Sensors2015, 15(7), 15520-15539; doi:10.3390/s150715520 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper examines the survey of tall buildings in an emergency context like in the case of post-seismic events. The after-earthquake survey has to guarantee time-savings, high precision and security during the operational stages. The main goal is to optimize the application of methodologies based on acquisition and automatic elaborations of photogrammetric data even with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems in order to provide fast and low cost operations. The suggested methods integrate new technologies with commonly used technologies like TLS and topographic acquisition. The value of the photogrammetric application is demonstrated by a test case, based on the comparison of acquisition, calibration and 3D modeling results in case of use of a laser scanner, metric camera and amateur reflex camera. The test would help us to demonstrate the efficiency of image based methods in the acquisition of complex architecture. The case study is Santa Barbara Bell tower in Mantua. The applied survey solution allows a complete 3D database of the complex architectural structure to be obtained for the extraction of all the information needed for significant intervention. This demonstrates the applicability of the photogrammetry using UAV for the survey of vertical structures, complex buildings and difficult accessible architectural parts, providing high precision results.
Sensors2015, 15(7), 15494-15519; doi:10.3390/s150715494 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Aircraft structures require periodic and scheduled inspection and maintenance operations due to their special operating conditions and the principles of design employed to develop them. Therefore, structural health monitoring has a great potential to reduce the costs related to these operations. Optical fiber sensors applied to the monitoring of aircraft structures provide some advantages over traditional sensors. Several practical applications for structures and engines we have been working on are reported in this article. Fiber Bragg gratings have been analyzed in detail, because they have proved to constitute the most promising technology in this field, and two different alternatives for strain measurements are also described. With regard to engine condition evaluation, we present some results obtained with a reflected intensity-modulated optical fiber sensor for tip clearance and tip timing measurements in a turbine assembled in a wind tunnel.
Sensors2015, 15(7), 15478-15493; doi:10.3390/s150715478 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that receiver clock modeling can reduce the correlation coefficients among the parameters of receiver clock bias, station height and zenith tropospheric delay. This paper introduces the receiver clock modeling to GPS/GLONASS combined precise point positioning (PPP), aiming to better separate the receiver clock bias and station coordinates and therefore improve positioning accuracy. Firstly, the basic mathematic models including the GPS/GLONASS observation equations, stochastic model, and receiver clock model are briefly introduced. Then datasets from several IGS stations equipped with high-stability atomic clocks are used for kinematic PPP tests. To investigate the performance of PPP, including the positioning accuracy and convergence time, a week of (1–7 January 2014) GPS/GLONASS data retrieved from these IGS stations are processed with different schemes. The results indicate that the positioning accuracy as well as convergence time can benefit from the receiver clock modeling. This is particularly pronounced for the vertical component. Statistic RMSs show that the average improvement of three-dimensional positioning accuracy reaches up to 30%–40%. Sometimes, it even reaches over 60% for specific stations. Compared to the GPS-only PPP, solutions of the GPS/GLONASS combined PPP are much better no matter if the receiver clock offsets are modeled or not, indicating that the positioning accuracy and reliability are significantly improved with the additional GLONASS satellites in the case of insufficient number of GPS satellites or poor geometry conditions. In addition to the receiver clock modeling, the impacts of different inter-system timing bias (ISB) models are investigated. For the case of a sufficient number of satellites with fairly good geometry, the PPP performances are not seriously affected by the ISB model due to the low correlation between the ISB and the other parameters. However, the refinement of ISB model weakens the correlation between coordinates and ISB estimates and finally enhance the PPP performance in the case of poor observation conditions.
Sensors2015, 15(7), 15468-15477; doi:10.3390/s150715468 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As highly sensitive H2S gas sensors, Au- and Ag-catalyzed SnO2 thin films with morphology-controlled nanostructures were fabricated by using e-beam evaporation in combination with the glancing angle deposition (GAD) technique. After annealing at 500 °C for 40 h, the sensors showed a polycrystalline phase with a porous, tilted columnar nanostructure. The gas sensitivities (S = Rgas/Rair) of Au and Ag-catalyzed SnO2 sensors fabricated by the GAD process were 0.009 and 0.015, respectively, under 5 ppm H2S at 300 °C, and the 90% response time was approximately 5 s. These sensors showed excellent sensitivities compared with the SnO2 thin film sensors that were deposited normally (glancing angle = 0°, S = 0.48).
Sensors2015, 15(7), 15443-15467; doi:10.3390/s150715443 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Smart parking is a typical IoT application that can benefit from advances in sensor, actuator and RFID technologies to provide many services to its users and parking owners of a smart city. This paper considers a smart parking infrastructure where sensors are laid down on the parking spots to detect car presence and RFID readers are embedded into parking gates to identify cars and help in the billing of the smart parking. Both types of devices are endowed with wired and wireless communication capabilities for reporting to a gateway where the situation recognition is performed. The sensor devices are tasked to play one of the three roles: (1) slave sensor nodes located on the parking spot to detect car presence/absence; (2) master nodes located at one of the edges of a parking lot to detect presence and collect the sensor readings from the slave nodes; and (3) repeater sensor nodes, also called “anchor” nodes, located strategically at specific locations in the parking lot to increase the coverage and connectivity of the wireless sensor network. While slave and master nodes are placed based on geographic constraints, the optimal placement of the relay/anchor sensor nodes in smart parking is an important parameter upon which the cost and efficiency of the parking system depends. We formulate the optimal placement of sensors in smart parking as an integer linear programming multi-objective problem optimizing the sensor network engineering efficiency in terms of coverage and lifetime maximization, as well as its economic gain in terms of the number of sensors deployed for a specific coverage and lifetime. We propose an exact solution to the node placement problem using single-step and two-step solutions implemented in the Mosel language based on the Xpress-MPsuite of libraries. Experimental results reveal the relative efficiency of the single-step compared to the two-step model on different performance parameters. These results are consolidated by simulation results, which reveal that our solution outperforms a random placement in terms of both energy consumption, delay and throughput achieved by a smart parking network.
Sensors2015, 15(7), 15419-15442; doi:10.3390/s150715419 (registering DOI) - published 30 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Migraine is one of the most wide-spread neurological disorders, and its medical treatment represents a high percentage of the costs of health systems. In some patients, characteristic symptoms that precede the headache appear. However, they are nonspecific, and their prediction horizon is unknown and pretty variable; hence, these symptoms are almost useless for prediction, and they are not useful to advance the intake of drugs to be effective and neutralize the pain. To solve this problem, this paper sets up a realistic monitoring scenario where hemodynamic variables from real patients are monitored in ambulatory conditions with a wireless body sensor network (WBSN). The acquired data are used to evaluate the predictive capabilities and robustness against noise and failures in sensors of several modeling approaches. The obtained results encourage the development of per-patient models based on state-space models (N4SID) that are capable of providing average forecast windows of 47 min and a low rate of false positives.