Sensors2015, 15(3), 5151-5162; doi:10.3390/s150305151 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The magnetostrictive guided wave sensor with a single induced winding cannot distinguish axially symmetric from non-axially symmetric features in a pipe, because it is impossible for the sensor to detect the non-axially symmetric mode waves. When we study the effect of the change of the magnetic field in the air zone for receiving the longitudinal guided wave mode, we find that the change of the magnetic flux in the air zone is almost equivalent to the change of the flux in the pipe wall, but in opposite directions. Based on this phenomenon, we present a sensor that can detect the flexural-mode waves in pipes based on the inverse magnetostrictive effect. The sensor is composed of several coils that are arranged evenly on the outside of pipes. The coils induce a change in magnetic flux in the air to detect the flexural-mode waves. The waves can be determined by adding a phase delay to the induced signals. The symmetric and asymmetric features of a pipe can be distinguished using the sensor. A prototype sensor that can detect F(1,3) and F(2,3) mode waves is presented. The function of the sensor is verified by experiments.
Sensors2015, 15(3), 5136-5150; doi:10.3390/s150305136 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nowadays insight into human-machine interaction is a critical topic with the large-scale development of intelligent vehicles. Biosignal analysis can provide a deeper understanding of driver behaviors that may indicate rationally practical use of the automatic technology. Therefore, this study concentrates on biosignal analysis to quantitatively evaluate mental stress of drivers during automatic driving of trucks, with vehicles set at a closed gap distance apart to reduce air resistance to save energy consumption. By application of two wearable sensor systems, a continuous measurement was realized for palmar perspiration and masseter electromyography, and a biosignal processing method was proposed to assess mental stress levels. In a driving simulator experiment, ten participants completed automatic driving with 4, 8, and 12 m gap distances from the preceding vehicle, and manual driving with about 25 m gap distance as a reference. It was found that mental stress significantly increased when the gap distances decreased, and an abrupt increase in mental stress of drivers was also observed accompanying a sudden change of the gap distance during automatic driving, which corresponded to significantly higher ride discomfort according to subjective reports.
Sensors2015, 15(3), 5112-5135; doi:10.3390/s150305112 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A multitude of wireless sensor devices and technologies are being developed and deployed in cities all over the world. Sensor applications in city environments may include highly mobile installations that span large areas which necessitates sensor mobility support. This paper presents and validates two mechanisms for supporting sensor mobility between different administrative domains. Firstly, EAP-Swift, an Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)-based sensor authentication protocol is proposed that enables light-weight sensor authentication and key generation. Secondly, a mechanism for handoffs between wireless sensor gateways is proposed. We validate both mechanisms in a real-life study that was conducted in a smart city environment with several fixed sensors and moving gateways. We conduct similar experiments in an industry-based anechoic Long Term Evolution (LTE) chamber with an ideal radio environment. Further, we validate our results collected from the smart city environment against the results produced under ideal conditions to establish best and real-life case scenarios. Our results clearly validate that our proposed mechanisms can facilitate efficient sensor authentication and handoffs while sensors are roaming in a smart city environment.
Sensors2015, 15(3), 5096-5111; doi:10.3390/s150305096 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mechanical weeding is an important tool in organic farming. However, the use of mechanical weeding in conventional agriculture is increasing, due to public demands to lower the use of pesticides and an increased number of pesticide-resistant weeds. Ground nesting birds are highly susceptible to farming operations, like mechanical weeding, which may destroy the nests and reduce the survival of chicks and incubating females. This problem has limited focus within agricultural engineering. However, when the number of machines increases, destruction of nests will have an impact on various species. It is therefore necessary to explore and develop new technology in order to avoid these negative ethical consequences. This paper presents a vision-based approach to automated ground nest detection. The algorithm is based on the fusion of visual saliency, which mimics human attention, and incremental background modeling, which enables foreground detection with moving cameras. The algorithm achieves a good detection rate, as it detects 28 of 30 nests at an average distance of 3.8 m, with a true positive rate of 0.75.
Sensors2015, 15(3), 5081-5095; doi:10.3390/s150305081 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In order to increase the operating speed of a CMOS image sensor (CIS), a new technique of digital correlated double sampling (CDS) is described. In general, the fixed pattern noise (FPN) of a CIS has been reduced with the subtraction algorithm between the reset signal and pixel signal. This is because a single-slope analog-to-digital converter (ADC) has been normally adopted in the conventional digital CDS with the reset ramp and signal ramp. Thus, the operating speed of a digital CDS is much slower than that of an analog CDS. In order to improve the operating speed, we propose a novel digital CDS based on a differential difference amplifier (DDA) that compares the reset signal and the pixel signal using only one ramp. The prototype CIS has been fabricated with 0.13 µm CIS technology and it has the VGA resolution of 640 × 480. The measured conversion time is 16 µs, and a high frame rate of 131 fps is achieved at the VGA resolution.
Sensors2015, 15(3), 5058-5080; doi:10.3390/s150305058 (registering DOI) - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A key design challenge for successful wireless sensor network (WSN) deployment is a good balance between the collected data resolution and the overall energy consumption. In this paper, we present a WSN solution developed to efficiently satisfy the requirements for long-term monitoring of a historical building. The hardware of the sensor nodes and the network deployment are described and used to collect the data. To improve the network’s energy efficiency, we developed and compared two approaches, sharing similar sub-sampling strategies and data reconstruction assumptions: one is based on compressive sensing (CS) and the second is a custom data-driven latent variable-based statistical model (LV). Both approaches take advantage of the multivariate nature of the data collected by a heterogeneous sensor network and reduce the sampling frequency at sub-Nyquist levels. Our comparative analysis highlights the advantages and limitations: signal reconstruction performance is assessed jointly with network-level energy reduction. The performed experiments include detailed performance and energy measurements on the deployed network and explore how the different parameters can affect the overall data accuracy and the energy consumption. The results show how the CS approach achieves better reconstruction accuracy and overall efficiency, with the exception of cases with really aggressive sub-sampling policies.