that explore the interactive effects of these pathogens with other contributors of amphibian population declines. Though well-designed experimental studies are critical for understanding the impacts of disease, inconsistencies in experimental methodologies limit our ability to form comparisons and conclusions. Studies of the three pathogens we focus on show that host susceptibility varies with such factors as species, host age, life history stage, population and biotic (e.g., presence of competitors, predators) and abiotic conditions (e.g., temperature, presence of contaminants), as well as the strain and dose of the pathogen, to which hosts are exposed. Our findings suggest the importance of implementing standard protocols and reporting for experimental studies of amphibian disease.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 131
    Publication Date: 2018-08-05
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2027: Stability Analysis of Deadbeat-Direct Torque and Flux Control for Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor Drives with Respect to Parameter Variations † Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082027 Authors: Jae Lee This paper presents a stability analysis and dynamic characteristics investigation of deadbeat-direct torque and flux control (DB-DTFC) of interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM) drives with respect to machine parameter variations. Since a DB-DTFC algorithm is developed based on a machine model and parameters, stability with respect to machine parameter variations should be evaluated. Among stability evaluation methods, an eigenvalue (EV) migration is used in this paper because both the stability and dynamic characteristics of a system can be investigated through EV migration. Since an IPMSM drive system is nonlinear, EV migration cannot be directly applied. Therefore, operating point models of DB-DTFC and CVC (current vector control) IPMSM drives are derived to obtain linearized models and to implement EV migration in this paper. Along with DB-DTFC, current vector control (CVC), one of the widely used control algorithms for motor drives, is applied and evaluated at the same operating conditions for performance comparison. For practical analysis, the US06 supplemental federal test procedure (SFTP), one of the dynamic automotive driving cycles, is transformed into torque and speed trajectories and the trajectories are used to investigate the EV migration of DB-DTFC and CVC IPMSM drives. In this paper, the stability and dynamic characteristics of DB-DTFC and CVC IPMSM drives are compared and evaluated through EV migrations with respect to machine parameter variations in simulation and experiment.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 132
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1230: Assisting Flood Disaster Response with Earth Observation Data and Products: A Critical Assessment Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10081230 Authors: Guy J-P. Schumann G. Robert Brakenridge Albert J. Kettner Rashid Kashif Emily Niebuhr Floods are among the top-ranking natural disasters in terms of annual cost in insured and uninsured losses. Since high-impact events often cover spatial scales that are beyond traditional regional monitoring operations, remote sensing, in particular from satellites, presents an attractive approach. Since the 1970s, there have been many studies in the scientific literature about mapping and monitoring of floods using data from various sensors onboard different satellites. The field has now matured and hence there is a general consensus among space agencies, numerous organizations, scientists, and end-users to strengthen the support that satellite missions can offer, particularly in assisting flood disaster response activities. This has stimulated more research in this area, and significant progress has been achieved in recent years in fostering our understanding of the ways in which remote sensing can support flood monitoring and assist emergency response activities. This paper reviews the products and services that currently exist to deliver actionable information about an ongoing flood disaster to emergency response operations. It also critically discusses requirements, challenges and perspectives for improving operational assistance during flood disaster using satellite remote sensing products.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 133
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2578: An Outlook on Physical and Virtual Sensors for a Socially Interactive Internet Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082578 Authors: Ngombo Armando André Rodrigues Vasco Pereira Jorge Sá Silva Fernando Boavida The Internet keeps changing at a rapid pace, driven mainly by the emerging concepts and applications that make it aware of the physical world and responsive to user context. The Internet of Things (IoT) concept is quickly giving way to more advanced and highly interactive environments that go well beyond the mere sensing of the physical world. Today, in addition to traditional electronic devices, IoT sensing/actuating includes both software and human-based entities. This paper provides an outlook on the future of sensing/actuating approaches on the Internet at large, which we see increasingly related to all kinds of socially interactive technologies. With these objectives in mind, we propose a taxonomy to deal with the heterogeneity of sensing/actuating approaches in IoT. We also analyse the state-of-the-art of Social Sensing. Finally, we identify open issues and associated research opportunities, the main ones being the integration of all sensing approaches, the combination of social sciences, engineering, and computing as enablers of context-aware, cognitive applications and, last but not least, the unified management of large sets of very heterogeneous sensors/actuators.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 134
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2571: Towards a Meaningful 3D Map Using a 3D Lidar and a Camera Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082571 Authors: Jongmin Jeong Tae Sung Yoon Jin Bae Park Semantic 3D maps are required for various applications including robot navigation and surveying, and their importance has significantly increased. Generally, existing studies on semantic mapping were camera-based approaches that could not be operated in large-scale environments owing to their computational burden. Recently, a method of combining a 3D Lidar with a camera was introduced to address this problem, and a 3D Lidar and a camera were also utilized for semantic 3D mapping. In this study, our algorithm consists of semantic mapping and map refinement. In the semantic mapping, a GPS and an IMU are integrated to estimate the odometry of the system, and subsequently, the point clouds measured from a 3D Lidar are registered by using this information. Furthermore, we use the latest CNN-based semantic segmentation to obtain semantic information on the surrounding environment. To integrate the point cloud with semantic information, we developed incremental semantic labeling including coordinate alignment, error minimization, and semantic information fusion. Additionally, to improve the quality of the generated semantic map, the map refinement is processed in a batch. It enhances the spatial distribution of labels and removes traces produced by moving vehicles effectively. We conduct experiments on challenging sequences to demonstrate that our algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art methods in terms of accuracy and intersection over union.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 135
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2568: Bayesian Compressive Sensing Based Optimized Node Selection Scheme in Underwater Sensor Networks Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082568 Authors: Ruisong Wang Gongliang Liu Wenjing Kang Bo Li Ruofei Ma Chunsheng Zhu Information acquisition in underwater sensor networks is usually limited by energy and bandwidth. Fortunately, the received signal can be represented sparsely on some basis. Therefore, a compressed sensing method can be used to collect the information by selecting a subset of the total sensor nodes. The conventional compressed sensing scheme is to select some sensor nodes randomly. The network lifetime and the correlation of sensor nodes are not considered. Therefore, it is significant to adjust the sensor node selection scheme according to these factors for the superior performance. In this paper, an optimized sensor node selection scheme is given based on Bayesian estimation theory. The advantage of Bayesian estimation is to give the closed-form expression of posterior density function and error covariance matrix. The proposed optimization problem first aims at minimizing the mean square error (MSE) of Bayesian estimation based on a given error covariance matrix. Then, the non-convex optimization problem is transformed as a convex semidefinite programming problem by relaxing the constraints. Finally, the residual energy of each sensor node is taken into account as a constraint in the optimization problem. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed scheme has better performance than a conventional compressed sensing scheme.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 136
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2569: An X-band Bi-Directional Transmit/Receive Module for a Phased Array System in 65-nm CMOS Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082569 Authors: Van-Viet Nguyen Hyohyun Nam Young Joe Choe Bok-Hyung Lee Jung-Dong Park We present an X-band bi-directional transmit/receive module (TRM) for a phased array system utilized in radar-based sensor systems. The proposed module, comprising a 6-bit phase shifter, a 6-bit digital step attenuator, and bi-directional gain amplifiers, is fabricated using 65-nm CMOS technology. By constructing passive networks in the phase-shifter and the variable attenuator, the implemented TRM provides amplitude and phase control with 360° phase coverage and 5.625° as the minimum step size while the attenuation range varies from 0 to 31.5 dB with a step size of 0.5 dB. The fabricated T/R module in all of the phase shift states had RMS phase errors of less than 4° and an RMS amplitude error of less than 0.93 dB at 9–11 GHz. The output 1dB gain compression point (OP1dB) of the chip was 5.13 dBm at 10 GHz. The circuit occupies 3.92 × 2.44 mm2 of the chip area and consumes 170 mW of DC power.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 137
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2567: DIFTOS: A Distributed Infrastructure-Free Traffic Optimization System Based on Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks for Urban Environments Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082567 Authors: Weidong Zhang Nyothiri Aung Sahraoui Dhelim Yibo Ai Aiming to alleviate traffic congestion, many congestion avoidance and traffic optimization systems have been proposed recently. However, most of them suffer from three main problems. Firstly scalability: they rely on a centralized server, which has to perform intensive communication and computational tasks. Secondly unpredictability: they use smartphones and other sensors to detect the congested roads and warn upcoming vehicles accordingly. In other words, they are used to solve the problem rather than avoiding it. Lastly, infrastructure dependency: they assume the presence of pre-installed infrastructures such as roadside unit (RSU) or cellular 3G/4G networks. Motivated by the above-mentioned reasons, in this paper, we proposed a fully distributed and infrastructure-less congestion avoidance and traffic optimization system for VANET (Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks) in urban environments named DIFTOS (Distributed Infrastructure-Free Traffic Optimization System), in which the city map is divided into a hierarchy of servers. The vehicles that are located in the busy road intersections play the role of servers, thus DIFTOS does not rely on any centralized server and does not need internet connectivity or RSU or any kind of infrastructure. As far as we know, in the literature of congestion avoidance using VANET, DIFTOS is the first completely infrastructure-free congestion avoidance system. The effectiveness and scalability of DIFTOS have been proved by simulation under different traffic conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 138
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2573: Screening Method for Anti-Colon Cancer Drugs Using Two Sensor Cell Lines with Human β4-Galactosyltransferase 4 Gene Promoters Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082573 Authors: Naomichi Fukushima Atena Sugiyama Takeshi Sato The increased expression of β4-galactosyltransferase (β4GalT) 4 is closely associated with poor prognosis of colon cancer. Recently, we showed that the expression of the β4GalT4 gene is regulated by the 0.17 kb core promoter region containing one binding site for Specificity protein 1 (Sp1). To develop a screening method for anti-colon cancer drugs, two sensor cell lines having the luciferase gene under the control of two β4GalT4 gene promoters that differed in length were established from SW480 human colon cancer cells. The hGT4-0.17-sensor cells possessed the luciferase reporter driven by the 0.17 kb promoter, while the hGT4-0.3-sensor cells possessed the luciferase reporter driven by the 0.3 kb promoter containing one binding site each for colon cancer-related transcription factors including activator protein 2, E2F, caudal-related homeobox transcription factors, and Runt-related transcription factors besides Sp1. Upon treatment with mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling inhibitor U0126, the promoter activities of the hGT4-0.3-sensor cells decreased significantly, while those of the hGT4-0.17-sensor cells remained unchanged. These results suggest that the responsiveness to U0126 differs between two sensor cell lines due to the different regulation of the luciferase reporters. This study provides the screening method for anti-colon cancer drugs by the combination of two sensor cell lines.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 139
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2566: Using Acoustic Signal and Image to Achieve Accurate Indoor Localization Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082566 Authors: Rui Xi Daibo Liu Mengshu Hou Yujun Li Jun Li Location information plays a key role in pervasive computing and application, especially indoor location-based service, even though a mass of systems have been proposed, an accurate and practical indoor localization system remains unsettled. To tackle this issue, in this paper, we present a new localization scheme, SITE, combining acoustic Signals and Images to achieve accurate and robust indoor locaTion sErvice. Relying on a pre-deployed platform of acoustic sources with different frequencies, using proactively generated Doppler effect signals, SITE could track relative directions between the phone and the sources. Given m (m≥5) relative directions, SITE can use the angle differences to compute a set of locations corresponding to different subsets of sources. Then, based on a key observation—while the simultaneously estimated locations using different sets of acoustic anchors are within a small circle, the results converge to a point near the true location—SITE proposes a decision scheme that confirms whether these locations satisfy the demand of localization accuracy and can be used to search the user’s location. If not, SITE utilizes VSFM(Visual Structure from Motion) technique to achieve a set of relative locations using some images captured by the phone’s camera. By exploiting the synergy between the set of relative locations and the set of initial locations computed by relative directions, an optimal transformation relationship is obtained and applied to refine the initial calculated results. The refined result will be regarded as the user’s location. In the evaluation, we implemented a prototype and deployed a real platform of acoustic sources in different scenarios. Experimental results show that SITE has excellent performance of localization accuracy, robustness and feasibility in practical application.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 140
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2572: Tunable Fabry-Perot Interferometer Designed for Far-Infrared Wavelength by Utilizing Electromagnetic Force Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082572 Authors: Dong Geon Jung Jun Yeop Lee Jae Keon Kim Daewoong Jung Seong Ho Kong A tunable Fabry-Perot interferometer (TFPI)-type wavelength filter designed for the long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) region is fabricated using micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology and the novel polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micro patterning technique. The structure of the proposed infrared sensor consists of a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI)-based optical filter and infrared (IR) detector. An amorphous Si-based thermal IR detector is located under the FPI-based optical filter to detect the IR-rays filtered by the FPI. The filtered IR wavelength is selected according to the air etalon gap between reflectors, which is defined by the thickness of the patterned PDMS. The 8 μm-thick PDMS pattern is fabricated on a 3 nm-thick Al layer used as a reflector. The air etalon gap is changed using the electromagnetic force between the permanent magnet and solenoid. The measured PDMS gap height is about 2 μm, ranging from 8 μm to 6 μm, with driving current varying from 0 mA to 600 mA, resulting in a tunable wavelength range of 4 μm. The 3-dB bandwidth (full width at half maximum, FWHM) of the proposed filter is 1.5 nm, while the Free Spectral Range (FSR) is 8 μm. Experimental results show that the proposed TFPI can detect a specific wavelength at the long LWIR region.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 141
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2570: The Sensory Quality and Volatile Profile of Dark Chocolate Enriched with Encapsulated Probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum Bacteria Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082570 Authors: Milica Mirković Sanja Seratlić Kieran Kilcawley David Mannion Nemanja Mirković Zorica Radulović Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants and other nutrients that can positively affect human health. Probiotic dark chocolate has the potential to be a new product in the growing number of functional foods. In this study, encapsulated potential probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 564 and commercial probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum 299v were added in the production of dark chocolate. The results show very good survival of probiotic bacteria after production and during storage, reaching 108cfu/g in the first 60 days and over 106cfu/g up to 180 days. No statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) in chemical composition and no major differences in the volatile profiles between control and experimental chocolate samples were observed, indicating no impact of probiotic bacteria on compositional and sensory characteristics of dark chocolate. The sensory evaluation of control and both probiotic dark chocolate samples showed excellent sensory quality after 60 and 180 days of storage, demonstrating that probiotics did not affect aroma, texture and appearance of chocolate. Due to a high viability of bacterial cells and acceptable sensory properties, it can be concluded that encapsulated probiotics Lb. plantarum 564 and Lb. plantarum 299v could be successfully used in the production of probiotic dark chocolate.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 142
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2784: Comment on Apiors, E.K.; Suzuki, A. Mobile Money, Individuals’ Payments, Remittances, and Investments: Evidence from the Ashanti Region, Ghana. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1409 Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082784 Authors: Leo Van Hove Using primary, individual-level survey data for Ghana, Apiors and Suzuki find, among other things, that mobile money use is not dependent on financial status and that mobile money users save more. This note argues that both conclusions have validity issues.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 143
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2785: How Does Project Supervisor Maintain Sustainability of Project Members? A Study from Leadership Perspective Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082785 Authors: Han-Sheng Lei Chuan-Fu Lai Chih-Chang Chen Project members’ innovative behavior is crucial to their sustainability and successful implementation of the project. This research develops a conceptual model to explore the effect of project supervisor leadership skills on member’s innovative behavior. The model is examined by a sample of 437 project members in Taiwan. The results show that project supervisors’ emotional healing positively influences members’ innovative behavior through affect-based trust in their supervisor and supervisor conceptual skill has an inverted-U impact on members’ innovative behavior through cognition-based trust in their supervisor. This paper further discusses implications of these conclusions for additional research on the association between leadership skills and innovative behavior.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 144
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 18, Pages 2565: A 77-GHz Six-Port Sensor for Accurate Near-Field Displacement and Doppler Measurements Sensors doi: 10.3390/s18082565 Authors: Homa Arab Steven Dufour Emilia Moldovan Cevdet Akyel Serioja O. Tatu A continuous-wave (CW) radar sensor design based on a millimetre-wave six-port interferometer is proposed. A complete sensor prototype is conceived of, fabricated and measured at 77 GHz for short-range professional and industrial applications. This sensor is designed to measure distances and Doppler frequencies with high accuracy, at a reasonable cost. Accurate phase measurements are also performed using the six-port technology, which makes it a promising candidate for CW radar sensing applications. Advances in the performance and functionality of six-port sensors are surveyed to highlight recent progress in this area. These include improvements in design, low power consumption, high signal to noise ratio, compactness, robustness and simplicity in realization. Given the fact that they are easy to fabricate, due to the lack of active circuits and being highly accurate, it is expected that six-port sensors will significantly contribute to the development of human tracking devices and industrial sensors in the near future. The entire circuit prototype, including the transmitter, the receiver antenna, the six-port interferometer and the four power detectors have been integrated on a die. The circuit is fabricated using a hybrid integrated technology on a 127-μm ceramic substrate with a relative permittivity of εr=9.8. Calibrated tuning forks are used to assess the performance of the six-port sensor experimentally for various frequencies.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 145
    Publication Date: 2018-08-05
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1224: Airborne Remote Sensing of the Upper Ocean Turbulence during CASPER-East Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10081224 Authors: Ivan Savelyev William David Miller Mark Sletten Geoffrey B. Smith Dana K. Savidge Glendon Frick Steven Menk Trent Moore Tony de Paolo Eric J. Terrill Qing Wang Robert Kipp Shearman This study takes on the challenge of resolving upper ocean surface currents with a suite of airborne remote sensing methodologies, simultaneously imaging the ocean surface in visible, infrared, and microwave bands. A series of flights were conducted over an air-sea interaction supersite established 63 km offshore by a large multi-platform CASPER-East experiment. The supersite was equipped with a range of in situ instruments resolving air-sea interface and underwater properties, of which a bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler was used extensively in this paper for the purposes of airborne current retrieval validation and interpretation. A series of water-tracing dye releases took place in coordination with aircraft overpasses, enabling dye plume velocimetry over 100 m to 10 km spatial scales. Similar scales were resolved by a Multichannel Synthetic Aperture Radar, which resolved a swath of instantaneous surface velocities (wave and current) with 10 m resolution and 5 cm/s accuracy. Details of the skin temperature variability imprinted by the upper ocean turbulence were revealed in 1–14,000 m range of spatial scales by a mid-wave infrared camera. Combined, these methodologies provide a unique insight into the complex spatial structure of the upper ocean turbulence on a previously under-resolved range of spatial scales from meters to kilometers. However, much attention in this paper is dedicated to quantifying and understanding uncertainties and ambiguities associated with these remote sensing methodologies, especially regarding the smallest resolvable turbulent scales and to reference depths of retrieved currents.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 146
    Publication Date: 2018-08-05
    Description: Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, Pages 1225: Spatio-Temporal Variations of Soil Active Layer Thickness in Chinese Boreal Forests from 2000 to 2015 Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs10081225 Authors: Xiongxiong Bai Jian Yang Bo Tao Wei Ren The soil active layer in boreal forests is sensitive to climate warming. Climate-induced changes in the active layer may greatly affect the global carbon budget and planetary climatic system by releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases that currently are stored in permafrost. Ground surface temperature is an immediate driver of active layer thickness (ALT) dynamics. In this study, we mapped ALT distribution in Chinese boreal larch forests from 2000 to 2015 by integrating remote sensing data with the Stefan equation. We then examined the changes of the ALT in response to changes in ground surface temperature and identified drivers of the spatio-temporal patterns of ALT. Active layer thickness varied from 1.18 to 1.3 m in the study area. Areas of nonforested land and low elevation or with increased air temperature had a relatively high ALT, whereas ALT was lower at relatively high elevation and with decreased air temperatures. Interannual variations of ALT had no obvious trend, however, and the ALT changed at a rate of only −0.01 and 0.01 m year−1. In a mega-fire patch of 79,000 ha burned in 2003, ΔALT (ALTi − ALT2002, where 2003 ≤ i ≤ 2015) was significantly higher than in the unburned area, with the influence of the wildfire persisting 10 years. Under the high emission scenario (RCP8.5), an increase of 2.6–4.8 °C in mean air temperature would increase ALT into 1.46–1.55 m by 2100, which in turn would produce a significant positive feedback to climate warming.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 147
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2781: Pathways for Sustainable Supply Chain Performance—Evidence from a Developing Country, Malaysia Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082781 Authors: Kai-Chong Thong Wai-Peng Wong Malaysia has recently started to adopt sustainable business best practices to benefit companies, environment and stakeholders. Therefore, this study demonstrates pathways to sustainable supply chain triple bottom line performance derived from linkages of institutional pressures (IP) and organizational identity (OI) to environment and social sustainable practices. It shows that the superordinate goal of sustainable supply chain management is met in spite of unyielding external pressures and desirable OI driving the unequivocal environmental and responsible social practices of firms. A survey approach was adopted to gather the data required for this study. A total of 118 completed questionnaires were received from respondents, who were managers and senior executives in supply chain management (SCM) in Malaysia. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling with partial least squares (PLS-SEM) version 3.0. Our findings showed that all hypothesized relationships are significant except both process- and market-based social practices could not directly impact economic performance. This is in sharp contrast to environmental practices. However, the significant linkage between social practices and social performance is a pathway for the former to economic performance. Therefore, the economic benefits derived from social practices are salvaged through its performance outcomes. The novel and useful impact of institutional pressures on sustainable supply chain practices are also unearthed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 148
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2776: Comparative Analysis of Biological Effects Induced on Different Cell Types by Magnetic Fields with Magnetic Flux Densities in the Range of 1–60 mT and Frequencies up to 50 Hz Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082776 Authors: Cristian Vergallo Luciana Dini Moderate static magnetic fields (SMFs) are generated from sources such as new-generation electric trams and trains, electric arc welding, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices, as well as during the industrial production of aluminium, while extremely low frequency pulsed magnetic fields (ELF-PMFs) are produced by house power installations, household appliances, and high voltages transmission lines. Moderate SMFs and ELF-PMFs with magnetic flux densities (B) in the range of 1–60 mT and frequencies (f) up to 50 Hz are common MF exposure sources for the population. Even though humans are continually exposed to these MFs, to date no definitive endpoint has been drawn about their safety. In this review, the state of knowledge about the biological effects induced by these MFs on different cell types will be addressed. In our own observation, the putative modulation of Ca2+/H+ and Na+/H+ plasma membrane antiporters of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) was found to occur after a 24 h exposure to a 6 mT SMF, and the bystander effect observed on U937 cells cultivated for up to 6 h in the conditioned medium harvested from human PBLs previously exposed for 24 h to the same MF (secondary necrosis induction) will be also herein discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 149
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2777: Sustainability Assurance in Socially-Sensitive Sectors: A Worldwide Analysis of the Financial Services Industry Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082777 Authors: Elies Seguí-Mas Fernando Polo-Garrido Helena María Bollas-Araya Sustainability reporting and assurance have considerably increased in the last decades. Among different sectors, ‘sensitive sectors’ attracted the attention of many academics. However, most of research works were focused only on ‘environmentally-sensitive sectors’. Therefore, after the loss of trust caused by the lack of transparency due to the crisis, ‘socially-sensitive sectors’ as financial services sector needs to strengthen users’ confidence in the credibility of their reported activities. The aim of this paper is to assess assurance practices worldwide in one of the main ‘socially-sensitive sectors’: the financial services sector. We study what factors are associated with adoption of assurance and choice of assurance provider, and whether assurance statements differ across providers. Our results reveal that, compared to the global context, companies operating in the financial services sector are more likely to adopt assurance and to choose accountants as assurance providers. Our findings show that adoption of assurance depends on company size. We also found that companies using the financial services sector supplement are more prone to adopt assurance. Our results also evidence that choice of assurance provider depends on the country and listing status Finally, our research shows a great variability in assurance statements across providers.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 150
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Atmosphere, Vol. 9, Pages 306: Correction: Bärfuss et al. New Setup of the UAS ALADINA for Measuring Boundary Layer Properties, Atmospheric Particles and Solar Radiation. Atmosphere, 2018, 9, 28 Atmosphere doi: 10.3390/atmos9080306 Authors: Konrad Bärfuss Falk Pätzold Barbara Altstädter Endres Kathe Stefan Nowak Lutz Bretschneider Ulf Bestmann Astrid Lampert The authors would like to correct the published article [1] concerning acknowlegdements as follows[...]
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 151
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2051: Prediction Error Analysis of Finite-Control-Set Model Predictive Current Control for IPMSMs Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082051 Authors: Jian Li Xiaoyan Huang Feng Niu Chaojie You Lijian Wu Youtong Fang Finite-control-set model predictive current control (FCS-MPCC) has been widely investigated in the field of motor control. When the discrete motor prediction model is not obtained accurately, prediction error often occurs, which can result in improper determinations of optimal voltage vectors and can further affect the control performance of motor systems. However, papers evaluating the motor control performance employing FCS-MPCC rarely consider prediction error and its utilization to weaken the influence of inaccurate prediction model. This paper investigates in depth the prediction error caused by three influencing factors from the perspective of model accuracy—discretization method, prediction stepsize, and parameter mismatch. Firstly, the evaluation index, prediction error, is defined and its formulas considering the above three factors are derived based on interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM). Then, the theoretical analysis of prediction error is provided. Finally, experimental results of an IPMSM drive system are presented to verify and complement the theoretical analysis. Both the theoretical analysis and experimental results fully elaborate the prediction error, which can offer practical guidelines for the evaluation and improvement of motor control performance, especially for FCS-MPCC in IPMSM applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 152
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2049: Improvement of the Response Speed for Switched Reluctance Generation System Based on Modified PT Control Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082049 Authors: Xiaoshu Zan Mingliang Cui Dongsheng Yu Ruidong Xu Kai Ni The Switched Reluctance Generator (SRG) is suitable for wind power generation due to its good reliability and robustness. However, The SRG system adopting the conventional control algorithm with Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) method has a drawback, low response speed. The pulse train (PT) control has been widely used in dc/dc power converters operating in the discontinuous conduction mode due to its advantages of simple implementation and fast response. In this paper, for the first time, the PT control method is modified and adopted for controlling the output voltage of SRG system in order to achieve fast response. The capacitor current on the output side is sampled and combined with the output voltage to select the pulse trains and the low frequency oscillation cased by PT can be suppressed by tuning the feedback coefficient of the capacitor current. Also, good performance can be guaranteed with a wide range of voltage regulations, fast response, and no overshoot. The experimental platform of an 8/6 SRG system is built, and the experimental results show that the PT control can be used for SRG system with good practicability.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 153
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2047: Mitigation of DC Components Using Adaptive BP-PID Control in Transformless Three-Phase Grid-Connected Inverters Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082047 Authors: Long Bo Lijun Huang Yufei Dai Youliang Lu Kil To Chong Transformerless grid-connected inverters, due to their advantages of high efficiency, small volume and light weight, have been the subject of more research and interest in recent years. Due to the asymmetrical driving signal in pulse width modulation (PWM) caused by time-delay, zero-drift of the current sensors and imparities of the power transistors, output of the grid current contains dc component. As a result, power quality of the grid is degraded. In this paper, a dc (direct current) component suppression scheme with adaptive back-propagation (BP) neural network proportional-integral-differential (PID) control is proposed for dc component minimization. Moreover, sliding-window-double-iteration-method (SWDIM) is utilized for fast dc component extraction. Compared with the conventional method, the proposed scheme shows better performance, and the dc component can be attenuated to be within 0.5% of the rated current.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 154
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2043: Vibration Characteristics of Compression Ignition Engines Fueled with Blended Petro-Diesel and Fischer-Tropsch Diesel Fuel from Coal Fuels Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082043 Authors: Tiantian Yang Tie Wang Guoxing Li Jinhong Shi Xiuquan Sun Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuel synthesized from coal (CFT) is an alternative fuel that gives excellent emission performance in compression ignition (CI) engines. In order to study the vibration characteristics, which are important for determining the applicability of the fuel, CFT-diesel blends were tested on a CI engine to acquire vibration signals from the engine head and block. Based on the FFT and continuous wavelet transformation (CWT) analysis, the influence of CFT on the vibration was studied. The results showed that the root mean square (RMS) values of the vibration signal decrease as the proportion of CFT in the blends increases. The CWT results indicated that the vibration energy areas motivated by the pressure shock of transient combustion were weak with increasing CFT proportion for the different frequency bands. The blend of 90% pure petro-diesel and 10% CFT registered the largest RMS value for piston side thrust response, and the RMS of high-frequency pressure oscillation response is greater than that of the main response of combustion, for FT30. Therefore, CFT has the potential to reduce the combustion vibration of the engine at all frequency bands, and there is a possibility that the proportion of blended fuel can be modified to satisfy the vibration characteristics requirements in different frequency bands.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 155
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2042: Time-Resolved Temperature Map Prediction of Concentration Photovoltaics Systems by Means of Coupled Ray Tracing Flux Analysis and Thermal Quadrupoles Modelling Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082042 Authors: Alejandro Mateos-Canseco Manuel I. Peña-Cruz Arturo Díaz-Ponce Jean-Luc Battaglia Christophe Pradère Luis David Patino-Lopez A transient 3D thermal model based on the thermal quadrupole method, coupled to ray tracing analysis, is presented. This methodology can predict transient temperature maps under any time-fluctuating irradiance flux—either synthetic or experimental—providing a useful tool for the design and parametric optimization of concentration photovoltaics systems. Analytic simulations of a concentration photovoltaics system thermal response and assessment of in-plane thermal gradients induced by fast tracking point perturbations, like those induced by wind, are provided and discussed for the first time. Computation times for time-resolved temperature maps can be as short as 9 s for a full month of system operation, with stimuli inspired by real data. Such information could pave the way for more accurate studies of cell reliability under any set of worldwide irradiance conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 156
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 583: Information Perspective to Probabilistic Modeling: Boltzmann Machines versus Born Machines Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20080583 Authors: Song Cheng Jing Chen Lei Wang We compare and contrast the statistical physics and quantum physics inspired approaches for unsupervised generative modeling of classical data. The two approaches represent probabilities of observed data using energy-based models and quantum states, respectively. Classical and quantum information patterns of the target datasets therefore provide principled guidelines for structural design and learning in these two approaches. Taking the Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBM) as an example, we analyze the information theoretical bounds of the two approaches. We also estimate the classical mutual information of the standard MNIST datasets and the quantum Rényi entropy of corresponding Matrix Product States (MPS) representations. Both information measures are much smaller compared to their theoretical upper bound and exhibit similar patterns, which imply a common inductive bias of low information complexity. By comparing the performance of RBM with various architectures on the standard MNIST datasets, we found that the RBM with local sparse connection exhibit high learning efficiency, which supports the application of tensor network states in machine learning problems.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 157
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 582: Statistics of Heat Transfer in Two-Dimensional Turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard Convection at Various Prandtl Number Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20080582 Authors: Hui Yang Yikun Wei Zuchao Zhu Huashu Dou Yuehong Qian Statistics of heat transfer in two-dimensional (2D) turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard (RB) convection for Pr=6,20,100 and 106 are investigated using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM). Our results reveal that the large scale circulation is gradually broken up into small scale structures plumes with the increase of Pr, the large scale circulation disappears with increasing Pr, and a great deal of smaller thermal plumes vertically rise and fall from the bottom to top walls. It is further indicated that vertical motion of various plumes gradually plays main role with increasing Pr. In addition, our analysis also shows that the thermal dissipation is distributed mainly in the position of high temperature gradient, the thermal dissipation rate εθ already increasingly plays a dominant position in the thermal transport, εu can have no effect with increase of Pr. The kinematic viscosity dissipation rate and the thermal dissipation rate gradually decrease with increasing Pr. The energy spectrum significantly decreases with the increase of Pr. A scope of linear scaling arises in the second order velocity structure functions, the temperature structure function and mixed structure function(temperature-velocity). The value of linear scaling and the 2nd-order velocity decrease with increasing Pr, which is qualitatively consistent with the theoretical predictions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 158
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2044: DC/DC Boost Converter–Inverter as Driver for a DC Motor: Modeling and Experimental Verification Energies doi: 10.3390/en11082044 Authors: Víctor Hugo García-Rodríguez Ramón Silva-Ortigoza Eduardo Hernández-Márquez José Rafael García-Sánchez Hind Taud In this paper, the modeling and the experimental verification of the “bidirectional DC/DC boost converter–DC motor” system are presented. By using circuit theory along with the model of a DC motor, the mathematical model of the system is derived. This model was experimentally tested under time-varying duty cycles obtained via the system differential flatness property. The experimental verification was carried out using Matlab-Simulink and a DS1104 board in a built prototype of the system.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 159
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 577: An Adaptive Weight Method for Image Retrieval Based Multi-Feature Fusion Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20080577 Authors: Xiaojun Lu Jiaojuan Wang Xiang Li Mei Yang Xiangde Zhang With the rapid development of information storage technology and the spread of the Internet, large capacity image databases that contain different contents in the images are generated. It becomes imperative to establish an automatic and efficient image retrieval system. This paper proposes a novel adaptive weighting method based on entropy theory and relevance feedback. Firstly, we obtain single feature trust by relevance feedback (supervised) or entropy (unsupervised). Then, we construct a transfer matrix based on trust. Finally, based on the transfer matrix, we get the weight of single feature through several iterations. It has three outstanding advantages: (1) The retrieval system combines the performance of multiple features and has better retrieval accuracy and generalization ability than single feature retrieval system; (2) In each query, the weight of a single feature is updated dynamically with the query image, which makes the retrieval system make full use of the performance of several single features; (3) The method can be applied in two cases: supervised and unsupervised. The experimental results show that our method significantly outperforms the previous approaches. The top 20 retrieval accuracy is 97.09%, 92.85%, and 94.42% on the dataset of Wang, UC Merced Land Use, and RSSCN7, respectively. The Mean Average Precision is 88.45% on the dataset of Holidays.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 160
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 73: Joint AP Association and Bandwidth Allocation Optimization Algorithm in High-Dense WLANs Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10080073 Authors: Jianjun Lei Jiarui Tao Shanshan Yang Regarding access point (AP) overload and performance anomaly which is caused by mobile terminals with different bitrates, a joint AP association and bandwidth allocation optimization algorithm is presented in this paper. Meanwhile, load balancing and proportional fairness are analyzed and formulated as an optimization model. Then, we present a Fair Bandwidth Allocation algorithm based on clients’ Business Priority (FBA-BP), which allocates bandwidth based on the bandwidth demand of clients and their business priority. Furthermore, we propose a Categorized AP Association algorithm based on clients’ demands (CAA-BD), which classifies APs by different types of clients and chooses an optimal associating AP for a new client according to AP categories and the aggregated demand transmission time that are calculated by the FBA-BP algorithm. The CAA-BD can achieve load balance and solve the performance anomaly caused by multi-rate clients coexisting. The simulation results show that our proposed algorithm obtains significant performance in terms of AP utilization, throughput, transmission delay and channel fairness in different client density levels compared with the categorized and Strong Signal First (SSF) algorithms.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 161
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1670: Weather and Health Symptoms International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081670 Authors: Mihye Lee Sachiko Ohde Kevin Y. Urayama Osamu Takahashi Tsuguya Fukui Weather affects the daily lives of individuals. However, its health effects have not been fully elucidated. It may lead to physical symptoms and/or influence mental health. Thus, we evaluated the association between weather parameters and various ailments. We used daily reports on health symptoms from 4548 individuals followed for one month in October of 2013, randomly sampled from the entirety of Japan. Weather variables from the monitoring station located closest to the participants were used as weather exposure. Logistic mixed effects model with a random intercept for each individual was applied to evaluate the effect of temperature and humidity on physical symptoms. Stratified analyses were conducted to compare weather effects by sex and age group. The lag day effects were also assessed. Joint pain was associated with higher temperature (1.87%, 95% CI = 1.15 to 2.59) and humidity (1.38%, 95% CI = 0.78 to 2.00). Headaches was increased by 0.56% (95% CI = −0.55 to 1.77) per 1 °C increase in the maximum temperature and by 1.35% per 1 °C increase in dew point. Weather was associated with various physical symptoms. Women seem to be more sensitive to weather conditions in association with physical symptoms, especially higher humidity and lower temperature.
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  • 162
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1672: Health Risk Associated with Exposure to PM10 and Benzene in Three Italian Towns International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081672 Authors: Antonella De Donno Mattia De Giorgi Francesco Bagordo Tiziana Grassi Adele Idolo Francesca Serio Elisabetta Ceretti Donatella Feretti Milena Villarini Massimo Moretti Annalaura Carducci Marco Verani Silvia Bonetta Cristina Pignata Silvia Bonizzoni Alberto Bonetti Umberto Gelatti on behalf of the MAPEC_LIFE Study Group on behalf of the MAPEC_LIFE Study Group Air pollution in urban areas is a major concern as it negatively affects the health of a large number of people. The purpose of this study was to assess the inhalation health risk for exposure to PM10 and benzene of the populations living in three Italian cities. Data regarding PM10 and benzene daily measured by “traffic” stations and “background” stations in Torino, Perugia, and Lecce during 2014 and 2015 were compared to the limits indicated in the Directive 2008/50/EC. In addition, an inhalation risk analysis for exposure to benzene was performed for adults and children by applying the standard United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) methodology. The levels of PM10 detected in Torino exceeded the legal limits in both years with an increased mean concentration >10 µg/m3 comparing with background station. Benzene concentrations never exceeded the legislative target value. The increased cancer risk (ICR) for children exposed to benzene was greater than 1 × 10−6 only in the city of Torino, while for adults, the ICR was higher than 1 × 10−6 in all the cities. The results suggest the need for emission reduction policies to preserve human health from continuous and long exposure to air pollutants. A revision of legal limits would also be recommended.
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  • 163
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1671: Understanding Educational and Psychosocial Factors Associated with Alcohol Use among Adolescents in Denmark; Implications for Health Literacy Interventions International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081671 Authors: Claudia König Mette V. Skriver Kim M. Iburg Gillian Rowlands Background. Alcohol misuse is a global public health priority, with a variation in prevalence and impact between countries. Alcohol misuse in adolescence is associated with adverse psychological, social and physical health. Adolescents in Denmark have higher alcohol consumption and problematic alcohol use than adolescents in other European countries. Associations between social determinants of health (SDH), psycho-social factors and alcohol consumption are complex and influenced by national context and cultures. This study explored these associations in Danish adolescents. Method. The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) survey collects data on alcohol and substance use among 15–16-year-old European students. Data contributed by Danish students to the 2011 survey were analyzed. The outcomes of interest were alcohol consumption (any, intoxication and problematic). Health literacy was not directly measured, so self-described educational performance and knowledge about alcohol were used as proxies for health literacy. Exploratory factors thus included socio-demographic, health literacy-related (knowledge about alcohol, educational performance) and psycho-social factors, as well as expectancies of the effect of alcohol (both positive and negative) and self-reported health. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken. Results. Of the 2768 adolescents who participated in the survey, 2026 (80%) consumed alcohol during the last 30 days, 978 (38%) were intoxicated at least once during the last 30 days, and 1050 (41%) experienced at least one problem because of alcohol use during the last 12 months. Multivariable analysis showed that the factors associated with higher alcohol intake were gender, poor relationships with parents, expectancies of the impact of alcohol (both positive and negative), and the influence of peers and their alcohol use. Higher school performance was related to lower alcohol consumption. Low socio-demographic status was not associated with higher alcohol consumption. Conclusions. This study confirmed the high levels of alcohol intake, intoxication, and problem drinking amongst the Danish students in the survey and the complexity of the socio-demographic, psychosocial, health literacy-related, and environmental factors associated with alcohol behaviours. Approaches to addressing the issue of alcohol use in Danish adolescents will need to be multi-factorial, including supporting students to develop alcohol-related health literacy skills to enable them to make informed choices.
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  • 164
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1665: Diarrhoeal Disease in Relation to Possible Household Risk Factors in South African Villages International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081665 Authors: Thandi Kapwata Angela Mathee Wouter Jacobus le Roux Caradee Yael Wright Diarrhoeal disease is a significant contributor to child morbidity and mortality, particularly in the developing world. Poor sanitation, a lack of personal hygiene and inadequate water supplies are known risk factors for diarrhoeal disease. Since risk factors may vary by population or setting, we evaluated the prevalence of diarrhoeal disease at the household level using a questionnaire to better understand household-level risk factors for diarrhoea in selected rural areas in South Africa. In a sub-sample of dwellings, we measured the microbial quality of drinking water. One in five households had at least one case of diarrhoea during the previous summer. The most widespread source of drinking water was a stand-pipe (inside yard) (45%) followed by an indoor tap inside the dwelling (29%). Storage of water was common (97%) with around half of households storing water in plastic containers with an opening large enough to fit a hand through. After adjusting for confounders, the occurrence of diarrhoea was statistically significantly associated with sourcing water from an indoor tap (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 2.73, 95% CI: 2.73, 1.14–6.56) and storing cooked/perishable food in non-refrigerated conditions (AOR: 2.17, 95% CI: 2.17, 1.44–3.26). The highest total coliform counts were found in water samples from kitchen containers followed by stand-pipes. Escherichia coli were most often detected in samples from stand-pipes and kitchen containers. One in four households were at risk of exposure to contaminated drinking water, increasing the susceptibility of the study participants to episodes of diarrhoea. It is imperative that water quality meets guideline values and routine monitoring of quality of drinking water is done to minimise diarrhoea risk in relevant rural communities. The security of water supply in rural areas should be addressed as a matter of public health urgency to avoid the need for water storage.
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  • 165
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1664: Predicting the Time Spent Playing Computer and Mobile Games among Medical Undergraduate Students Using Interpersonal Relations and Social Cognitive Theory: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Chongqing, China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081664 Authors: Li Chen Ruiyi Liu Huan Zeng Xianglong Xu Rui Zhu Manoj Sharma Yong Zhao Background: Computer and mobile games are widely used among undergraduate students worldwide, especially in China. Our objective was to predict the time spent playing computer and mobile games based on interpersonal relations and social cognitive theory constructs (i.e., expectation, self-efficacy, and self-control). Methods: The cross-sectional survey was conducted in two medical universities using a sample of 1557 undergraduate students recruited by cluster sampling. The five-point Likert questionnaire was jointly developed by researchers from Chongqing Medical University and Jackson State University. Results: Approximately 30% and 70% of the students played computer and mobile games, respectively. The daily times spent by participants on computer games were 25.61 ± 73.60 min (weekdays) and 49.96 ± 128.60 min (weekends), and 66.07 ± 154.65 min (weekdays) and 91.82 ± 172.94 min (weekends) on mobile games. Students with high scores of interpersonal relations but low scores of self-efficacy spent prolonged time playing computer games on weekdays and weekends (p < 0.05 for all). Students with low scores of expectation spent prolonged time playing computer games on weekdays (p < 0.05). Students with high scores of interpersonal relations but low scores of self-efficacy and self-control spent prolonged time playing mobile games on weekdays and weekends (p < 0.05 for all). Conclusions: The prevalence and duration of playing mobile games were higher than those of playing computer games among medical undergraduate students in Chongqing, China. This study determined the interpersonal relations, self-efficacy, self-control, and expectation of the students at the time of playing computer and mobile games. Future studies may consider studying the interaction among game-related behaviours, environments, and personality characteristics.
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  • 166
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1661: Coffee Drinking and Associated Factors in an Elderly Population in Spain International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081661 Authors: Laura Torres-Collado Manuela García-de la Hera Eva Maria Navarrete-Muñoz Laura Maria Compañ-Gabucio Sandra Gonzalez-Palacios Jesús Vioque Coffee consumption is highly prevalent worldwide, and many studies have reported positive and inverse associations of coffee with many diseases. However, factors associated with coffee consumption remain poorly characterized in some populations, such as the elderly. This study aimed to assess the factors associated with total, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption in an elderly population in Spain. Data were analyzed from 903 participants, aged 65 years and above, from two population-based studies carried out in the Valencia region in Spain (Valencia Nutritional Survey (VNS) and European Eye Study (EUREYE-Study). Total, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption was assessed through two specific questions using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Information on personal characteristics, anthropometry and lifestyles was collected in personal interviews. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the adjusted relative risk ratios (RRR) and confidence intervals (95% CI). The prevalence of total, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption was 70%, 38% and 32%, respectively. The consumption of caffeinated coffee was positively associated with: Educational level, RRR = 1.63 (1.09–2.44); body mass index (≥30), RRR = 2.03 (1.05–3.95); tobacco smoking, RRR = 1.96 (1.13–3.39); alcohol intake [≥12 g/day category intake vs. no-alcohol intake, RRR = 6.25 (3.56–10.95)]; and energy intake (p < 0.05). Consumption of caffeinated coffee was negatively associated with: Age (≥75 years), RRR = 0.64 (0.43–0.94); and pre-existing hypertension, RRR = 0.67 (0.45–0.98). The consumption of decaffeinated coffee was positively associated with: Alcohol intake, RRR = 2.63 (1.19–4.64); pre-existing diabetes, RRR = 1.67 (1.06–2.62); and energy intake (p < 0.01). The consumption of coffee is high among elderly people in Spain. It is a novelty in this study with elderly population that tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking were the two main factors associated with higher coffee consumption. Self-reported hypertension was associated with a lower consumption of caffeinated coffee, and pre-existing diabetes was associated with a higher consumption of decaffeinated coffee. These associations should be taken into account when the health effects of coffee consumption are investigated.
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  • 167
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1361: Phase Stability and Properties of Ti-Nb-Zr Thin Films and Their Dependence on Zr Addition Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081361 Authors: Jeonghyeon Yang Munkhbayar Baatarsukh Joohyeon Bae Sunchul Huh Hyomin Jeong Byeongkeun Choi Taehyun Nam Jungpil Noh Ternary Ti-Nb-Zr alloys were prepared by a magnetron sputtering method with porous structures observed in some of them. In bulk, in order to control the porous structure, a space holder (NH4HCO3) is used in the sintering method. However, in the present work, we show that the porous structure is also dependent on alloy composition. The results from Young’s modulus tests confirm that these alloys obey d-electrons alloy theory. However, the Young’s modulus of ternary thin films (≈80–95 GPa) is lower than that for binary alloys (≈108–123 GPa). The depth recovery ratio of ternary Ti-Nb-Zr thin films is also higher than that for binary β-Ti-(25.9–34.2)Nb thin film alloys.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 168
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1364: Recent Developments in Spectroscopic Techniques for the Detection of Explosives Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081364 Authors: Wei Zhang Yue Tang Anran Shi Lirong Bao Yun Shen Ruiqi Shen Yinghua Ye Trace detection of explosives has been an ongoing challenge for decades and has become one of several critical problems in defense science; public safety; and global counter-terrorism. As a result, there is a growing interest in employing a wide variety of approaches to detect trace explosive residues. Spectroscopy-based techniques play an irreplaceable role for the detection of energetic substances due to the advantages of rapid, automatic, and non-contact. The present work provides a comprehensive review of the advances made over the past few years in the fields of the applications of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy; laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman spectroscopy; and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) for trace explosives detection. Furthermore, the advantages and limitations of various spectroscopy-based detection techniques are summarized. Finally, the future development for the detection of explosives is discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 169
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2771: Environmental Risk Management Strategies and the Moderating Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Project Financing Decisions Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082771 Authors: Muddassar Sarfraz Wang Qun Li Hui Muhammad Abdullah The purpose of this study is to examine the moderating role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in project financing decisions. CSR has gained growing prominence in today’s business era. This study investigates four environmental strategies and the credit risk assessment, stakeholder assessment and corporate social responsibility assessment impact on project financing decision. It explores three main issues related to environmental responsibility (planet), economic responsibility (profit) and social responsibility (people). The study is explanatory and quantitative, and both domestic and foreign banks participated in the data collection process. The sample size for the study is 491 participants. Data was collected through a simple random sampling technique and was analyzed by applying simple linear regression, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling analysis (SEM) through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study shows that the Pakistani banking sector is implementing environmental management policies. Foreign banks are more motivated towards corporate social responsibility practices. Cultural differences can influence a manager’s attitude towards implementation of environmental risk-management policies. The result shows that corporate social responsibility has a moderating role in project financing decisions and environmental risk management, stakeholder and credit risk assessment. All hypotheses has significant values.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 170
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2768: Evaluating Greenhouse Tomato and Pepper Input Efficiency Use in Kosovo Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082768 Authors: Blend Frangu Jennie Sheerin Popp Michael Thomsen Arben Musliu Determinants of vegetable production input efficiency affect a Kosovar farmer’s decision to contribute to the agricultural sector. This study evaluates the input efficiency of greenhouse tomato and pepper farms in Kosovo. Using data collected from farm surveys, we conducted an input-oriented data envelopment analysis (DEA) to empirically assess input efficiency. Second, linear regression analysis was used to investigate what farm variables predict greenhouse tomato and pepper technical efficiency (TE). The DEA results indicated that, among the seven regions in Kosovo, Prizren emerged as the most efficient greenhouse tomato-producing region with a mean efficiency of 0.83 (on a scale of 0 to 1.00). Prishtina followed with a mean efficiency of 0.80. In the production of greenhouse peppers, Prishtina was the most efficient region with a mean efficiency of 0.99. Ferizaj followed with a mean efficiency of 0.93. Conclusions about farm characteristics that explain differences in efficiency were sensitive to model specification. Nevertheless, depending on the structural and operational characteristics of the greenhouse tomato and pepper farms, there is an opportunity for the technically inefficient farms and regions to improve their use of inputs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
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  • 171
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2769: Sustainable Returns: The Effect of Regional Industrial Development Policy on Institutional Investors’ Behavior in China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082769 Authors: Shu Ling Lin Jun Lu Jung-Bin Su Wei-Peng Chen Within the market economy system controlled by the Chinese government, this study mainly explores whether government policies can sufficiently guide the investment decisions of professional investors. Thus, we examine whether professional investment institutions can support the government’s policy for long-term investment to produce sustainable returns and create value for both the country and investment institutions. To perform this test, we use the annual data from firms held by institutional investors and listed in China A-shares to run a panel regression model. We then explore the following three issues: first, we examined whether firm-level characteristics or regional industrial development policy affect the investment behavior of the institutional investors. Second, we investigated whether four types of institutions have different favorite economic regions in China under the regional industrial development policy. Third, we analyzed which type of institutional investor supports the regional industrial development policy. The above four types of institutions are: independent, grey, domestic, and qualified foreign institutions. Empirical results show that both firm-level characteristics and regional industrial development policy can affect the investment behavior of the institutional owners. Of all the firm-level characteristics selected by institutions in China, return on equity (ROE) is the condition most commonly selected for all types of institutions, whereas the dividend yield (DY) is considered only by qualified foreign institutional investors (QFIIs). Notably, both independent and domestic institutions have the same firm selection criteria. As for the institutions’ favorite industries for investment, only grey institutions prefer the power industry and QFIIs prefer manufacturing industry. In addition, all four types of institutional investors have different industrial favorites in the four economic regions in China under the regional industrial development policy. For example, independent institutions prefer the information industry and grey institutions appear to be interested in every industry. Moreover, domestic institutions prefer the manufacturing and information industries, whereas QFIIs prefer the manufacturing industry. Regarding the regional participation of institutions, both domestic institutions and QFIIs seem to focus on every region. Moreover, independent institutions focus on the eastern and western regions, whereas grey institutions only focus on the western region. Finally, domestic institutions received the greatest level of support, followed by grey and independent institutions, whereas the QFIIs receive the least support. Put simply, domestic institutions are deeply engaged in industrial development all over China, whereas QFIIs are only slightly engaged in this development.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
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  • 172
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2770: Retraction: Yoon, S.; Jeong, S. Carbon Emission Mitigation Potentials of Different Policy Scenarios and Their Effects on International Aviation in the Korean Context. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1179 Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082770 Authors: Sungwook Yoon Sukjae Jeong Sustainability Editorial Office Sustainability Editorial Office The Sustainability Editorial Office has been made aware that the published paper [1] [...]
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
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  • 173
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 323: Temperature-Dependent s± ↔ s++ Transitions in the Multiband Model for Fe-Based Superconductors with Impurities Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10080323 Authors: V. A. Shestakov M. M. Korshunov O. V. Dolgov We study the dependence of the superconducting gaps on both the disorder and the temperature within the two-band model for iron-based materials. In the clean limit, the system is in the s± state with sign-changing gaps. Scattering by nonmagnetic impurities leads to the change of the sign of the smaller gap, resulting in a transition from the s± to the s++ state with the sign-preserving gaps. We show here that the transition is temperature-dependent. Thus, there is a line of s±→s++ transition in the temperature–disorder phase diagram. There is a narrow range of impurity scattering rates, where the disorder-induced s±→s++ transition occurs at low temperatures, but then the low-temperature s++ state transforms back to the s± state at higher temperatures. With increasing impurity scattering rate, the temperature of such s++→s± transition shifts to the critical temperature Tc, and only the s++ state is left for higher amounts of disorder.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 174
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1042: Quantitative Evaluation Method for Landscape Color of Water with Suspended Sediment Water doi: 10.3390/w10081042 Authors: Mao Ye Ran Li Weimin Tu Jialing Liao Xunchi Pu Landscape water is an important part of natural landscape, and a reasonable assessment of water landscape color is the basis for scientifically evaluating the quality of water landscape. To evaluate water landscape color with different concentrations of sediment objectively and quantitatively, a method of evaluating water landscape color based on hyperspectral technology is proposed to calculate water landscape color. The color spectrum calculation model of the water landscape color was constructed using the Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage spectrum three stimulus system (CIE-XYZ) calculation method and the response relationship among water reflectance, water depth, and sediment concentration. Under the conditions of eliminating as many external factors as possible, using a hyperspectral instrument to measure the reflectance of sediment and water, the response relationship between water depth and sediment concentration and water reflectance is calculated. Water depth and sediment concentration, which did not appear previously, were verified by experiments that proved the reliability of the water landscape color spectrum calculation model. By using different absolute value of chromatic coordinates in the international CIE-XYZ calculation method, a formula for determining the difference in sediment concentration for water landscape color was defined, and the quantitative evaluation method of landscape color of sand-laden water was established. In this research, we found that the predicted water landscape color, quantified by the color spectrum calculation model, is basically consistent with the actual color of landscape water and is basically in line with actual observation about significant difference assessment, which demonstrated the accuracy and reliability of the model. Hence, this research provides a scientific basis for the establishment of other water quality factors to evaluate water color, which makes it possible to quantify the color of the water landscape based on the establishment the color spectrum calculation model.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
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  • 175
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2767: On Decision Makers’ Perceptions of What an Ecological Computer Model is, What It Does, and Its Impact on Limiting Model Acceptance Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10082767 Authors: Fabio Boschetti Michael Hughes Cheryl Jones Hector Lozano-Montes Environmental decision makers are required to understand complex ecological processes and ecological computer models are designed to facilitate this understanding. A set of interviews reveals three main perceptions affecting senior environmental decision makers’ trust in ecological computer models as decision facilitation tools: an ecological computer model is perceived as (i) a ‘black box’, (ii) processing poorly documented, sparse and out-of-date input data, and (iii) whose sensitivity to model parameters enables manipulation to produce desired outcomes justifying pre-conceived decisions. This leads to lack of trust towards both ecological computer models and model-users, including other scientists and decision makers. Model acceptance appears to depend on the amount, currency and geographical origin of input data. This is at odds with modellers’ communication style, which typically places more emphasis on highlighting the ecological computer model’s features and performance, rather than on describing the input data. Developing ‘big data’ capabilities could deliver the large, real-time, local data that may enhance acceptance. However, the size and complexity of ‘big data’ requires automated pre-processing, using modelling and algorithms that are even more inscrutable than current ecological computer models. Future trust in ecological computer models will likely depend on how this dilemma is resolved, which is likely to require improved communication between modellers and decision makers.
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  • 176
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1040: Storm Water Management and Flood Control in Sponge City Construction of Beijing Water doi: 10.3390/w10081040 Authors: Shuhan Zhang Yongkun Li Meihong Ma Ting Song Ruining Song To solve the problems of increasing local flooding, water shortage, and water pollution caused by the traditional model of urban development, the Chinese government proposed a new model of urban development—the Sponge City. In Beijing, the capital of China, research on storm water management in urban areas has been carried out since 1989 and has put forward the concept of urban storm water harvesting and flood control. The further research and demonstration application started in 2000. So far, a series of policies and technology standards on storm water management have been formulated, which promote the application of technologies on comprehensive urban storm water harvesting and flood control. A significant number of storm water harvesting and flood control projects have been built in Beijing, which are now playing important roles in runoff reduction, local flood control, non-point source pollution reduction, and storm water utilization. However, it does not solve the above problem completely. Storm water management and flood control needs to be further strengthened. The “Sponge City” is based on natural and ecological laws, which allows storm water to be managed with natural infiltration, natural retention and detention, and natural cleaning facilities. Through in-depth analysis of the connotation, characteristics, and construction path of “Sponge City”, this paper summarizes the status quo of urban rainwater flooding, flood control technology development and application, and Beijing policy and engineering to introduce the overall ideas and methods of Sponge City construction. All the above will provide a reference for cities with similar problems in the construction of sponge cities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
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  • 177
    Publication Date: 2018-08-07
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1039: Tree Water Dynamics in a Semi-Arid, Pinus brutia Forest Water doi: 10.3390/w10081039 Authors: Marinos Eliades Adriana Bruggeman Hakan Djuma Maciek W. Lubczynski This study aims to examine interactions between tree characteristics, sap flow, and environmental variables in an open Pinus brutia (Ten.) forest with shallow soil. We examined radial and azimuthal variations of sap flux density (Jp), and also investigated the occurrence of hydraulic redistribution mechanisms, quantified nocturnal tree transpiration, and analyzed the total water use of P. brutia trees during a three-year period. Sap flow and soil moisture sensors were installed onto and around eight trees, situated in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains, Cyprus. Radial observations showed a linear decrease of sap flux densities with increasing sapwood depth. Azimuthal differences were found to be statistically insignificant. Reverse sap flow was observed during low vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and negative air temperatures. Nocturnal sap flow was about 18% of the total sap flow. Rainfall was 507 mm in 2015, 359 mm in 2016, and 220 mm in 2017. Transpiration was 53%, 30%, and 75%, respectively, of the rainfall in those years, and was affected by the distribution of the rainfall. The trees showed an immediate response to rainfall events, but also exploited the fractured bedrock. The transpiration and soil moisture levels over the three hydrologically contrasting years showed that P. brutia is well-adapted to semi-arid Mediterranean conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
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  • 178
    Publication Date: 2018-08-09
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1377: Process Parameter Effects on Biocompatible Thermoplastic Sheets Produced by Incremental Forming Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11081377 Authors: Marc Sabater M. Luisa Garcia-Romeu Marina Vives-Mestres Ines Ferrer Isabel Bagudanch There has been increasing interest in the processes that enable part customization and small-batch production in recent years. The prosthetic sector, in which biocompatible materials are used, is one of the areas that requires these types of processes; Incremental Sheet Forming (ISF) technology can meet these requirements. However, the biocompatible thermoplastic polymers formed by this technology have not yet been tested. Hence, the aim of this paper is to cover this gap in our knowledge by analyzing the effects of process parameters on the ISF process with the aim of optimizing these parameters before the actual production of, in this case, customized prostheses. Tests with polycaprolactone (PCL) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) were performed. Maximum force, surface roughness and maximum depth were statistically analyzed by means of response surface methodology and survival analysis. Spindle speed and tool diameter were shown to be the most influential process parameters in terms of maximum forming force and surface roughness for both materials. In contrast, survival analysis applied to maximum depth showed a greater influence of tool diameter in PCL sheets and a greater influence of spindle speed in the case of UHMWPE.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 179
    Publication Date: 2018-08-09
    Description: Future Internet, Vol. 10, Pages 75: A Hierarchical Mapping System for Flat Identifier to Locator Resolution Based on Active Degree Future Internet doi: 10.3390/fi10080075 Authors: Jianqiang Liu Shuai Huo Yi Wang Overloading of IP address semantics appeals for a new network architecture based on Identifier (ID)/Locator separation. The challenge of Identifier (ID)/Locator separation is how to solve the scalability and efficiency challenges of identity-to-location resolution. By analyzing the requirements of the Identifier (ID)/Locator separation protocol, this paper proposes a hierarchical mapping architecture on active-degree (HMAA). This HMAA was divided into three levels: active local level, neutral transfer level, and inert global level. Each mapping item is dynamically allocated to different levels to ensure minimizing delay according to its activity characteristics. The top layer CHORD is constructed by the Markov Decision Process, which can keep consistency between the physical topology and the logical topology. The simulation results on delay time show that HMAA can satisfy the scalability and efficiency requirements of an Identifier (ID)/Locator separation network.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-5903
    Topics: Computer Science
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 180
    Publication Date: 2018-08-09
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1693: An Exploration of Psychosocial Pathways of Parks’ Effects on Health: A Qualitative Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081693 Authors: Ewelina M. Swierad Terry T. K. Huang Urban green space has been positively associated with psychological and physical health. However, the linkage between exposure to parks and health outcomes remains unclear. The current study examined the meanings that people assign to city parks, as a way to understand the pathways by which parks exert their effects on health. We conducted qualitative interviews with twenty culturally diverse residents in New York City. Thematic analysis was performed on the qualitative data. Results showed that all themes identified were related to parks fulfilling a basic human need for connection to (1) family, loved ones, and friends; (2) community and neighborhood; (3) self; and (4) nature. Based on these data, we proposed a human-centered framework for future research and interventions aimed at catalyzing parks as a vehicle to improve health and wellbeing. A human-centered approach emphasizes targeting the deep-seated needs and values of those we seek to engage and for whom health promotion and disease prevention efforts are designed. Our study shows that park transformations need to incorporate careful considerations of the human need for connection on multiple levels, so that park usage and its consequent health benefits may be optimized.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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