Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Water Surface Detection Algorithm Applied on PROBA-V Multispectral Data
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 1010; doi:10.3390/rs8121010 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Water body detection worldwide using spaceborne remote sensing is a challenging task. A global scale multi-temporal and multi-spectral image analysis method for water body detection was developed. The PROBA-V microsatellite has been fully operational since December 2013 and delivers daily near-global synthesis with
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Water body detection worldwide using spaceborne remote sensing is a challenging task. A global scale multi-temporal and multi-spectral image analysis method for water body detection was developed. The PROBA-V microsatellite has been fully operational since December 2013 and delivers daily near-global synthesis with a spatial resolution of 1 km and 333 m. The Red, Near-InfRared (NIR) and Short Wave InfRared (SWIR) bands of the atmospherically corrected 10-day synthesis images are first Hue, Saturation and Value (HSV) color transformed and subsequently used in a decision tree classification for water body detection. To minimize commission errors four additional data layers are used: the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Water Body Potential Mask (WBPM), Permanent Glacier Mask (PGM) and Volcanic Soil Mask (VSM). Threshold values on the hue and value bands, expressed by a parabolic function, are used to detect the water bodies. Beside the water bodies layer, a quality layer, based on the water bodies occurrences, is available in the output product. The performance of the Water Bodies Detection Algorithm (WBDA) was assessed using Landsat 8 scenes over 15 regions selected worldwide. A mean Commission Error (CE) of 1.5% was obtained while a mean Omission Error (OE) of 15.4% was obtained for minimum Water Surface Ratio (WSR) = 0.5 and drops to 9.8% for minimum WSR = 0.6. Here, WSR is defined as the fraction of the PROBA-V pixel covered by water as derived from high spatial resolution images, e.g., Landsat 8. Both the CE = 1.5% and OE = 9.8% (WSR = 0.6) fall within the user requirements of 15%. The WBDA is fully operational in the Copernicus Global Land Service and products are freely available. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Refining Mechanism of Super Gravity on the Solidification Structure of Al-Cu Alloys
Materials 2016, 9(12), 1001; doi:10.3390/ma9121001 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There is far less study of the refining effect of super gravity fields on solidification structures of metals than of the effects of electrical currents, magnetic and ultrasonic fields. Moreover, the refining mechanisms of super gravity are far from clear. This study applied
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There is far less study of the refining effect of super gravity fields on solidification structures of metals than of the effects of electrical currents, magnetic and ultrasonic fields. Moreover, the refining mechanisms of super gravity are far from clear. This study applied a super gravity field to Al-Cu alloys to investigate its effect on refining their structures and the mechanism of interaction. The experimental results showed that the solidification structure of Al-Cu alloys can be greatly refined by a super gravity field. The major refining effect was mainly achieved when super gravity was applied at the initial solidification stage; only slight refinement could be obtained towards the end of solidification. No refinement was obtained by the super gravity treatment on pure liquid or solid stages. The effectiveness of super gravity results from its promoting the multiplication of crystal nuclei, which we call “Heavy Crystal Rain”, thereby greatly strengthening the migration of crystal nuclei within the alloy. Increasing the solute Cu content can increase nucleation density and restrict the growth of crystals, which further increases the refining effect of super gravity. Within this paper, we also discuss the motile behavior of crystals in a field of super gravity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of an 8-Month Trial Using Height-Adjustable Desks on Children’s Classroom Sitting Patterns and Markers of Cardio-Metabolic and Musculoskeletal Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(12), 1227; doi:10.3390/ijerph13121227 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
During school hours, children can sit for prolonged and unbroken periods of time. This study investigated the impact of an 8-month classroom-based intervention focusing on reducing and breaking-up sitting time on children’s cardio-metabolic risk factors (i.e., body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure)
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During school hours, children can sit for prolonged and unbroken periods of time. This study investigated the impact of an 8-month classroom-based intervention focusing on reducing and breaking-up sitting time on children’s cardio-metabolic risk factors (i.e., body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure) and perceptions of musculoskeletal discomfort. Two Year-6 classes (24 students per class) in one primary school were assigned to either an intervention or control classroom. The intervention classroom was equipped with height-adjustable desks and the teacher was instructed in the delivery of pedagogical strategies to reduce and break-up sitting in class. The control classroom followed standard practice using traditional furniture. At baseline, and after 8-months, time spent sitting, standing, stepping, and sitting-bouts (occasions of continuous sitting) as well as the frequency of sit-to-stand transitions were obtained from activPAL inclinometers and the time spent in light-intensity physical activity was obtained from ActiGraph accelerometers. Demographics and musculoskeletal characteristics were obtained from a self-report survey. Hierarchical linear mixed models found that during class-time, children’s overall time spent sitting in long bouts (>10 min) were lower and the number of sit-to-stand transitions were higher in the intervention group compared to the control group, while no changes were observed for musculoskeletal pain/discomfort. No significant intervention effects were found for the anthropometrics measures and blood pressure. Height-adjustable desks and pedagogical strategies to reduce/break-up sitting can positively modify classroom sitting patterns in children. Longer interventions, larger and varied sample size may be needed to show health impacts; however, these desks did not increase musculoskeletal pain/discomfort. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Determining the Optimum Inner Diameter of Condenser Tubes Based on Thermodynamic Objective Functions and an Economic Analysis
Entropy 2016, 18(12), 444; doi:10.3390/e18120444 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The diameter and configuration of tubes are important design parameters of power condensers. If a proper tube diameter is applied during the design of a power unit, a high energy efficiency of the condenser itself can be achieved and the performance of the
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The diameter and configuration of tubes are important design parameters of power condensers. If a proper tube diameter is applied during the design of a power unit, a high energy efficiency of the condenser itself can be achieved and the performance of the whole power generation unit can be improved. If a tube assembly is to be replaced, one should verify whether the chosen condenser tube diameter is correct. Using a diameter that is too large increases the heat transfer area, leading to over-dimensioning and higher costs of building the condenser. On the other hand, if the diameter is too small, water flows faster through the tubes, which results in larger flow resistance and larger pumping power of the cooling-water pump. Both simple and complex methods can be applied to determine the condenser tube diameter. The paper proposes a method of technical and economic optimisation taking into account the performance of a condenser, the low-pressure (LP) part of a turbine, and a cooling-water pump as well as the profit from electric power generation and costs of building the condenser and pumping cooling water. The results obtained by this method were compared with those provided by the following simpler methods: minimization of the entropy generation rate per unit length of a condenser tube (considering entropy generation due to heat transfer and resistance of cooling-water flow), minimization of the total entropy generation rate (considering entropy generation for the system comprising the LP part of the turbine, the condenser, and the cooling-water pump), and maximization of the power unit’s output. The proposed methods were used to verify diameters of tubes in power condensers in a200-MW and a 500-MW power units. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Evaluation of Noise Spectroscopy Tests
Entropy 2016, 18(12), 443; doi:10.3390/e18120443 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The paper discusses mathematical tools to evaluate novel noise spectroscopy based analysis and describes, via physical similarity, the mathematical models expressing the quantitative character of the modeled task. Using the Stefan–Boltzmann law, the authors indicate finding the spectral density of the radiated power
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The paper discusses mathematical tools to evaluate novel noise spectroscopy based analysis and describes, via physical similarity, the mathematical models expressing the quantitative character of the modeled task. Using the Stefan–Boltzmann law, the authors indicate finding the spectral density of the radiated power of a hemisphere, and, for the selected frequency interval and temperature, they compare the simplified models with the expression of noise spectral density according to the Johnson–Nyquist formula or Nyquist’s expression of the function of spectral density based on a derivation of Planck’s law. The related measurements and evaluations, together with analyses of the noise spectroscopy of periodic resonant structures, are also outlined in the given context. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Differential Cellular Responses to Hedgehog Signalling in Vertebrates—What is the Role of Competence?
J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(4), 36; doi:10.3390/jdb4040036 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A surprisingly small number of signalling pathways generate a plethora of cellular responses ranging from the acquisition of multiple cell fates to proliferation, differentiation, morphogenesis and cell death. These diverse responses may be due to the dose-dependent activities of signalling factors, or to
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A surprisingly small number of signalling pathways generate a plethora of cellular responses ranging from the acquisition of multiple cell fates to proliferation, differentiation, morphogenesis and cell death. These diverse responses may be due to the dose-dependent activities of signalling factors, or to intrinsic differences in the response of cells to a given signal—a phenomenon called differential cellular competence. In this review, we focus on temporal and spatial differences in competence for Hedgehog (HH) signalling, a signalling pathway that is reiteratively employed in embryos and adult organisms. We discuss the upstream signals and mechanisms that may establish differential competence for HHs in a range of different tissues. We argue that the changing competence for HH signalling provides a four-dimensional framework for the interpretation of the signal that is essential for the emergence of functional anatomy. A number of diseases—including several types of cancer—are caused by malfunctions of the HH pathway. A better understanding of what provides differential competence for this signal may reveal HH-related disease mechanisms and equip us with more specific tools to manipulate HH signalling in the clinic. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Many Hats of Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Nervous System Development and Disease
J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(4), 35; doi:10.3390/jdb4040035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling occurs concurrently with the many processes that constitute nervous system development. Although Shh is mostly known for its proliferative and morphogenic action through its effects on neural stem cells and progenitors, it also contributes to neuronal differentiation, axonal pathfinding
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Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling occurs concurrently with the many processes that constitute nervous system development. Although Shh is mostly known for its proliferative and morphogenic action through its effects on neural stem cells and progenitors, it also contributes to neuronal differentiation, axonal pathfinding and synapse formation and function. To participate in these diverse events, Shh signaling manifests differently depending on the maturational state of the responsive cell, on the other signaling pathways regulating neural cell function and the environmental cues that surround target cells. Shh signaling is particularly dynamic in the nervous system, ranging from canonical transcription-dependent, to non-canonical and localized to axonal growth cones. Here, we review the variety of Shh functions in the developing nervous system and their consequences for neurodevelopmental diseases and neural regeneration, with particular emphasis on the signaling mechanisms underlying Shh action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Results on Coincidence and Common Fixed Points for (ψ,φ)g-Generalized Weakly Contractive Mappings in Ordered Metric Spaces
Mathematics 2016, 4(4), 68; doi:10.3390/math4040068 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Inspired by a metrical-fixed point theorem from Choudhury et al. (Nonlinear Anal. 2011, 74, 2116–2126), we prove some order-theoretic results which generalize several core results of the existing literature, especially the two main results of Harjani and Sadarangani (
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Inspired by a metrical-fixed point theorem from Choudhury et al. (Nonlinear Anal. 2011, 74, 2116–2126), we prove some order-theoretic results which generalize several core results of the existing literature, especially the two main results of Harjani and Sadarangani (Nonlinear Anal. 2009, 71, 3403–3410 and 2010, 72, 1188–1197). We demonstrate the realized improvement obtained in our results by using a suitable example. As an application, we also prove a result for mappings satisfying integral type (ψ,φ)g-generalized weakly contractive conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Novel Approach for Microgrid Protection Based upon Combined ANFIS and Hilbert Space-Based Power Setting
Energies 2016, 9(12), 1042; doi:10.3390/en9121042 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Nowadays, the use of distributed generation (DG) has increased because of benefits such as increased reliability, reduced losses, improvement in the line capacity, and less environmental pollution. The protection of microgrids, which consist of generation sources, is one of the most crucial concerns
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Nowadays, the use of distributed generation (DG) has increased because of benefits such as increased reliability, reduced losses, improvement in the line capacity, and less environmental pollution. The protection of microgrids, which consist of generation sources, is one of the most crucial concerns of basic distribution operators. One of the key issues in this field is the protection of microgrids against permanent and temporary failures by improving the safety and reliability of the network. The traditional method has a number of disadvantages. The reliability and stability of a power system in a microgrid depend to a great extent on the efficiency of the protection scheme. The application of Artificial Intelligence approaches was introduced recently in the protection of distribution networks. The fault detection method depends on differential relay based on Hilbert Space-Based Power (HSBP) theory to achieve fastest primary protection. It is backed up by a total harmonic distortion (THD) detection method that takes over in case of a failure in the primary method. The backup protection would be completely independent of the main protection. This is rarely attained in practice. This paper proposes a new algorithm to improve protection performance by adaptive network-based fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). The protection can be obtained in a novel way based on this theory. An advantage of this algorithm is that the protection system operates in fewer than two cycles after the occurrence of the fault. Another advantage is that the error detection is not dependent on the selection of threshold values, and all types of internal fault can identify and show that the algorithm operates correctly for all types of faults while preventing unwanted tripping, even if the data were distorted by current transformer (CT) saturation or by data mismatches. The simulation results show that the proposed circuit can identify the faulty phase in the microgrid quickly and correctly. Full article
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