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Sensors, Volume 16, Issue 5 (May 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
myBlackBox: Blackbox Mobile Cloud Systems for Personalized Unusual Event Detection
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050753 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2243
Abstract
We demonstrate the feasibility of constructing a novel and practical real-world mobile cloud system, called myBlackBox, that efficiently fuses multimodal smartphone sensor data to identify and log unusual personal events in mobile users’ daily lives. The system incorporates a hybrid architectural design that [...] Read more.
We demonstrate the feasibility of constructing a novel and practical real-world mobile cloud system, called myBlackBox, that efficiently fuses multimodal smartphone sensor data to identify and log unusual personal events in mobile users’ daily lives. The system incorporates a hybrid architectural design that combines unsupervised classification of audio, accelerometer and location data with supervised joint fusion classification to achieve high accuracy, customization, convenience and scalability. We show the feasibility of myBlackBox by implementing and evaluating this end-to-end system that combines Android smartphones with cloud servers, deployed for 15 users over a one-month period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multi-Sensor Information Fusion: Theory and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
An Improved Measurement Method for the Strength of Radiation of Reflective Beam in an Industrial Optical Sensor Based on Laser Displacement Meter
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050752 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1986
Abstract
An optical sensor such as a laser range finder (LRF) or laser displacement meter (LDM) uses reflected and returned laser beam from a target. The optical sensor has been mainly used to measure the distance between a launch position and the target. However, [...] Read more.
An optical sensor such as a laser range finder (LRF) or laser displacement meter (LDM) uses reflected and returned laser beam from a target. The optical sensor has been mainly used to measure the distance between a launch position and the target. However, optical sensor based LRF and LDM have numerous and various errors such as statistical errors, drift errors, cyclic errors, alignment errors and slope errors. Among these errors, an alignment error that contains measurement error for the strength of radiation of returned laser beam from the target is the most serious error in industrial optical sensors. It is caused by the dependence of the measurement offset upon the strength of radiation of returned beam incident upon the focusing lens from the target. In this paper, in order to solve these problems, we propose a novel method for the measurement of the output of direct current (DC) voltage that is proportional to the strength of radiation of returned laser beam in the received avalanche photo diode (APD) circuit. We implemented a measuring circuit that is able to provide an exact measurement of reflected laser beam. By using the proposed method, we can measure the intensity or strength of radiation of laser beam in real time and with a high degree of precision. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Atmospheric and Fog Effects on Ultra-Wide Band Radar Operating at Extremely High Frequencies
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050751 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
The wide band at extremely high frequencies (EHF) above 30 GHz is applicable for high resolution directive radars, resolving the lack of free frequency bands within the lower part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Utilization of ultra-wideband signals in this EHF band is of [...] Read more.
The wide band at extremely high frequencies (EHF) above 30 GHz is applicable for high resolution directive radars, resolving the lack of free frequency bands within the lower part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Utilization of ultra-wideband signals in this EHF band is of interest, since it covers a relatively large spectrum, which is free of users, resulting in better resolution in both the longitudinal and transverse dimensions. Noting that frequencies in the millimeter band are subjected to high atmospheric attenuation and dispersion effects, a study of the degradation in the accuracy and resolution is presented. The fact that solid-state millimeter and sub-millimeter radiation sources are producing low power, the method of continuous-wave wideband frequency modulation becomes the natural technique for remote sensing and detection. Millimeter wave radars are used as complementary sensors for the detection of small radar cross-section objects under bad weather conditions, when small objects cannot be seen by optical cameras and infrared detectors. Theoretical analysis for the propagation of a wide “chirped” Frequency-Modulated Continuous-Wave (FMCW) radar signal in a dielectric medium is presented. It is shown that the frequency-dependent (complex) refractivity of the atmospheric medium causes distortions in the phase of the reflected signal, introducing noticeable errors in the longitudinal distance estimations, and at some frequencies may also degrade the resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry)
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Open AccessArticle
Sleep Monitoring Based on a Tri-Axial Accelerometer and a Pressure Sensor
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050750 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2993
Abstract
Sleep disorders are a common affliction for many people even though sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good physiological and emotional health. Numerous researchers have proposed various approaches to monitor sleep, such as polysomnography and actigraphy. However, such approaches [...] Read more.
Sleep disorders are a common affliction for many people even though sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good physiological and emotional health. Numerous researchers have proposed various approaches to monitor sleep, such as polysomnography and actigraphy. However, such approaches are costly and often require overnight treatment in clinics. With this in mind, the research presented here has emerged from the question: “Can data be easily collected and analyzed without causing discomfort to patients?” Therefore, the aim of this study is to provide a novel monitoring system for quantifying sleep quality. The data acquisition system is equipped with multimodal sensors, including a three-axis accelerometer and a pressure sensor. To identify sleep quality based on measured data, a novel algorithm, which uses numerous physiological parameters, was proposed. Such parameters include non-REM sleep time, the number of apneic episodes, and sleep durations for dominant poses. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed system, three participants were enrolled in this experimental study for a duration of 20 days. From the experimental results, it can be seen that the proposed monitoring system is effective for quantifying sleep quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wearable Biomedical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Navigation System Design for Micro Planetary Rovers: Comparison of Absolute Heading Estimation Algorithms and Nonlinear Filtering
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050749 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
This paper provides algorithms to fuse relative and absolute microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) navigation sensors, suitable for micro planetary rovers, to provide a more accurate estimation of navigation information, specifically, attitude and position. Planetary rovers have extremely slow speed (~1 cm/s) and lack conventional [...] Read more.
This paper provides algorithms to fuse relative and absolute microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) navigation sensors, suitable for micro planetary rovers, to provide a more accurate estimation of navigation information, specifically, attitude and position. Planetary rovers have extremely slow speed (~1 cm/s) and lack conventional navigation sensors/systems, hence the general methods of terrestrial navigation may not be applicable to these applications. While relative attitude and position can be tracked in a way similar to those for ground robots, absolute navigation information is hard to achieve on a remote celestial body, like Moon or Mars, in contrast to terrestrial applications. In this study, two absolute attitude estimation algorithms were developed and compared for accuracy and robustness. The estimated absolute attitude was fused with the relative attitude sensors in a framework of nonlinear filters. The nonlinear Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and Unscented Kalman filter (UKF) were compared in pursuit of better accuracy and reliability in this nonlinear estimation problem, using only on-board low cost MEMS sensors. Experimental results confirmed the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite, for low cost and low weight micro planetary rovers. It is demonstrated that integrating the relative and absolute navigation MEMS sensors reduces the navigation errors to the desired level. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Distributed Optical Fiber Sensors for Civil Engineering Applications
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050748 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 177 | Viewed by 5304
Abstract
The application of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems to civil engineering structures has been a developing studied and practiced topic, that has allowed for a better understanding of structures’ conditions and increasingly lead to a more cost-effective management of those infrastructures. In this [...] Read more.
The application of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems to civil engineering structures has been a developing studied and practiced topic, that has allowed for a better understanding of structures’ conditions and increasingly lead to a more cost-effective management of those infrastructures. In this field, the use of fiber optic sensors has been studied, discussed and practiced with encouraging results. The possibility of understanding and monitor the distributed behavior of extensive stretches of critical structures it’s an enormous advantage that distributed fiber optic sensing provides to SHM systems. In the past decade, several R & D studies have been performed with the goal of improving the knowledge and developing new techniques associated with the application of distributed optical fiber sensors (DOFS) in order to widen the range of applications of these sensors and also to obtain more correct and reliable data. This paper presents, after a brief introduction to the theoretical background of DOFS, the latest developments related with the improvement of these products by presenting a wide range of laboratory experiments as well as an extended review of their diverse applications in civil engineering structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Task-Centric Cooperative Sensing Scheme for Mobile Crowdsourcing Systems
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050746 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
In a densely distributed mobile crowdsourcing system, data collected by neighboring participants often exhibit strong spatial correlations. By exploiting this property, one may employ a portion of the users as active participants and set the other users as idling ones without compromising the [...] Read more.
In a densely distributed mobile crowdsourcing system, data collected by neighboring participants often exhibit strong spatial correlations. By exploiting this property, one may employ a portion of the users as active participants and set the other users as idling ones without compromising the quality of sensing or the connectivity of the network. In this work, two participant selection questions are considered: (a) how to recruit an optimal number of users as active participants to guarantee that the overall sensing data integrity is kept above a preset threshold; and (b) how to recruit an optimal number of participants with some inaccurate data so that the fairness of selection and resource conservation can be achieved while maintaining sufficient sensing data integrity. For question (a), we propose a novel task-centric approach to explicitly exploit data correlation among participants. This subset selection problem is regarded as a constrained optimization problem and we propose an efficient polynomial time algorithm to solve it. For question (b), we formulate this set partitioning problem as a constrained min-max optimization problem. A solution using an improved version of the polynomial time algorithm is proposed based on (a). We validate these algorithms using a publicly available Intel-Berkeley lab sensing dataset and satisfactory performance is achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Identification, Information & Knowledge in the Internet of Things)
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Open AccessReview
Compact SPAD-Based Pixel Architectures for Time-Resolved Image Sensors
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050745 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3252
Abstract
This paper reviews the state of the art of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) image sensors for time-resolved imaging. The focus of the paper is on pixel architectures featuring small pixel size (<25 μm) and high fill factor (>20%) as a key enabling technology [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the state of the art of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) image sensors for time-resolved imaging. The focus of the paper is on pixel architectures featuring small pixel size (<25 μm) and high fill factor (>20%) as a key enabling technology for the successful implementation of high spatial resolution SPAD-based image sensors. A summary of the main CMOS SPAD implementations, their characteristics and integration challenges, is provided from the perspective of targeting large pixel arrays, where one of the key drivers is the spatial uniformity. The main analog techniques aimed at time-gated photon counting and photon timestamping suitable for compact and low-power pixels are critically discussed. The main features of these solutions are the adoption of analog counting techniques and time-to-analog conversion, in NMOS-only pixels. Reliable quantum-limited single-photon counting, self-referenced analog-to-digital conversion, time gating down to 0.75 ns and timestamping with 368 ps jitter are achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photon-Counting Image Sensors) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Domotics Project Housing Block
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050741 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2002
Abstract
This document develops the study of an implementation project of a home automation system in a housing placed in the town of Galapagar, Madrid. This house, which is going to be occupied by a four-member family, consists of 67 constructed square meters distributed [...] Read more.
This document develops the study of an implementation project of a home automation system in a housing placed in the town of Galapagar, Madrid. This house, which is going to be occupied by a four-member family, consists of 67 constructed square meters distributed in lounge, kitchen, three bedrooms, bath, bathroom and terrace, this being a common arrangement in Spain. Thus, this study will allow extracting conclusions about the adequacy of the home automation in a wide percentage of housing in Spain. In this document, three house automation proposals are developed based on the requirements of the client and the different home automation levels that the Spanish House and Building Automation Association has established, besides two parallel proposals relating to the safety and the technical alarms. The mentioned proposed systems are described by means of product datasheets and descriptions, distribution plans, measurements, budgets and flow charts that describe the functioning of the system in every case. An evaluation of each system is included, based on other studies conclusions on this matter, where expected energy savings from each design, depending on the current cost of lighting, water and gas, as well as the expected economic amortization period is evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wireless Sensor Array Network DoA Estimation from Compressed Array Data via Joint Sparse Representation
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050686 - 23 May 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
A compressive sensing joint sparse representation direction of arrival estimation (CSJSR-DoA) approach is proposed for wireless sensor array networks (WSAN). By exploiting the joint spatial and spectral correlations of acoustic sensor array data, the CSJSR-DoA approach provides reliable DoA estimation using randomly-sampled acoustic [...] Read more.
A compressive sensing joint sparse representation direction of arrival estimation (CSJSR-DoA) approach is proposed for wireless sensor array networks (WSAN). By exploiting the joint spatial and spectral correlations of acoustic sensor array data, the CSJSR-DoA approach provides reliable DoA estimation using randomly-sampled acoustic sensor data. Since random sampling is performed at remote sensor arrays, less data need to be transmitted over lossy wireless channels to the fusion center (FC), and the expensive source coding operation at sensor nodes can be avoided. To investigate the spatial sparsity, an upper bound of the coherence of incoming sensor signals is derived assuming a linear sensor array configuration. This bound provides a theoretical constraint on the angular separation of acoustic sources to ensure the spatial sparsity of the received acoustic sensor array signals. The Cram e ´ r–Rao bound of the CSJSR-DoA estimator that quantifies the theoretical DoA estimation performance is also derived. The potential performance of the CSJSR-DoA approach is validated using both simulations and field experiments on a prototype WSAN platform. Compared to existing compressive sensing-based DoA estimation methods, the CSJSR-DoA approach shows significant performance improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multi-Sensor Information Fusion: Theory and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Oscillation-Based Frequency Tracking for the Drive and Detection of Resonance Magnetometers
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050744 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
This paper reports a drive and detection method for Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS)-based Lorentz-force resonance magnetometers. Based on the proposed MEMS magnetometer, a drive and detection method was developed by using self-oscillation to adjust the mismatch between the mechanical resonance frequency and the coil [...] Read more.
This paper reports a drive and detection method for Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS)-based Lorentz-force resonance magnetometers. Based on the proposed MEMS magnetometer, a drive and detection method was developed by using self-oscillation to adjust the mismatch between the mechanical resonance frequency and the coil drive frequency as affected by temperature fluctuations and vibration amplitude changes. Not only was the signal-to-noise ratio enhanced by the proposed method compared to the traditional method, but the test system automatically reached resonance frequency very rapidly when powered on. Moreover, the linearity and the measurement range were improved by the magnetic feedback generated by the coil. Test results indicated that the sensitivity of the proposed magnetometer is 59.6 mV/μT and its noise level is 0.25 μT. When operating in ±65 μT, its nonlinearity is 2.5‰—only one-tenth of the former prototype. Its power consumption is only about 250 mW and its size is only 28 mm × 28 mm × 10 mm, or about one-eighth of the original sensor; further, unlike the former device, it can distinguish both positive and negative magnetic fields. The proposed method can also be applied in other MEMS sensors such as gyroscopes and micromirrors to enhance their frequency tracking ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Evaluation of Pulsed Thermography, Lock-in Thermography and Vibrothermography on Foreign Object Defect (FOD) in CFRP
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050743 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2011 | Correction
Abstract
In this article, optical excitation thermographic techniques, including pulsed thermography and lock-in thermography, were used to detect foreign object defect (FOD) and delamination in CFRP. Then, vibrothermography as an ultrasonic excitation technique was used to detect these defects for the comparative purposes. Different [...] Read more.
In this article, optical excitation thermographic techniques, including pulsed thermography and lock-in thermography, were used to detect foreign object defect (FOD) and delamination in CFRP. Then, vibrothermography as an ultrasonic excitation technique was used to detect these defects for the comparative purposes. Different image processing methods, including cold image subtraction (CIS), principal component thermography (PCT), thermographic signal reconstruction (TSR) and Fourier transform (FT), were performed. Finally, a comparison of optical excitation thermography and vibrothermography was conducted, and a thermographic probability of detection was given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infrared and THz Sensing and Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Transient Fault Current Sensor Based on the PCB Rogowski Coil for Overhead Transmission Lines
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050742 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3806
Abstract
The accurate detection of high-frequency transient fault currents in overhead transmission lines is the basis of malfunction detection and diagnosis. This paper proposes a novel differential winding printed circuit board (PCB) Rogowski coil for the detection of transient fault currents in overhead transmission [...] Read more.
The accurate detection of high-frequency transient fault currents in overhead transmission lines is the basis of malfunction detection and diagnosis. This paper proposes a novel differential winding printed circuit board (PCB) Rogowski coil for the detection of transient fault currents in overhead transmission lines. The interference mechanism of the sensor surrounding the overhead transmission line is analyzed and the guideline for the interference elimination is obtained, and then a differential winding printed circuit board (PCB) Rogowski coil is proposed, where the branch and return line of the PCB coil were designed to be strictly symmetrical by using a joining structure of two semi-rings and collinear twisted pair differential windings in each semi-ring. A serial test is conducted, including the frequency response, linearity, and anti-interference performance as well as a comparison with commercial sensors. Results show that a PCB Rogowski coil has good linearity and resistance to various external magnetic field interferences, thus enabling it to be widely applied in fault-current-collecting devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
A Longitudinal Mode Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) Based on a Permanent Magnet Chain for Pipe Inspection
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050740 - 21 May 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3217
Abstract
A new electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) design, employing a special structure of the permanent magnet chain, is proposed to generate and receive longitudinal guided waves for pipe inspection based on the magnetostriction mechanism. Firstly, a quantitative analysis of the excitation forces shows the [...] Read more.
A new electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) design, employing a special structure of the permanent magnet chain, is proposed to generate and receive longitudinal guided waves for pipe inspection based on the magnetostriction mechanism. Firstly, a quantitative analysis of the excitation forces shows the influence of the radial component can be ignored. Furthermore, as the axial component of the static magnetic field is dominant, a method of solenoid testing coils connected in series is adopted to increase the signal amplitude. Then, two EMAT configurations are developed to generate and receive the L(0,2) guided wave mode. The experimental results show the circumferential notch can be identified and located successfully. Finally, a detailed investigation of the performance of the proposed EMATs is given. Compared to the conventional EMAT configuration, the proposed configurations have the advantages of small volume, light weight, easy installation and portability, which is helpful to improve inspection efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
Induced Voltage Linear Extraction Method Using an Active Kelvin Bridge for Disturbing Force Self-Sensing
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050739 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1841
Abstract
This paper presents an induced voltage linear extraction method for disturbing force self-sensing in the application of giant magnetostrictive actuators (GMAs). In this method, a Kelvin bridge combined with an active device is constructed instead of a conventional Wheatstone bridge for extraction of [...] Read more.
This paper presents an induced voltage linear extraction method for disturbing force self-sensing in the application of giant magnetostrictive actuators (GMAs). In this method, a Kelvin bridge combined with an active device is constructed instead of a conventional Wheatstone bridge for extraction of the induced voltage, and an additional GMA is adopted as a reference actuator in the self-sensing circuit in order to balance the circuit bridge. The linear fitting of the measurement data is done according to the linear relationship between the disturbing forces and the integral of the induced voltage. The experimental results confirm the good performance of the proposed method, and the self-sensitivity of the disturbing forces is better than 2.0 (mV·s)/N. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Giant Magnetoresistive Sensors)
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Open AccessReview
Contextualising Water Use in Residential Settings: A Survey of Non-Intrusive Techniques and Approaches
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050738 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2157
Abstract
Water monitoring in households is important to ensure the sustainability of fresh water reserves on our planet. It provides stakeholders with the statistics required to formulate optimal strategies in residential water management. However, this should not be prohibitive and appliance-level water monitoring cannot [...] Read more.
Water monitoring in households is important to ensure the sustainability of fresh water reserves on our planet. It provides stakeholders with the statistics required to formulate optimal strategies in residential water management. However, this should not be prohibitive and appliance-level water monitoring cannot practically be achieved by deploying sensors on every faucet or water-consuming device of interest due to the higher hardware costs and complexity, not to mention the risk of accidental leakages that can derive from the extra plumbing needed. Machine learning and data mining techniques are promising techniques to analyse monitored data to obtain non-intrusive water usage disaggregation. This is because they can discern water usage from the aggregated data acquired from a single point of observation. This paper provides an overview of water usage disaggregation systems and related techniques adopted for water event classification. The state-of-the art of algorithms and testbeds used for fixture recognition are reviewed and a discussion on the prominent challenges and future research are also included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Choice of Access Point Selection Criterion and Other Position Estimation Characteristics for WLAN-Based Indoor Positioning
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050737 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
The positioning based on Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) is one of the most promising technologies for indoor location-based services, generally using the information carried by Received Signal Strengths (RSS). One challenge, however, is the huge amount of data in the radiomap database [...] Read more.
The positioning based on Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) is one of the most promising technologies for indoor location-based services, generally using the information carried by Received Signal Strengths (RSS). One challenge, however, is the huge amount of data in the radiomap database due to the enormous number of hearable Access Points (AP) that could make the positioning system very complex. This paper concentrates on WLAN-based indoor location by comparing fingerprinting, path loss and weighted centroid based positioning approaches in terms of complexity and performance and studying the effects of grid size and AP reduction with several choices for appropriate selection criterion. All results are based on real field measurements in three multi-floor buildings. We validate our earlier findings concerning several different AP selection criteria and conclude that the best results are obtained with a maximum RSS-based criterion, which also proved to be the most consistent among the different investigated approaches. We show that the weighted centroid based low-complexity method is very sensitive to AP reduction, while the path loss-based method is also very robust to high percentage removals. Indeed, for fingerprinting, 50% of the APs can be removed safely with a properly chosen removal criterion without increasing the positioning error much. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scalable Localization in Wireless Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Implementation of a Novel Compatible Encoding Scheme in the Time Domain for Image Sensor Communication
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050736 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2128
Abstract
This paper presents a modulation scheme in the time domain based on On-Off-Keying and proposes various compatible supports for different types of image sensors. The content of this article is a sub-proposal to the IEEE 802.15.7r1 Task Group (TG7r1) aimed at Optical Wireless [...] Read more.
This paper presents a modulation scheme in the time domain based on On-Off-Keying and proposes various compatible supports for different types of image sensors. The content of this article is a sub-proposal to the IEEE 802.15.7r1 Task Group (TG7r1) aimed at Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) using an image sensor as the receiver. The compatibility support is indispensable for Image Sensor Communications (ISC) because the rolling shutter image sensors currently available have different frame rates, shutter speeds, sampling rates, and resolutions. However, focusing on unidirectional communications (i.e., data broadcasting, beacons), an asynchronous communication prototype is also discussed in the paper. Due to the physical limitations associated with typical image sensors (including low and varying frame rates, long exposures, and low shutter speeds), the link speed performance is critically considered. Based on the practical measurement of camera response to modulated light, an operating frequency range is suggested along with the similar system architecture, decoding procedure, and algorithms. A significant feature of our novel data frame structure is that it can support both typical frame rate cameras (in the oversampling mode) as well as very low frame rate cameras (in the error detection mode for a camera whose frame rate is lower than the transmission packet rate). A high frame rate camera, i.e., no less than 20 fps, is supported in an oversampling mode in which a majority voting scheme for decoding data is applied. A low frame rate camera, i.e., when the frame rate drops to less than 20 fps at some certain time, is supported by an error detection mode in which any missing data sub-packet is detected in decoding and later corrected by external code. Numerical results and valuable analysis are also included to indicate the capability of the proposed schemes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Approach to the Prototyping of an Optimized Limited Stroke Actuator to Drive a Low Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050735 - 20 May 2016
Viewed by 2248
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to describe the design of a limited stroke actuator and the corresponding prototype to drive a Low Pressure (LP) Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve for use in Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). The direct drive actuator topology is [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to describe the design of a limited stroke actuator and the corresponding prototype to drive a Low Pressure (LP) Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve for use in Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). The direct drive actuator topology is an axial flux machine with two air gaps in order to minimize the rotor inertia and a bipolar surface-mounted permanent magnet in order to respect an 80° angular stroke. Firstly, the actuator will be described and optimized under constraints of a 150 ms time response, a 0.363 N·m minimal torque on an angular range from 0° to 80° and prototyping constraints. Secondly, the finite element method (FEM) using the FLUX-3D® software (CEDRAT, Meylan, France) will be used to check the actuator performances with consideration of the nonlinear effect of the iron material. Thirdly, a prototype will be made and characterized to compare its measurement results with the analytical model and the FEM model results. With these electromechanical behavior measurements, a numerical model is created with Simulink® in order to simulate an EGR system with this direct drive actuator under all operating conditions. Last but not least, the energy consumption of this machine will be estimated to evaluate the efficiency of the proposed EGR electromechanical system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An All-Fiber-Optic Combined System of Noncontact Photoacoustic Tomography and Optical Coherence Tomography
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050734 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2678
Abstract
We propose an all-fiber-based dual-modal imaging system that combines noncontact photoacoustic tomography (PAT) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). The PAT remotely measures photoacoustic (PA) signals with a 1550-nm laser on the surface of a sample by utilizing a fiber interferometer as an ultrasound [...] Read more.
We propose an all-fiber-based dual-modal imaging system that combines noncontact photoacoustic tomography (PAT) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). The PAT remotely measures photoacoustic (PA) signals with a 1550-nm laser on the surface of a sample by utilizing a fiber interferometer as an ultrasound detector. The fiber-based OCT, employing a swept-source laser centered at 1310 nm, shares the sample arm of the PAT system. The fiber-optic probe for the combined system was homemade with a lensed single-mode fiber (SMF) and a large-core multimode fiber (MMF). The compact and robust common probe is capable of obtaining both the PA and the OCT signals at the same position without any physical contact. Additionally, the MMF of the probe delivers the short pulses of a Nd:YAG laser to efficiently excite the PA signals. We experimentally demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed dual-modal system with a phantom made of a fishing line and a black polyethylene terephthalate fiber in a tissue mimicking solution. The all-fiber-optic system, capable of providing complementary information about absorption and scattering, has a promising potential in minimally invasive and endoscopic imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Fiber Sensors 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
GLORI: A GNSS-R Dual Polarization Airborne Instrument for Land Surface Monitoring
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050732 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2523
Abstract
Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) has emerged as a remote sensing tool, which is complementary to traditional monostatic radars, for the retrieval of geophysical parameters related to surface properties. In the present paper, we describe a new polarimetric GNSS-R system, referred to as [...] Read more.
Global Navigation Satellite System-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) has emerged as a remote sensing tool, which is complementary to traditional monostatic radars, for the retrieval of geophysical parameters related to surface properties. In the present paper, we describe a new polarimetric GNSS-R system, referred to as the GLObal navigation satellite system Reflectometry Instrument (GLORI), dedicated to the study of land surfaces (soil moisture, vegetation water content, forest biomass) and inland water bodies. This system was installed as a permanent payload on a French ATR42 research aircraft, from which simultaneous measurements can be carried out using other instruments, when required. Following initial laboratory qualifications, two airborne campaigns involving nine flights were performed in 2014 and 2015 in the Southwest of France, over various types of land cover, including agricultural fields and forests. Some of these flights were made concurrently with in situ ground truth campaigns. Various preliminary applications for the characterisation of agricultural and forest areas are presented. Initial analysis of the data shows that the performance of the GLORI instrument is well within specifications, with a cross-polarization isolation better than −15 dB at all elevations above 45°, a relative polarimetric calibration accuracy better than 0.5 dB, and an apparent reflectivity sensitivity better than −30 dB, thus demonstrating its strong potential for the retrieval of land surface characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry)
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Open AccessArticle
Whole-Body Human Inverse Dynamics with Distributed Micro-Accelerometers, Gyros and Force Sensing
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050727 - 20 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2998
Abstract
Human motion tracking is a powerful tool used in a large range of applications that require human movement analysis. Although it is a well-established technique, its main limitation is the lack of estimation of real-time kinetics information such as forces and torques during [...] Read more.
Human motion tracking is a powerful tool used in a large range of applications that require human movement analysis. Although it is a well-established technique, its main limitation is the lack of estimation of real-time kinetics information such as forces and torques during the motion capture. In this paper, we present a novel approach for a human soft wearable force tracking for the simultaneous estimation of whole-body forces along with the motion. The early stage of our framework encompasses traditional passive marker based methods, inertial and contact force sensor modalities and harnesses a probabilistic computational technique for estimating dynamic quantities, originally proposed in the domain of humanoid robot control. We present experimental analysis on subjects performing a two degrees-of-freedom bowing task, and we estimate the motion and kinetics quantities. The results demonstrate the validity of the proposed method. We discuss the possible use of this technique in the design of a novel soft wearable force tracking device and its potential applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Theoretical and Experimental: The Synthetic and Anion-Binding Properties of Tripodal Salicylaldehyde Derivatives
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050733 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
A series of colorimetric anion probes 1–6 containing OH and NO2 groups were synthesized, and their recognition properties toward various anions were investigated by visual observation, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, fluorescence, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance titration spectra and theoretical investigation. Nanomaterials of three [...] Read more.
A series of colorimetric anion probes 1–6 containing OH and NO2 groups were synthesized, and their recognition properties toward various anions were investigated by visual observation, ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, fluorescence, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance titration spectra and theoretical investigation. Nanomaterials of three compounds 2–4 were prepared successfully. Four compounds 3–6 that contain electron-withdrawing substituents showed a high binding ability for AcO. The host–guest complex formed through a 1:1 binding ratio, and color changes were detectable during the recognition process. Theoretical investigation analysis revealed that an intramolecular hydrogen bond existed in the structures of compounds and the roles of molecular frontier orbitals in molecular interplay. These studies suggested that this series of compounds could be used as colorimetric probes to detect of AcO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colorimetric and Fluorescent Sensor)
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Open AccessArticle
Recognizing Physisorption and Chemisorption in Carbon Nanotubes Gas Sensors by Double Exponential Fitting of the Response
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050731 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2190
Abstract
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been grown in situ on a SiO 2 substrate and used as gas sensors. For this purpose, the voltage response of the CNTs as a function of time has been used to detect H 2 and CO 2 [...] Read more.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been grown in situ on a SiO 2 substrate and used as gas sensors. For this purpose, the voltage response of the CNTs as a function of time has been used to detect H 2 and CO 2 at various concentrations by supplying a constant current to the system. The analysis of both adsorptions and desorptions curves has revealed two different exponential behaviours for each curve. The study of the characteristic times, obtained from the fitting of the data, has allowed us to identify separately chemisorption and physisorption processes on the CNTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene and 2D Material Bionanosensors: Chemistry Matters)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Attitude Estimation Algorithm Based on the Non-Orthogonal Magnetic Sensors
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050730 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
Because the existing extremum ratio method for projectile attitude measurement is vulnerable to random disturbance, a novel integral ratio method is proposed to calculate the projectile attitude. First, the non-orthogonal measurement theory of the magnetic sensors is analyzed. It is found that the [...] Read more.
Because the existing extremum ratio method for projectile attitude measurement is vulnerable to random disturbance, a novel integral ratio method is proposed to calculate the projectile attitude. First, the non-orthogonal measurement theory of the magnetic sensors is analyzed. It is found that the projectile rotating velocity is constant in one spinning circle and the attitude error is actually the pitch error. Next, by investigating the model of the extremum ratio method, an integral ratio mathematical model is established to improve the anti-disturbance performance. Finally, by combining the preprocessed magnetic sensor data based on the least-square method and the rotating extremum features in one cycle, the analytical expression of the proposed integral ratio algorithm is derived with respect to the pitch angle. The simulation results show that the proposed integral ratio method gives more accurate attitude calculations than does the extremum ratio method, and that the attitude error variance can decrease by more than 90%. Compared to the extremum ratio method (which collects only a single data point in one rotation cycle), the proposed integral ratio method can utilize all of the data collected in the high spin environment, which is a clearly superior calculation approach, and can be applied to the actual projectile environment disturbance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetoresistive Sensors under Extreme Conditions)
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Open AccessArticle
Systematic Error Modeling and Bias Estimation
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050729 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
This paper analyzes the statistic properties of the systematic error in terms of range and bearing during the transformation process. Furthermore, we rely on a weighted nonlinear least square method to calculate the biases based on the proposed models. The results show the [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the statistic properties of the systematic error in terms of range and bearing during the transformation process. Furthermore, we rely on a weighted nonlinear least square method to calculate the biases based on the proposed models. The results show the high performance of the proposed approach for error modeling and bias estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multi-Sensor Information Fusion: Theory and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
1-RAAP: An Efficient 1-Round Anonymous Authentication Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050728 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Thanks to the rapid technological convergence of wireless communications, medical sensors and cloud computing, Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) have emerged as a novel networking paradigm enabling ubiquitous Internet services, allowing people to receive medical care, monitor health status in real-time, analyze sports [...] Read more.
Thanks to the rapid technological convergence of wireless communications, medical sensors and cloud computing, Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) have emerged as a novel networking paradigm enabling ubiquitous Internet services, allowing people to receive medical care, monitor health status in real-time, analyze sports data and even enjoy online entertainment remotely. However, because of the mobility and openness of wireless communications, WBANs are inevitably exposed to a large set of potential attacks, significantly undermining their utility and impeding their widespread deployment. To prevent attackers from threatening legitimate WBAN users or abusing WBAN services, an efficient and secure authentication protocol termed 1-Round Anonymous Authentication Protocol (1-RAAP) is proposed in this paper. In particular, 1-RAAP preserves anonymity, mutual authentication, non-repudiation and some other desirable security properties, while only requiring users to perform several low cost computational operations. More importantly, 1-RAAP is provably secure thanks to its design basis, which is resistant to the anonymous in the random oracle model. To validate the computational efficiency of 1-RAAP, a set of comprehensive comparative studies between 1-RAAP and other authentication protocols is conducted, and the results clearly show that 1-RAAP achieves the best performance in terms of computational overhead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Security and Privacy in Sensor Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
The Conceptual Design of a Mechatronic System to Handle Bedridden Elderly Individuals
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050725 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
The ever-growing percentage of elderly people in developed countries have made Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions an important subject to be explored and developed. The increase in geriatric care requests are overburdening specialized institutions that cannot cope with the demand for support. Patients [...] Read more.
The ever-growing percentage of elderly people in developed countries have made Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions an important subject to be explored and developed. The increase in geriatric care requests are overburdening specialized institutions that cannot cope with the demand for support. Patients are forced to have to remain at their homes encumbering the spouse or close family members with the caregiver role. This caregiver is not always physically and technically apt to assist the bedridden person with his/her meals and hygiene/bath routine. Consequently, a solution to assist caregivers in these tasks is of the utmost importance. This paper presents an approach for supporting caregivers when moving and repositioning Bedridden Elderly Peoples (BEPs) in home settings by means of a mechatronic system inspired by industrial conveyers. The proposed solution is able to insert itself underneath the patient, due to its low-profile structural properties, and retrieve and reallocate him/her. Ideally, the proposed mechatronic system aims to promote autonomy by reducing handling complexity, alter the role of the caregiver from physically handler of the BEP to an operator/supervisor role, and lessen the amount of effort expended by caregivers and BEPs alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
A Continuous Liquid-Level Sensor for Fuel Tanks Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050724 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2555
Abstract
A standard problem in large tanks at oil refineries and petrol stations is that water and fuel usually occupy the same tank. This is undesirable and causes problems such as corrosion in the tanks. Normally, the water level in tanks is unknown, with [...] Read more.
A standard problem in large tanks at oil refineries and petrol stations is that water and fuel usually occupy the same tank. This is undesirable and causes problems such as corrosion in the tanks. Normally, the water level in tanks is unknown, with the problems that this entails. We propose herein a method based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to detect in real time the interfaces in a tank which can simultaneously contain water, gasoline (or diesel) and air. The plasmonic sensor is composed of a hemispherical glass prism, a magnesium fluoride layer, and a gold layer. We have optimized the structural parameters of the sensor from the theoretical modeling of the reflectance curve. The sensor detects water-fuel and fuel-air interfaces and measures the level of each liquid in real time. This sensor is recommended for inflammable liquids because inside the tank there are no electrical or electronic signals which could cause explosions. The sensor proposed has a sensitivity of between 1.2 and 3.5 RIU−1 and a resolution of between 5.7 × 10−4 and 16.5 × 10−4 RIU. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Olive Crown Porosity Measurement Based on Radiation Transmittance: An Assessment of Pruning Effect
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/s16050723 - 19 May 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
Crown porosity influences radiation interception, air movement through the fruit orchard, spray penetration, and harvesting operation in fruit crops. The aim of the present study was to develop an accurate and reliable methodology based on transmitted radiation measurements to assess the porosity of [...] Read more.
Crown porosity influences radiation interception, air movement through the fruit orchard, spray penetration, and harvesting operation in fruit crops. The aim of the present study was to develop an accurate and reliable methodology based on transmitted radiation measurements to assess the porosity of traditional olive trees under different pruning treatments. Transmitted radiation was employed as an indirect method to measure crown porosity in two olive orchards of the Picual and Hojiblanca cultivars. Additionally, three different pruning treatments were considered to determine if the pruning system influences crown porosity. This study evaluated the accuracy and repeatability of four algorithms in measuring crown porosity under different solar zenith angles. From a 14° to 30° solar zenith angle, the selected algorithm produced an absolute error of less than 5% and a repeatability higher than 0.9. The described method and selected algorithm proved satisfactory in field results, making it possible to measure crown porosity at different solar zenith angles. However, pruning fresh weight did not show any relationship with crown porosity due to the great differences between removed branches. A robust and accurate algorithm was selected for crown porosity measurements in traditional olive trees, making it possible to discern between different pruning treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Agriculture)
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