Sensors2015, 15(8), 18443-18458; doi:10.3390/s150818443 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rotation modulation is an effective method to enhance the accuracy of an inertial navigation system (INS) by modulating the gyroscope drifts and accelerometer bias errors into periodically varying components. The typical RINS drives the inertial measurement unit (IMU) rotation along the vertical axis and the horizontal sensors’ errors are modulated, however, the azimuth angle error is closely related to vertical gyro drift, and the vertical gyro drift also should be modulated effectively. In this paper, a new rotation strategy in a dual-axis rotational INS (RINS) is proposed and the drifts of three gyros could be modulated, respectively. Experimental results from a real dual-axis RINS demonstrate that the maximum azimuth angle error is decreased from 0.04° to less than 0.01° during 1 h. Most importantly, the changing of rotation strategy leads to some additional errors in the velocity which is unacceptable in a high-precision INS. Then the paper studies the basic reason underlying horizontal velocity errors in detail and a relevant new calibration method is designed. Experimental results show that after calibration and compensation, the fluctuation and stages in the velocity curve disappear and velocity precision is improved.
Sensors2015, 15(8), 18427-18442; doi:10.3390/s150818427 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper demonstrates an automated computer vision system for outdoor tree crop enumeration in a seedling nursery. The complete system incorporates both hardware components (including an embedded microcontroller, an odometry encoder, and an uncalibrated digital color camera) and software algorithms (including microcontroller algorithms and the proposed algorithm for tree crop enumeration) required to obtain robust performance in a natural outdoor environment. The enumeration system uses a three-step image analysis process based upon: (1) an orthographic plant projection method integrating a perspective transform with automatic parameter estimation; (2) a plant counting method based on projection histograms; and (3) a double-counting avoidance method based on a homography transform. Experimental results demonstrate the ability to count large numbers of plants automatically with no human effort. Results show that, for tree seedlings having a height up to 40 cm and a within-row tree spacing of approximately 10 cm, the algorithms successfully estimated the number of plants with an average accuracy of 95.2% for trees within a single image and 98% for counting of the whole plant population in a large sequence of images.
Sensors2015, 15(8), 18416-18426; doi:10.3390/s150818416 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, we propose an AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT)-based biosensor for the detection of C-reactive protein (CRP) using a null-balancing circuit. A null-balancing circuit was used to measure the output voltage of the sensor directly. The output voltage of the proposed biosensor was varied by antigen-antibody interactions on the gate surface due to CRP charges. The AlGaN/GaN HFET-based biosensor with null-balancing circuit applied shows that CRP can be detected in a wide range of concentrations, varying from 10 ng/mL to 1000 ng/mL. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was carried out to verify the immobilization of self-assembled monolayer with Au on the gated region.
Sensors2015, 15(8), 18402-18415; doi:10.3390/s150818402 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, two novel speed compensation algorithms for ISAR imaging under a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) condition have been proposed, which are based on the cubic phase function (CPF) and the integrated cubic phase function (ICPF), respectively. These two algorithms can estimate the speed of the target from the wideband radar echo directly, which breaks the limitation of speed measuring in a radar system. With the utilization of non-coherent accumulation, the ICPF-based speed compensation algorithm is robust to noise and can meet the requirement of speed compensation for ISAR imaging under a low SNR condition. Moreover, a fast searching implementation strategy, which consists of coarse search and precise search, has been introduced to decrease the computational burden of speed compensation based on CPF and ICPF. Experimental results based on radar data validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.
Sensors2015, 15(8), 18381-18401; doi:10.3390/s150818381 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Atomic force microscope with applicable types of operation in a liquid environment is widely used to scan the contours of biological specimens. The contact mode of operation allows a tip to touch a specimen directly but sometimes it damages the specimen; thus, a tapping mode of operation may replace the contact mode. The tapping mode triggers the cantilever of the microscope approximately at resonance frequencies, and so the tip periodically knocks the specimen. It is well known that the cantilever induces extra liquid pressure that leads to drift in the resonance frequency. Studies have noted that the heights of protein surfaces measured via the tapping mode of an atomic force microscope are ~25% smaller than those measured by other methods. This discrepancy may be attributable to the induced superficial hydrodynamic pressure, which is worth investigating. In this paper, we introduce a semi-analytical method to analyze the pressure distribution of various tip geometries. According to our analysis, the maximum hydrodynamic pressure on the specimen caused by a cone-shaped tip is ~0.5 Pa, which can, for example, pre-deform a cell by several nanometers in compression before the tip taps it. Moreover, the pressure calculated on the surface of the specimen is 20 times larger than the pressure without considering the tip effect; these results have not been motioned in other papers. Dominating factors, such as surface heights of protein surface, mechanical stiffness of protein increasing with loading velocity, and radius of tip affecting the local pressure of specimen, are also addressed in this study.
Sensors2015, 15(8), 18360-18380; doi:10.3390/s150818360 (registering DOI) - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, a new semi-automatic procedure to transform three-dimensional point clouds of complex objects to three-dimensional finite element models is presented and validated. The procedure conceives of the point cloud as a stacking of point sections. The complexity of the clouds is arbitrary, since the procedure is designed for terrestrial laser scanner surveys applied to buildings with irregular geometry, such as historical buildings. The procedure aims at solving the problems connected to the generation of finite element models of these complex structures by constructing a fine discretized geometry with a reduced amount of time and ready to be used with structural analysis. If the starting clouds represent the inner and outer surfaces of the structure, the resulting finite element model will accurately capture the whole three-dimensional structure, producing a complex solid made by voxel elements. A comparison analysis with a CAD-based model is carried out on a historical building damaged by a seismic event. The results indicate that the proposed procedure is effective and obtains comparable models in a shorter time, with an increased level of automation.