Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 222

Effect of Coffee Grounds on Physical and Heating Value Properties of Sugarcane Bagasse Pellets

Objective of this research is to study effect of coffee grounds on physical and heating value properties of sugarcane bagasse pellets. The coffee grounds were tested as an additive for pelletizing process of bagasse pellets. Pelletizing was performed using a Flat–die pellet mill machine. Moisture content of raw materials was controlled at 10-13%. Die temperature range during the process was 75-80 oC. Physical characteristics (bulk density and durability) of the bagasse pellet and pellets with 1-5% coffee ground were determined following the standard assigned by the Pellet Fuel Institute (PFI). The results revealed increasing values of 648±3.4, 659 ± 3.1, 679 ± 3.3 and 685 ± 3.1 kg/m3 (for pellet bulk density); and 98.7 ± 0.11, 99.2 ± 0.26, 99.3 ± 0.19 and 99.4 ± 0.07% (for pellet durability), respectively. In addition, the heating values of the coffee ground supplemented pellets (15.9 ± 1.16, 17.0 ± 1.23 and 18.8 ± 1.34 MJ/kg) were improved comparing to the non-supplemented control (14.9 ± 1.14 MJ/kg), respectively. The results indicated that both the bulk density and durability values of the bagasse pellets were increased with the increasing proportion of the coffee ground additive.

A Small-Scale Study of Fire Whirls and Investigation of the Effects of Near-Ground Height on the Behavior of Fire Whirls

In this work, small-scale experiments of fire whirl were conducted to study the spinning fire phenomenon and to gain comprehensive understandings of fire tornadoes and the factors that affect their behavior. High speed imaging was used to track the flames at both temporal and spatial scales. This allowed us to better understand the role of the near-ground height in creating a boundary layer flow profile that, in turn contributes to formation of vortices around the fire, and consequent fire whirls. Based on the results obtained from these observations, we were able to spot the differences in the fuel burning rate of the fire itself as a function of a newly defined specific non-dimensional near-ground height. Based on our observations, there is a cutoff non-dimensional height, beyond which a normal fire can be turned into a fire whirl. Additionally, the results showed that the fire burning rate decreases by moving the fire to a height higher than the ground level. These effects were justified by the interactions between vortices formed by, the back pressure and the boundary layer velocity profile, and the vortices generated by the fire itself.

Delineating Concern Ground in Block Caving – Underground Mine Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Mining by block or panel caving is a mining method that takes advantage of fractures within an ore body, coupled with gravity, to extract material from a predetermined column of ore. The caving column is weakened from beneath through the use of undercutting, after which the ore breaks up and is extracted from below in a continuous cycle. The nature of this method induces cyclical stresses on the pillars of excavations as stress is built up and released over time, which has a detrimental effect on both the installed ground support and the rock mass itself. Ground support capacity, especially on the production where excavation void ratio is highest, is subjected to heavy loading. Strain above threshold of the elongation of support capacity can yield resulting in damage to excavations. Geotechnical engineers must evaluate not only the remnant capacity of ground support systems but also investigate depth of rock mass yield within pillars, backs and floors. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that has the ability to evaluate rock mass damage using electromagnetic waves. This paper illustrates a case study from the Grasberg mining complex where non-invasive information on the depth of damage and condition of the remaining rock mass was required. GPR with 100 MHz antenna resolution was used to obtain images of the subsurface to determine rehabilitation requirements prior to recommencing production activities. The GPR surveys were used to calibrate the reflection coefficient response of varying rock mass conditions to known Rock Quality Designation (RQD) parameters observed at the mine. The calibrated GPR survey allowed site engineers to map subsurface conditions and plan rehabilitation accordingly.

Data Gathering and Analysis for Arabic Historical Documents
This paper introduces a new dataset (and the methodology used to generate it) based on a wide range of historical Arabic documents containing clean data simple and homogeneous-page layouts. The experiments are implemented on printed and handwritten documents obtained respectively from some important libraries such as Qatar Digital Library, the British Library and the Library of Congress. We have gathered and commented on 150 archival document images from different locations and time periods. It is based on different documents from the 17th-19th century. The dataset comprises differing page layouts and degradations that challenge text line segmentation methods. Ground truth is produced using the Aletheia tool by PRImA and stored in an XML representation, in the PAGE (Page Analysis and Ground truth Elements) format. The dataset presented will be easily available to researchers world-wide for research into the obstacles facing various historical Arabic documents such as geometric correction of historical Arabic documents.
An Analysis of Language Borrowing among Algerian University Students Using Online Facebook Conversations
The rapid development of technology has led to an important context in which different languages and structures are used in the same conversations. This paper investigates the practice of language borrowing within social media platform, namely, Facebook among Algerian Vernacular Arabic (AVA) students. In other words, this study will explore how Algerian students have incorporated lexical English borrowing in their online conversations. This paper will examine the relationships between language, culture and identity among a multilingual group. The main objective is to determine the cultural and linguistic functions that borrowing fulfills in social media and to explain the possible factors underlying English borrowing. The nature of the study entails the use of an online research method that includes ten online Facebook conversations in the form of private messages collected from Bachelor and Masters Algerian students recruited from the English department at the University of Oum El-Bouaghi. The analysis of data revealed that social media platform provided the users with opportunities to shift from one language to another. This practice was noticed in students’ online conversations. English borrowing was the most relevant language performance in accordance with Arabic which is the mother tongue of the chosen sample. The analysis has assumed that participants are skilled in more than one language.
Map UI Design of IoT Application Based on Passenger Evacuation Behaviors in Underground Station

When the public space is in an emergency, how to quickly establish spatial cognition and emergency shelter in the closed underground space is the urgent task. This study takes Taipei Station as the research base and aims to apply the use of Internet of things (IoT) application for underground evacuation mobility design. The first experiment identified passengers' evacuation behaviors and spatial cognition in underground spaces by wayfinding tasks and thinking aloud, then defined the design conditions of User Interface (UI) and proposed the UI design.  The second experiment evaluated the UI design based on passengers' evacuation behaviors by wayfinding tasks and think aloud again as same as the first experiment. The first experiment found that the design conditions that the subjects were most concerned about were "map" and hoping to learn the relative position of themselves with other landmarks by the map and watch the overall route. "Position" needs to be accurately labeled to determine the location in underground space. Each step of the escape instructions should be presented clearly in "navigation bar." The "message bar" should be informed of the next or final target exit. In the second experiment with the UI design, we found that the "spatial map" distinguishing between walking and non-walking areas with shades of color is useful. The addition of 2.5D maps of the UI design increased the user's perception of space. Amending the color of the corner diagram in the "escape route" also reduces the confusion between the symbol and other diagrams. The larger volume of toilets and elevators can be a judgment of users' relative location in "Hardware facilities." Fire extinguisher icon should be highlighted. "Fire point tips" of the UI design indicated fire with a graphical fireball can convey precise information to the escaped person. "Fire point tips" of the UI design indicated fire with a graphical fireball can convey precise information to the escaped person. However, "Compass and return to present location" are less used in underground space.

A Numerical Study of Seismic Response of Shallow Square Tunnels in Two-Layered Ground
In this study, the seismic behavior of a shallow tunnel with square cross section is investigated in a two layered and elastic heterogeneous environment using numerical method. To do so, FLAC finite difference software was used. Behavioral model of the ground and tunnel structure was assumed linear elastic. Dynamic load was applied to the model for 0.2 seconds from the bottom in form of a square pulse with maximum acceleration of 1 m/s2. The interface between the two layers was considered at three different levels of crest, middle, and bottom of the tunnel. The stiffness of the two upper and lower layers was considered to be varied from 10 MPa to 1000 MPa. Deformation of cross section of the tunnel due to dynamic load propagation, as well as the values of axial force and bending moment created in the tunnel structure, were examined in the three states mentioned above. The results of analyses show that heterogeneity of the environment, its stratification, and positioning of the interface of the two layers with respect to tunnel height and the stiffness ratio of the two layers have significant effects on the value of bending moment, axial force, and distortion of tunnel cross-section.
Improvement of Soft Clay Using Floating Cement Dust-Lime Columns

The two main criteria that control the design and performance of footings are bearing capacity and settlement of soil. In soft soils, the construction of buildings, storage tanks, warehouse, etc. on weak soils usually involves excessive settlement problems. To solve bearing capacity or reduce settlement problems, soil improvement may be considered by using different techniques, including encased cement dust–lime columns. The proposed research studies the effect of adding floating encased cement dust and lime mix columns to soft clay on the clay-bearing capacity. Four experimental tests were carried out. Columns diameters of 3.0 cm, 4.0 cm, and 5.0 cm and columns length of 60% of the clay layer thickness were used. Numerical model was constructed and verified using commercial finite element package (PLAXIS 2D, V8.5). The verified model was used to study the effect of distributing columns around the footing at different distances. The study showed that the floating cement dust lime columns enhanced the clay-bearing capacity with 262%. The numerical model showed that the columns around the footing have a limit effect on the clay improvement.

Using GIS and Map Data for the Analysis of the Relationship between Soil and Groundwater Quality at Saline Soil Area of Kham Sakaesaeng District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
The study area is Kham Sakaesaeng District in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, the south section of Northeastern Thailand, located in the Lower Khorat-Ubol Basin. This region is the one of saline soil area, located in a dry plateau and regularly experience standing with periods of floods and alternating with periods of drought. Especially, the drought in the summer season causes the major saline soil and saline water problems of this region. The general cause of dry land salting resulted from salting on irrigated land, and an excess of water leading to the rising water table in the aquifer. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of physical and chemical properties between the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were collected in both rainy and summer seasons. The content of pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride and salinity were investigated. The experimental result of soil and groundwater samples show the slightly pH less than 7, EC (186 to 8,156 us/cm and 960 to 10,712 us/cm), TDS (93 to 3,940 ppm and 480 to 5,356 ppm), chloride content (45.58 to 4,177,015 mg/l and 227.90 to 9,216,736 mg/l), and salinity (0.07 to 4.82 ppt and 0.24 to 14.46 ppt) in the rainy and summer seasons, respectively. The distribution of chloride content and salinity content were interpolated and displayed as a map by using ArcMap 10.3 program, according to the season. The result of saline soil and brined groundwater in the study area were related to the low-lying topography, drought area, and salt-source exposure. Especially, the Rock Salt Member of Maha Sarakham Formation was exposed or lies near the ground surface in this study area. During the rainy season, salt was eroded or weathered from the salt-source rock formation and transported by surface flow or leached into the groundwater. In the dry season, the ground surface is dry enough resulting salt precipitates from the brined surface water or rises from the brined groundwater influencing the increasing content of chloride and salinity in the ground surface and groundwater.
Evaluation of Geomechanical and Geometrical Parameters’ Effects on Hydro-Mechanical Estimation of Water Inflow into Underground Excavations

In general, mechanical and hydraulic processes are not independent of each other in jointed rock masses. Therefore, the study on hydro-mechanical coupling of geomaterials should be a center of attention in rock mechanics. Rocks in their nature contain discontinuities whose presence extremely influences mechanical and hydraulic characteristics of the medium. Assuming this effect, experimental investigations on intact rock cannot help to identify jointed rock mass behavior. Hence, numerical methods are being used for this purpose. In this paper, water inflow into a tunnel under significant water table has been estimated using hydro-mechanical discrete element method (HM-DEM). Besides, effects of geomechanical and geometrical parameters including constitutive model, friction angle, joint spacing, dip of joint sets, and stress factor on the estimated inflow rate have been studied. Results demonstrate that inflow rates are not identical for different constitutive models. Also, inflow rate reduces with increased spacing and stress factor.

Microstrip Patch Antenna Enhancement Techniques
Microstrip patch antennas are widely used in many wireless communication applications because of their various advantages such as light weight, compact size, inexpensive, ease of fabrication and high reliability. However, narrow bandwidth and low gain are the major drawbacks of microstrip antennas. The radiation properties of microstrip antenna is affected by many designing factors like feeding techniques, manufacturing substrate, patch and ground structure. This manuscript presents a review of the most popular gain and bandwidth enhancement methods of microstrip antenna and reports a brief description of its feeding techniques.
Concept for Knowledge out of Sri Lankan Non-State Sector: Performances of Higher Educational Institutes and Successes of Its Sector

Concept of knowledge is discovered from conducted study for successive Competition in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Educational Institutes. The Concept discovered out of collected Knowledge Management Practices from Emerald inside likewise reputed literatures and of Non-State Higher Educational sector. A test is conducted to reveal existences and its reason behind of these collected practices in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Education Institutes. Further, unavailability of such study and uncertain on number of participants for data collection in the Sri Lankan context contributed selection of research method as qualitative method, which used attributes of Delphi Method to manage those likewise uncertainty. Data are collected under Dramaturgical Method, which contributes efficient usage of the Delphi method. Grounded theory is selected as data analysis techniques, which is conducted in intermixed discourse to manage different perspectives of data that are collected systematically through perspective and modified snowball sampling techniques. Data are then analysed using Grounded Theory Development Techniques in Intermix discourses to manage differences in Data. Consequently, Agreement in the results of Grounded theories and of finding in the Foreign Study is discovered in the analysis whereas present study conducted as Qualitative Research and The Foreign Study conducted as Quantitative Research. As such, the Present study widens the discovery in the Foreign Study. Further, having discovered reason behind of the existences, the Present result shows Concept for Knowledge from Sri Lankan Non-State sector to manage higher educational Institutes in successful manner.

Comparative Study of Equivalent Linear and Non-Linear Ground Response Analysis for Rapar District of Kutch, India

Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.

Real Time Lidar and Radar High-Level Fusion for Obstacle Detection and Tracking with Evaluation on a Ground Truth
Both Lidars and Radars are sensors for obstacle detection. While Lidars are very accurate on obstacles positions and less accurate on their velocities, Radars are more precise on obstacles velocities and less precise on their positions. Sensor fusion between Lidar and Radar aims at improving obstacle detection using advantages of the two sensors. The present paper proposes a real-time Lidar/Radar data fusion algorithm for obstacle detection and tracking based on the global nearest neighbour standard filter (GNN). This algorithm is implemented and embedded in an automative vehicle as a component generated by a real-time multisensor software. The benefits of data fusion comparing with the use of a single sensor are illustrated through several tracking scenarios (on a highway and on a bend) and using real-time kinematic sensors mounted on the ego and tracked vehicles as a ground truth.
Numerical Investigation on Load Bearing Capacity of Pervious Concrete Piles as an Alternative to Granular Columns

Pervious concrete combines considerable permeability with adequate strength, which makes it very beneficial in pavement construction and also in ground improvement projects. In this paper, a single pervious concrete pile subjected to vertical and lateral loading is analysed using a verified three dimensional finite element code. A parametric study was carried out in order to investigate load bearing capacity of a single unreinforced pervious concrete pile in saturated soft soil and also gain insight into the failure mechanism of this rather new soil improvement technique. The results show that concrete damaged plasticity constitutive model can perfectly simulate the highly brittle nature of the pervious concrete material and considering the computed vertical and horizontal load bearing capacities, some suggestions have been made for ground improvement projects.

Investigation of Physical Properties of Asphalt Binder Modified by Recycled Polyethylene and Ground Tire Rubber

Modification of asphalt is a fundamental method around the world mainly on the purpose of providing more durable pavements which lead to diminish repairing cost during the lifetime of highways. Various polymers such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) make up the greater parts of the all-over asphalt modifiers generally providing better physical properties of asphalt by decreasing temperature dependency which eventually diminishes permanent deformation on highways such as rutting. However, some waste and low-cost materials such as recycled plastics and ground rubber tire have been attempted to utilize in asphalt as modifier instead of manufactured polymer modifiers due to decreasing the eventual highway cost. On the other hand, the usage of recycled plastics has become a worldwide requirement and awareness in order to decrease the pollution made by waste plastics. Hence, finding an area in which recycling plastics could be utilized has been targeted by many research teams so as to reduce polymer manufacturing and plastic pollution. To this end, in this paper, thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizate (TDV) obtained from recycled post-consumer polyethylene and ground tire rubber (GTR) were used to provide an efficient modifier for asphalt which decreases the production cost as well and finally might provide an ecological solution by decreasing polymer disposal problems. TDV was synthesized by the chemists in the research group by means of the abovementioned components that are considered as compatible physical characteristic of asphalt materials. TDV modified asphalt samples having different rate of proportions of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 wt.% TDV modifier were prepared. Conventional tests, such as penetration, softening point and roll thin film oven (RTFO) tests were performed to obtain fundamental physical and aging properties of the base and modified binders. The high temperature performance grade (PG) of binders was determined by Superpave tests conducted on original and aged binders. The multiple stress creep and recovery (MSCR) test which is relatively up-to-date method for classifying asphalts taking account of their elasticity abilities was carried out to evaluate PG plus grades of binders. The results obtained from performance grading, and MSCR tests were also evaluated together so as to make a comparison between the methods both aiming to determine rheological parameters of asphalt. The test results revealed that TDV modification leads to a decrease in penetration, an increase in softening point, which proves an increasing stiffness of asphalt. DSR results indicate an improvement in PG for modified binders compared to base asphalt. On the other hand, MSCR results that are compatible with DSR results also indicate an enhancement on rheological properties of asphalt. However, according to the results, the improvement is not as distinct as observed in DSR results since elastic properties are fundamental in MSCR. At the end of the testing program, it can be concluded that TDV can be used as modifier which provides better rheological properties for asphalt and might diminish plastic waste pollution since the material is 100% recycled.

Development of Groundwater Management Model Using Groundwater Sustainability Index

Development of a groundwater management model is an important step in the exploitation and management of any groundwater aquifer as it assists in the long-term sustainable planning of the resource. The current study was conducted in Central Limpopo province of South Africa with the overall objective of determining how much water can be withdrawn from the aquifer without producing nonreversible impacts on the groundwater quantity, hence developing a model which can sustainably protect the aquifer. The development was done through the computation of Groundwater Sustainability Index (GSI). Values of GSI close to unity and above indicated overexploitation. In this study, an index of 0.8 was considered as overexploitation. The results indicated that there is potential for higher abstraction rates compared to the current abstraction rates. GSI approach can be used in the management of groundwater aquifer to sustainably develop the resource and also provides water managers and policy makers with fundamental information on where future water developments can be carried out.

Impact of Interface Soil Layer on Groundwater Aquifer Behaviour

The geological environment where the groundwater is collected represents the most important element that affects the behaviour of groundwater aquifer. As groundwater is a worldwide vital resource, it requires knowing the parameters that affect this source accurately so that the conceptualized mathematical models would be acceptable to the broadest ranges. Therefore, groundwater models have recently become an effective and efficient tool to investigate groundwater aquifer behaviours. Groundwater aquifer may contain aquitards, aquicludes, or interfaces within its geological formations. Aquitards and aquicludes have geological formations that forced the modellers to include those formations within the conceptualized groundwater models, while interfaces are commonly neglected from the conceptualization process because the modellers believe that the interface has no effect on aquifer behaviour. The current research highlights the impact of an interface existing in a real unconfined groundwater aquifer called Dibdibba, located in Al-Najaf City, Iraq where it has a river called the Euphrates River that passes through the eastern part of this city. Dibdibba groundwater aquifer consists of two types of soil layers separated by an interface soil layer. A groundwater model is built for Al-Najaf City to explore the impact of this interface. Calibration process is done using PEST 'Parameter ESTimation' approach and the best Dibdibba groundwater model is obtained. When the soil interface is conceptualized, results show that the groundwater tables are significantly affected by that interface through appearing dry areas of 56.24 km² and 6.16 km² in the upper and lower layers of the aquifer, respectively. The Euphrates River will also leak water into the groundwater aquifer of 7359 m³/day. While these results are changed when the soil interface is neglected where the dry area became 0.16 km², the Euphrates River leakage became 6334 m³/day. In addition, the conceptualized models (with and without interface) reveal different responses for the change in the recharge rates applied on the aquifer through the uncertainty analysis test. The aquifer of Dibdibba in Al-Najaf City shows a slight deficit in the amount of water supplied by the current pumping scheme and also notices that the Euphrates River suffers from stresses applied to the aquifer. Ultimately, this study shows a crucial need to represent the interface soil layer in model conceptualization to be the intended and future predicted behaviours more reliable for consideration purposes.

A Ground Structure Method to Minimize the Total Installed Cost of Steel Frame Structures

This paper presents a ground structure method to optimize the topology and discrete member sizing of steel frame structures in order to minimize total installed cost, including material, fabrication and erection components. The proposed method improves upon existing cost-based ground structure methods by incorporating constructability considerations well as satisfying both strength and serviceability constraints. The architecture for the method is a bi-level Multidisciplinary Feasible (MDF) architecture in which the discrete member sizing optimization is nested within the topology optimization process. For each structural topology generated, the sizing optimization process seek to find a set of discrete member sizes that result in the lowest total installed cost while satisfying strength (member utilization) and serviceability (node deflection and story drift) criteria. To accurately assess cost, the connection details for the structure are generated automatically using accurate site-specific cost information obtained directly from fabricators and erectors. Member continuity rules are also applied to each node in the structure to improve constructability. The proposed optimization method is benchmarked against conventional weight-based ground structure optimization methods resulting in an average cost savings of up to 30% with comparable computational efficiency.

Investigating the Behavior of Underground Structures in the Event of an Earthquake

The progress of technology and producing new machinery have made a big change in excavation operations and construction of underground structures. The limitations of space and some other economic, politic and military considerations gained the attention of most developed and developing countries towards the construction of these structures for mine, military, and development objectives. Underground highways, tunnels, subways, oil reservoir resources, fuels, nuclear wastes burying reservoir and underground stores are increasingly developing and being used in these countries. The existence and habitability of the cities depend on these underground installations or in other words these vital arteries. Stopping the flow of water, gas leakage and explosion, collapsing of sewage paths, etc., resulting from the earthquake are among the factors that can severely harm the environment and increase the casualty. Lack of sewage network and complete stoppage of the flow of water in Bam (Iran) is a good example of this kind. In this paper, we investigate the effect of wave orientation on structures and deformation of them and the effect of faulting on underground structures, and then, we study resistance of reinforced concrete against earthquake, simulate two different samples, analyze the result and point out the importance of paying attention to underground installations.

Capture Zone of a Well Field in an Aquifer Bounded by Two Parallel Streams
In this paper, the velocity potential and stream function of capture zone for a well field in an aquifer bounded by two parallel streams with or without a uniform regional flow of any directions are presented. The well field includes any number of extraction or injection wells or a combination of both types with any pumping rates. To delineate the capture envelope, the potential and streamlines equations are derived by conformal mapping method. This method can help us to release constrains of other methods. The equations can be applied as useful tools to design in-situ groundwater remediation systems, to evaluate the surface–subsurface water interaction and to manage the water resources.
Methodology: A Review in Modelling and Predictability of Embankment in Soft Ground

Transportation network development in the developing country is in rapid pace. The majority of the network belongs to railway and expressway which passes through diverse topography, landform and geological conditions despite the avoidance principle during route selection. Construction of such networks demand many low to high embankment which required improvement in the foundation soil. This paper is mainly focused on the various advanced ground improvement techniques used to improve the soft soil, modelling approach and its predictability for embankments construction. The ground improvement techniques can be broadly classified in to three groups i.e. densification group, drainage and consolidation group and reinforcement group which are discussed with some case studies.  Various methods were used in modelling of the embankments from simple 1-dimensional to complex 3-dimensional model using variety of constitutive models. However, the reliability of the predictions is not found systematically improved with the level of sophistication.  And sometimes the predictions are deviated more than 60% to the monitored value besides using same level of erudition. This deviation is found mainly due to the selection of constitutive model, assumptions made during different stages, deviation in the selection of model parameters and simplification during physical modelling of the ground condition. This deviation can be reduced by using optimization process, optimization tools and sensitivity analysis of the model parameters which will guide to select the appropriate model parameters.

Assessment of Groundwater Chemistry and Quality Characteristics in an Alluvial Aquifer and a Single Plane Fractured-Rock Aquifer in Bloemfontein, South Africa

The evolution of groundwater chemistry and its quality is largely controlled by hydrogeochemical processes and their understanding is therefore important for groundwater quality assessments and protection of the water resources. A study was conducted in Bloemfontein town of South Africa to assess and compare the groundwater chemistry and quality characteristics in an alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifers. 9 groundwater samples were collected from monitoring boreholes drilled into the two aquifer systems during a once-off sampling exercise. Samples were collected through low-flow purging technique and analysed for major ions and trace elements. In order to describe the hydrochemical facies and identify dominant hydrogeochemical processes, the groundwater chemistry data are interpreted using stiff diagrams and principal component analysis (PCA), as complimentary tools. The fitness of the groundwater quality for domestic and irrigation uses is also assessed. Results show that the alluvial aquifer is characterised by a Na-HCO3 hydrochemical facie while fractured-rock aquifer has a Ca-HCO3 facie. The groundwater in both aquifers originally evolved from the dissolution of calcite rocks that are common on land surface environments. However the groundwater in the alluvial aquifer further goes through another evolution as driven by cation exchange process in which Na in the sediments exchanges with Ca2+ in the Ca-HCO3 hydrochemical type to result in the Na-HCO3 hydrochemical type. Despite the difference in the hydrogeochemical processes between the alluvial aquifer and single-plane fractured-rock aquifer, this did not influence the groundwater quality. The groundwater in the two aquifers is very hard as influenced by the elevated magnesium and calcium ions that evolve from dissolution of carbonate minerals which typically occurs in surface environments. Based on total dissolved levels (600-900 mg/L), groundwater quality of the two aquifer systems is classified to be of fair quality. The negative potential impacts of the groundwater quality for domestic uses are highlighted.

A Real-Time Simulation Environment for Avionics Software Development and Qualification

The development of guidance, navigation and control algorithms and avionic procedures requires the disposability of suitable analysis and verification tools, such as simulation environments, which support the design process and allow detecting potential problems prior to the flight test, in order to make new technologies available at reduced cost, time and risk. This paper presents a simulation environment for avionic software development and qualification, especially aimed at equipment for general aviation aircrafts and unmanned aerial systems. The simulation environment includes models for short and medium-range radio-navigation aids, flight assistance systems, and ground control stations. All the software modules are able to simulate the modeled systems both in fast-time and real-time tests, and were implemented following component oriented modeling techniques and requirement based approach. The paper describes the specific models features, the architectures of the implemented software systems and its validation process. Performed validation tests highlighted the capability of the simulation environment to guarantee in real-time the required functionalities and performance of the simulated avionics systems, as well as to reproduce the interaction between these systems, thus permitting a realistic and reliable simulation of a complete mission scenario.

Effect of Scarp Topography on Seismic Ground Motion
Local irregular topography has a great impact on earthquake ground motion. For scarp topography, using numerical simulation method, the influence extent and scope of the scarp terrain on scarp's upside and downside ground motion are discussed in case of different vertical incident SV waves. The results show that: (1) The amplification factor of scarp's upside region is greater than that of the free surface, while the amplification factor of scarp's downside part is less than that of the free surface; (2) When the slope angle increases, for x component, amplification factors of the scarp upside also increase, while the downside part decrease with it. For z component, both of the upside and downside amplification factors will increase; (3) When the slope angle changes, the influence scope of scarp's downside part is almost unchanged, but for the upside part, it slightly becomes greater with the increase of slope angle; (4) Due to the existence of the scarp, the z component ground motion appears at the surface. Its amplification factor increases for larger slope angle, and the peaks of the surface responses are related with incident waves. However, the input wave has little effects on the x component amplification factors.
Experimental Simulation of Soil Boundary Condition for Dynamic Studies
This paper studies the free-field response by adopting a flexible membrane container as soil boundary for experimental shaking table tests. The influence of the soil container boundary on the soil behaviour and the dynamic soil properties under seismic effect were examined. A flexible container with 1/50 scale factor was adopted in the experimental tests, including construction, instrumentation, and determination of the results of dynamic tests on a shaking table. Horizontal face displacements and accelerations were analysed to determine the influence of the container boundary on the performance of the soil. The outputs results show that the flexible boundary container allows more displacement and larger accelerations. The soil in a rigid wall container cannot deform as similar as the soil in the real field does. Therefore, the response of flexible container tested is believed to be more reliable for soil boundary than that in the rigid container.
Evaluation of Groundwater Quality and Its Suitability for Drinking and Agricultural Purposes Using Self-Organizing Maps

In the present study, the self-organizing map (SOM) clustering technique was applied to identify homogeneous clusters of hydrochemical parameters in El Milia plain, Algeria, to assess the quality of groundwater for potable and agricultural purposes. The visualization of SOM-analysis indicated that 35 groundwater samples collected in the study area were classified into three clusters, which showed progressive increase in electrical conductivity from cluster one to cluster three. Samples belonging to cluster one are mostly located in the recharge zone showing hard fresh water type, however, water type gradually changed to hard-brackish type in the discharge zone, including clusters two and three. Ionic ratio studies indicated the role of carbonate rock dissolution in increases on groundwater hardness, especially in cluster one. However, evaporation and evapotranspiration are the main processes increasing salinity in cluster two and three.

Analysis of Building Response from Vertical Ground Motions

Building structures are subjected to both horizontal and vertical ground motions during earthquakes, but only the horizontal ground motion has been extensively studied and considered in design. Most of the prevailing seismic codes assume the vertical component to be 1/2 to 2/3 of the horizontal one. In order to understand the building responses from vertical ground motions, many earthquakes records are studied in this paper. System identification methods (ARX Model) are used to analyze the strong motions and to find out the characteristics of the vertical amplification factors and the natural frequencies of buildings. Analysis results show that the vertical amplification factors for high-rise buildings and low-rise building are 1.78 and 2.52 respectively, and the average vertical amplification factor of all buildings is about 2. The relationship between the vertical natural frequency and building height was regressed to a suggested formula in this study. The result points out an important message; the taller the building is, the greater chance of resonance of vertical vibration on the building will be.

Efficiency Validation of Hybrid Cooling Application in Hot and Humid Climate Houses of KSA

Reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions are probably the greatest challenge now facing mankind. From considerations surrounding global warming and CO2 production, it has to be recognized that oil is a finite resource and the KSA like many other oil-rich countries will have to start to consider a horizon where hydro-carbons are not the dominant energy resource. The employment of hybrid ground-cooling pipes in combination with the black body solar collection and radiant night cooling systems may have the potential to displace a significant proportion of oil currently used to run conventional air conditioning plant. This paper presents an investigation into the viability of such hybrid systems with the specific aim of reducing cooling load and carbon emissions while providing all year-round thermal comfort in a typical Saudi Arabian urban housing block. Soil temperatures were measured in the city of Jeddah. A parametric study then was carried out by computational simulation software (DesignBuilder) that utilized the field measurements and predicted the cooling energy consumption of both a base case and an ideal scenario (typical block retro-fitted with insulation, solar shading, ground pipes integrated with hypocaust floor slabs/stack ventilation and radiant cooling pipes embed in floor). Initial simulation results suggest that careful ‘ecological design’ combined with hybrid radiant and ground pipe cooling techniques can displace air conditioning systems, producing significant cost and carbon savings (both capital and running) without appreciable deprivation of amenity.

Investigation of Utilizing L-Band Horn Antenna in Landmine Detection

Landmine detection is an important and yet challenging problem remains to be solved. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a powerful and rapidly maturing technology for subsurface threat identification. The detection methodology of GPR depends mainly on the contrast of the dielectric properties of the searched target and its surrounding soil. This contrast produces a partial reflection of the electromagnetic pulses that are being transmitted into the soil and then being collected by the GPR.  One of the most critical hardware components for the performance of GPR is the antenna system. The current paper explores the design and simulation of a pyramidal horn antenna operating at L-band frequencies (1- 2 GHz) to detect a landmine. A prototype model of the GPR system setup is developed to simulate full wave analysis of the electromagnetic fields in different soil types. The contrast in the dielectric permittivity of the landmine and the sandy soil is the most important parameter to be considered for detecting the presence of landmine. L-band horn antenna is proved to be well-versed in the investigation of landmine detection.

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