Latest Articles

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Study on Combustion Parameters in an Automotive Turbocharged Diesel Engine
Energies 2018, 11(10), 2531; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102531 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A wide experimental database on indicated pressure diagrams measured on a turbocharged diesel engine, equipped with high and low pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) circuits and a variable nozzle turbine (VNT), was processed to evaluate a large set of combustion parameters. Available data
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A wide experimental database on indicated pressure diagrams measured on a turbocharged diesel engine, equipped with high and low pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) circuits and a variable nozzle turbine (VNT), was processed to evaluate a large set of combustion parameters. Available data were referred to different tests in three part load operating conditions, focused on High Pressure EGR trade-off and the development of integrated control strategies for EGR and turbocharging systems aiming at NOX and fuel consumption reduction. According to their definition, combustion parameters were derived from pressure diagrams, its first derivative and heat release curves. Their calculation allowed enlarging the information content of measured in-cylinder pressure diagrams. Several linear correlations were then defined, linking engine operating, energy and environmental quantities to combustion parameters, useful for the analysis and modeling of in-cylinder processes and engine behavior. The influence of testing conditions on these relationships was also analyzed, referring to the investigated operating modes and the adoption of open and closed loop scheme for VNT management. Finally, general correlations were defined, linking NOX and soot emissions to selected quantities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Validation of an Onboard Transient Luminous Events Observation System for VisionCube via Ground Simulation Environment
Aerospace 2018, 5(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace5040100 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The VisionCube is a 2-unit CubeSat developed in house, of which the primary mission is detecting the occurrence of transient luminous events (TLEs) in the upper atmosphere and obtaining corresponding images from a low Earth orbit. An onboard TLE observation system of the
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The VisionCube is a 2-unit CubeSat developed in house, of which the primary mission is detecting the occurrence of transient luminous events (TLEs) in the upper atmosphere and obtaining corresponding images from a low Earth orbit. An onboard TLE observation system of the VisionCube CubeSat is designed and developed by incorporating a photon-sensitive multi-anode photon-multiplier tube (MaPMT) and an image sensor. Also, a distinctive TLE observation software which enables detection of the TLEs and capture of images in a timely manner is devised. By taking into account the limited resources of a small CubeSat in size and power, the onboard observation system is developed employing a system-on-chip device by which both hardware and software can be integrated seamlessly. The purpose of this study is to investigate the functionality of the hardware and the validity of the software algorithm to show that the onboard system will function properly with no human intervention during the operations in space. To this end, a ground simulation facility is constructed to emulate TLEs occurring in space using a set of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs) inside a darkbox. Based on the analysis of the spectral and temporal properties of the TLEs, the randomly generated UV LED pulses are chosen for verification scenarios for the TLE observation system. The validation results show that the hardware and the software algorithm of the onboard observation systems can effectively detect the TLEs and obtain the images during the in-orbit operation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sucrosomial® Iron Supplementation in Mice: Effects on Blood Parameters, Hepcidin, and Inflammation
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101349 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sucrosomial® Iron is a recently developed formulation to treat iron deficiency based on ferric pyrophosphate covered by a matrix of phospholipids plus sucrose esters of fatty acids. Previous data indicated that Sucrosomial® Iron is efficiently absorbed by iron-deficient subjects, even at
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Sucrosomial® Iron is a recently developed formulation to treat iron deficiency based on ferric pyrophosphate covered by a matrix of phospholipids plus sucrose esters of fatty acids. Previous data indicated that Sucrosomial® Iron is efficiently absorbed by iron-deficient subjects, even at low dosage, and without side effects. Its structural properties may suggest that it is absorbed by an intestinal pathway which is different to the one used by ionic iron. Although, studies in vitro showed that Sucrosomial® Iron is readily absorbed, no animal models have been established to study this important aspect. To this aim, we induced iron deficient anemia in mice by feeding them with a low-iron diet, and then we treated them with either Sucrosomial® Iron or sulfate iron by gavage for up to two weeks. Both iron formulations corrected anemia and restored iron stores in a two-week period, but with different kinetics. Ferrous Sulfate was more efficient during the first week and Sucrosomial® Iron in the second week. Of note, when given at the same concentrations, Ferrous Sulfate induced the expression of hepcidin and four different inflammatory markers (Socs3, Saa1, IL6 and CRP), while Sucrosomial® Iron did not. We conclude that anemic mice are interesting models to study the absorption of oral iron, and that Sucrosomial® Iron is to be preferred over Ferrous Sulfate because of similar absorption but without inducing an inflammatory response. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Voltage Harmonic Suppression by Means of Grid-Connected Converters Using only Local Measurements
Energies 2018, 11(10), 2515; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11102515 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A single-phase grid-connected converter is considered in this paper in the presence of harmonic problems introduced non-linear loads. In order to compensate the harmonics caused by the loads, a local voltage support scheme is proposed. This is an added feature because its implementation
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A single-phase grid-connected converter is considered in this paper in the presence of harmonic problems introduced non-linear loads. In order to compensate the harmonics caused by the loads, a local voltage support scheme is proposed. This is an added feature because its implementation is in parallel with a conventional current control method. Distinctively, the measurements of the grid or load current are not needed since the scheme is based on only local measurements. On top of a fundamental part for desired power injection, the converter output current comprises a harmonic part for compensation. Thus, the grid current harmonic distortion is minimized and the enhancement of the local voltage quality is achieved. A comprehensive model analysis indicates that the proposed strategy can help to attenuate harmonics of the local voltage without compromising on the quality of the fundamental current injection. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme. Moreover, the impact of grid frequency estimation error on the control strategy’s performance is quantified theoretically and experimentally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of InGaN by Photoconductive Atomic Force Microscopy
Materials 2018, 11(10), 1794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11101794 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nanoscale structure has a large effect on the optoelectronic properties of InGaN, a material vital for energy saving technologies such as light emitting diodes. Photoconductive atomic force microscopy (PC-AFM) provides a new way to investigate this effect. In this study, PC-AFM was used
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Nanoscale structure has a large effect on the optoelectronic properties of InGaN, a material vital for energy saving technologies such as light emitting diodes. Photoconductive atomic force microscopy (PC-AFM) provides a new way to investigate this effect. In this study, PC-AFM was used to characterise four thick (∼130 nm) InxGa1xN films with x = 5%, 9%, 12%, and 15%. Lower photocurrent was observed on elevated ridges around defects (such as V-pits) in the films with x12%. Current-voltage curve analysis using the PC-AFM setup showed that this was due to a higher turn-on voltage on these ridges compared to surrounding material. To further understand this phenomenon, V-pit cross sections from the 9% and 15% films were characterised using transmission electron microscopy in combination with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. This identified a subsurface indium-deficient region surrounding the V-pit in the lower indium content film, which was not present in the 15% sample. Although this cannot directly explain the impact of ridges on turn-on voltage, it is likely to be related. Overall, the data presented here demonstrate the potential of PC-AFM in the field of III-nitride semiconductors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mitigation of Tropospheric Delay in SAR and InSAR Using NWP Data: Its Validation and Application Examples
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1515; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101515 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The neutral atmospheric delay has a great impact on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) absolute ranging and on differential interferometry. In this paper, we demonstrate its effective mitigation by means of the direction integration method using two products from the European Centre for Medium-Range
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The neutral atmospheric delay has a great impact on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) absolute ranging and on differential interferometry. In this paper, we demonstrate its effective mitigation by means of the direction integration method using two products from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast: ERA-Interim and operational data. Firstly, we shortly review the modeling of the neutral atmospheric delay for the direct integration method, focusing on the different refractivity models and constant coefficients available. Secondly, a thorough validation of the method is performed using two approaches. In the first approach, numerical weather prediction (NWP) derived zenith path delay (ZPD) is validated against ZPD from permanent GNSS (global navigation satellite system) stations on a global scale, demonstrating a mean accuracy of 14.5 mm for ERA-Interim. Local analysis shows a 1 mm improvement using operational data. In the second approach, NWP derived slant path delay (SPD) is validated against SAR SPD measured on corner reflectors in more than 300 TerraSAR-X High Resolution SpotLight acquisitions, demonstrating an accuracy in the centimeter range for both ERA-Interim and operational data. Finally, the application of this accurate delay estimate for the mitigation of the impact of the neutral atmosphere on SAR absolute ranging and on differential interferometry, both for individual interferograms and multi-temporal processing, is demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Properties of a New Coordination Polymer Built from N/O-Donor Mixed Ligands
Crystals 2018, 8(10), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst8100372 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The coordination polymer, namely, [Cd(H2L)(nobda)]n (1) was prepared by the reaction of Cd(NO3)2·4H2O with 4-amino-1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid (H2nobda) and 1,4-di(1H-imidazol-4-yl)benzene (H2L), and characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction,
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The coordination polymer, namely, [Cd(H2L)(nobda)]n (1) was prepared by the reaction of Cd(NO3)2·4H2O with 4-amino-1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid (H2nobda) and 1,4-di(1H-imidazol-4-yl)benzene (H2L), and characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, elemental analysis, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). The carboxylic acid of H2nobda ligands was completely deprotonated to be nobda2− anions, which act as tridentate ligand to connect the Cd2+ to form two-dimensional (2D) network, while the neutral H2L ligands serve as a linear didentate bridge to connect two adjacent Cd2+ ions upper and down the 2D layer. The adjacent 2D layers were further linked into the three-dimensional (3D) supramolecular polymer by the weak interactions such as hydrogen bonds and π−π stacking interactions. The ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption spectra and luminescent properties in the solid state at room temperature have been investigated. Full article
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