Sensors2014, 14(11), 22099-22112; doi:10.3390/s141122099 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, we develop a clamped–clamped beam-type piezoelectric vacuum pressure sensing element. The clamped–clamped piezoelectric beam is composed of a PZT layer and a copper substrate. A pair of electrodes is set near each end. An input voltage is applied to a pair of electrodes to vibrate the piezoelectric beam, and the output voltage is measured at the other pair. Because the viscous forces on the piezoelectric beam vary at different air pressures, the vibration of the beam depends on the vacuum pressure. The developed pressure sensor can sense a wide range of pressure, from 6.5 × 10−6 to 760 Torr. The experimental results showed that the output voltage is inversely proportional to the gas damping ratio, and thus, the vacuum pressure was estimated from the output voltage.
Sensors2014, 14(11), 22082-22098; doi:10.3390/s141122082 (registering DOI) - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-based positioning is experiencing rapid changes. The existing GPS and the GLONASS systems are being modernized to better serve the current challenging applications under harsh signal conditions. These modernizations include increasing the number of transmission frequencies and changes to the signal components. In addition, the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite system (BDS) and the European Galileo are currently under development for global operation. Therefore, in view of these new upcoming systems the research and development of GNSS receivers has been experiencing a new upsurge. In this article, the authors discuss the main functionalities of a GNSS receiver in view of BDS. While describing the main functionalities of a software-defined BeiDou receiver, the authors also highlight the similarities and differences between the signal characteristics of the BeiDou B1 open service signal and the legacy GPS L1 C/A signal, as in general they both exhibit similar characteristics. In addition, the authors implement a novel acquisition technique for long coherent integration in the presence of NH code modulation in BeiDou D1 signal. Furthermore, a simple phase-preserved coherent integration based acquisition scheme is implemented for BeiDou GEO satellite acquisition. Apart from the above BeiDou-specific implementations, a novel Carrier-to-Noise-density ratio estimation technique is also implemented in the software receiver, which does not necessarily require bit synchronization prior to estimation. Finally, the authors present a BeiDou-only position fix with the implemented software-defined BeiDou receiver considering all three satellite constellations from BDS. In addition, a true multi-GNSS position fix with GPS and BDS systems is also presented while comparing their performances for a static stand-alone code phase-based positioning.
Sensors2014, 14(11), 22065-22081; doi:10.3390/s141122065 - published 20 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Environmental pollution in the urban areas of Hong Kong has become a serious public issue but most urban inhabitants have no means of judging their own living environment in terms of dangerous threshold and overall livability. Currently there exist many low-cost sensors such as ultra-violet, temperature and air quality sensors that provide reasonably accurate data quality. In this paper, the development and evaluation of Integrated Environmental Monitoring System (IEMS) are illustrated. This system consists of three components: (i) position determination and sensor data collection for real-time geospatial-based environmental monitoring; (ii) on-site data communication and visualization with the aid of an Android-based application; and (iii) data analysis on a web server. This system has shown to be working well during field tests in a bus journey and a construction site. It provides an effective service platform for collecting environmental data in near real-time, and raises the public awareness of environmental quality in micro-environments.
Sensors2014, 14(11), 22039-22064; doi:10.3390/s141122039 - published 20 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The existing Internet environment has been extended to the Internet of Things (IoT) as an emerging new paradigm. The IoT connects various physical entities. These entities have communication capability and deploy the observed information to various service areas such as building management, energy-saving systems, surveillance services, and smart homes. These services are designed and developed by professional service providers. Moreover, users’ needs have become more complicated and personalized with the spread of user-participation services such as social media and blogging. Therefore, some active users want to create their own services to satisfy their needs, but the existing IoT service-creation environment is difficult for the non-technical user because it requires a programming capability to create a service. To solve this problem, we propose the IoT-based user-driven service modeling environment to provide an easy way to create IoT services. Also, the proposed environment deploys the defined service to another user. Through the personalization and customization of the defined service, the value and dissemination of the service is increased. This environment also provides the ontology-based context-information processing that produces and describes the context information for the IoT-based user-driven service.
Sensors2014, 14(11), 22021-22038; doi:10.3390/s141122021 - published 20 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, an algorithm to extract respiration signals using a flexible projected capacitive sensing mattress (FPCSM) designed for personal health assessment is proposed. Unlike the interfaces of conventional measurement systems for poly-somnography (PSG) and other alternative contemporary systems, the proposed FPCSM uses projected capacitive sensing capability that is not worn or attached to the body. The FPCSM is composed of a multi-electrode sensor array that can not only observe gestures and motion behaviors, but also enables the FPCSM to function as a respiration monitor during sleep using the proposed approach. To improve long-term monitoring when body movement is possible, the FPCSM enables the selection of data from the sensing array, and the FPCSM methodology selects the electrodes with the optimal signals after the application of a channel reduction algorithm that counts the reversals in the capacitive sensing signals as a quality indicator. The simple algorithm is implemented in the time domain. The FPCSM system is used in experimental tests and is simultaneously compared with a commercial PSG system for verification. Multiple synchronous measurements are performed from different locations of body contact, and parallel data sets are collected. The experimental comparison yields a correlation coefficient of 0.88 between FPCSM and PSG, demonstrating the feasibility of the system design.
Sensors2014, 14(11), 22001-22020; doi:10.3390/s141122001 - published 20 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cloud computing has revolutionized healthcare in today’s world as it can be seamlessly integrated into a mobile application and sensor devices. The sensory data is then transferred from these devices to the public and private clouds. In this paper, a hybrid and distributed environment is built which is capable of collecting data from the mobile phone application and store it in the cloud. We developed an activity recognition application and transfer the data to the cloud for further processing. Big data technology Hadoop MapReduce is employed to analyze the data and create user timeline of user’s activities. These activities are visualized to find useful health analytics and trends. In this paper a big data solution is proposed to analyze the sensory data and give insights into user behavior and lifestyle trends.