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Open AccessArticle
Decoding Performance Analysis of GNSS Messages with Land Mobile Satellite Channel in Urban Environment
Electronics 2018, 7(11), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7110273 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Demand for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications in the urban environment has experienced a remarkable growth in recent years. However, the received signals are subjected to various urban channel impairments, like shadowing and multipath fading. Therefore, the decoding performance is different from
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Demand for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications in the urban environment has experienced a remarkable growth in recent years. However, the received signals are subjected to various urban channel impairments, like shadowing and multipath fading. Therefore, the decoding performance is different from that in open-sky conditions. In this paper, a two-state Land Mobile Satellite (LMS) channel based on the Markov process is used to model the urban channel properties, and then, the analysis of decoding performance in terms of frame error rate (FER) in the LMS channel is performed by evaluating the effect of three major influencing factors, specifically, coding and interleaving in the GNSS message, terminal speed, and satellite elevation angle. Extensive simulations are conducted on BDS-3 B1C B-CNAV1 message and GALILEO E5a F/NAV message. The results validate the excellent error correcting performance of the nonbinary low density parity check (NB-LDPC) code of the B-CNAV1 message and the effectiveness of interleaving in both of the messages in urban condition. Furthermore, it also shows that decoding performance improvement can be achieved with higher terminal speed and higher elevation angle in urban scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Telomere Length Calibration from qPCR Measurement: Limitations of Current Method
Cells 2018, 7(11), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells7110183 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Telomere length (TL) comparisons from different methods are challenging due to differences in laboratory techniques and data configuration. This study aimed to assess the validity of converting the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) telomere/single copy gene (T/S) ratio to TL in kilobases (kb).
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Telomere length (TL) comparisons from different methods are challenging due to differences in laboratory techniques and data configuration. This study aimed to assess the validity of converting the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) telomere/single copy gene (T/S) ratio to TL in kilobases (kb). We developed a linear regression equation to predict TL from qPCR T/S using flow cytometry with fluorescence in situ hybridization (flow FISH) TL data from 181 healthy donors (age range = 19–53) from the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) biorepository. TL measurements by qPCR and flow FISH were modestly correlated (R2 = 0.56, p < 0.0001). In Bland-Altman analyses, individuals with the shortest (≤10th percentile) or longest (≥90th) flow FISH TL had an over- or under-estimated qPCR TL (bias = 0.89 and −0.77 kb, respectively). Comparisons of calculated TL from the NMDP samples and 1810 age- and sex-matched individuals from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed significant differences (median = 7.1 versus 5.8 kb, respectively, p < 0.0001). Differences in annual TL attrition were also noted (31 versus 13 bp/year, respectively, p = 0.02). Our results demonstrate that TL calculated in kb from qPCR T/S may yield biased estimates for individuals with the shortest or longest TL, those often of high clinical interest. We also showed that calculated TL in kb from qPCR data are not comparable across populations and therefore are not necessarily useful. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Age and Multimorbidity in Shaping Older African American Men’s Experiences with Patient–Provider Communication
Geriatrics 2018, 3(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040074 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study investigated factors associated with older African American men’s unmet health communication needs in the context of patient–provider interactions. Responses to a health survey were analyzed for 430 African American men attending a Midwest community health fair. The outcome measure was the
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This study investigated factors associated with older African American men’s unmet health communication needs in the context of patient–provider interactions. Responses to a health survey were analyzed for 430 African American men attending a Midwest community health fair. The outcome measure was the extent to which men could get their health-related questions answered during recent medical visits. Men’s mean age was 54; 39% had one chronic condition and 22% had two or more comorbidities. The 53% who usually or always had their questions answered were older, had less comorbidity, higher educational attainment, higher annual incomes, were more likely to be married and have any type of insurance, and have a personal physician. Access to care was the primary factor in shaping men’s opportunities to ask health-related questions, and older multimorbid and low-income African American men may face increased barriers to healthcare access, and thus barriers to patient-centered care and communication. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Characterisation of Intermetallic Phases in Fusion Welded Commercially Pure Titanium and Stainless Steel 304
Metals 2018, 8(11), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8110863 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A series of trials to fusion weld commercially pure titanium (CPTi) to stainless steel 304 (SS304) have been conducted using laser beam welding (LBW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Neither technique produced adequate weld joints with LBW showing a more promising result,
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A series of trials to fusion weld commercially pure titanium (CPTi) to stainless steel 304 (SS304) have been conducted using laser beam welding (LBW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW). Neither technique produced adequate weld joints with LBW showing a more promising result, while GTAW yielded separation of the workpieces immediately after welding. Cracking and fracturing took place mainly on the SS304 side, which was explained by the differences in the materials’ thermal properties. Various intermetallic phases formed during welding that were identified using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) technique and were compared with an isothermal ternary phase diagram of Fe-Cr-Ti. Their corresponding hardness values are reported and correlated with alloy compositions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Majority and Minority Voted Redundancy Scheme for Safety-Critical Applications with Error/No-Error Signaling Logic
Electronics 2018, 7(11), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7110272 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In the era of nanoelectronics, multiple faults or failures of function blocks are likely to occur. To withstand these, higher levels of redundancy are suggested to be employed in at least the sensitive portions of a circuit or system. In this context, the
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In the era of nanoelectronics, multiple faults or failures of function blocks are likely to occur. To withstand these, higher levels of redundancy are suggested to be employed in at least the sensitive portions of a circuit or system. In this context, the N-modular redundancy (NMR) scheme may be used to guard against the multiple faults or failures of function blocks. However, the NMR scheme would exacerbate the weight, cost, and design metrics to implement higher-order redundancy. Hence, as an alternative to the NMR, the majority and minority voted redundancy (MMR) scheme was proposed recently. However, the proposal was restricted to the basic implementation with no provision for indicating the correct or the incorrect operation of the MMR. Hence in this work, we present the MMR scheme with the error/no-error signaling logic (ESL). Example NMR circuits without and with the ESL (NMRESL), and example MMR circuits without and with the proposed ESL (MMRESL) were implemented to achieve similar degrees of fault tolerance using a 32/28-nm CMOS technology. The results show that, on average, the proposed MMRESL circuits have 18.9% less critical path delay, dissipate 64.8% less power, and require 49.5% less silicon area compared to their counterpart NMRESL circuits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On-Barn Pig Weight Estimation Based on Body Measurements by Structure-from-Motion (SfM)
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 3603; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18113603 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Information on the body shape of pigs is a key indicator to monitor their performance and health and to control or predict their market weight. Manual measurements are among the most common ways to obtain an indication of animal growth. However, this approach
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Information on the body shape of pigs is a key indicator to monitor their performance and health and to control or predict their market weight. Manual measurements are among the most common ways to obtain an indication of animal growth. However, this approach is laborious and difficult, and it may be stressful for both the pigs and the stockman. The present paper proposes the implementation of a Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry approach as a new tool for on-barn animal reconstruction applications. This is possible also to new software tools allowing automatic estimation of camera parameters during the reconstruction process even without a preliminary calibration phase. An analysis on pig body 3D SfM characterization is here proposed, carried out under different conditions in terms of number of camera poses and animal movements. The work takes advantage of the total reconstructed surface as reference index to quantify the quality of the achieved 3D reconstruction, showing how as much as 80% of the total animal area can be characterized. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relaxation Dynamics in Polyethylene Glycol/Modified Hydrotalcite Nanocomposites
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111182 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Polyethylene glycol-based nanocomposites containing an organo-modified hydrotalcite with loadings ranging from 0.5 to 5 wt.% were prepared by melt mixing performed just above the melting point of the polymer matrix. In these conditions, the dispersion of the nanofiller within the polymer matrix was
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Polyethylene glycol-based nanocomposites containing an organo-modified hydrotalcite with loadings ranging from 0.5 to 5 wt.% were prepared by melt mixing performed just above the melting point of the polymer matrix. In these conditions, the dispersion of the nanofiller within the polymer matrix was quite homogeneous as revealed by TEM analyses. The effect of various thermal treatments and filler loadings was thoroughly investigated by means of rheological, morphological and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, hyphenated to thermogravimetry analysis tests. Unfilled polyethylene glycol exhibited a continuous decrease in complex viscosity upon heating. In contrast, the complex viscosity of nanocomposites containing nanofiller loadings higher than 1 wt.% showed first a decrease, followed by an increase in the complex viscosity as the temperature increases, exhibiting a minimum between 130 and 140 °C. Annealing at 180 °C for different times further increased the viscosity of the system. This unusual behavior was explained by the occurrence of grafting reactions between the –OH terminal groups of the polyethylene glycol chains and the hydroxyl groups of the organo-modified filler, thus remarkably affecting the relaxation dynamics of the system. Full article
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