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Appl. Sci., Volume 7, Issue 2 (February 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Membrane distillation (MD) recently shifted from seawater desalination to industrial applications [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Modeling, Simulation, and Performance Analysis of Decoy State Enabled Quantum Key Distribution Systems
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020212
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
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Abstract
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems exploit the laws of quantum mechanics to generate secure keying material for cryptographic purposes. To date, several commercially viable decoy state enabled QKD systems have been successfully demonstrated and show promise for high-security applications such as banking, government,
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Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems exploit the laws of quantum mechanics to generate secure keying material for cryptographic purposes. To date, several commercially viable decoy state enabled QKD systems have been successfully demonstrated and show promise for high-security applications such as banking, government, and military environments. In this work, a detailed performance analysis of decoy state enabled QKD systems is conducted through model and simulation of several common decoy state configurations. The results of this study uniquely demonstrate that the decoy state protocol can ensure Photon Number Splitting (PNS) attacks are detected with high confidence, while maximizing the system’s quantum throughput at no additional cost. Additionally, implementation security guidance is provided for QKD system developers and users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Simulation, Operation and Control of Discrete Event Systems)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: A CMOS Multiplied Input Differential Difference Amplifier: A New Active Device and Its Applications. Applied Sciences 2017, 7, 106
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020211
Received: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
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Abstract
We wish to make the following correction to the published paper [...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle Seismic Failure Mechanism of Reinforced Cold-Formed Steel Shear Wall System Based on Structural Vulnerability Analysis
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020182
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
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Abstract
A series of structural vulnerability analyses are conducted on a reinforced cold-formed steel (RCFS) shear wall system and a traditional cold-formed steel (CFS) shear wall system subjected to earthquake hazard based on forms in order to investigate their failure mechanisms. The RCFS shear
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A series of structural vulnerability analyses are conducted on a reinforced cold-formed steel (RCFS) shear wall system and a traditional cold-formed steel (CFS) shear wall system subjected to earthquake hazard based on forms in order to investigate their failure mechanisms. The RCFS shear wall adopts rigid beam-column joints and continuous concrete-filled CFS tube end studs rather than coupled-C section end studs that are used in traditional CFS shear walls, to achieve the rigid connections in both beam-column joints and column bases. The results show that: the RCFS and traditional CFS shear wall systems both exhibit the maximum vulnerability index associated with the failure mode in the first story. Therefore, the first story is likely to be a weakness of the CFS shear wall system. Once the wall is damaged, the traditional CFS shear wall system would collapse because the shear wall is the only lateral-resisting component. However, the collapse resistance of the RCFS shear wall system is effectively enhanced by the second defense, which is provided by a framework integrated by rigid beam-column joints and fixed column bases. The predicted collapse mode with maximum vulnerability index that was obtained by structural vulnerability analysis agrees well with the experimental result, and the structural vulnerability method is thereby verified to be reasonable to identify the weaknesses of framed structures and predict their collapse modes. Additionally, the quantitative vulnerability index indicates that the RCFS shear wall system exhibits better robustness compared to the traditional one. Furthermore, the “strong frame weak wallboard” and the “strong column weak beam” are proposed in this study as conceptional designations for the RCFS shear wall systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Thin-Walled Structures)
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Open AccessArticle Overload Control in Smart Transformer-Fed Grid
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020208
Received: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
Renewable energy resources and new loads—such as electric vehicles—challenge grid management. Among several scenarios, the smart transformer represents a solution for simultaneously managing low- and medium-voltage grids, providing ancillary services to the distribution grid. However, unlike conventional transformers, the smart transformer has a
[...] Read more.
Renewable energy resources and new loads—such as electric vehicles—challenge grid management. Among several scenarios, the smart transformer represents a solution for simultaneously managing low- and medium-voltage grids, providing ancillary services to the distribution grid. However, unlike conventional transformers, the smart transformer has a very limited overload capability, because the junction temperature—which must always be below its maximum limit—is characterized by a short time constant. In this work, an overload control for smart transformer by means of voltage and frequency variations has been proposed and verified by means of simulations and experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Grid-Connected Renewable Generation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Application of the DC Offset Cancellation Method and S Transform to Gearbox Fault Diagnosis
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020207
Received: 31 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, the direct current (DC) offset cancellation and S transform-based diagnosis method is verified using three case studies. For DC offset cancellation, correlated kurtosis (CK) is used instead of the cross-correlation coefficient in order to determine the optimal iteration number. Compared
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In this paper, the direct current (DC) offset cancellation and S transform-based diagnosis method is verified using three case studies. For DC offset cancellation, correlated kurtosis (CK) is used instead of the cross-correlation coefficient in order to determine the optimal iteration number. Compared to the cross-correlation coefficient, CK enhances the DC offset cancellation ability enormously because of its excellent periodic impulse signal detection ability. Here, it has been proven experimentally that it can effectively diagnose the implanted bearing fault. However, the proposed method is less effective in the case of simultaneously present bearing and gear faults, especially for extremely weak bearing faults. In this circumstance, the iteration number of DC offset cancellation is determined directly by the high-speed shaft gear mesh frequency order. For the planetary gearbox, the application of the proposed method differs from the fixed-axis gearbox, because of its complex structure. For those small fault frequency parts, such as planet gear and ring gear, the DC offset cancellation’s ability is less effective than for the fixed-axis gearbox. In these studies, the S transform is used to display the time-frequency characteristics of the DC offset cancellation processed results; the performances are evaluated, and the discussions are given. The fault information can be more easily observed in the time-frequency contour than the frequency domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning Based Machine Fault Diagnosis and Prognosis)
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Open AccessArticle LED Current Balance Using a Variable Voltage Regulator with Low Dropout vDS Control
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020206
Received: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
A cost-effective light-emitting diode (LED) current balance strategy using a variable voltage regulator (VVR) with low dropout vDS control is proposed. This can regulate the multiple metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) of the linear current regulators (LCR), maintaining low dropout vDS on the flat
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A cost-effective light-emitting diode (LED) current balance strategy using a variable voltage regulator (VVR) with low dropout vDS control is proposed. This can regulate the multiple metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) of the linear current regulators (LCR), maintaining low dropout vDS on the flat vGS-characteristic curves and making all drain currents almost the same. Simple group LCRs respectively loaded with a string LED are employed to implement the theme. The voltage VVdc from a VVR is synthesized by a string LED voltage NvD, source voltage vR, and a specified low dropout vDS = VQ. The VVdc updates instantly, through the control loop of the master LCR, which means that all slave MOSFETs have almost the same biases on their flat vGS-characteristic curves. This leads to all of the string LED currents being equal to each other, producing an almost even luminance. An experimental setup with microchip control is built to verify the estimations. Experimental results show that the luminance of all of the string LEDs are almost equal to one another, with a maximum deviation below 1% during a wide dimming range, while keeping all vDS of the MOSFETs at a low dropout voltage, as expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Saving)
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Open AccessArticle Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of SiC Nanoparticles for the Efficient Adsorptive Removal of Nitroimidazole Antibiotics from Aqueous Solution
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020205
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
Environmental pollution caused by the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals is a matter of global concern, and warrants immediate attention. Of particular concern is the aquatic contamination caused by the increasing use of antibiotics, which could give rise to superbugs. While researchers have mainly
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Environmental pollution caused by the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals is a matter of global concern, and warrants immediate attention. Of particular concern is the aquatic contamination caused by the increasing use of antibiotics, which could give rise to superbugs. While researchers have mainly focused on improving the adsorption capacity of mostly activated carbon-based adsorbents, we have developed a non-conventional adsorbent (SiC nanoparticles) in the present work for the adsorptive removal of four different nitroimidazole antibiotics, namely metronidazole (MNZ), dimetridazole (DMZ), ronidazole (RNZ), and tinidazole (TNZ). In addition to the unique properties which are inherent to SiC, the present adsorbent not only possesses a high adsorption capacity, but also shows one of the highest adsorption rates; both of which are prerequisites for an efficient and cost-effective adsorption-based separation technology. Silicon carbide (SiC) nanoparticles, synthesized by a microwave-assisted method, were thoroughly characterized using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller method. The adsorption isotherm data were accurately described by the Langmuir isotherm model. On the other hand, the adsorption kinetics, closely represented by the pseudo-second order kinetic model, were faster than most previously reported adsorbents. The reaction rate constants were 0.0089, 0.0079, 0.0072, and 0.0055 g/(mg min), for MNZ, DMZ, RNZ, and TNZ, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Preliminary Study on the Damping Effect of a Lateral Damping Buffer under a Debris Flow Load
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020201
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
Simulating the impact of debris flows on structures and exploring the feasibility of applying energy dissipation devices or shock isolators to reduce the damage caused by debris flows can make great contribution to the design of disaster prevention structures. In this paper, we
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Simulating the impact of debris flows on structures and exploring the feasibility of applying energy dissipation devices or shock isolators to reduce the damage caused by debris flows can make great contribution to the design of disaster prevention structures. In this paper, we propose a new type of device, a lateral damping buffer, to reduce the vulnerability of building structures to debris flows. This lateral damping buffer has two mechanisms of damage mitigation: when debris flows impact on a building, it acts as a buffer, and when the structure vibrates due to the impact, it acts as a shock absorber, which can reduce the maximum acceleration response and subsequent vibration respectively. To study the effectiveness of such a lateral damping buffer, an impact test is conducted, which mainly involves a lateral damping buffer attached to a two-degree-of-freedom structure under a simulated debris flow load. To enable the numerical study, the equation of motion of the structure along with the lateral damping buffer is derived. A subsequent parametric study is performed to optimize the lateral damping buffer. Finally, a practical design procedure is also provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Adaptive Buffering Scheme for P2P Live and Time-Shifted Streaming
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020204
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 18 February 2017
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Abstract
Recently, P2P streaming techniques have been a promising solution to a large-scale live streaming system because of their high scalability and low installation cost. In P2P live streaming systems, however, it is difficult to manage peers’ buffers effectively, because they can buffer only
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Recently, P2P streaming techniques have been a promising solution to a large-scale live streaming system because of their high scalability and low installation cost. In P2P live streaming systems, however, it is difficult to manage peers’ buffers effectively, because they can buffer only a limited amount of data around a live broadcasting time in the main memory and suffer from long playback lag due to the nature of P2P structures. In addition, the number of peers decreases rapidly as the playback position moves further from this time by performing time-shifted viewing. These situations widen the distribution of peers’ playback positions, thereby decreasing the degree of data duplication among peers. Moreover, it is hard to use each peer’s buffer as the caching area because the buffer area where the chunks that have already been played back are stored can be overwritten at any time by new chunks that will arrive soon. In this paper, we therefore propose a novel buffering scheme to significantly increase data duplication in buffering periods among peers in P2P live and time-shifted streaming systems. In our proposed scheme, the buffer ratio of each peer is adaptively adjusted according to its relative playback position in a group by increasing the ratio of the caching area in its buffer as its playback position moves earlier in time and increasing the ratio of the prefetching area as its playback position moves later. Through extensive simulations, we demonstrate that our proposed adaptive buffering scheme outperforms the conventional buffering technique considerably in terms of startup delay, average jitter ratio, and the ratio of necessary chunks in a buffermap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Performance and Parallel Computer Systems: Design and Algorithms)
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Open AccessArticle Fuzzy Synthetic Evaluation of the Long-Term Health of Tunnel Structures
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020203
Received: 3 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
A tunnel is a coupled system of the surrounding rock and the supporting structure. The health status of a tunnel structure is complex and is influenced by various factors. In addition, these factors are coupled and interacted with each other, which calls for
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A tunnel is a coupled system of the surrounding rock and the supporting structure. The health status of a tunnel structure is complex and is influenced by various factors. In addition, these factors are coupled and interacted with each other, which calls for the linguistic description of the tunnel safety level. In this paper, we describe the health status of a highway tunnel structure in terms of four levels: safe; basically safe; potentially unsafe and unsafe. Based on the analysis of the safety characteristics of the tunnel structure and its proposed safety level, this research develops a multi-level fuzzy synthetic evaluation model for the long-term safety evaluation system of a tunnel structure. The Cang Ling Tunnel, which has embedded sensors to measure the stress values of the secondary lining and the contact pressure, is used as an example to study the proposed method. The results show that the structure of the entire Cang Ling Tunnel is in almost a safe condition under the current conditions, which is consistent with the actual operational situation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Study on the Asphalt Concrete Structure for Blast and Impact Load Using the Karagozian and Case Concrete Model
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020202
Received: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
The behaviour of an asphalt concrete structure subjected to severe loading, such as blast and impact loadings, is becoming critical for safety and anti-terrorist reasons. With the development of high-speed computational capabilities, it is possible to carry out the numerical simulation of an
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The behaviour of an asphalt concrete structure subjected to severe loading, such as blast and impact loadings, is becoming critical for safety and anti-terrorist reasons. With the development of high-speed computational capabilities, it is possible to carry out the numerical simulation of an asphalt concrete structure subjected to blast or impact loading. In the simulation, the constitutive model plays a key role as the model defines the essential physical mechanisms of the material under different stress and loading conditions. In this paper, the key features of the Karagozian and Case concrete model (KCC) adopted in LSDYNA are evaluated and discussed. The formulations of the strength surfaces and the damage factor in the KCC model are verified. Both static and dynamic tests are used to determine the parameters of asphalt concrete in the KCC model. The modified damage factor is proposed to represent the higher failure strain that can improve the simulation of the behaviour of AC material. Furthermore, a series test of the asphalt concrete structure subjected to blast and impact loadings is conducted and simulated by using the KCC model. The simulation results are then compared with those from both field and laboratory tests. The results show that the use of the KCC model to simulate asphalt concrete structures can reproduce similar results as the field and laboratory test. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Interactions of Dihydroquinazolin Derivatives with Human Serum Albumin Observed via Multiple Spectroscopy
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020200
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The interactions of dihydroquinazolines with human serum albumin (HSA) were studied in pH 7.4 aqueous solution via fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques. In this work, 6-chloro-1-(3,3-dimethyl-butanoyl)-2(un)substitutedphenyl-2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one (PDQL) derivatives were designed and synthesized to study the impact of
[...] Read more.
The interactions of dihydroquinazolines with human serum albumin (HSA) were studied in pH 7.4 aqueous solution via fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques. In this work, 6-chloro-1-(3,3-dimethyl-butanoyl)-2(un)substitutedphenyl-2,3-dihydroquinazolin-4(1H)-one (PDQL) derivatives were designed and synthesized to study the impact of five similar substituents (methyl, methoxy, cyano, trifluoromethyl and isopropyl) on the interactions between PDQL and HSA using a comparative methodology. The results revealed that PDQL quenched the intrinsic fluorescence of HSA through a static quenching process. Displacement experiments with site-specific markers revealed that PDQL binds to HSA at site II (subdomain IIIA) and that there may be only one binding site for PDQL on HSA. The thermodynamic parameters indicated that hydrophobic interactions mainly drove the interactions between PDQL and HSA. The substitution using five similar groups in the benzene ring could increase the interactions between PDQL and HSA to some extent through the van der Waals force or hydrogen bond effects in the proper temperature range. Isopropyl substitution could particularly enhance the binding affinity, as observed via comparative studies Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Surface Quality of Staggered PCD End Mill in Milling of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020199
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 4 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
Machined surface quality determines the reliability, wear resistance and service life of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) workpieces. In this work, the formation mechanism of the surface topography and the machining defects of CFRPs are proposed, and the influence of milling parameters and
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Machined surface quality determines the reliability, wear resistance and service life of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) workpieces. In this work, the formation mechanism of the surface topography and the machining defects of CFRPs are proposed, and the influence of milling parameters and fiber cutting angles on the surface quality of CFRPs is obtained, which can provide a reference for extended tool life and good surface quality. Trimming and slot milling tests of unidirectional CFRP laminates are performed. The surface roughness of the machined surface is measured, and the influence of milling parameters on the surface roughness is analyzed. A regression model for the surface roughness of CFRP milling is established. A significance test of the regression model is conducted. The machined surface topography of milling CFRP unidirectional laminates with different fiber orientations is analyzed, and the effect of fiber cutting angle on the surface topography of the machined surface is presented by using a digital super depth-of-field microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM). To study the influence of fiber cutting angle on machining defects, the machined topography under different fiber orientations is analyzed. The slot milling defects and their formation mechanism under different fiber cutting angles are investigated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigation on Soft Galloping and Hard Galloping of Triangular Prisms
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020198
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
The studies currently on soft galloping (SG) and hard galloping (HG) are scarce. In this study, SG and HG of spring-mounted triangular prisms in a water channel are investigated experimentally. A power take-off system (PTO), a spring system, additional weights, and different triangular
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The studies currently on soft galloping (SG) and hard galloping (HG) are scarce. In this study, SG and HG of spring-mounted triangular prisms in a water channel are investigated experimentally. A power take-off system (PTO), a spring system, additional weights, and different triangular prisms were used to achieve the variations in damping coefficient c, system stiffness K, oscillation mass m and section aspect ratios α, respectively. The present paper proves that the VIV (vortex-induced vibration) lower branch can be observed in the SG response. In SG response, VIV branches are incomplete while the galloping branch is complete, and galloping can be self-initiated only in the self-excited region. On the contrary, in HG response, VIV branches are complete, the galloping branch is incomplete, and galloping can only be initiated by external excitation at a velocity exceeding the critical velocity. As c and m increase, or K and α decrease, the oscillation mode of a triangular prism gradually transitions from SG to CG (critical galloping), and continues to HG. The amplitude in VIV branch is the main reason causing the onset of galloping in SG response. A critical damping coefficient cc, which is dependent on m, K and α, is proposed to predict the occurrences of SG, CG and HG. When c < cc, SG occurs; when c > cc, HG occurs; when c = cc, CG occurs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Surrogate Based Optimization of Aerodynamic Noise for Streamlined Shape of High Speed Trains
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/app7020196
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
Aerodynamic noise increases with the sixth power of the running speed. As the speed increases, aerodynamic noise becomes predominant and begins to be the main noise source at a certain high speed. As a result, aerodynamic noise has to be focused on when
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Aerodynamic noise increases with the sixth power of the running speed. As the speed increases, aerodynamic noise becomes predominant and begins to be the main noise source at a certain high speed. As a result, aerodynamic noise has to be focused on when designing new high-speed trains. In order to perform the aerodynamic noise optimization, the equivalent continuous sound pressure level (SPL) has been used in the present paper, which could take all of the far field observation probes into consideration. The Non-Linear Acoustics Solver (NLAS) approach has been utilized for acoustic calculation. With the use of Kriging surrogate model, a multi-objective optimization of the streamlined shape of high-speed trains has been performed, which takes the noise level in the far field and the drag of the whole train as the objectives. To efficiently construct the Kriging model, the cross validation approach has been adopted. Optimization results reveal that both the equivalent continuous sound pressure level and the drag of the whole train are reduced in a certain extent. Full article
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