Sensors2016, 16(2), 227; doi:10.3390/s16020227 (registering DOI) - published 14 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper introduces a method to remove the unwanted interdependency between vertical and horizontal eye-movement components in electrooculograms (EOGs). EOGs have been widely used to estimate eye movements without a camera in a variety of human-computer interaction (HCI) applications using pairs of electrodes generally attached either above and below the eye (vertical EOG) or to the left and right of the eyes (horizontal EOG). It has been well documented that the vertical EOG component has less stability than the horizontal EOG one, making accurate estimation of the vertical location of the eyes difficult. To address this issue, an experiment was designed in which ten subjects participated. Visual inspection of the recorded EOG signals showed that the vertical EOG component is highly influenced by horizontal eye movements, whereas the horizontal EOG is rarely affected by vertical eye movements. Moreover, the results showed that this interdependency could be effectively removed by introducing an individual constant value. It is therefore expected that the proposed method can enhance the overall performance of practical EOG-based eye-tracking systems.
Sensors2016, 16(2), 226; doi:10.3390/s16020226 - published 11 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Vehicle analysis involves license-plate recognition (LPR), vehicle-type classification (VTC), and vehicle make and model recognition (MMR). Among these tasks, MMR plays an important complementary role in respect to LPR. In this paper, we propose a novel framework for MMR using local tiled deep networks. The frontal views of vehicle images are first extracted and fed into the local tiled deep networks for training and testing. A local tiled convolutional neural network (LTCNN) is proposed to alter the weight sharing scheme of CNN with local tiled structure. The LTCNN unties the weights of adjacent units and then ties the units k steps from each other within a local map. This architecture provides the translational, rotational, and scale invariance as well as locality. In addition, to further deal with the colour and illumination variation, we applied the histogram oriented gradient (HOG) to the frontal view of images prior to the LTCNN. The experimental results show that our LTCNN framework achieved a 98% accuracy rate in terms of vehicle MMR.
Sensors2016, 16(2), 224; doi:10.3390/s16020224 - published 8 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A room-temperature continuous-wave (CW) quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based methane (CH4) sensor operating in the mid-infrared near 8 μm was developed for continuous measurement of CH4 concentrations in ambient air. The well-isolated absorption line (7F2,4 ← 8F1,2) of the ν4 fundamental band of CH4 located at 1255.0004 cm−1 was used for optical measurement of CH4 concentration by direct absorption in a White-type multipass cell with an effective path-length of 175 m. A 1σ (SNR = 1) detection limit of 33.3 ppb in 218 s was achieved with a measurement precision of 1.13%. The developed sensor was deployed in a campaign of measurements of time series CH4 concentration on a site near a suburban traffic road in Dunkirk (France) from 9th to 22nd January 2013. An episode of high CH4 concentration of up to ~3 ppm has been observed and analyzed with the help of meteorological parameters combined with back trajectory calculation using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model of NOAA.
Sensors2016, 16(2), 225; doi:10.3390/s16020225 - published 8 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Crustal movement is one of the main factors influencing the change of the Earth system, especially in its vertical direction, which affects people’s daily life through the frequent occurrence of earthquakes, geological disasters, and so on. In order to get a better study and application of the vertical crustal movement,as well as its changes, the foundation and prerequisite areto devise and establish its reference frame; especially, a unified global reference frame is required. Since SLR (satellite laser ranging) is one of the most accurate space techniques for monitoring geocentric motion and can directly measure the ground station’s geocentric coordinates and velocities relative to the centre of the Earth’s mass, we proposed to take the vertical velocity of the SLR technique in the ITRF2008 framework as the reference frame of vertical crustal motion, which we defined as the SLR vertical reference frame (SVRF). The systematic bias between other velocity fields and the SVRF was resolved by using the GPS (Global Positioning System) and VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) velocity observations, and the unity of other velocity fields and SVRF was realized,as well. The results show that it is feasible and suitable to take the SVRF as a reference frame, which has both geophysical meanings and geodetic observations, so we recommend taking the SLR vertical velocity under ITRF2008 as the global reference frame of vertical crustal movement.
Sensors2016, 16(2), 218; doi:10.3390/s16020218 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Accurate spray characterization helps to better understand the pesticide spray application process. The goal of this research was to present the proof of principle of a droplet size and velocity measuring technique for different types of hydraulic spray nozzles using a high speed backlight image acquisition and analysis system. As only part of the drops of an agricultural spray can be in focus at any given moment, an in-focus criterion based on the gray level gradient was proposed to decide whether a given droplet is in focus or not. In a first experiment, differently sized droplets were generated with a piezoelectric generator and studied to establish the relationship between size and in-focus characteristics. In a second experiment, it was demonstrated that droplet sizes and velocities from a real sprayer could be measured reliably in a non-intrusive way using the newly developed image acquisition set-up and image processing. Measured droplet sizes ranged from 24 μm to 543 μm, depending on the nozzle type and size. Droplet velocities ranged from around 0.5 m/s to 12 m/s. The droplet size and velocity results were compared and related well with the results obtained with a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA).
Sensors2016, 16(2), 219; doi:10.3390/s16020219 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Herein we describe poly(ionic liquid) hydrogel actuators that are capable of responding to multiple stimuli, namely temperature, ionic strength and white light irradiation. Using two starting materials, a crosslinked poly ionic liquid (PIL) and a linear poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-spiropyran-co-acrylic acid), several semi-interpenetrating (sIPN) hydrogels were synthesised. The dimensions of hydrogels discs were measured before and after applying the stimuli, to quantify their response. Samples composed of 100% crosslinked PIL alone showed an average area reduction value of ~53% when the temperature was raised from 20 °C to 70 °C, ~24% when immersed in 1% w/w NaF salt solution and no observable photo-response. In comparison, sIPNs containing 300% w/w linear polymer showed an average area reduction of ~45% when the temperature was raised from 20 °C to 70 °C, ~36% when immersed in 1% NaF w/w salt solution and ~10% after 30 min exposure to white light irradiation, respectively. Moreover, by varying the content of the linear component, fine-control over the photo-, thermo- and salt response, swelling-deswelling rate and mechanical properties of the resulting sIPN was achieved.