Special Issue "Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay

Professor of Mechanical/Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering, MQ Centre for Smart Green Cities, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-2-9850-6510
Fax: +61-2-9850-9128
Interests: WSN; IoT; Body Area Networks; Sensor Applications; Sensor Fabrication; Mechanical Sensors; Chemical/Gas/Biological/Solid State Sensors
Guest Editor
Dr. Tarikul Islam

Professor of Electrical Engineering Department, Faculty of Eng. & Technology, Jamia Millia Islamia (University), New Delhi-110025, India
E-Mail
Phone: 011-26981717-2355
Interests: sensors; sensor networks; interfacing electronics; wireless sensors; smart cities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Less budget, resource constraints, and continuous software upgrades are a few problems affecting the implementation of smart cities. The only solution to these problems is to develop smarter technology and a more efficient usage in order to meet the needs of smart cities. A combination of smart sensors, universal platform, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT), energy harvesting, cloud computing, and open source technologies, compatible with Next Generation Networks (NGN), will help towards the actual achievement of a smart city. It is now possible to develop significant technology platforms and IoT solutions for smart cities without a massive investment. However, IoT interoperability is still at a very early stage and standardization is difficult to achieve as it is usually led by companies with strong market positions. There is a need for stand-alone development, where large companies will not dictate terms and conditions.

The aim of this Special Issue is to report on the design and development of smart sensors, a universal interfacing platform, along with the IoT framework, extending it to next generation networks (4G, 5G, and future networks) for monitoring parameters of interest with the goal of achieving smart cities. Examples of this work include developing novel sensors for monitoring environmental pollution and other parameters, and making the data available to a wider community through remote access cloud computing. The proposed universal interfacing platform with the IoT frame work will solve many challenging issues and it will significantly boost the growth of IoT-related applications, not just in the environmental monitoring domain, but in the other key areas, such as smart home, wearables, smart city with smart waste management, smart E-metering, smart water supply, intelligent traffic control, smart grid, remote health care applications, etc., in any country. The need is to develop a low-cost solution so that any country, without investing a massive amount of resources, can exploit the research outcomes.

Dr. Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay
Dr. Tarikul Islam
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Smart sensors
  • sensing technology
  • wireless sensor networks
  • Internet of Things
  • Smart Home
  • Assisted Living
  • Smart Cities
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • wireless protocol
  • IoT framework
  • Cloud computing

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Unpowered Sensor Node for Real-Time Water Quality Assessment (Humic Acid Detection)
Electronics 2018, 7(10), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7100231
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
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Abstract
A zero-power microwave sensor is reported for the real-time assessment of water quality. The proposed structure is able to transmit sensed data directly to a base-station without additional data processing at the wireless sensor node (WSN) which results in less power consumption. The
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A zero-power microwave sensor is reported for the real-time assessment of water quality. The proposed structure is able to transmit sensed data directly to a base-station without additional data processing at the wireless sensor node (WSN) which results in less power consumption. The base-station propagates a single tone signal at the frequency of f0/2. At the sensing node, an antenna absorbs that signal and a passive frequency doubler makes its frequency twice, i.e., f0, which will be used as the carrier signal. Two pairs of open-ended coaxial probes are used as liquid sensors; one inside a known reference sample and the other one inside the water under test. A combination of both sensors’ data will be sent to the base-station. A special six-port structure is used for modulation of sensed data over the carrier. At the base-station, a receiver will demodulate the received signal for extracting the sensed data. As an example, the system has been evaluated at f0 = 2.45 GHz for the detection of Humic-Acid levels as a common contaminant of river waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Semantic and Dweller-Based Decision Support System for the Reconfiguration of Domestic Environments: RecAAL
Electronics 2018, 7(9), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7090179
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Researches in the field of ambient assisted living (AAL) have increased in the last ten years, and the paradigms of the smart home have widely spread. Smart homes must consider the health-related issues and the real needs deriving from the ageing of their
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Researches in the field of ambient assisted living (AAL) have increased in the last ten years, and the paradigms of the smart home have widely spread. Smart homes must consider the health-related issues and the real needs deriving from the ageing of their dwellers. In the smart home, appliances are expected to provide support to the residents, especially when they are characterized by disabilities and/or impairments related to ageing. While most of the AAL solutions presented in literature rely on complex systems and architectures, residents affected by mild or moderate disabilities can take advantage of just a simpler reconfiguration of living environments, i.e., the replacement of certain appliances with others that are able to help them in coping with their limitations. This paper proposes a semantic-based decision support system (DSS), which relies on ontological models, to assist designers in domestic environments’ reconfiguration. The ontology leverages semantic representations of dwellers and domestic environments’ domains of knowledge to foster the adoption of appliances able to help the residents to live independently. The development process of the ontology is presented in detail together with the results deriving from reasoning processes. To ease the reconfiguration of domestic environments, a prototypical application taking advantage of the DSS is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle A “Smart” Trap Device for Detection of Crawling Insects and Other Arthropods in Urban Environments
Electronics 2018, 7(9), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7090161
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
We introduce a device for the automatic detecting and reporting of crawling insects in urban environments. It is a monitoring device for urban pests that complies with the context of smart homes and smart cities, and is compatible with the emerging discipline of
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We introduce a device for the automatic detecting and reporting of crawling insects in urban environments. It is a monitoring device for urban pests that complies with the context of smart homes and smart cities, and is compatible with the emerging discipline of the Internet of Things (IoT). We believe it can find its place in every room of a hotel, hospital, military camp, and residence. This box-shaped device attracts targeted insect pests, senses the entering insect, and takes automatically a picture of the internal space of the box. The e-trap includes strong attractants (pheromone and/or food) to increase capture efficiency and traps the insect on its sticky floor. The device carries the necessary optoelectronic sensors to monitor all entrances of the trap. As the insect enters it interrupts the infrared light source. This triggers a detection event; a picture is taken, and a time-stamp is set before delivering the picture through the Wi-Fi to an authorized person/stakeholder. The device can be integrated seamlessly in urban environments and operates unobtrusively to human activities. We report results on various insect pests and depending on the insect species, can reach a detection accuracy ranging from 96 to 99%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle MWCNT–Epoxy Nanocomposite Sensors for Structural Health Monitoring
Electronics 2018, 7(8), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7080143
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract
We address multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for structural health monitoring in adhesive bonds, such as in building structures. MWCNT-loaded composites are employed to sense strain changes under tension load using an AC impedance measurement setup. Different weight percentages of 1, 1.5, 2 and
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We address multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for structural health monitoring in adhesive bonds, such as in building structures. MWCNT-loaded composites are employed to sense strain changes under tension load using an AC impedance measurement setup. Different weight percentages of 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 wt % MWCNTs are added to the base epoxy resin using different dispersion times, i.e., 5, 10, and 15 min. The equivalent parallel resistance of the specimens is first measured by applying an alternating voltage at different frequencies. To determine the mechanical as well as sensory properties, the specimens are then subjected to a tensile test with concurrent impedance measurement at a fixed pre-chosen frequency. Using alternating voltage, a higher sensitivity of the impedance reading can be achieved. Employing these sensors in buildings and combining the readings of a network of such devices can significantly improve the buildings’ safety. Additionally, networks of such sensors can be used to identify necessary maintenance actions and locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Design of a Building-Integrated Photovoltaic System with a Novel Bi-Reflector PV System (BRPVS) and Optimal Control Mechanism: An Experimental Study
Electronics 2018, 7(7), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7070119
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 14 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
Environment protection and energy saving are the most attractive trends in zero-carbon buildings. The most promising and environmentally friendly technique is building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), which can also replace conventional buildings based on non-renewable energy. Despite the recent advances in technology, the cost
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Environment protection and energy saving are the most attractive trends in zero-carbon buildings. The most promising and environmentally friendly technique is building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), which can also replace conventional buildings based on non-renewable energy. Despite the recent advances in technology, the cost of BIPV systems is still very high. Hence, reducing the cost is a major challenge. This paper examines and validates the effectiveness of low-cost aluminum (Al) foil as a reflector. The design and the performance of planer-reflector for BIPV systems are analyzed in detail. A Bi-reflector solar PV system (BRPVS) with thin film Al-foil reflector and an LLC converter for a BIPV system is proposed and experimented with a 400-W prototype. A cadmium–sulfide (CdS) photo-resistor sensor and an Arduino-based algorithm was developed to control the working of the reflectors. Furthermore, the effect of Al-foil reflectors on the temperature of PV module has been examined. The developed LLC converter confirmed stable output voltage despite large variation in input voltage proving its effectiveness for the proposed BRPVS. The experimental results of the proposed BRPVS with an Al-reflector of the same size as that of the solar PV module offered an enhancement of 28.47% in the output power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle New Technique for Posture Identification in Smart Prayer Mat
Electronics 2017, 6(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6030061
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Smart praying mats are essential to help old and forgetful Muslims perform their religious needs. Due to the binary representation of pressure sensors embedded into the mat for posture identification, existing smart praying systems either use large sensing arrays, thus becoming expensive and
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Smart praying mats are essential to help old and forgetful Muslims perform their religious needs. Due to the binary representation of pressure sensors embedded into the mat for posture identification, existing smart praying systems either use large sensing arrays, thus becoming expensive and bulky, or utilize only a limited number of sensors, minimizing the cost of posture recognition accuracy. This article presents a new technique for detecting human postures and counting posture cycles by a smart mat. Unlike related solutions, the proposed technique identifies postures by voltage levels observed from five sensors only. The technique has been implemented in a prototype smart mat and experimentally evaluated by 30 Islam worshipers. The results show that it provides unobtrusive and robust (100%) recognition of all six postures of the Muslim praying cycle and reliable cycle counting. The implementation is inexpensive, easy to use and quite helpful for users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Sensitivity Enhancement of a PPM Level Capacitive Moisture Sensor
Electronics 2017, 6(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics6020041
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Measurement of moisture at ppm or ppb level is very difficult and the fabrication of such sensors at low cost is always challenging. High sensitivity is an important parameter for trace level (ppm) humidity sensors. Anelectronic detection circuit for interfacing the humidity sensor
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Measurement of moisture at ppm or ppb level is very difficult and the fabrication of such sensors at low cost is always challenging. High sensitivity is an important parameter for trace level (ppm) humidity sensors. Anelectronic detection circuit for interfacing the humidity sensor with high sensitivity requires a simple hardware circuit with few active devices. The recent trends for increasing the sensitivity include fabricating nanoporous film with a very large surface area. In the present work, the sensitivity of a parallel plate capacitive type sensor with metal oxide sensing film has been significantly improved with an aim to detect moisture from 3 to 100 ppm in the industrial process gases used to fabricate semiconductors and other sensitive electronic devices. The sensitivity has been increased by (i) fabricating a nanoporous film of aluminum oxide using the sol-gel method and (ii) increasing the cross-sectional area of a parallel plate capacitor. A novel double sided capacitive structure has been proposed where two capacitors have been fabricated—one on the top and one on the bottom side of a flat alumina substrate—and then the capacitors are connected in parallel. The structure has twice the sensitivity of a single sensor in the same ppm range but the size of the structure remains unchanged. The important characteristics of the sensors such as the sensitivity (S = Δ C Δ p p m × 100 ), the response time (tr), and the recovery time (tc) are determined and compared with a commercial SHAW, UKdew point meter. The fabricated double sided sensor has comparable sensitivity (S = 100%, tr (s) = 28, tc (s) = 40) with the commercial meter (S = 100.5%, tr (s) = 258) but has a faster response time. The proposed method of sensitivity enhancement is simple, and mass producible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Technologies and Services for Smart Cities)
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