Sensors2015, 15(6), 12720-12735; doi:10.3390/s150612720 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Efficient routing protocols for data packet delivery are crucial to underwater sensor networks (UWSNs). However, communication in UWSNs is a challenging task because of the characteristics of the acoustic channel. Network coding is a promising technique for efficient data packet delivery thanks to the broadcast nature of acoustic channels and the relatively high computation capabilities of the sensor nodes. In this work, we present GPNC, a novel geographic routing protocol for UWSNs that incorporates partial network coding to encode data packets and uses sensor nodes’ location information to greedily forward data packets to sink nodes. GPNC can effectively reduce network delays and retransmissions of redundant packets causing additional network energy consumption. Simulation results show that GPNC can significantly improve network throughput and packet delivery ratio, while reducing energy consumption and network latency when compared with other routing protocols.
Sensors2015, 15(6), 12700-12719; doi:10.3390/s150612700 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is one of the most effective therapies for movement and other disorders. The DBS neurosurgical procedure involves the implantation of a DBS device and a battery-operated neurotransmitter, which delivers electrical impulses to treatment targets through implanted electrodes. The DBS modulates the neuronal activities in the brain nucleus for improving physiological responses as long as an electric discharge above the stimulation threshold can be achieved. In an effort to improve the performance of an implanted DBS device, the device size, implementation cost, and power efficiency are among the most important DBS device design aspects. This study aims to present preliminary research results of an efficient stimulator, with emphasis on conversion efficiency. The prototype stimulator features high-voltage compliance, implemented with only a standard semiconductor process, without the use of extra masks in the foundry through our proposed circuit structure. The results of animal experiments, including evaluation of evoked responses induced by thalamic electrical stimuli with our fabricated chip, were shown to demonstrate the proof of concept of our design.
Sensors2015, 15(6), 12682-12699; doi:10.3390/s150612682 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Ground-based pseudolite systems have some limitations, such as low vertical accuracy, multipath effects and near-far problems. These problems are not significant in airborne-based pseudolite systems. However, the monitoring of pseudolite positions is required because of the mobility of the platforms on which the pseudolites are mounted, and this causes performance degradation. To address these pseudolite system limitations, we propose an airborne relay-based regional positioning system that consists of a master station, reference stations, airborne relays and a user. In the proposed system, navigation signals are generated from the reference stations located on the ground and are relayed via the airborne relays. Unlike in conventional airborne-based systems, the user in the proposed system sequentially estimates both the locations of airborne relays and his/her own position. Therefore, a delay due to monitoring does not occur, and the accuracy is not affected by the movement of airborne relays. We conducted several simulations to evaluate the performance of the proposed system. Based on the simulation results, we demonstrated that the proposed system guarantees a higher accuracy than airborne-based pseudolite systems, and it is feasible despite the existence of clock offsets among reference stations.
Sensors2015, 15(6), 12668-12681; doi:10.3390/s150612668 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A fluorescence-based fiber optic toxicity biosensor based on genetically modified Escherichia coli (E. coli) with green fluorescent protein (GFP) was developed for the evaluation of the toxicity of several hazardous heavy metal ions. The toxic metals include Cu(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), Zn(II), Cr(VI), Co(II), Ni(II), Ag(I) and Fe(III). The optimum fluorescence excitation and emission wavelengths of the optical biosensor were 400 ± 2 nm and 485 ± 2 nm, respectively. Based on the toxicity observed under optimal conditions, the detection limits of Cu(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), Zn(II), Cr(VI), Co(II), Ni(II), Ag(I) and Fe(III) that can be detected using the toxicity biosensor were at 0.04, 0.32, 0.46, 2.80, 100, 250, 400, 720 and 2600 μg/L, respectively. The repeatability and reproducibility of the proposed biosensor were 3.5%–4.8% RSD (relative standard deviation) and 3.6%–5.1% RSD (n = 8), respectively. The biosensor response was stable for at least five weeks, and demonstrated higher sensitivity towards metal toxicity evaluation when compared to a conventional Microtox assay.
Sensors2015, 15(6), 12651-12667; doi:10.3390/s150612651 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper describes a new low-cost means to detect and locate mechanical impacts (collisions) on a 3D metal-based structure. We employ the simple and reasonably hypothesis that the use of a homogeneous material will allow certain details of the impact to be automatically determined by measuring the time delays of acoustic wave propagation throughout the 3D structure. The location of strategic piezoelectric sensors on the structure and an electronic-computerized system has allowed us to determine the instant and position at which the impact is produced. The proposed automatic system allows us to fully integrate impact point detection and the task of inspecting the point or zone at which this impact occurs. What is more, the proposed method can be easily integrated into a robot-based inspection system capable of moving over 3D metallic structures, thus avoiding (or minimizing) the need for direct human intervention. Experimental results are provided to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Sensors2015, 15(6), 12635-12650; doi:10.3390/s150612635 (registering DOI) - published 28 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, we introduce a cooperative medium access control (MAC) protocol, named cooperative energy harvesting (CEH)-MAC, that adapts its operation to the energy harvesting (EH) conditions in wireless body area networks (WBANs). In particular, the proposed protocol exploits the EH information in order to set an idle time that allows the relay nodes to charge their batteries and complete the cooperation phase successfully. Extensive simulations have shown that CEH-MAC significantly improves the network performance in terms of throughput, delay and energy efficiency compared to the cooperative operation of the baseline IEEE 802.15.6 standard.