Open AccessArticle
Radar Interferometry for Monitoring the Vibration Characteristics of Buildings and Civil Structures: Recent Case Studies in Spain
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 669; doi:10.3390/s17040669 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The potential of a coherent microwave sensor to monitor the vibration characteristics of civil structures has been investigated in the past decade, and successful case studies have been published by different research teams. This remote sensing technique is based on the interferometric processing
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The potential of a coherent microwave sensor to monitor the vibration characteristics of civil structures has been investigated in the past decade, and successful case studies have been published by different research teams. This remote sensing technique is based on the interferometric processing of real aperture radar acquisitions. Its capability to estimate, simultaneously and remotely, the displacement of different parts of the investigated structures, with high accuracy and repeatability, is its main advantage with respect to conventional sensors. A considerable amount of literature on this technique is available, including various case studies aimed at testing the ambient vibration of bridges, buildings, and towers. In the last years, this technique has been used in Spain for civil structures monitoring. In this paper, three examples of such case studies are described: the monitoring of the suspended bridge crossing the Ebro River at Amposta, the communications tower of Collserola in Barcelona, and an urban building located in Vilafranca del Penedès, a small town close to Barcelona. This paper summarizes the main outcomes of these case studies, underlining the advantages and limitations of the sensors currently available, and concluding with the possible improvements expected from the next generation of sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Make Reliable, Washable, and Wearable Textronic Devices
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 673; doi:10.3390/s17040673 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, the washability of wearable textronic (textile-electronic) devices has been studied. Two different approaches aiming at designing, producing, and testing robust washable and reliable smart textile systems are presented. The common point of the two approaches is the use of flexible
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In this paper, the washability of wearable textronic (textile-electronic) devices has been studied. Two different approaches aiming at designing, producing, and testing robust washable and reliable smart textile systems are presented. The common point of the two approaches is the use of flexible conductive PCB in order to interface the miniaturized rigid (traditional) electronic devices to conductive threads and tracks within the textile flexible fabric and to connect them to antenna, textile electrodes, sensors, actuators, etc. The first approach consists in the use of TPU films (thermoplastic polyurethane) that are deposited by the press under controlled temperature and pressure parameters in order to protect the conductive thread and electrical contacts. The washability of conductive threads and contact resistances between flexible PCB and conductive threads are tested. The second approach is focused on the protection of the whole system—composed of a rigid electronic device, flexible PCB, and textile substrate—by a barrier made of latex. Three types of prototypes were realized and washed. Their reliabilities are studied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Node Self-Deployment Algorithm Based on Pigeon Swarm Optimization for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 674; doi:10.3390/s17040674 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
At present, free-to-move node self-deployment algorithms aim at event coverage and cannot improve network coverage under the premise of considering network connectivity, network reliability and network deployment energy consumption. Thus, this study proposes pigeon-based self-deployment algorithm (PSA) for underwater wireless sensor networks to
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At present, free-to-move node self-deployment algorithms aim at event coverage and cannot improve network coverage under the premise of considering network connectivity, network reliability and network deployment energy consumption. Thus, this study proposes pigeon-based self-deployment algorithm (PSA) for underwater wireless sensor networks to overcome the limitations of these existing algorithms. In PSA, the sink node first finds its one-hop nodes and maximizes the network coverage in its one-hop region. The one-hop nodes subsequently divide the network into layers and cluster in each layer. Each cluster head node constructs a connected path to the sink node to guarantee network connectivity. Finally, the cluster head node regards the ratio of the movement distance of the node to the change in the coverage redundancy ratio as the target function and employs pigeon swarm optimization to determine the positions of the nodes. Simulation results show that PSA improves both network connectivity and network reliability, decreases network deployment energy consumption, and increases network coverage. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Real-Time Gait Event Detection Based on Kinematic Data Coupled to a Biomechanical Model †
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 671; doi:10.3390/s17040671 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Real-time detection of multiple stance events, more specifically initial contact (IC), foot flat (FF), heel off (HO), and toe off (TO), could greatly benefit neurorobotic (NR) and neuroprosthetic (NP) control. Three real-time threshold-based algorithms have been developed, detecting the aforementioned events based on
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Real-time detection of multiple stance events, more specifically initial contact (IC), foot flat (FF), heel off (HO), and toe off (TO), could greatly benefit neurorobotic (NR) and neuroprosthetic (NP) control. Three real-time threshold-based algorithms have been developed, detecting the aforementioned events based on kinematic data in combination with a biomechanical model. Data from seven subjects walking at three speeds on an instrumented treadmill were used to validate the presented algorithms, accumulating to a total of 558 steps. The reference for the gait events was obtained using marker and force plate data. All algorithms had excellent precision and no false positives were observed. Timing delays of the presented algorithms were similar to current state-of-the-art algorithms for the detection of IC and TO, whereas smaller delays were achieved for the detection of FF. Our results indicate that, based on their high precision and low delays, these algorithms can be used for the control of an NR/NP, with the exception of the HO event. Kinematic data is used in most NR/NP control schemes and is thus available at no additional cost, resulting in a minimal computational burden. The presented methods can also be applied for screening pathological gait or gait analysis in general in/outside of the laboratory. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Secure and Privacy-Preserving Navigation Scheme Using Spatial Crowdsourcing in Fog-Based VANETs
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 668; doi:10.3390/s17040668 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Fog-based VANETs (Vehicular ad hoc networks) is a new paradigm of vehicular ad hoc networks with the advantages of both vehicular cloud and fog computing. Real-time navigation schemes based on fog-based VANETs can promote the scheme performance efficiently. In this paper, we propose
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Fog-based VANETs (Vehicular ad hoc networks) is a new paradigm of vehicular ad hoc networks with the advantages of both vehicular cloud and fog computing. Real-time navigation schemes based on fog-based VANETs can promote the scheme performance efficiently. In this paper, we propose a secure and privacy-preserving navigation scheme by using vehicular spatial crowdsourcing based on fog-based VANETs. Fog nodes are used to generate and release the crowdsourcing tasks, and cooperatively find the optimal route according to the real-time traffic information collected by vehicles in their coverage areas. Meanwhile, the vehicle performing the crowdsourcing task can get a reasonable reward. The querying vehicle can retrieve the navigation results from each fog node successively when entering its coverage area, and follow the optimal route to the next fog node until it reaches the desired destination. Our scheme fulfills the security and privacy requirements of authentication, confidentiality and conditional privacy preservation. Some cryptographic primitives, including the Elgamal encryption algorithm, AES, randomized anonymous credentials and group signatures, are adopted to achieve this goal. Finally, we analyze the security and the efficiency of the proposed scheme. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Polynomial Subset-Based Efficient Multi-Party Key Management System for Lightweight Device Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 670; doi:10.3390/s17040670 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) consist of lightweight devices to measure sensitive data that are highly vulnerable to security attacks due to their constrained resources. In a similar manner, the internet-based lightweight devices used in the Internet of Things (IoT) are facing severe security
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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) consist of lightweight devices to measure sensitive data that are highly vulnerable to security attacks due to their constrained resources. In a similar manner, the internet-based lightweight devices used in the Internet of Things (IoT) are facing severe security and privacy issues because of the direct accessibility of devices due to their connection to the internet. Complex and resource-intensive security schemes are infeasible and reduce the network lifetime. In this regard, we have explored the polynomial distribution-based key establishment schemes and identified an issue that the resultant polynomial value is either storage intensive or infeasible when large values are multiplied. It becomes more costly when these polynomials are regenerated dynamically after each node join or leave operation and whenever key is refreshed. To reduce the computation, we have proposed an Efficient Key Management (EKM) scheme for multiparty communication-based scenarios. The proposed session key management protocol is established by applying a symmetric polynomial for group members, and the group head acts as a responsible node. The polynomial generation method uses security credentials and secure hash function. Symmetric cryptographic parameters are efficient in computation, communication, and the storage required. The security justification of the proposed scheme has been completed by using Rubin logic, which guarantees that the protocol attains mutual validation and session key agreement property strongly among the participating entities. Simulation scenarios are performed using NS 2.35 to validate the results for storage, communication, latency, energy, and polynomial calculation costs during authentication, session key generation, node migration, secure joining, and leaving phases. EKM is efficient regarding storage, computation, and communication overhead and can protect WSN-based IoT infrastructure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Construction of an Acetylcholinesterase Sensor Based on Synthesized Paramagnetic Nanoparticles, a Simple Tool for Neurotoxic Compounds Assay
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 676; doi:10.3390/s17040676 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Magnetic particles (MPs) have been widely used in biological applications in recent years as a carrier for various molecules. Their big advantage is in repeated use of immobilized molecules including enzymes. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an enzyme playing crucial role in neurotransmission and the
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Magnetic particles (MPs) have been widely used in biological applications in recent years as a carrier for various molecules. Their big advantage is in repeated use of immobilized molecules including enzymes. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an enzyme playing crucial role in neurotransmission and the enzyme is targeted by various molecules like Alzheimer’s drugs, pesticides and warfare agents. In this work, an electrochemical biosensor having AChE immobilized onto MPs and stabilized through glutaraldehyde (GA) molecule was proposed for assay of the neurotoxic compounds. The prepared nanoparticles were modified by pure AChE and they were used for the measurement anti-Alzheimer’s drug galantamine and carbamate pesticide carbofuran with limit of detection 1.5 µM and 20 nM, respectively. All measurements were carried out using screen-printed sensor with carbon working, silver reference, and carbon auxiliary electrode. Standard Ellman’s assay was used for validation measurement of both inhibitors. Part of this work was the elimination of reversible inhibitors represented by galantamine from the active site of AChE. For this purpose, we used a lower pH to get the original activity of AChE after inhibition by galantamine. We also observed decarbamylation of the AChE-carbofuran adduct. Influence of organic solvents to AChE as well as repeatability of measurement with MPs with AChE was also established. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Formaldehyde Sensor Based on Molecularly-Imprinted Polymer on a TiO2 Nanotube Array
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 675; doi:10.3390/s17040675 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Today, significant attention has been brought to the development of sensitive, specific, cheap, and reliable sensors for real-time monitoring. Molecular imprinting technology is a versatile and promising technology for practical applications in many areas, particularly chemical sensors. Here, we present a chemical sensor
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Today, significant attention has been brought to the development of sensitive, specific, cheap, and reliable sensors for real-time monitoring. Molecular imprinting technology is a versatile and promising technology for practical applications in many areas, particularly chemical sensors. Here, we present a chemical sensor for detecting formaldehyde, a toxic common indoor pollutant gas. Polypyrrole-based molecularly-imprinted polymer (PPy-based MIP) is employed as the sensing recognition layer and synthesized on a titanium dioxide nanotube array (TiO2-NTA) for increasing its surface-to-volume ratio, thereby improving the sensor performance. Our sensor selectively detects formaldehyde in the parts per million (ppm) range at room temperature. It also shows a long-term stability and small fluctuation to humidity variations. These are attributed to the thin fishnet-like structure of the PPy-based MIP on the highly-ordered and vertically-aligned TiO2-NTA. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Using an Active-Optical Sensor to Develop an Optimal NDVI Dynamic Model for High-Yield Rice Production (Yangtze, China)
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 672; doi:10.3390/s17040672 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The successful development of an optimal canopy vegetation index dynamic model for obtaining higher yield can offer a technical approach for real-time and nondestructive diagnosis of rice (Oryza sativa L) growth and nitrogen (N) nutrition status. In this study, multiple rice cultivars and
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The successful development of an optimal canopy vegetation index dynamic model for obtaining higher yield can offer a technical approach for real-time and nondestructive diagnosis of rice (Oryza sativa L) growth and nitrogen (N) nutrition status. In this study, multiple rice cultivars and N treatments of experimental plots were carried out to obtain: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), leaf area index (LAI), above-ground dry matter (DM), and grain yield (GY) data. The quantitative relationships between NDVI and these growth indices (e.g., LAI, DM and GY) were analyzed, showing positive correlations. Using the normalized modeling method, an appropriate NDVI simulation model of rice was established based on the normalized NDVI (RNDVI) and relative accumulative growing degree days (RAGDD). The NDVI dynamic model for high-yield production in rice can be expressed by a double logistic model: RNDVI=(1+e15.2829×(RAGDDi0.1944))1(1+e11.6517×(RAGDDi1.0267))1 (R2 = 0.8577**), which can be used to accurately predict canopy NDVI dynamic changes during the entire growth period. Considering variation among rice cultivars, we constructed two relative NDVI (RNDVI) dynamic models for Japonica and Indica rice types, with R2 reaching 0.8764** and 0.8874**, respectively. Furthermore, independent experimental data were used to validate the RNDVI dynamic models. The results showed that during the entire growth period, the accuracy (k), precision (R2), and standard deviation of RNDVI dynamic models for the Japonica and Indica cultivars were 0.9991, 1.0170; 0.9084**, 0.8030**; and 0.0232, 0.0170, respectively. These results indicated that RNDVI dynamic models could accurately reflect crop growth and predict dynamic changes in high-yield crop populations, providing a rapid approach for monitoring rice growth status. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Passive Temperature-Sensing Antenna Based on a Bimetal Strip Coil
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 665; doi:10.3390/s17040665 -
Abstract
A passive temperature-sensing antenna is presented in this paper, which consists of a meandering dipole, a bimetal strip and a back cavity. The meandering dipole is divided into two parts: the lower feeding part and the upper radiating part, which maintain electric contact
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A passive temperature-sensing antenna is presented in this paper, which consists of a meandering dipole, a bimetal strip and a back cavity. The meandering dipole is divided into two parts: the lower feeding part and the upper radiating part, which maintain electric contact during operation. As a sensing component, a bimetal strip coil offers a twisting force to rotate the lower feeding part of the antenna when the temperature varies. As a result, the effective length of the dipole antenna changes, leading to a shift of the resonant frequency. Furthermore, a metal back cavity is added to increase the antenna’s quality factor Q, which results in a high-sensitivity design. An antenna prototype is designed, fabricated, and measured, which achieves a sensitivity larger than 4.00 MHz/°C in a temperature range from 30 °C to 50 °C and a read range longer than 4 m. Good agreement between the simulation and measurement results is obtained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hyperspectral Monitoring of Green Roof Vegetation Health State in Sub-Mediterranean Climate: Preliminary Results
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 662; doi:10.3390/s17040662 -
Abstract
In urban and industrial environments, the constant increase of impermeable surfaces has produced drastic changes in the natural hydrological cycle. Decreasing green areas not only produce negative effects from a hydrological-hydraulic perspective, but also from an energy point of view, modifying the urban
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In urban and industrial environments, the constant increase of impermeable surfaces has produced drastic changes in the natural hydrological cycle. Decreasing green areas not only produce negative effects from a hydrological-hydraulic perspective, but also from an energy point of view, modifying the urban microclimate and generating, as shown in the literature, heat islands in our cities. In this context, green infrastructures may represent an environmental compensation action that can be used to re-equilibrate the hydrological and energy balance and reduce the impact of pollutant load on receiving water bodies. To ensure that a green infrastructure will work properly, vegetated areas have to be continuously monitored to verify their health state. This paper presents a ground spectroscopy monitoring survey of a green roof installed at the University of Calabria fulfilled via the acquisition and analysis of hyperspectral data. This study is part of a larger research project financed by European Structural funds aimed at understanding the influence of green roofs on rainwater management and energy consumption for air conditioning in the Mediterranean area. Reflectance values were acquired with a field-portable spectroradiometer that operates in the range of wavelengths 350–2500 nm. The survey was carried out during the time period November 2014–June 2015 and data were acquired weekly. Climatic, thermo-physical, hydrological and hydraulic quantities were acquired as well and related to spectral data. Broadband and narrowband spectral indices, related to chlorophyll content and to chlorophyll–carotenoid ratio, were computed. The two narrowband indices NDVI705 and SIPI turned out to be the most representative indices to detect the plant health status. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-View Structural Local Subspace Tracking
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 666; doi:10.3390/s17040666 -
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a multi-view structural local subspace tracking algorithm based on sparse representation. We approximate the optimal state from three views: (1) the template view; (2) the PCA (principal component analysis) basis view; and (3) the target candidate view. Then
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In this paper, we propose a multi-view structural local subspace tracking algorithm based on sparse representation. We approximate the optimal state from three views: (1) the template view; (2) the PCA (principal component analysis) basis view; and (3) the target candidate view. Then we propose a unified objective function to integrate these three view problems together. The proposed model not only exploits the intrinsic relationship among target candidates and their local patches, but also takes advantages of both sparse representation and incremental subspace learning. The optimization problem can be well solved by the customized APG (accelerated proximal gradient) methods together with an iteration manner. Then, we propose an alignment-weighting average method to obtain the optimal state of the target. Furthermore, an occlusion detection strategy is proposed to accurately update the model. Both qualitative and quantitative evaluations demonstrate that our tracker outperforms the state-of-the-art trackers in a wide range of tracking scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fiber Optic Sensor Embedment Study for Multi-Parameter Strain Sensing
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 667; doi:10.3390/s17040667 -
Abstract
The fiber optic sensors (FOSs) are commonly used for large-scale structure monitoring systems for their small size, noise free and low electrical risk characteristics. Embedded fiber optic sensors (FOSs) lead to micro-damage in composite structures. This damage generation threshold is based on the
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The fiber optic sensors (FOSs) are commonly used for large-scale structure monitoring systems for their small size, noise free and low electrical risk characteristics. Embedded fiber optic sensors (FOSs) lead to micro-damage in composite structures. This damage generation threshold is based on the coating material of the FOSs and their diameter. In addition, embedded FOSs are aligned parallel to reinforcement fibers to avoid micro-damage creation. This linear positioning of distributed FOS fails to provide all strain parameters. We suggest novel sinusoidal sensor positioning to overcome this issue. This method tends to provide multi-parameter strains in a large surface area. The effectiveness of sinusoidal FOS positioning over linear FOS positioning is studied under both numerical and experimental methods. This study proves the advantages of the sinusoidal positioning method for FOS in composite material’s bonding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wideband Spectrum Sensing Based on Riemannian Distance for Cognitive Radio Networks
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 661; doi:10.3390/s17040661 -
Abstract
Detecting the signals of the primary users in the wideband spectrum is a key issue for cognitive radio networks. In this paper, we consider the multi-antenna based signal detection in a wideband spectrum scenario where the noise statistical characteristics are assumed to be
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Detecting the signals of the primary users in the wideband spectrum is a key issue for cognitive radio networks. In this paper, we consider the multi-antenna based signal detection in a wideband spectrum scenario where the noise statistical characteristics are assumed to be unknown. We reason that the covariance matrices of the spectrum subbands have structural constraints and that they describe a manifold in the signal space. Thus, we propose a novel signal detection algorithm based on Riemannian distance and Riemannian mean which is different from the traditional eigenvalue-based detector (EBD) derived with the generalized likelihood ratio criterion. Using the moment matching method, we obtain the closed expression of the decision threshold. From the considered simulation settings, it is shown that the proposed Riemannian distance detector (RDD) has a better performance than the traditional EBD in wideband spectrum sensing. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Analytical Model for BDS B1 Spreading Code Self-Interference Evaluation Considering NH Code Effects
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 663; doi:10.3390/s17040663 -
Abstract
The short spreading code used by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) B1-I or GPS Coarse/Acquistiion (C/A) can cause aggregately undesirable cross-correlation between signals within each single constellation. This GPS-to-GPS or BDS-to-BDS correlation is referred to as self-interference. A GPS C/A code self-interference
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The short spreading code used by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) B1-I or GPS Coarse/Acquistiion (C/A) can cause aggregately undesirable cross-correlation between signals within each single constellation. This GPS-to-GPS or BDS-to-BDS correlation is referred to as self-interference. A GPS C/A code self-interference model is extended to propose a self-interference model for BDS B1, taking into account the unique feature of the B1-I signal transmitted by BDS medium Earth orbit (MEO) and inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellites—an extra Neumann-Hoffmann (NH) code. Currently there is no analytical model for BDS self-interference and a simple three parameter analytical model is proposed. The model is developed by calculating the spectral separation coefficient (SSC), converting SSC to equivalent white noise power level, and then using this to calculate effective carrier-to-noise density ratio. Cyclostationarity embedded in the signal offers the proposed model additional accuracy in predicting B1-I self-interference. Hardware simulator data are used to validate the model. Software simulator data are used to show the impact of self-interference on a typical BDS receiver including the finding that self-interference effect is most significant when the differential Doppler between desired and undesired signal is zero. Simulation results show the aggregate noise caused by just two undesirable spreading codes on a single desirable signal could lift the receiver noise floor by 3.83 dB under extreme C/N0 (carrier to noise density ratio) conditions (around 20 dB-Hz). This aggregate noise has the potential to increase code tracking standard deviation by 11.65 m under low C/N0 (15–19 dB-Hz) conditions and should therefore, be avoided for high-sensitivity applications. Although the findings refer to Beidou system, the principle weakness of the short codes illuminated here are valid for other satellite navigation systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Objective Video Quality Assessment Based on Machine Learning for Underwater Scientific Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 664; doi:10.3390/s17040664 -
Abstract
Video services are meant to be a fundamental tool in the development of oceanic research. The current technology for underwater networks (UWNs) imposes strong constraints in the transmission capacity since only a severely limited bitrate is available. However, previous studies have shown that
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Video services are meant to be a fundamental tool in the development of oceanic research. The current technology for underwater networks (UWNs) imposes strong constraints in the transmission capacity since only a severely limited bitrate is available. However, previous studies have shown that the quality of experience (QoE) is enough for ocean scientists to consider the service useful, although the perceived quality can change significantly for small ranges of variation of video parameters. In this context, objective video quality assessment (VQA) methods become essential in network planning and real time quality adaptation fields. This paper presents two specialized models for objective VQA, designed to match the special requirements of UWNs. The models are built upon machine learning techniques and trained with actual user data gathered from subjective tests. Our performance analysis shows how both of them can successfully estimate quality as a mean opinion score (MOS) value and, for the second model, even compute a distribution function for user scores. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Fast Measuring Method for the Inner Diameter of Coaxial Holes
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 652; doi:10.3390/s17030652 -
Abstract
A new method for fast diameter measurement of coaxial holes is studied. The paper describes a multi-layer measuring rod that installs a single laser displacement sensor (LDS) on each layer. This method is easy to implement by rotating the measuring rod, and immune
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A new method for fast diameter measurement of coaxial holes is studied. The paper describes a multi-layer measuring rod that installs a single laser displacement sensor (LDS) on each layer. This method is easy to implement by rotating the measuring rod, and immune from detecting the measuring rod’s rotation angles, so all diameters of coaxial holes can be calculated by sensors’ values. While revolving, the changing angles of each sensor’s laser beams are approximately equal in the rod’s radial direction so that the over-determined nonlinear equations of multi-layer holes for fitting circles can be established. The mathematical model of the measuring rod is established, all parameters that affect the accuracy of measurement are analyzed and simulated. In the experiment, the validity of the method is verified, the inner diameter measuring precision of 28 μm is achieved by 20 μm linearity LDS. The measuring rod has advantages of convenient operation and easy manufacture, according to the actual diameters of coaxial holes, and also the varying number of holes, LDS’s mounting location can be adjusted for different parts. It is convenient for rapid diameter measurement in industrial use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accurate Determination of the Frequency Response Function of Submerged and Confined Structures by Using PZT-Patches†
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 660; doi:10.3390/s17030660 -
Abstract
To accurately determine the dynamic response of a structure is of relevant interest in many engineering applications. Particularly, it is of paramount importance to determine the Frequency Response Function (FRF) for structures subjected to dynamic loads in order to avoid resonance and fatigue
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To accurately determine the dynamic response of a structure is of relevant interest in many engineering applications. Particularly, it is of paramount importance to determine the Frequency Response Function (FRF) for structures subjected to dynamic loads in order to avoid resonance and fatigue problems that can drastically reduce their useful life. One challenging case is the experimental determination of the FRF of submerged and confined structures, such as hydraulic turbines, which are greatly affected by dynamic problems as reported in many cases in the past. The utilization of classical and calibrated exciters such as instrumented hammers or shakers to determine the FRF in such structures can be very complex due to the confinement of the structure and because their use can disturb the boundary conditions affecting the experimental results. For such cases, Piezoelectric Patches (PZTs), which are very light, thin and small, could be a very good option. Nevertheless, the main drawback of these exciters is that the calibration as dynamic force transducers (relationship voltage/force) has not been successfully obtained in the past. Therefore, in this paper, a method to accurately determine the FRF of submerged and confined structures by using PZTs is developed and validated. The method consists of experimentally determining some characteristic parameters that define the FRF, with an uncalibrated PZT exciting the structure. These parameters, which have been experimentally determined, are then introduced in a validated numerical model of the tested structure. In this way, the FRF of the structure can be estimated with good accuracy. With respect to previous studies, where only the natural frequencies and mode shapes were considered, this paper discuss and experimentally proves the best excitation characteristic to obtain also the damping ratios and proposes a procedure to fully determine the FRF. The method proposed here has been validated for the structure vibrating in air comparing the FRF experimentally obtained with a calibrated exciter (impact Hammer) and the FRF obtained with the described method. Finally, the same methodology has been applied for the structure submerged and close to a rigid wall, where it is extremely important to not modify the boundary conditions for an accurate determination of the FRF. As experimentally shown in this paper, in such cases, the use of PZTs combined with the proposed methodology gives much more accurate estimations of the FRF than other calibrated exciters typically used for the same purpose. Therefore, the validated methodology proposed in this paper can be used to obtain the FRF of a generic submerged and confined structure, without a previous calibration of the PZT. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Study of Monolayer and Double-Layer Waveguide Love Wave Sensors for Achieving High Sensitivity
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 653; doi:10.3390/s17030653 -
Abstract
Love wave sensors have been widely used for sensing applications. In this work, we introduce the theoretical analysis of the monolayer and double-layer waveguide Love wave sensors. The velocity, particle displacement and energy distribution of Love waves were analyzed. Using the variations of
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Love wave sensors have been widely used for sensing applications. In this work, we introduce the theoretical analysis of the monolayer and double-layer waveguide Love wave sensors. The velocity, particle displacement and energy distribution of Love waves were analyzed. Using the variations of the energy repartition, the sensitivity coefficients of Love wave sensors were calculated. To achieve a higher sensitivity coefficient, a thin gold layer was added as the second waveguide on top of the silicon dioxide (SiO2) waveguide–based, 36 degree–rotated, Y-cut, X-propagating lithium tantalate (36° YX LiTaO3) Love wave sensor. The Love wave velocity was significantly reduced by the added gold layer, and the flow of wave energy into the waveguide layer from the substrate was enhanced. By using the double-layer structure, almost a 72-fold enhancement in the sensitivity coefficient was achieved compared to the monolayer structure. Additionally, the thickness of the SiO2 layer was also reduced with the application of the gold layer, resulting in easier device fabrication. This study allows for the possibility of designing and realizing robust Love wave sensors with high sensitivity and a low limit of detection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Technical Aspects and Validation of a New Biofeedback System for Measuring Lower Limb Loading in the Dynamic Situation
Sensors 2017, 17(3), 658; doi:10.3390/s17030658 -
Abstract
Background: A variety of techniques for measuring lower limb loading exists, each with their own limitations. A new ambulatory biofeedback system was developed to overcome these limitations. In this study, we described the technical aspects and validated the accuracy of this system. Methods:
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Background: A variety of techniques for measuring lower limb loading exists, each with their own limitations. A new ambulatory biofeedback system was developed to overcome these limitations. In this study, we described the technical aspects and validated the accuracy of this system. Methods: A bench press was used to validate the system in the static situation. Ten healthy volunteers were measured by the new biofeedback system and a dual-belt instrumented treadmill to validate the system in the dynamic situation. Results: Bench press results showed that the sensor accurately measured peak loads up to 1000 N in the static situation. In the healthy volunteers, the load curves measured by the biofeedback system were similar to the treadmill. However, the peak loads and loading rates were lower in the biofeedback system in all participants at all speeds. Conclusions: Advanced sensor technologies used in the new biofeedback system resulted in highly accurate measurements in the static situation. The position of the sensor and the design of the biofeedback system should be optimized to improve results in the dynamic situation. Full article
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